Widely Scattered To Scattered Severe Thunderstorms Today!

Slight Risk For Severe Thunderstorms Today Into This Evening.

As of 7 AM MDT this Saturday morning the Storm Prediction Center located in Norman, Oklahoma has placed much of Eastern and parts of Southeastern New Mexico and parts of West Texas in the Slight Risk Category for severe thunderstorms this afternoon and evening.

At 9 AM MDT this Saturday morning the dry line was still backed up along the east slopes of the Capitan, Sacramento, and Guadalupe Mountains as noted by dew point temperatures in the 50's east of the dryline, and the teens and 20's west of it. 

Valid At 5 PM MDT This Afternoon.

With low level southeasterly upslope flow in place east of the dryline (again backed up against the east slopes of the mountains by late this afternoon) this mornings 6 AM MDT NAM 3KM model forecasts surface based cape values of  2,000+ j/kg across Chaves, Eddy, and Lea Counties by 5 PM MDT. 

Valid At 1:30 PM MDT Today.

Valid At 5 PM MDT Today.

A few supercell thunderstorms are forecast to start popping up along the east slopes of the Sacramento mountains shortly after noontime today. These look to become right movers as they track east-southeast to southeastward across Eddy County and into Lea County by late this afternoon into early this evening. 

Significant Tornado Parameter Forecast.

Valid At 5 PM MDT This Afternoon.

A brief window appears to be open for an isolated tornado or two across western Eddy County this afternoon according to the HRRR STP forecast above. The most favored area for initial development according to this model forecast will be near the Hope area. 

HRRR 0-1 km Helicity (m2/s2) Forecast.

Valid At 5 PM MDT This Afternoon.


Honestly I'm not all that big on short range model forecasts for Southeastern New Mexico especially concerning severe weather. That's why I'm often reluctant to post them on my blog posts during local severe weather outbreaks. Meaning that I don't always put a lot of stock in exactly where the models say the storms will develop and how strong they may be.

Our nearest upper air sampling stations are Midland, El Paso, Albuquerque, and Amarillo. Sometimes we find that a more unstable air mass supportive of severe thunderstorms exists across the local area than what the forecasts models depict. So when I chase I always take the model forecasts like the ones I've posted above with a grain of salt...and more often than not I trust my gut feeling and that is the case today.

A few isolated supercell thunderstorms will have the chance to develop across the east slopes of the mountains today and then move east and perhaps turn southeastward as they trek across the Eastern and Southeastern Plains and head into West Texas near sundown. Its possible that a few multi-celluar severe thunderstorms will add to the mix and perhaps form a cluster or complex of thunderstorms know as a MCS or mesoscale convective system. An approaching weak mid-level short wave will help initiate development.

The primary severe weather threats will be large hail (perhaps golf ball size and bigger) along with damaging thunderstorm wind gusts in excess of 60 mph. Frequent deadly cloud to ground lightning will also be possible with any thunderstorm. Isolated locally heavy rainfall could also produce localized flash flooding especially if one hour rainfall totals exceed two inches or more. 

Although the forecasts models are not go gain busters with their tornado parameter forecasts there remains the possibility of a few isolated tornadoes developing. Especially as any supercell thunderstorm fires up along the dry line backed up against the east slopes of the mountains and later this afternoon as the storms approach the state line where better instability will exist. 

So my wife and I will head out in a few hours for our first chase of the season. My target area is southwestern Chaves and western Eddy Counties initially and then we will work the storms back to the east and southeast this afternoon. 

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


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