Skip to comments.Southwest, plains face blizzard watch (Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas)
Posted on 12/18/2011 3:01:09 PM PST by NormsRevenge
AUSTIN. Texas. (Reuters) - A blizzard watch is in effect until Tuesday for parts of Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas as a severe winter storm is expected to bring high winds and up to a foot of snow there on Sunday night and Monday, according to the National Weather Service.
The storm was expected to edge into the mountains of Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado before heading east on Sunday night or Monday morning, the agency said in a statement. The areas were under winter weather advisories or watches on Sunday.
A blizzard watch means forecasters believe life-threatening winter weather conditions are likely, including winds of at least 35 mph and visibility less than a quarter mile.
As the United States readies for a week of holiday travel, weather officials warned of dangerous road conditions on Sunday and Monday in the plains. The storm is expected to bring heavy rains and high-elevation snow to the mountains of Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona on Sunday afternoon before moving east.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
U.S. Severe Alerts Map
Maybe my in-laws will stay in Lubbock and not come down next week. Happy Dance...
::OUCH:: Wife reading over shoulder hit me in the head ::
Nothing happens during that time frame that interests me in the least.
Oh that's right, yur headed to Hawaiiiiii!!
U.S. President Barack Obama walks from the podium after making a statement in the White House Briefing Room in Washington December 17, 2011. The Senate voted on Saturday to extend a payroll tax cut for two months in legislation that also attempts to force President Barack Obama to approve construction of an oil pipeline. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Its been pretty mild here in Michigan so far.
Fine with me.
We’re dry as a bone, well below average. ski resorts are gonna be hurting
Global “Warming” ping!!
In KS today for Christmas. We had my family’s stuff yesterday. Kind of wish it happened today so I could enjoy it. Really miss the snow in Texas, and we’re leaving tomorrow.
It is going to stay well north of us in our part of West Texas.
Lots of snow here in the Colorado Rockies. Have to use 4WD to get out of the driveway.
Oh, flip. We are supposed to be flying to Denver on Tuesday afternoon.
It was either 1987 or 88 when I ran into a Blizzard in Western KS. I had been to NE Oklahoma visiting a relative.
When I was returning home, I was stopped just West of Pratt, KS by the highway patrol. I had to go back to Pratt and spend the night in a motel.
I was sort of irritated because I had a 4wd pickup and thought I could make it easily to Garden City. The next day around noon they finally let me travel.
Now I was born and raised in Florida and had no idea how bad a blizzard could be. When I got to Ford, KS the snow was in places 15 or 20 feet deep. I saw several semi’s with just the corner of the trailer sticking out. I finally made it to Garden City just as a front end loader was leaving my driveway where it had cleared a path. The snow was nearly up to my roof tho for some reason it had left about 3 feet of space beside the house.
The next weekend I decided to make the trip again as I had to leave early the week before. Coming back there was an exact repeat of the previous week. Exactly the same amount of snow and exactly in the same places.
Am I the only one who first read this as Southwest (airline) Planes face blizzard.
The enviro-whackos still worship it. We live in the mountains southwest of Albuquerque. In the last three weeks we have had almost 36 inches of snow, more than we get in a normal year.
I saw one of our neighbors (she lives a mile and a half from us) and I commented in jest "Isn't this a great global warming winter". She stated very seriously, "You know that global warming creates radical changes and extremes".
Give me a break. Last year we set low temperatures for all times, minus 28 degrees. We are running below average temps for the last month now. We have this storm coming and another predicted starting Friday. Thank God for propane.
Oh well, we probably will have a White Christmas. And since I am not a politician in Sewerington, DC, Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year. (And phooey on Kwanzaa)
I’m in Topeka, KS getting ready for this. My area is under a winter storm watch but out west in Hays, KS there is a Blizzard Warning at this time.
I love blizzards !!!!
Not much on radar:
Sure doesn’t look like it right now. I’m likely about 15 miles or so north of you.
We are only forecast for 1” or so tomorrow. Storm is going south of us. It has been cold, cold & dry for weeks, though.
Where are you????
