Major Winter Storm Bearing Down On Us.


Valid At 4:41 AM MST Wednesday, December 30, 2020.


Valid At 4:00 AM MST Wednesday, December 30, 2020.

RAP 700 MB (10,000') Analysis.

Valid At 4:00 AM MST Wednesday, December 30, 2020.

RAP 850 MB (5,000') Analysis.

Valid At 4:00 AM MST Wednesday, December 30, 2020.

Upper-Air Analysis Of The Storm.

A couple of important developments are occurring with our powerful mid-upper level winter storm located to our west early this morning. I've posted an analysis of the storm starting at the 18,000' level with the first map. Interestingly enough a "low" appears to be trying to close off over southwestern New Mexico as of 4 AM. Along with the possibility of a second low developing further south in northern Mexico. 

This is important because the storm may be trying to develop further north than what the models have been forecasting. This potentially could mean heavier snow for southern and Southeastern New Mexico. This continues to be a developing situation with many details of the storm's track, speed, and eventual strength to yet be resolved by the forecast models.

As I stated yesterday a subtle shift in the storm track of 50 to 100 miles to the north would place SE NM in the heavier snowfall area. This will need to be watched today. 

Low-level moisture has increased significantly across SE NM and W TX overnight in the low-level easterly upslope flow behind the frontal passage. Cold air is settling in over the area and will continue to deepen through the day. Both the mid-level water vapor satellite image above and the 700 MB and 850 MB maps depict additional rich mid-level moisture streaming northeast around the low towards the area.



Updated Snowfall Forecast At 3:20 PM MST.



Valid Today Through 5 AM MST Friday Morning.


Valid Today Through Saturday.

SREF Forecast Snowfall Totals.

Valid Today Through 5 AM MST Friday Morning.


Valid Today Through 5 PM MST Thursday Evening.

One thing is certain early this morning and that this incoming winter storm has the potential to be historic for much of the local area. What isn't so certain is how much snow falls exactly where. The computer forecast models still have not resolved this issue. They are all over the place with their forecast totals with their latest runs last night. 

For now (as of early this Wednesday morning) we are still only looking at a dusting to perhaps an inch or two of snow in Eddy County. Southern Lea County is under a Winter Weather Advisory and they are forecast to get 1" to 3" of snow.

Rain is forecast to change over to snow this morning across Southeastern New Mexico. Wind chill values will drop down into the teens and 20's this afternoon into Thursday morning.

Much of West Texas is under a Winter Storm Warning and they are expecting to see 4" to 7" of snow with local totals of 12" to 17"....and believe it or not but a few places could get even more than this. Blowing and drifting snow will also cause additional problems on roadways with the visibility severely limited in some areas in the heavier snow bands.

Travel across a wide swath of the West Texas area is expected to become difficult to impossible in many places today into Thursday. Expect road closures. Click on this link to my Winter Weather Page for additional information on road closures and more.

This winter storm has the potential to have widespread significant impacts with life-threatening conditions in some areas across West Texas. 

Again should this mid-upper low to our southwest shift a little further north today into tomorrow then the potential for heavier snowfall will go up across Eddy, Lea, Chaves, Lincoln, and Otero Counties, as well as across southern New Mexico.

Should this happen then heavy snow would have major impacts upon travel locally. 

 I'll post additional updates as needed today into Friday.

The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction!

Our Next Winter Storm Is Getting Stronger & Slowing Down.


Snapshot At 3:22 PM MST Monday Afternoon.


Valid At 5 AM MST New Years Morning.

European (ECMWF) Snowfall Forecasts.


But many questions are still unanswered tonight. Two of the more important questions are how much snow falls, and where? Sorry, I don't have a good answer for this just yet. 

A Pacific cold front is forecast to sweep across the area Tuesday afternoon and evening. Ahead of it, a dry line is forecast to develop across Southeastern New Mexico and West Texas Tuesday. Along and ahead of this dry line scattered thunderstorms are forecast to break out. And a few of these may possibly become marginally severe Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. With the best chance of this happening in West Texas. 

Low clouds, fog, and patches of light rain or light drizzle are forecast to overspread parts of the local area tonight. Any rain or drizzle that falls will be light. A few thunderstorms will be possible across Lea County Tuesday night.

In the mid and upper levels of the atmosphere, a strong and cold closed low is forecast to develop and move southeastward out of southern California Tuesday into New Year's Day. The European model seems to think that the storm will split in two and affect our weather in two phases. 

Snow will be possible Tuesday into Wednesday across the higher elevations of the Sacramento Mountains. One thing that the models are latching onto is the possibility of some heavy to very heavy snow bands setting up in the area...but exactly where? Don't know yet. So depending upon the eventual storm track we may or may not get some decent snowfall locally by New Year's. 

