Major Winter Storm Bearing Down On New Mexico!


December 26, 2021.
Carlsbad, New Mexico.
Stacked Altocumulus Standing Lenticular Clouds.

Winter Storm Warnings & Winter Weather Advisories Cover Much Of New Mexico This New Year's Eve Morning!


GeoColor Image.
( At 9:26 AM MST This Morning).


IR Image.
( At 8:36 AM MST This Morning).


(At 8 AM MST This New Year's Eve Morning).


Near Record Amounts Of Mid-Level Moisture Headed Our Way.

For a couple of days now I've been talking about the closed low located just west of the Baja Region this morning. The map above shows the 500 MB (18,000') low (Red L), the mid-level moisture plume (blue colors), the pressure isobars (equal lines of pressure), and the 18,000' winds at 8 AM MST.

Looking at the GeoColor and IR satellite images above clearly shows this deep subtropical moisture fetch be pulled northeastward into New Mexico and nearby areas by the southwesterly 50-70 knot or 58-81 mph winds.

Local Radar Snapshots.

Major Winter Storm Still On Track To Hammer New Mexico - Especially The Mountains


December 26, 2021.
Carlsbad, New Mexico.
Stacked Altocumulus Standing Lenticular Clouds.

Still On Track For A Major Winter Storm!

(At 11 AM MST Thursday).


GFS 500 MB (18,000') Forecast.
(Valid At 11 AM MST Friday).


GFS 500 MB (18,000') Forecast.
(Valid At 5 PM MST New Year's Day).


Just as I mentioned in yesterday's blog the computer forecast models are slowing our incoming winter storm down a little bit. This morning's 11 AM MST run of the U.S. GFS model is also digging the long-wave trough of low pressure a tad further south on New Year's Day. All this means is that the arrival of the coldest air across our local area won't occur until late Friday afternoon and evening. And with a slower-moving storm, the potential for heavier rainfall and snowfall is reasonable.

Overall we may end up with a slower and stronger storm than what has been forecast the past couple of days. The models still forecast an abundant fetch of mid-level subtropical moisture to get pulled northeastward into the area from the Eastern Pacific Ocean. In fact, forecast soundings over southern New Mexico indicate near-record high moisture levels in the atmosphere for this time of the year as per the El Paso/Santa Teressa National Weather Serice Office discussion this afternoon. After one of the driest falls on record, this is good news for the area and especially the mountains.

(New Year's Day).


Note the forecast high temperatures in the teens for eastern Colorado and Kansas on New Year's Day. Wind chill values across New Mexico are going to be brutal New Year's Night into Sunday morning adding to the misery factor of anyone who will be outdoors.

Dangerous Wind Chill Values.



(Valid At 5 AM MST Sunday).

First Significant/Major Winter Storm Of The Season Just In Time For The New Year's Holiday Weekend!

December 26, 2021.
Carlsbad, New Mexico.
Stacked Altocumulus Standing Lenticular Clouds.

First Significant/Major Winter Storm Of The Season Just In Time For The New Year's Holiday Weekend!

( At 11 AM MST This Wed Dec 29, 2021).


European (ECMWF) 500 MB (18,000') Forecast.
( Valid At 11 PM MST Thursday, Dec 30, 2021).


European (ECMWF) 500 MB (18,000') Forecast.
( Valid At 5 AM MST New Year's Day, Jan 1, 2022).


For those of you who have been reading my weather blog posts for a while now know that most of the time I start out by looking at the mid-upper levels of the atmosphere. This generally means from about 10,000' up through about 40,000'. Because this is where most storms form. I usually pick the 500 millibar level or the 18,000' level like depicted in the maps above because this is roughly halfway up into our atmosphere. The jet stream generally resides between about 18,000' to 40,000'. Give or take a few thousand feet depending on how deep a storm or trough is. 

Today's 11 AM MST run of the European model seems to have the best handle on how our developing winter storm will impact New Mexico including our local areas Thursday into New Year's Day. So I'm using its forecast maps for this blog.

First of all note the deep and unusually strong long-wave trough of low pressure stretching southward and southwestward from north of Alaska this morning, all the way to nearly the Hawaiian Islands. 

The bottom part of this long-wave trough of low pressure at the 18,000' level is forecast to break off into a strong closed low southwest of San Diego by Thursday night. By New Year's Day, this closed low is forecast to get absorbed and pulled northeastward into the long-wave trough of low pressure approaching the Four Corners by sunrise New Year's Day.

