How Much Of Hurricane Willa's Remnant Moisture Will Impact Us?

Snapshot At 8:27 AM MDT This Sunday Morning.

Snapshot At 7:02 AM MDT This Sunday Morning.

As of 3 AM MDT this Sunday morning Hurricane Willa was located some 240 miles southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico and is crawling off to the northwest at 7 mph. She has sustained winds of 85 mph gusting to 105 mph and a central pressure of 984 millibars or 29.06 inches of mercury. Willa is forecast to reach Major Hurricane strength on Monday (Category 4) with sustained winds of near 140 mph with gusts near 165 mph. She is forecast to get caught up in the southwesterly flow aloft and slung into central Mexico by Wednesday.

NHC Forecast Track Of Willa.

Last nights 00Z or 6 PM MDT run of the European (ECMWF) forecast model depicted a closed upper level low just west of Los Angeles. This closed low is forecast to continue very slowly digging to the south before it opens up and begins sliding eastward around Tuesday. How far south this low digs and how fast will be critical in determining just how much of Willa's remnant tropical moisture gets picked up and transported northward into our area when she moves inland Wednesday and falls apart over central Mexico.

I've watched similar scenarios like this play out all of my lifetime. How much rain we get is all about timing and positioning. Sometimes the flow aloft is stronger and more progressive than the models forecast and we get less rain. Sometimes they slow down or stall and we get flooded...literally. The flash flooding of September 2013 and 2014 is a great example of this.

Should the low dig further south and slow down then more of Willa's remnant tropical moisture will have a better chance of getting imported into New Mexico and nearby areas. If the low opens up and moves eastward and then northeastward faster than what the models are currently showing then her remnant moisture will have a lesser impact on the area. 

Widespread Rainfall Tuesday Into Wednesday?

Valid Today - 6 PM Thursday.

ECMWF Storm Total Rainfall Forecast.

Valid Today - 6 PM Thursday.

NAM Storm Total Rainfall Forecast.

Valid Today - Noon MDT Wednesday.

Current model forecasts are showing fairly widespread rainfall totals locally of 1" to 2" with isolated pockets of locally heavier totals. Depending upon how the mid and upper level storm track plays out over the next three days or so will determine if this is too much rain being forecast or too little. More about this later.

The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction - And Sometimes It Hurts!


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