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Texas/New Mexico/Louisiana/Mexico Obs And Discussion Thread Part 8

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It snowed a lot in Mexico in the 1960s...and the best objective match to Nino 1.2, Nino 3.4, and Nino 4 SSTs in November was a blend of 1966 (x3) & 2007 (x2). So I'm on board with Mexico getting some real, accumulating snow this week.

 

 

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Hopefully the NM mountains start to get some snow soon, maybe the mid month system can start out there. I hope I am not up there with bare ground late this month, if so I may have to sneak in a early spring trip up there to get my snow fix for the year.

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It has snowed some in the northern mountains, its the valleys and central areas that are lacking. We're in a top-30 dry stretch for consecutive days without precipitation in Albuquerque back to 1892. The record is 109 days, currently at around 60. Would assume the streak ends way before 109 days though.

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Sitting on back porch enjoying the rain and fresh cool air moving in. Hoping for half an inch of rain but not sure that is likely. Sure is fun watching the thermometer ticking the temp down.

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Models have trended for the polar jet s/w to phase with the stj s/w in NW MX, bringing colder air and more moisture. This has translated to enhanced probabilities of wintery precipitation IMBY...and my literal BY could see snowflakes, not just the mountains. This would beat the earliest snowfall from Dec 12, 1997 in modern times.

The synoptic setup is similar to Dec 1997 and Dec 2004, but with a less tilted trough and a bit less height crash, although the Pacific ridge is much stronger, allowing to tap a bit colder air from Canada. 850mb temps in 1997 and 2004 dipped around -5C, I expect similar this time, although the coldest models show something around -7/-8 C. The boundary layer will be relatively warm for the most part of the event, with temps hovering above freezing, although models have trended colder and are now showing freezing for a few hours Friday morning. That and bands of heavier snowfall could allow for some trace or little accumulation near the valley (500-600m ASL) with a nice tight gradient the further up you go, up to maybe a foot above 2000m.

Latest GFS (Tue 12z)

gfs_asnow_scus_14.thumb.png.239c1586a30457ad701c86dd9d4ececb.png

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The precip sheild is much more significant than modeled earlier as dewpoints are higher than modeled. I am getting light rain with a RH of around 50% which is a good sign of things to come as I am north of I-20.

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This setup is early days of "pattern b" to me. One of the three patterns my analogs had for the winter. The precip by El Paso and up the entire East Coast is consistent with it.

DO5lIbVUQAEJQy9.jpg:large

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Sleeting right now across the southern tier of East Texas from Waco to Nacogdoches. Not yet in Tyler, but a bit stronger returns are showing up now so maybe we can get a bit up here soon.

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Finally getting that stubborn heat island to get a decent freeze tonight looks like. Still need precip. So utterly boring and has been for months. I really hate La Nina, though I must admit when I lived in West TX we got some great snows during La Nina years.

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Looks like North Texas is seeing light snow this morning. If the intensity picks up a bit there could be some light accumulations in spots. There is a lot of low level dry air to overcome. Hoping this moves into E TX later. Temps will be cold with wind chills in the 20s and 30s all day.

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Increasingly likely that the low lands here we'll see accumulating snow. Modeling has trended colder, wetter and more energized with almost every single run since Dec 3rd. Now looking at mesoscale models and the Euro that are developing a heavy snow band about 50-80 kms north of Monterrey. Some models show more than 10"of snow in that band. The 12z GFS shows over an inch of precipitation IMBY while the whole column plummets below freezing. Not all would be snow, but at least half of it would (conservatively) if taken verbatim. It would be the largest snowfall here in 50 years.

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Pretty rare early season snow event occurring in Austin this evening. Had a rain/sleet mix start around 21z and slowly transition to constant snowfall around 23z with a nice band still passing through the city at this time. Too bad the streets are still too warm for accumulation or this could be a lot more fun. Heaviest snow I have seen here since 2011 either way. 

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I love watching people deep in TX/MX and the South react to rare snow. It's neat to see. The 2008-09 winter was an analog that I used for my winter outlook, and it snowed in Houston & New Orleans - so not too surprised to see it. It was a low solar La Nina, after a La Nina, two years after an El Nino, and with impressive Gulf of Mexico hurricanes.

https://twitter.com/deweythoms/status/938942069116194816   Accumulating snow in San Antonio 
 
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Could've sworn I said somewhere I thought there was a shot at a blue norther interacting with the STJ, that's kind of what has happened, but can't find it.

If the MJO stays active, and I think its magnitude is correlated to some extent to the QBO and Solar Conditions - this setup should return later in the winter, but probably further to the north, which could be a good set up for Amarillo, Dallas and Eastern NM.

Neat to see #houstonsnow trending on Twitter. Lots of people saying its their first time seeing snow falling ever in San Antonio and Houston.

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In Torreon Mexico, a desert area, it snowed at 34 degrees this morning. 

METAR: MMTC 081040Z 35004KT 1SM -SN OVC005 01/00 A3027 RMK 8/7// RTS

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Going to be very interesting seeing how the high temperature anomaly for December finishes in Albuquerque - January is heavily favored to have the coldest anomaly here in low-solar La Ninas, and to a lesser extent in low-solar years generally. Signal is less strong for whether Dec/Feb ends up warmest. I went -1.5, +0.0, +1.3 for Dec, Jan, Feb, between a warm Nov/Mar because assumed it would snow in December, but the raw analogs had -0.8, -1.2, +0.1 for the three months. 

6S1mFzs.png

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I live about 45-50 miles NNW of New Orleans, and this was probably #1 on my personal list of all-time snowstorms. 12/11/08 had higher accumulations, so in terms of historical events that one was "better". But the duration was shorter in '08 and temps rebounded almost immediately after the snow stopped. Yesterday's event was all snow from approximately 4 AM to 9 PM, with rates varying from moderate to heavy for a good 12 hours of that period. Ground temps were warm, which caused some melting even with temps holding steady at 31F for the duration. We ended up with almost 6" of accumulation even after compaction and some melting. Had rates stayed high, I'm guessing it would have been more like 8-10".

 

If I can ever figure out how to resize my pics, I'll post a few photos.

 

 

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