National Weather Service Watches/Warnings In Effect. (Click On The Link Above For The Latest Information). Valid At 3:30 PM MST This Christmas Eve.
Merry Christmas everyone! A dynamic and strong cold winter storm is currently plowing through the Western U.S. as of this writing. Its effects upon New Mexico tonight into Christmas Day will be quick and hard hitting. Some of us in the Land of Enchantment will have a White Christmas while others may have a Brown Christmas.
Halfway Between Artesia And Roswell, NM. 12-22-2016.
Not only has this year been a bumper crop for needle grass, the tumbleweeds are doing great too. Tumbling tumbleweeds all over the place across Southeastern New Mexico after this summer rains. They pile up against anything facing west such as this fence line south of Roswell. Miles and miles of these things can be found along our north-south facing fences. The Sons Of The Pioneers came out with a song about them in 1944...Tumbling Tumbleweeds. Heavy Rain Instead Of Heavy Snow Over The Sacramento Mtn's.
Infrared Satellite Image. Valid At 3:30 PM MST This Afternoon.
A very complicated winter weather event will unfold across New Mexico tonight into Thursday. Pockets of light rain are already developing over the southern one half of the state and this will increase and expand north and east into the night. A mixed bag of rain, freezing rain, sleet, and snow is forecast to break out over the Sacramento Mountains around midnight and spread north and northeast across the state into Thursday noontime.
So far this December has been a couple of degrees below normal for most of Eastern and Southeastern New Mexico. Roswell seta new daily record low temperature of 6ºF this past Sunday, December 18th. The previous low temperature for that date was 7ºF set in 1964. The Carlsbad Climate Co-Op Stationalso set a new daily record low temperature on the morning of the 19th with a reading of 11ºF which beats the previous low of 12ºF set in 1996.
The Jal Climate Co-Op Station tied their record low of 6ºF on the morning of the 19th last set back in 1997. Two Winter Storms Headed Our Way - The Second In Time For Christmas!
Photos Are Courtesy Of Arely Lara Of Carlsbad, NM. A wind gust of 81 mph was clocked by the Guadalupe Pass ASOS at 9:51 AM MST Saturday morning. The automated weather station had some issues with its wind data throughout the day so I don't know if this was the highest gust recorded yesterday or not. Bad day to be trying to battle the wind in the Pass as evidenced by the photos above courtesy of Arely Lara of Carlsbad via her post on my Facebook Wall. Coldest Temperatures Of The Season To Date.
Blog Updated At 9:00 AM MST This Saturday Morning.
Courtesy Of My Mother - Frances Callaway In Atoka (South Of Artesia, NM).
Last year, the day after Christmas a historic blizzard was razing Southeastern New Mexico and produced 12" to 20" snowfall totals along with drifts that were 3' to 10' high. This year a week before Christmas we are dealing with great piles of needle grass! This stuff is scary because its so flammable and goes up as fast as gasoline. Yesterday's peak wind gust of 53 mph at the Artesia Airport helped to redistribute this stuff all over the local area.
12-16-2016 Altocumulus Standing Lenticular Clouds (ACSL) Over Carlsbad, NM.
Taken at sunrise Friday morning I was looking back to the north from my gas plant. This lenticular cloud was directly over Carlsbad when I left for work. Strong winds aloft ride up and over the ridge tops of the the mountains and create these beautiful formations. Wild Ride Ahead Today.
December 2, 2016. My Mother's Home In Atoka - South Of Artesia, New Mexico.
Oh the joys of needle grass...not! A wet and cool July produced an abundance of needle grass in Southeastern New Mexico this summer. It looks pretty when its green in the pastures. But in the fall and the winter not so much when it dries out, detaches itself, and blows around in the wind into heaps and piles like the ones above. Not to mention that this stuff is extremely flammable and dangerous. When it burns it flashes off just like gasoline. And one giant pain in the neck to clean up too.
Hidalgo Gas Plant Where I Work- 18 Miles West Of Orla, Texas. December 8, 2016.
Modified arctic air invaded the area Wednesday night and as of 10 AM MST this morning its still hanging tight...refusing to let go of its grip. I recorded a snowfall total of .4" yesterday which melted down to .04" but only left a trace on the ground. The further south you went the deeper the snow became. The Carlsbad airport had a dusting on the ground at 5:00 AM yesterday morning, Whites City 1", the New Mexico/Texas State Line on US Hwy 62/180 2", and 2" at the Hidalgo Gas Plant.
Surface Map Forecast.
Valid At 11 AM MST Today.
Enjoy the warmth of this afternoon because it won't last. Modified arctic air is poised to invade the area late this afternoon and tonight. Thursday promises to be much colder.
GFS 500 MB Forecast.
Valid At 5 PM MST Saturday.
Our next winter storm to impact the region was located over southern California this morning and still digging to the south. By Saturday at sunset the GFS model depicted above forecasts a cutoff upper level low to be located over the Gulf of California. This cold and wet upper level storm is then forecast to open up into a trough of low pressure and swing northeastward out of the Big Bend Region and across Texas Monday into Monday night. GFS Surface Map & Precipitation Type Forecast.
Valid At 5 AM MST Saturday.
A cold front will backdoor into the area today into tonight bringing with it colder temperatures. Rain will develop this afternoon and overspread the area tonight. Its a tough call right now but it appears that the Roswell area may pick up and 1" or 2" of snow late tonight into tomorrow morning. Just how far south the snow line goes is questionable...perhaps as far south as Artesia. Saturday and Sunday will see moder…
GFS 500 MB Forecast.
Valid At 5 PM MST Saturday, Dec 3, 2016. GFS Surface Map & Precipitation Type Forecast.
Valid At 5 AM MST Saturday, Dec 3, 2016.
Valid At 5 AM MST Sunday, Dec 4, 2016. GFS Storm Total Rainfall Forecast.
Valid At 5 PM MST Sunday, Dec 4, 2016. GFS Snowfall Accumulation Forecast.
Valid At 5 PM MST Sunday, Dec 4, 2016.
A strong backdoor cold front will work its way southward and westward into the eastern plains of New Mexico Thursday afternoon and evening. This front will arrive in southeastern New Mexico late Thursday night or early Friday morning. Colder and wetter conditions will follow the frontal passage.
Meanwhile a strong upper level storm will dive into northwestern Mexico tomorrow afternoon. This storm will form a cutoff upper level low that should be located over the central Baja, Mexico Region by Saturday evening. Model forecasts have it opening up and ejecting northeastward into West Texas by next Monday.
A mix of lowland cold rains and mountains snows i…