Winter Storm Warning & Winter Weather Advisory Continues For The Sac's - Light Snow Tonight In SE NM?

Snow Is Falling In Alamogordo, NM.

At 3: 30 PM MST This Saturday Afternoon.

Courtesy of William Powell on Facebook. Looking up at Horse Ridge from the Walmart on Indian Wells, with NMSU-Alamogordo at left and the space museum just beyond.

At 2:36 PM MST This Saturday Afternoon, December 28, 2019.

Valid At 11 PM MST This Saturday Night.

A second cold front is forecast to sink southward into the local area by around midnight tonight. Colder air will filter south with the frontal passage. This will help change light to moderate rain over to light to moderate snow along and just behind the front as it moves south.

Snow is falling early this afternoon in the Ruidoso and Cloudcroft areas. Judging by the visible satellite image this activity appears to be convective in nature so periods of moderate to heavy snowfall will continue to occur through tonight. Light snow showers are occurring in the Alamogordo area also as of 3:30 PM MST. 

Valid At 11 AM This Saturday Morning.

GFS 500 MB (18,000') Forecast.

Valid At 8 PM MST Saturday Night.

Valid At 2 AM MST Sunday Morning.

The latest GFS run has a secondary lobe of lower pressure within the closed mid-upper level low over the southern part of the state tonight into early Sunday morning. By 2 AM early Sunday morning this model swings this secondary center over Jal while the main center of the closed low is forecast to be over Northwestern Kansas. 

Valid At 5 PM MST This Saturday Evening.

Valid At Midnight Tonight.

Valid At 4 AM Sunday Morning.

I've never been too impressed with most of the short-range model forecasts locally when it comes to their ability to forecast snow. They either over forecast our totals or under forecast them. I find it interesting that the High-Resolution Rapid Refresh Forecast Model (HRRR) this afternoon is picking up on snow breaking out over the local area with the cold front sinking southward tonight into Southeastern New Mexico. No doubt some limited upslope flow will enhance this activity along and behind the front. But two limiting factors to hinder snowfall will be a lack of significant low-level moisture and the fact that the closed low will pull eastward into West Texas by sunrise. This will leave us on the sinking side of the storm or the downslope side which effectively kills precipitation generation. 

Valid At 6 AM MST Sunday Morning, December 29, 2019.

So this model forecast seems to think that the Roswell area could pick up anywhere from 1" to 2.5" of snow tonight into Sunday morning. Artesia perhaps a 1/2". Hobbs and Carlsbad just trace amounts or maybe ground cover.

My gut feeling tells me we are in for a surprise from this storm. It kind of reminds me of the children's storybook fable of "the little engine that could". I may be wrong but I think we are going to see white on the ground Sunday morning when we get up. I'm just not sure how much though but I'd bet on a couple of inches (maybe more) in a few spots here in SE NM. It's always a good sign for us locally when snow starts falling in southern New Mexico before dark and that's what's happening in the Las Cruces and Alamogordo areas now. 

Don't be too surprised if some of us see more than what is forecast by this model while others may see less. Many times over my lifetime I've seen these seemingly insignificant little winter storms turn out to be a lot stronger than the models were able to forecast. Hopefully, this will be one of those times. 

El Paso/Santa Teresa NWS Doppler Radar.

Screenshot At 3:47 PM MST This Saturday, December 28, 2019.

Radar shows rain changing to snow on the west side of Alamogordo at 3:47 PM MST this afternoon. Snow levels are forecast to lower to the valley floors tonight. This activity will continue to increase in intensity and coverage this afternoon into late tonight.

As of 3:45 PM MST this Saturday afternoon, U.S. Highway 82 has been closed between Alamogordo and Cloudcroft due to slick and icy snow-packed conditions. Driving conditions are becoming hazardous in the Carrizozo, Capitan, Alto, Ruidoso, and Mescalero areas too.


National Weather Service El Paso Tx/Santa Teresa NM
1124 AM MST Sat Dec 28 2019

...Slow moving winter storm system will bring heavy mountain snow
to Southwest and South Central New Mexico...

..An upper-level system is beginning to affect New Mexico with
snow already occurring in the Gila Region with snow expected to
begin later this afternoon across the Sacramento Mountains.
Scattered to numerous snow showers will continue for the mountains
through the evening hours with most snow ending around midnight.
Lowlands will see isolated to scattered showers as well.
Precipitation may mix with or become snow especially after dark
but with little to no accumulation expected.

West Slopes Sacramento Mountains Below 7500 Feet-
Sacramento Mountains Above 7500 Feet-
East Slopes Sacramento Mountains Below 7500 Feet-
Including the cities of Mescalero, Timberon, Mountain Park,
Cloudcroft, Sunspot, Apache Summit, Mayhill, Pinon,
and Sacramento
1124 AM MST Sat Dec 28 2019


* TIMING...Snow is expected to begin around noon and persist
  into the mid to late evening hours. The heaviest snow should
  fall in the late afternoon and early evening hours.

* SNOW AMOUNTS...3 TO 5 inches of snow is expected above 6500
  ft. 5 to 8 inches of snow expected above 7500 ft. Up to 10
  inches of snow is possible over higher elevations.

* IMPACTS...Heavy snow will create slick and snowpacked road
  conditions. Some roads may become impassable. Hazardous travel
  conditions are expected due to the slick roads and reduced
  visibilities. Some roads may be closed.


A Winter Storm Warning for heavy snow means severe winter weather
conditions are expected or occurring.  Significant amounts of
snow are forecast that will make travel dangerous. Only travel in
an emergency. If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food,
and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.

Winter Weather Advisory Continues In Effect For The Northern Sacramento Mountains.

National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
229 PM MST Sat Dec 28 2019


Central Highlands-South Central Highlands-Eastern Lincoln County-
229 PM MST Sat Dec 28 2019


* WHAT...Snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 1 to 3 inches.
  Winds gusting as high as 35 mph.

* WHERE...Central Highlands, South Central Highlands and Eastern
  Lincoln County.

* WHEN...Until 5 AM MST Sunday.

* IMPACTS...Plan on slippery road conditions, including U.S. 285,
  Interstate 40 around Clines Corners, and U.S. Highway 54.


Slow down and use caution while traveling.

The latest road conditions for New Mexico can be obtained by
calling 5 1 1, 1-800-432-4269, or visiting

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


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