Valid Today Through 11 PM MST Thursday.
Thunderstorms - Heavy Rains - Flash Flooding!
A highly unusual weather event (for March) is setting up for today into Wednesday night locally. A strong, slow-moving, mid and upper-level storm will approach the area today into Wednesday. This storm will pass south of the local area on Wednesday. This potent storm is pulling abundant mid and higher level subtropical moisture into the area from off of the Eastern Pacific Ocean and will continue to do so into Wednesday.
Meanwhile a cold front located just north of us this morning will work slowly southward into SE NM and W TX today into tonight. A Pacific cold front will approach the area tonight from the west.
A few Marginally Severe Thunderstorms may occur on today into this evening (mainly across West Texas to our south) and will be capable of producing large hail (the size of quarters or larger) and damaging thunderstorm wind gusts in excess of 60 mph. Frequent deadly cloud to ground lightning will also accompany any thunderstorm.
REMEMBER: When Thunder Roars…Go Indoors! If you can hear thunder you are close enough to the storm to be struck by the lightning.
The combination of these factors combined with ample moisture at all levels of the atmosphere will set up a potential flash flood threat across Southeastern New Mexico and West Texas late today into Wednesday. Storm total rainfall totals during this time frame are forecast to generally be in the 1” to 3” range. Thunderstorms will drop heavy rain across the area as well and this could push storm total rainfall amounts by Wednesday into the 2” to 4” range. It's possible that a few isolated spots could even see higher totals than this.
These heavy rains will be capable of producing locally heavy rain in short periods of time which will lead to localized flash flooding in the many hundreds of “normally dry arroyos” in the local area. These arroyos will have the potential to flood rapidly with little to no advanced warning.
Anyone traveling across the Southeastern New Mexico and West Texas today into Wednesday (especially in rural areas) needs to be “highly alert” for this possibility…especially this afternoon into Wednesday.
Significant impacts are possible to the Oil Fields and related actives across Southeastern New Mexico and parts of West Texas from this developing storm. Thunderstorms, Heavy Rainfall, and Flash Flooding will be the primary threats today into Wednesday.
Remember: Turn Around - Don't Drown!
If you come upon a flooded arroyo, low water crossing, or any other flooded locations please do not attempt to drive through them. It only takes 12 to 18 inches of rapidly flowing water to float a normal size vehicle away…including trucks.
Most flash flood deaths occur in vehicles with people trying to drive through flood arroyos, low water crossing, and other flood-prone locations. Most of these deaths occur at night also. Southeastern New Mexico and West Texas has a long history of flash flooding and flash flood deaths. This normally occurs later during the spring and summer months and sometimes in the fall.
Flash Flood Watches and Warnings may be issued later today into Wednesday for the local area by our local National Weather Service Offices that serve our area including: The Midland Office, the Albuquerque Office, and the El Paso Office.
Please visit my weather web page for additional information concerning this developing weather event via this link: Welcome To Southeastern New Mexico Weather.
Heavy Wet Snow For The Mountains!
Heavy wet snow is forecast for the Guadalupe, Sacramento, and Capitan Mountains today into Wednesday. Cloudcroft is looking at picking up 12" to 18". Sunspot could pick up 20".
The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction - And Sometimes It Hurts!