My Current Weather

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Long Duration Major Winter Storm Shaping Up Wednesday Into The Weekend!

February 13, 2024.
Looking East From Near Ski Apache.

Valid At 6 PM MDT Thursday, March 14, 2024.

Valid At Noon MDT Today.

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

Valid At 6 PM MDT Wednesday.

Valid At 6 PM MDT Thursday.

Valid At 6 PM MDT Friday.

Valid Wednesday Through 6 AM MDT Monday, March 18, 2024.

Valid Wednesday Through 6 AM MDT Monday, March 18, 2024.

Valid Wednesday Through 6 AM MDT Monday, March 18, 2024.

Valid At 6 PM MDT Wednesday.

Long Duration Major Winter Storm Shaping Up!

As of noon today a mid-upper level winter storm was entering the Pacific Northwest. This strong shortwave trough of low pressure at the mid-levels of the atmosphere (18,000' Mean Sea Level) will dive to the southeast tonight into Wednesday. By around sunset Wednesday the developing strong cut-off mid-upper level low is forecast by the U.S. GFS model to be centered near far northwestern Utah. 

As this potent winter storm continues to evolve and sink southward into western Arizona by sunset Thursday a strong cold front will slide southward through New Mexico and the region. Low-level moist easterly upslope flow is forecast to develop along and behind the cold front Thursday into the weekend.

A classic winter storm setup is going to affect New Mexico and the region from Wednesday into at the very least the upcoming weekend. This includes a strong cut-off mid-upper level low parking itself to our west through at least Sunday. This morning's run of the GFS model stalls it across southern Arizona and northwestern Mexico into the first of next week.

At the surface, a strong pressure gradient will develop as strong winds aloft mix down to the surface starting on Wednesday. This will help produce high winds and areas of blowing dust across the southern and southeastern half of the state. 

Tonight Into Thursday.

A Winter Storm Watch is in effect for portions of central, north-central, northeast, northwest, and west-central New Mexico from Thursday afternoon through Friday night. Heavy snowfall will be possible in these areas. Total snow accumulations of between 4" and 10" below 7,500', and higher amounts of 8 to 18" above 7,500' are currently forecast. Highest totals will be above 10,000'. Winds gusting up to 50 mph will create areas of blowing and drifting snow causing dangerous travel conditions. Road closures are possible in these areas.

A High Wind Warning is in effect for the Guadalupe Mountains of Southeastern New Mexico and West Texas on Wednesday. West winds are forecast to become sustained at 40 to 50 mph with gusts near 75 mph. 

A Wind Advisory is in effect for Eddy, Lea, and Culberson Counties on Wednesday. West winds are forecast to become sustained at 25 to 35 mph with gusts to near 55 mph. 

Localized areas of blowing dust will create dangerous travel conditions on local roads and highways at times. This will be especially true in our more dust-prone locations such as: Freshly plowed or cultivated farmland, open or exposed fields, lots, and highway construction sites. Sudden drops in the visibility in these areas down to zero with little to no advanced warning will be possible on Wednesday. 

Red Flag Warnings and Fire Weather Watches remain in effect for the southeastern plains and other areas of the state on Wednesday. Any wildland, grass, or forest fire that potentially may develop will rapidly spread and grow in the high winds.  

Thursday Into The Weekend.

As the strong cold front moves southward out of the state Thursday night strong easterly winds are forecast to develop in the Albuquerque and Middle Rio Grande areas. Gusts from these easterly winds could reach 60 mph. 

Cut-off lows are notoriously difficult to forecast and this one will very likely prove to be true. New Mexico's weather in a nutshell is fixing to get really busy. The devil will be in the details for this storm for sure as far as who gets what, when, and where. 

There is the potential for widespread heavy to very heavy snowfall across the state's mountains starting across the western and northern areas tonight, and continuing into the first of next week. If not beyond in some areas. By the time this storm moves out of the area next week storm total snowfall amounts in some mountain areas may be measured in feet instead of inches.

Early thinking for the Sacramento Mountains is that 6" to 12" of snow looks very possible Thursday night into the upcoming weekend. Snowfall totals over a foot also are possible above 8,000'. Areas of blowing and drifting snow will likely create travel headaches with the potential for some road closures. There is also the possibility that this snow will be fairly wet so the chances of power outages from broken tree limbs failing under the weight of the wet snow and downing these lines are also possible. 

There is also the potential for widespread soaking moderate to heavy rains across many of the lower elevations of the state Thursday into the upcoming weekend if not beyond. Widespread lowland storm total rainfall amounts of 1" to 2.50" are possible in some areas of the state. 

The Weekend Into The First Of Next Week.

Potentially a mess across much of the state. It all depends on how our cut-off low to out southwest behaves. If it wanders around northwestern Mexico and is in no hurry to eject eastward then a winter storm will be prolonged with significant impacts upon the state and area. If the low weakens, opens up, and slides eastward then the impacts from it would be less and the storm would end sooner. Right now flip a coin... your guess is as good as mine as how it will behave. 

If we are lucky this widespread significant winter storm has the potential to drop some badly needed rainfall and snowfall across the state. This won't end our drought but it could put a big dent in it. 

There likely will be additional updates to our current forecasts, watches, warnings, and advisories issued by our local National Weather Service Offices including: Midland/Odessa, Lubbock, Albuquerque, and El Paso/Santa Teresa tomorrow into the weekend.

Naturally, I can't give all of the details for everyones location so that's why I encourage you to visit my weather web page often for all of the latest forecasts, watches, warnings, advisories, current conditions, and much more at:

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

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