Damaging Winds & Blowing Dust Today - Temperatures Plunge Tonight!

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.


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.

Temperatures At 6 AM MST This Morning.

Temperatures at 6 this morning varied from -37F in Northern and Northeastern Montana to 64ºF here at our home in Carlsbad, New Mexico. That's a difference of 101 degrees! As of 6 AM the arctic cold front had made its way into Northeastern New Mexico and as far south as Tucumcari where it was 16ºF. Raton was 9ºF and Clayton 10ºF. Wind Chill temperatures in Raton and Clayton were -12ºF and -11ºF. 

Valid At 11 AM MST Today.

NWS Watches & Warnings In Effect.

Valid At 6 AM MST This Morning.

NWS NDFD Forecast High Temperatures For Today.

Ahead of the arctic cold front Southeastern New Mexico is expected to warm up this afternoon into the mid to upper 60's...note that its already in the 60's at sunrise this morning over parts of the local area. Enjoy the warmth because you are not going to like whats coming tonight. 

NWS NDFD Forecast Low Temperatures Sunday Morning.

A rapid temperature plunge will occur behind the arctic cold front as it barrels southward down the Eastern Plains this afternoon and into Southeastern New Mexico. The front should arrive sometime late this afternoon...although I'm a little concerned that it may arrive sooner. As temperatures locally fall down into the teens and maybe even a few single digits by sunrise Sunday morning northerly winds will add to the misery driving wind chill temperatures down into the single digits with a few locations dipping below zero. 

NWS NDFD Forecast High Temperatures For Sunday.

Local National Weather Service forecasts call for our high temperatures on Sunday to struggle to make it up to freezing or slightly higher. Add the wind chill factor to this and it will feel even colder.

NWS NDFD Forecast Snowfall Totals Today Through Monday.

Howling Westerly Winds To Blast The Area Today.

Locally the Bowl Raws (7,755') located just north of Guadalupe Peak clocked a gust to 80 mph yesterday afternoon.

Valid At 8 AM MST This Morning.

Woa take a look at the GFS forecast for the winds aloft at the mountain top level this morning or at the 10,000' mean sea level. They are forecast to be screaming along at 87 knots or 100 mph! That's impressive to say the least. As of 7:30 AM this morning southwesterly winds were gusting up to 24 mph at the Roswell Airport, 31 mph at the Artesia Airport, 33 mph at the Carlsbad Airport, 40 mph at Guadalupe Pass, and 59 mph at the Sierra Blanca Regional Airport northeast of Ruidoso. Its only going to get worse this morning going into this afternoon.

Check out the peak wind gusts reported across Southern New Mexico courtesy of the El Paso National Weather Service Office via this link. Note that the 86 mph gust recorded at San Augustine Pass yesterday afternoon is the highest gust I've seen so far. 

A High Wind Warning remains in effect today for Eddy, Lea, and Culberson Counties as well as across parts of West Texas to our east and south. Southwesterly to westerly winds are forecast to be sustained at 30 to 50 mph with gusts to near 70 mph across the lower elevations and 80 mph across the Guadalupe Mountains! 

A HIgh Wind Warning remains in effect for today for Chaves and Lincoln Counties. Southwesterly to westerly winds are forecast to be sustained at 35 to 50 mph with gusts between 60 and 80 mph! This includes the Ruidoso, Roswell, and Santa Rosa areas.

A High Wind Warning remains in effect for today for parts of Southern New Mexico and far West Texas including Otero County (the Alamogordo, Tularosa, Cloudcroft, Mayhill, Timberson, and Sacramento/Weed areas. Southwesterly to westerly winds are forecast to be sustained at 35 to 45 mph with gusts near 65 mph!. 

Winds of this magnitude can and may cause localized damage. Such as trees blown down, tree branches blown off, shingles blown off of roofs, west facing windows blown out, power lines and other utility lines blown down, power poles blown down, power outages, small sheds. barns, and other outbuildings damaged or blown down. Irrigation equipment such as side roll and pivotal sprinklers may be blown over or away if not properly anchored down. Some vehicles such as high profile vehicles and trucks as well as small cars may be blown off local highways in the dangerous crosswinds...especially if traveling along a north-south oriented highway or road. 

Areas of blowing dust are also likely to develop. Sudden drops in the visibility (in some areas down to near zero or zero visibility) will occur with little to no advanced warning. Southeastern New Mexico as well as other areas across the state have a history of blowing dust caused by high winds to cause multi-vehicle wrecks and pileups. This is especially true near open fields, lots, construction sites, and freshly plowed or exposed farmland. Rangeland, Forest Fires, and Grass fires may also occur from downed power lines or other careless acts such as throwing cigarettes out of vehicles or pulling over off the road into high grasses and weeds...hot exhaust systems on vehicles can start these fires. Not to mention the fire danger poised by the piles of needle grass all over Southeastern New Mexico! 

The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction!


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