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Area forecast discussion 
National Weather Service El Paso Texas/Santa Teresa nm
236 am MST Thursday Dec 25 2014

Synopsis...
after a cold Christmas morning the region will warm up nicely
with afternoon temperatures nearly 10 degrees above normal.
However that warmup comes at a price as those warming winds become
quite strong in the afternoon. An approaching Pacific storm system
will be responsible for the increased winds with 20 to 35 miles per hour
winds and higher gusts on Christmas afternoon. Tonight the system
arrives out west and gives areas west of the Rio Grande chances
for isolated to scattered mountain snow showers and lowland rain
showers. Those showers will shift south and east into the Rio
Grande Valley and into far West Texas by Friday morning. A cold
front will also swing though cooling temperatures back below
normal for Friday through the weekend. Saturday will be chilly
with a few lingering isolated showers possible in the morning
hours over far West Texas while southern New Mexico will be dry
and mostly sunny. Warmer temperatures and dry weather return
across the Borderland for Monday and Tuesday. Another storm system
is set to arrive middle week for new year's evening and New Year's Day.
It looks much cooler with chances for rain and snow possible too.

&&

Discussion...
if you were hoping for a sunny Christmas day...Santa didn't
deliver. Satellite imagery shows an Arch of thick clouds dropping
in over S. Nm and far West Texas overnight on the front side of
the next approaching Pacific trough. However it will be warmer...
again bad if you wanted a cold Christmas. The driving force for
the warmer temperatures will be an increasing southwest wind over the
region. Jets aloft and a tightening pressure gradient both will
allow for strong wind mix down and strong surface winds. A Wind
Advisory has been issued for most of the region west of the Rio
and high country and Lee slopes east of the grande. Temperatures today
should warm 10-15 degrees from yesterday with many lowland
locations reaching 60 degrees. Wind speeds will be in the 20 to 30
miles per hour range for most...but 25 to 35 with gusts to 45 for many.

The models are in good agreement with this first system in terms
of the precipitation pattern and movement timing. Tonight the system moves
into far southwestern New Mexico with isolated to scattered precipitation
moving into the Gila and bootheel areas. Initial snow levels will
be high...~7000ft. Those showers will spread east and S overnight as
the system swings in aloft. Sharp positive vorticity advection aloft and cooler temperatures
should help to destabilize the atmosphere and produce those
showers. By Friday morning showers should be in progress over the
SW deserts and into the Rio Grande Valley. A pronounced cold front
moves in overnight to allow colder air to move in out of the
inter-mountain west. Temperatures should drop back to below normal...with
Christmas evening day temperatures returning. Precipitation looks quick to end from northwest
toward the SW across the County warning forecast area on Friday as much drier low level
air moves in behind the front and drier air moves in on west/northwest flow
aloft on the backside of the lingering upper trough.

The upper trough is slow to eject and it looks to linger well into
Saturday...and the models are in good agreement with this. Most of
the area will be back in dry air with no precipitation risk. However there
is some risk of rain/snow for Saturday morning over El Paso County
and into the afternoon hours over Hudspeth Colorado. The sunbowl weather
looks like it will be probably dry...diminishing clouds...lighter
winds...and cooler temperatures.

Sunday and Monday look fair with increasingly mild temperatures
thanks to a deep and dry zonal westerly flow.

Going to day 6 and 7...Tuesday and Wednesday...brings increased uncertainty
in the forecast. Models are struggling with the next storm
system slated for new year's evening and day. Current offerings show a
strong backdoor cold front moving in Tuesday afternoon but with
air not nearly as cold as models showed yesterday. Regardless this
suggests a much cooler day on Tuesday. Aloft a Pacific upper trough is
moving in over the cold air wedge on Wednesday through Thursday.
Yesterday's pattern showed a major snow event with this storm
passage. Today's model output is moderated a good bit. However
there remains risk of snow at all elevations on both new year's
evening and New Year's Day. We continue to watch the model evolution
on this.

