As of this morning the Whitewater-Baldy Fire Complex had burned 82,252 acres of forest in southwestern New Mexico. So far 12 cabins and 13 outbuildings have been lost, and no additional buildings have been lost in the past 24 hours. Firefighters are facing a very difficult situation with this monstrous fire because it is burning in very steep terrain, and high winds continue to plague the area. High winds will continue to rake the area into Saturday.
Hot, dry, breezy to windy weather is forecast for southeastern New Mexico today into Sunday. Our afternoon high temperatures are forecast to range from 96 to 100 today, near 90 to 98 Saturday, and the low-mid 90's on Sunday. Memorial Day looks toasty with afternoon highs in the mid-upper 90's.
Red Flag Warnings have been hoisted across all of southeastern New Mexico today, as well as across parts of southern New Mexico, as well as the northern two thirds of the state.
Historic Drought Continues In Spite Of Recent Rains.
Our continuing hot, dry, windy weather is a reminder that the back of our historic drought has not been broken over the local area yet. This in spite of the widespread 1.50" to 3.50" of rain that most of southeastern New Mexico received a couple of weeks ago. We still need roughly about another 12" to 14" of rain to get back to normal.
The dryline was parked across west Texas this afternoon and will retreat westward back into southeastern New Mexico tonight. An approaching short wave may help break the cap and kick off a few scattered thunderstorms across west Texas this afternoon and evening. A second short wave could also enhance this activity later tonight as it approaches from Mexico.
Its possible that a few thunderstorms could fire along the dryline in southeastern New Mexico later tonight. A few of these thunderstorms could possible become severe and produce large hail and damaging thunderstorm wind gusts, mainly across parts of west Texas. A widespread severe weather outbreak it currently not anticipated, nor is spotter activation currently anticipated. Any thunderstorms that do manage to pop up will be widely scattered in nature.
The dryline should remain parked in southeastern New Mexico tomorrow into Sunday afternoon. It may mix a little eastward tomorrow afternoon into Lea County.
Areas along and east of the dryline will have a slight chance of seeing a few widely scattered thunderstorms Saturday into Sunday. Again its possible that a few of these could become severe.
Hot dry downslopping southwesterly winds will rake the area tomorrow afternoon to the west of the dryline with gusts up around 40 mph. A dry Pacific cold front is forecast to sweep eastward across the area Sunday afternoon. This front will sweep the dryline and its associated gulf of mexico moisture eastward out of southeastern New Mexico. The front will not bring much relief from the heat to the area.
The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction!
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