White Sands Weather Forecast Office
Detailed Weather Discussion
                     
Last Updated: 1320L 18 January 2019  by  A. Brown
An active weather pattern is expected across NM for the five-day period. Starting with today, we have an upper-level trough digging into NM at my typing. This pattern has led to a windy day range-wide with gusts over 60 mph observed in several locations. The windiest weather is still yet to come for much of S'RN Range while we remain ahead of a cold front presently located south of Spaceport to White Sands National Monument before damming up against the front range of the Sacs. It is not often a front can be so easily determined at White Sands. The front will continue south bringing a sharp increase in NW'LY winds as it passes. By sunset, winds should gradually subside. Temperatures will be mild today though will drop about 10 degrees behind the front.

This weekend's weather will be much more tranquil as an upper-level ridge builds/translates in our trough's wake. Temperatures will be cooler tomorrow, a couple degrees below average, courtesy our Pacific front mentioned in the last paragraph, but temperatures will recover by several degrees come Sunday. Winds will be light throughout the weekend beneath mostly clear skies.

Our next system arrives Monday in the ridge's wake. This system will bring another round of wind to NM though this system looks to pass a bit farther north than today's system. Winds should be a notch lower though still within our warning criteria of 35+ mph gusts. Additionally, winds look to take a bit more SW'LY component, so blowing dust could become an issue for Main Post/S'RN Range as dust is lofted out of Mexico. Temperatures will warm dramatically thanks to the SW'LY winds.

The system will essentially break into two parts with one portion continuing into the S'RN/Central Plains. This first part will send an arctic air mass southward pushing a modified portion of the air mass into NM. Temperatures will be some 20 degrees cooler behind the front expected to arrive during the overnight hours Monday into Tuesday. The second portion of the system will dig SW'rd in response to arrival of the colder air mass. The system will be quite dry, but upper-level dynamics will increase across WSMR bringing with it rain and snow showers. N'RN Range could see up to an inch of snow with higher elevations eking out a couple inches. For S'RN Range, snow levels should stay above 6000' though a few snowflakes could reach the pass or even maybe Main Post. No significant impacts are expected. Nevertheless, after the mild weather we've seen, it will feel quite chilly. Clear skies, light winds, and dry air will allow Wednesday morning's lows to drop into the teens.