&&

Aviation...valid 25/12z- 26/12z...
increasing high and middle clouds today head of an approaching storm
system tonight and Friday. VFR conditions all terminals. Skies
became few-scattered 120-150 sct-bkn200-250. Light south to southwest
winds through 15z...then shifting to the southwest and increasing to
20-30g40kts at all terminals. Areas of 1-3sm bldu after 18z.

&&

Fire weather...
a brief warmup is expected today...Christmas day...with southwest
flow over the region ahead of a deepening upper low moving
through The Four Corners region. Winds will be on the increase
today...especially west of the Rio grand and over elevated terrain
east. Southwest winds to 20 to 35 miles per hour with gusts over 45 miles per hour
likely. Minimum relative humidities will be running just above 15
percent for The Lowlands with 20s in the mountains. As the system
passes along the Colorado border...some mountain snows and valley
rain showers are possible Friday. A few inches of snow are
possible in the mountains above 6000 feet. Breezy conditions will
continue as well Friday behind a Christmas night cold front which
will drop highs about 10 to 15 degrees. Dry conditions and below
normal temperatures are expected for the weekend with another
quick warmup ahead of a possibly very cold Arctic airmass entering
the region the middle of next week.

&&

Preliminary point temps/pops...
El Paso 63 42 51 32 48 / 0 20 40 10 0
Sierra Blanca 64 40 55 32 47 / 0 10 20 20 20
Las Cruces 61 37 49 27 46 / 0 30 30 0 0
Alamogordo 58 34 47 25 45 / 0 20 30 0 0
Cloudcroft 46 20 29 13 29 / 0 30 40 20 0
Truth or Consequences 59 33 46 24 42 / 0 30 10 0 0
Silver City 54 26 38 20 39 / 0 60 0 0 0
Deming 61 33 48 23 46 / 0 40 20 0 0
Lordsburg 60 31 44 21 44 / 0 60 10 0 0
west El Paso metropolitan 62 44 50 34 47 / 0 20 40 10 0
Dell City 64 37 57 29 48 / 0 10 20 10 10
Fort Hancock 68 40 57 32 51 / 0 10 20 20 20
Loma Linda 58 39 46 31 43 / 0 20 30 20 20
Fabens 65 39 53 30 49 / 0 20 30 20 20
Santa Teresa 61 39 51 27 47 / 0 20 40 0 0
White Sands hq 60 40 48 30 46 / 0 20 30 0 0
Jornada range 59 30 48 20 46 / 0 30 20 0 0
Hatch 61 34 49 25 47 / 0 30 20 0 0
Columbus 62 40 50 29 47 / 0 40 40 0 0
Orogrande 59 38 48 27 45 / 0 20 30 0 0
Mayhill 55 29 40 20 36 / 0 30 40 10 0
Mescalero 51 25 37 16 35 / 0 30 40 10 0
Timberon 51 28 38 20 36 / 0 30 40 10 0
Winston 54 25 38 18 38 / 0 40 10 0 0
Hillsboro 57 31 43 22 41 / 0 40 10 0 0
spaceport 59 29 47 21 45 / 0 30 20 0 0
Lake Roberts 52 23 36 16 38 / 0 60 10 0 0
Hurley 56 30 40 19 41 / 0 50 10 0 0
cliff 58 24 41 16 44 / 0 60 0 0 0
Mule Creek 56 19 38 12 41 / 0 70 0 0 0
Faywood 56 31 41 22 41 / 0 50 10 0 0
Animas 65 34 48 24 47 / 0 60 20 0 0
Hachita 63 33 49 22 47 / 0 50 20 0 0
Antelope Wells 64 36 50 23 48 / 0 50 40 0 0
Cloverdale 61 35 46 22 45 / 0 60 40 0 0

&&

Epz watches/warnings/advisories...
nm...Wind Advisory from noon today to 7 PM MST this evening for
nmz401>409.

Wind Advisory from 8 am this morning to 5 am MST Friday for
nmz413.

Wind Advisory from noon today to midnight MST tonight for
nmz414>416.

Texas...Wind Advisory from 8 am this morning to 5 am MST Friday for
txz419.

&&

$$

14-bird

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