Much uncertainty remains on the storm track, strength, and duration of this next incoming winter storm that will affect our local weather from Tuesday into New Years Day. For now, the models are trending towards a stronger, deeper, and slower storm with a track a little more favorable for the local area to receive some much-needed rain and snow.  

I'll post another update on this developing winter storm Tuesday.

The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction!

2020 To End Colder With Some Snow For New Mexico.

December 27, 2020.

Sadly another Christmas with no meaningful snow cover on the ground in Cloudcroft, New Mexico (8,751'). I took this photo Sunday afternoon just east of Cloudcroft looking up from the base of the Ski run. Although the ski run is currently closed due to the lack of snow the tubing area is open for business...they are making snow. 


Valid At 11 AM MST Sunday Morning.

GFS 500 MB (18,000') Forecast.

Valid At 5 PM MST Tuesday Afternoon.


5 AM MST Monday Morning.


5 PM MST Monday Evening.


5 AM MST Tuesday Morning.


5 PM MST Tuesday Evening.




Valid Sunday Night - Wednesday Afternoon.

NWD Precipitation Forecasts.


Valid Sunday Night - Wednesday Afternoon.


Monday.


Tuesday.


Wednesday.


New Year's Eve.


New Years Day.


NWS NDFD Low-Temperature Forecast.

Thursday Morning.



Next Winter Storm Taking Aim On NM.

Our next inbound winter storm to affect New Mexico and nearby areas will arrive in the Four Corners area of the state by Monday around sunset. It will bring a chance for lowland rain showers and snow showers across parts of the state with mountain snows. As of this writing Sunday evening, this storm does not appear worth getting too worked up over. It will be a fairly fast mover and not hang around long enough to have more meaningful impacts. And as the case has been so far this winter surface and mid-level moisture will be limited so the storm won't have a lot to work with.

A positively tilted short wave trough of low pressure at the mid-upper levels of the atmosphere is forecast to dive southeastward out of the Pacific Northwest and into the Central Baja, California Region by Tuesday night. Then the models track it south of the state into northern Mexico before ejecting it northeastward into central Texas on Thursday. 

Most of the time I'm saying that our mid-upper level storms need to dig a little further to the south and west to impact SE NM with rain and snow. This time this storm will be skipping along too fast and too far to the south to affect us.

Meanwhile, a surface cold front will swing southeast through the area Tuesday into Tuesday night. Colder temperatures will follow the frontal passage beginning Wednesday. 

Parts of Southeastern New Mexico might see a few light rain showers Monday night and maybe again Tuesday evening. The best chances for precipitation will be near the NM/TX State line and over the Sacramento Mountains. Otherwise, it's going to be another missed opportunity for rain or snow locally. 

Snow levels are forecast to drop down to around 5,000' Tuesday night. A couple inches of snow are forecast for the higher elevations of the Sacramento Mountains from this storm. 

New Year's Eve morning is forecast to see our coldest lowest temperatures. Widespread teens across the Southeastern Plains and single digits in the Capitan and Sacramento Mountains. 

The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction!

No White Christmas For SE NM This Year.


(Oct 1 - Dec 20, 2020).






NWS NDFD Forecast High TemperaturesTuesday.



NWS NDFD Forecast High Temperatures Wednesday.



NWS NDFD Forecast Low Temperatures Christmas Eve.



NWS NDFD Forecast High Temperatures Christmas Eve.



NWS NDFD Forecast High Temperatures Christmas.



NWS NDFD Snowfall Forecast.

Valid At 11 PM MST Wednesday Night.

Valid At 5 AM MST Wednesday Morning.

No White Christmas This Year.

Christmas this year will not be white for the majority of New Mexico. With the exception of those mountain communities that already have snow on the ground. A mid-upper level short wave trough of low pressure will sweep across New Mexico on Wednesday. This will send a cold front southward into the state Tuesday night into Wednesday. It will also help produce a few light snow showers over the northern mountains and far northeastern plains. At this time generally, less than an inch of new snow is forecast.

High temperatures on Tuesday ahead of the approaching southward moving cold front will climb up into the low to mid 70's across the Southeastern Plains. These highs will be some 20-degrees above normal for the date. Behind the frontal passage, our highs on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day will be in the 50's. Which will be close to historical averages for the dates. 

Low temperatures in Southeastern New Mexico will be seasonably chilly Christmas Eve morning with readings in the teens. Some of the normally colder mountain communities in the Sacramento's will drop down into the single digits.

Christmas Long-Term Average High/Low Temperatures.

Roswell 53/24
Artesia 54/22
Carlsbad 56/26
Hobbs 54/26
Ruidoso 48/17
Cloudcroft 41/18



The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction!

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