Significant High Wind Event Friday Into Saturday - Then The Plunge Saturday Night.

Altocumulus Standing Lenticular Clouds Over Carlsbad, New Mexico.

High Wind Event Tonight Into Saturday.

Valid At 5 AM MST Saturday, Dec 17, 2016.

GFS 500 MB (18,000' MSL) Wind Forecast.

Valid At 5 AM MST Saturday, Dec 17, 2016.

GFS 700 MB (10,000' MSL) Wind Forecast.

Valid At 5 AM MST Saturday, Dec 17, 2016.

Some of the strongest winds surface and aloft (forecast) in recent memory will be screaming overhead and across parts of the state Friday night into Saturday afternoon. Not my quote but by the forecaster on duty at the Albuquerque National Weather Service Office early this morning. Looking at the GFS model forecast wind speeds above I totally agree. Its not often that we see wind speeds at the mountain top level (10,000') screaming along at 83 knots or 95 mph. Not to mention that at the 18,000' level 115 knots winds or 132 mph are forecast. This will likely be one of those high wind events that the jet stream will actually dip down to the surface over parts of New Mexico.

GFS Surface Map & Precipitation Type Forecast.

Valid At 5 AM MST Saturday.

While the winds aloft are howling a strong surface low is forecast to develop over Northeastern New Mexico in conjunction with a tightening surface pressure gradient. Combine these factors with mixing of the atmosphere and one very windy period is on tap for the state from tonight into Saturday.

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Valid As Of 7 AM MST This Morning.

Significant High Wind Event!

High Wind Watches are already in effect for much of New Mexico including parts of the Southeastern Plains (Chaves County), Northern and Southern Sacramento Mountains, Capitan Mountains, and the Guadalupe Mountains. Additional High Wind Watches, Warnings, and or Wind Advisories may be issued for the local area not currently covered by these Watches and Warnings. 

There is the a strong potential in the outlined areas above for a Significant High Wind Event. Westerly winds are forecast to gust as high as 60 to 80 mph across the mountains and 50 to 75 mph across the lower elevations. The strongest winds locally are forecast to occur from late Friday afternoon into early afternoon Saturday.

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 exhaust systems on vehicles can start these fires. 

After The Winds - Comes The Plunge.

Valid At 5 AM MST Saturday.

Valid At 5 PM MST Saturday.

Valid At 5 PM MST Saturday.

Valid Sunday.

An arctic cold front is forecast to come barreling south down the Eastern Plains of New Mexico and into the local area by around sunset Saturday. Just when the arctic frontal passage occurs is a little uncertain as of this writing but most of Southeastern New Mexico will see this sometime between Saturday afternoon and early Saturday evening. And you will most definitely feel the change when it arrives. Strong westerly winds will switch around to the north and northeast at around 25 to 35 mph with higher gusts. Our temperatures will plunge behind the frontal passage as well as the wind chill temperatures. By Sunday morning at sunrise most of the local area will only be in the teens with wind chill readings in the single digits if not a little below zero in a few spots. 

Our high temperatures on Sunday and Monday are forecast to be in the 30's and I suspect that some us may not get above freezing. Monday morning looks to be the coldest of the season thus far with forecast lows in the teens...although I would not be surprised to see some single digit readings. 

After seeing our high temperatures in the mid 70's to near 80 on Friday we will have dropped some 40 to 50 degrees by Sunday with highs only in the 30's.

 Warm Ahead Of The Storm.

NWS Forecast High Temps Friday.

Don't be surprised if some of us make it up to the 80-degree mark tomorrow.

NWS Forecast High Temps Saturday.

NWS Forecast High Temps Sunday.

NWS Forecast Low Temps Sunday Morning.

Valid At 5 PM MST Saturday.

A Winter Storm Warning is in effect from Friday morning through Saturday morning for the Northern Mountains and Valleys of the state. Some mountain locations may see 12" to 18" out of this storm. Blowing snow will cause some travel difficulties in the Warning area. Current forecasts indicate that perhaps an inch or two may fall in the Sacramento and Capitan Mountains. 

The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction!


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