Closed mid-upper level lows like cut-off lows are tricky when it comes to forecasting. They often don't behave the way the models forecast them to, which creates forecasting headaches. Will this one prove to be a headache? Time will tell. What this low is going to do is latch onto abundant mid and high-level moisture over the Eastern Pacific Ocean and sling it northeastward into the Desert Southwest as the winter storm approaches.

Surface Map Forecast.

(Valid New Year's Day).


A back door cold front is forecast to surge southward and southwestward down the eastern plains of New Mexico on New Year's Day. A much colder airmass will accompany this frontal passage. The front will arrive in Southeastern New Mexico New Year's night. Following the frontal passage, and the departing mid-upper level storm, Sunday morning will see some of the coldest low temperatures of the season locally and across New Mexico. Places like Angel Fire and other high northern New Mexico valleys may drop down into the -10ºF to -20ºF range Sunday morning. Locally across the Sacramento mountain's lows, Sunday morning are forecast to fall into the single digits. Don't be surprised of some locations bottom out below zero.


Major Winter Storm For New Year's Eve & New Year's Day?

December 26, 2021.
Carlsbad, New Mexico.
Stacked Altocumulus Standing Lenticular Clouds.

My Time Lapse Video Of Altocumulus Standing Lenticular Clouds.
 Over Carlsbad, NM Sunday, December 26, 2021).


A Winter Storm To Usher In New Year's?


Valid At 5 AM MST New Year's Morning.

All of the forecast models are in pretty good agreement this Tuesday morning concerning the strength, location, and movement of a long-wave 500 millibar long-wave trough of low pressure that will swing across the state and region New Year's Eve into New Year's evening. It is still early so there may be some changes in the trajectory, and strength of this storm in the forecast models before it arrives.





A colder airmass will move into the state and region behind a frontal passage on New Year's Day. After seeing weeks of highs locally in the 70's to near 80 in the lower elevations of Southeastern New Mexico and West Texas this will be a welcome relief to those who love winter. Especially after the string of record high temperatures that were established earlier this month and over the Christmas holidays. Locally our highs will average in the 60's today into Friday before dropping down into the 50's on New Year's Day and the 40's and 50's next Sunday at the lower elevations.

How Cold For The New Year's Weekend?



Some of the coldest low temperatures we've seen this season locally may occur Sunday morning.

Canadian (GEM) Forecast High Temperatures Sunday Afternoon.


This morning's run of the Candian forecast model (GEM) has the coldest temperatures for the New Year's weekend. However, the other models aren't that much warmer than what you see above. 
Storm Total Rainfall Forecast Amounts.
(Today Through New Year's Day).

Christmas Eve & Christmas Day 2021 Weather Summary & Climatology.

December 23, 2021.
Carlsbad, New Mexico.
Mountain Wave Clouds (Altocumulus Standing Lenticular Clouds).



Regional Reported Low Temps Christmas Morning.


Regional Reported High Temps Christmas Day.


Regional Peak Wind Gusts Reported Christmas Eve.


Once again the Carlsbad ASOS wind equipment which is the Automated Surface Weather Observing Station located at the Carlsbad Airport failed Christmas Eve afternoon for a time. Thus the peak wind reported is way too low. Especially since the equipment at nearby Carlsbad Caverns measured a peak gust to 58 mph and the Queen Raws measured a peak gust to 62 mph.

Regional Peak Wind Gusts Reported Christmas.
(As Of 4 PM MST Christmas Afternoon).


SE NM CoCoRaHSD 48-Hour Rainfall Totals.


Record Heat Christmas Eve.

While the mountains received some snow, portions of eastern NM set record highs this Christmas eve! You get a little bit of everything around here. #nmwx

Santa brought us some record warmth across the region on Friday. Here is a look at some of the records that were tied or broken. #doesnotfeellikeChristmas #nmwx #txwx

Winds are beginning to slow down across the area this evening. Just in time to give Santa smooth flying weather. Here is a list of some of the strongest wind gusts we saw today. nwschat.weather.gov/p.php?pid=2021
#nmwx #txwx

New Mexico Historical Christmas Eve & Christmas Weather.

Current Temperatures

Current Wind Chill Temps

Regional Radar

NWS Forecast High Temps Today

NWS Forecast Low Temps Tonight

NWS Storm Total Precipitation Forecast

NWS Albuquerque Storm Total Snowfall Forecast

NWS Midland Storm Total Snowfall Forecast

NWS El Paso Storm Total Snowfall Forecast

NWS Albuquerque Peak Wind Gust Forecast

NWS Midland Peak Wind Gust Forecast

NWS El Paso Peak Wind Gust Forecast

Average Daily High/Low Temperatures

Average Daily High/Low Temperatures

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