Dangerous Life-Threatening Winter Storm Tonight Into Tuesday!
Valid At 5 AM MST Sunday.
Good morning everyone. If you think it's cold now...just wait.
To borrow a phrase from the 70's Rock Band - Bachman Turner Overdrive-
"You ain't seen nothin' yet
B-b-b-baby, you just ain't seen n-n-nothin' yet
Here's something that you're never gonna forget
B-b-b-baby, you just ain't seen n-n-nothin' yet."
- Wind Chill Watches/Advisories have been issued (or will be) for a large chunk of real estate including the Southeastern Plains of New Mexico and much of West Texas. From Sunday afternoon through Monday morning.
- Widespread wind chill values area-wide (east of the mountains) Sunday afternoon through Monday morning are forecast to range from -20º to -30ºF. This is life-threatening territory folks. Exposed skin at -20ºF will freeze in less than 30 minutes.
- Temperatures will crater across the area Sunday afternoon across Northeastern, Eastern, and Southeastern New Mexico as well as West Texas down into the single digits with winds gusting to at least 35 mph, if not higher in some areas. We will see low temperatures Monday and Tuesday morning drop down into the 0ºF to - 15ºF range. Maybe even colder depending upon how when the snow ends, the wind dies down, and our skies clear. We likely will see the coldest temperatures since the mid to late 1980's.
- Blizzard conditions to near blizzard conditions are expected to develop across parts of the local area...especially over the Guadalupe Mountains of southeastern New Mexico and West Texas. Whiteouts with zero visibility will occur in the Guadalupe Pass area and the nearby Guadalupe Mountains.
- Winter Weather Advisories, Winter Storm Watches, Winter Storm Warnings have been issued for much of New Mexico and nearby areas of Texas and Oklahoma. Blizzard Watches or Warnings are possible later today for at least the Guadalupe Mountains of Southeastern New Mexico and West Texas. Don't be surprised if other areas bite this bullet also.
- A few thunderstorms are also possible tonight into Sunday. So don't be surprised to see thundersnow and sleet. Freezing rain could also fall with a few of these thunderstorms.
- Life-threatening winter weather conditions due to the record cold temperatures, wind chill values of -20ºF to -30ºF, widespread snowfall (heavy at times), blowing snow, drifting snow, icy and snow-packed roads and highways, and zero visibilities in whiteout conditions will impact the area Sunday into Monday.
- Widespread road and highway closures are anticipated area-wide.
- Travel upon local roadways is not recommended tonight into at least Tuesday morning. In fact, if you absolutely do not have to travel...please, please don't! You may be putting your life and others at risk if you do. Should you become stranded in your vehicle in snowdrifts do not abandon your vehicle. Call 911 and give them your GPS coordinates (latitude and longitude). This will make finding you much easier for the rescuers. Make sure you keep your exhaust pipes clear of snow to prevent carbon monoxide from building up inside your vehicle. Crack a window downwind at times to vent your vehicle.
- If you absolutely must travel then pack extra warm winter clothing, blankets, flashlights, flares, food, water, and other necessities. Tell your loved ones, friends, co-workers your destination and travel plans along with routes of travel and expected departure and arrival times.
- Thousands of people had to be rescued during the blizzard of December 2015. A Civil Emergency was declared area-wide. In 2011 A State of Emergency was declared in New Mexico due to the extreme cold.
- Now is the time to stock up on food, water, medical supplies, and other necessities for your home. Wood and pellets for your fireplaces and wood stoves. Power demands will be very high. So it's possible we may see some areas lose power at times due to the severe winter weather conditions and high demands.
- Take all necessary precautions today to prep your home for the extreme cold. Wrap and protect outdoor piping where possible. Let your faucets in your homes drip. During a similar event, the first week of February 2011 thousands of homes area-wide suffered broken pipes due to the cold.
- Livestock and other animals are at high risk during this event. Now is the time to protect them with shelter (if possible), water, and extra food. Tens of thousands of deer, antelope, cattle, sheep, dairy cattle, and others were lost due to the extreme cold and snowdrifts that occurred in December 1997, and December 2015. In 1997 many ranchers could not get to their livestock in some areas for up to a month because of the 20' to 30' snowdrifts.
- Temperatures will be slow to warm next week especially since yet another winter storm is now forecast to impact the state and local area Tuesday into Thursday. Many areas will stay below freezing until at least the end of next week. How long is highly dependent upon how much snow falls and the next storm track.
My personal opinion of this extreme winter event that is bearing down upon us is that it will be a combination of the February 2011 extreme cold and the December 2015 Blizzard (Goliath). How bad is bad? That's always extremely difficult to determine. The forecast models have performed poorly with this event and that's not unusual. Expect changes and some surprises in our local forecasts, watches, and warnings.
I'm not trying to be dramatic or cause panic but I fear that too many people may not be taking this storm seriously enough. We've had this happen many times with our local weather in the past. People tend to be skeptical and I get that but it is prudent not to do that in this case. Please heed all National Weather Service Warnings, Watches, and Advisories as well as any state and local advisories.
This is going to be a Historic Event and one for the record books. Like the blizzard of 1997, 2015, and the cold of 2011 many of us will be telling our grandchildren about this one. I will keep everyone updated as needed. Stay safe and warm everyone!
The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction!