High Winds & Blowing Dust - Snow In The Mountains!

January 12, 2024.
Sierra Blanca Peak.
Looking East From Near Three Rivers, NM.


Valid Friday Morning At 5 AM MST.


Valid Saturday Morning At 5 AM MST.


At 5 AM MST Thursday, Feb 1, 2024.

GFS 500 Millibar (18,000' MSL) Forecast.

Valid At 2 PM MST Friday, Feb 2, 2024.

GFS 500 Millibar (18,000' MSL) Forecast.

Valid At 2 PM MST Saturday, Feb 3, 2024.


Valid At 2 PM MST Saturday, Feb 3, 2024.

Valid At 2 PM MST Saturday, Feb 3, 2024.

GFS 700 Millibar (10,000' MSL) Forecast.

Valid At 2 PM MST Saturday, Feb 3, 2024.


Valid At 5 PM MST Saturday, Feb 3, 2024.

NWS NDFD New Mexico Peak Wind Gust Forecast.

Valid At 5 PM MST Saturday, Feb 3, 2024.

National Blend Of Models (NBM) Regional Precipitation Forecast.

Valid Thursday Through Sunday Morning.


Valid Thursday Through Sunday Morning.

National Blend Of Models (NBM) Regional Snowfall Forecast.

Valid Thursday Through Sunday Morning.

National Blend Of Models (NBM) New Mexico Snowfall Forecast.

Valid Thursday Through Sunday Morning.













Another Widespread High Wind/Blowing Event!
(Southern & Southeastern NM & West Texas).

Our next developing and inbound winter storm will dig southeastward off of the northwestern coast of Washington state, southeastward into the Great Basin this afternoon into Friday. By Friday night a strongly negatively tilted mid-upper level trough of low pressure will begin closing off in the Four Corners area. A closed mid-upper level low is then forecast to develop over northern New Mexico late Friday night into Saturday. By Saturday at sunset the center of theis closed low is forecast by the GFS model (12Z run this Thursday morning) to be located over the northern Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles. 

At the surface a strong surface low will rapidly develop over far northeastern New Mexico late Friday night into Saturday. A tight surface pressure gradient combined with very strong winds aloft, and strong mixing are forecast to combine to produce a widespread high wind/blowing dust event over southern and southeastern New Mexico and parts of West Texas Friday night into Saturday night.

This Thursday mornings run of the GFS forecast model predicts that the jet stream will be slicing northwest to southeast across southern and southeastern New Mexico Saturday. With a jet stream (250 MB/34,000' MSL) wind speed max of 167 knots/192 mph just to our west Saturday afternoon. It also forecasts a 700 MB/10,000' MSL speed max of 67 knots/77 mph zipping across the Sacramento and Guadalupe Mountains and across southeastern New Mexico Friday afternoon. 

As these very strong westerly winds aloft mix down to the surface on Saturday it appears that a damaging high wind event, and blowing dust event are in store for us here in southern, southeastern New Mexico and parts of West Texas.

A High Wind Watch remains in effect for Otero, Eddy, Lea, and Culberson Counties as well as parts of West Texas from Friday evening through Sunday morning. West winds are forecast to become sustained at 40 to 50 mph with gusts near 75 mph in Eddy, Lea, and Culberson Counties outside of the mountains. Stronger gusts are possible.

A High Wind Watch remains in effect for Otero County for Saturday morning through Saturday evening. West winds are forecast to become sustained at 30 to 40 mph with gusts to 65 mph.Stronger gusts are possible. 

A High Wind Warning is in effect for the Guadalupe Mountains of Eddy and Culberson Counties from 8 AM MST Friday morning through 8 AM MST Sunday morning. West winds are forecast to become sustained at 40 to 60 mph with gusts to 90 mph! Stronger gusts are possible.

Wind damage will occur in those areas/locations that experience wind gusts in excess of 60 mph. This includes but not limited to: Roofs and shingles on homes, barns, sheds, outbuildings, trees, power and utility poles/lines. Farmland irrigation sprinkler systems, road signs, billboards, aweings, and westward facing fences. 

With the continued dry/drought conditions combined with the high winds across the area, a widespread blowing dust event is possible on Saturday for southern and southeastern New Mexico as well as across parts of West Texas. Widespread visibilities below 3 miles are likely to occur especially in those areas that experience gusts over 60 mph and are prone to blowing dust.

Sudden drops in the visibility to near zero may also occur. Especially in the more dust prone locations such as freshly plowed, cultivated, or exposed farmlands, and fields. Open or exposed lots and highway construction sites. Remember the area has a history of blinding dust storms that often lead to massive vehicle pile-ups on area roadways and highways. Sometimes with fatal results. 

Should these high winds gust up into the 65 to 75 mph range and higher then there may also be a danger of wildfires starting from downed power lines. Should this occur thick smoke from these fires could add to the dangerous travel conditions on local highways when combined with the blinding blowing dust.

Sacramento-Capitan Mountains.

Scattered rain and snow showers are forecast to develop over the mountains on Friday. Snow levels will initially be around 7,000' Friday morning, rising some during the day. An isolated thunderstorm or two is also possible especially as the Pacific cold front approaches from the west. New snowfall of around 4" or so is currently forecast in the Cloudcroft area with less than an inch for the Ruidoso area. Ski Apache could pick up as much as 7" and start late tonight. 

Should the center of the closed mid-upper level low drop a little further to the south than currently forecast it would be possible that snowfall over the Sacramento and Capitan Mountains could be heavier than current forecasts indicate. If the center wobbles further north than currently forecast totals would likely be less.

Rain & Snow Over Western & Northern New Mexico.

Snow and rain will develop over parts of western and northern New Mexico late this afternoon and evening, spreading eastward with time. Winter Weather Advisories are in effect. Snow levels initially will be high at around 9,000' Friday. Falling to valley floors Friday night into Saturday morning. The heaviest snows are forecast for the northern mountains where 6" to 10" is forecast to fall above 9,000'. Peaks above 10,000' may see more. Snow may fall in the Albuquerque and Santa Fe metro  areas Friday night and Saturday morning but as of this writing no significant accumulations are forecast to occur.

Additional watches, warnings, and advisories, and changes to some forecasts issued by our local National Weather Service Offices, are possible later today into the weekend. Please a stay abreast of all of you local weather needs via my main weather web page at:


There Are None So Blind As Those Who "Will - Not" To See...107.

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