When I was young,long ago, my grandparents lived in Western Kansas. Back then the weather forecasts weren’t as good as they are today. I recall one winter when a number of people froze in their cars, they were caught in a blizzard and stalled along Western Kansas highways. As a child it scared me to go to see my grandparents in the winter time.
East of the continental devide, 8,500 ft elevation NW of Golden, CO.
I looked at your page, beautiful pictures! You are fortunate to live in such a lovely place.
Back about forty years ago I made the mistake of taking my 914 Porsche out to central KS in the middle of a big storm. The depth wasn’t the problem until after I arrived — the wind made the snow blowing 60 mph totally horizontal and low to the road, with headlights reflecting back it was like spinning in circles — the most disorienting drive due to visibility at zero that one could imagine and icing over to boot.
Most of a lifetime traveling all of Kansas and Missouri in construction and living, I was called Sgt Preston by my family, but I earned the nickname with some pretty nasty trips.
I'll take a quick peak in the icebox, so I can relate to this blizzard.
Maybe it’ll get down to -45 degrees F for short time in Oklahoma like it did last winter or the winter before.
Thanks, most times I don’t have a camera handy. My memories are much more vivid.
When I first arrived in Western Kansas, some of the people I worked with told me that just about every year some person would get stranded and freeze to death.
They told me if the vehicle got disabled to just stay with it as a snow plow would come by at least once a day on paved roads.
I took them seriously, especially since I was on the road a great deal. I bought a good quality sleeping bag and put it and a few emergency supplies in the pickup behind the seat.
Never did get caught but if I had not been stopped by the state troopers outside Pratt and forced to turn back, I probably would have ended up stuck.
In any case I am so sick of plowing, blading, and shoveling snow I could go into hibernation. I am afraid we are in for another winter like two years ago. UGH!!!
I did too—and hoped my flight wouldn’t be affected.
All the weather folks told us less than an inch yesterday south of Lake Erie. The lake effect they said wouldn't happen DID kick in and we got 5". Not much but so far we've only had two 1" snows. We're WAY behind schedule.
aaah, this is Denver, not sure we will see a lake effect here, :-). None of the local forecasters are really worried about this storm, so I am not. I might be a bit more concerned if they at least put us under a watch, or advisory, but it most likely will scoot well south of us.
Generally speaking he looks like hell in that picture. When I try to match that facial expression I feel VERY unhappy!
And a brown Christmas in the Twin Cities this year.
Our favorite thing to do during a blizzard is to build a fire , pour a glass of wine , snuggle under the covers , and watch “ Where Eagles Dare “ .
I’m about 12 miles south of 40 on 337, so you’re pretty close to Mountainair as I figure it. In East Mtn. terms we’re almost neighbors.
That winter 2 years ago finally got me to get 4WD after 15 years with a 2WD truck. Putting on chains to get in my driveway was the final straw.
I hope this storm is over rated.
The one bit of bad advice the locals in W. Kansas gave me was that 4wd was no better on ice than 2wd. I found out pretty quickly that was simply false as it could be.
I drove out of Wichita late one evening and everyone was just crawling as the road was totally iced over. I had my pickup in 4wd and was driving very carefully. After we got out of Wichita the speed increased to maybe 40 on the interstate and the traffic was also much less.
I had not been sliding at all so decided to pull it out of 4wd. Withing a few seconds the truck started slipping sideways. I could always regain control as I had grown up driving on muddy clay roads. I then put it back in 4wd and the sliding stopped immediately. The all wheel drive was making a big difference.
Ah, Raven Road, etc. We have several good friends in that area, and as you say, almost neighbors.
I don’t like piddly snow and extreme cold, but I do like an occasional blizzard. Too much fun to be cuddled inside and have the house buried in snow.
The best of Denver storms - Christmas Eve blizzard of 1982
We also had a pretty good one here in Denver in 2003 just as the war was starting in Iraq and one in 2006 just before Christmas.
Here’s the article about the famous 1982 blizzard:
The best of Denver storms - Christmas Eve blizzard of 1982
Looking back through history, Denver and Colorado have had some extraordinary weather stories. When looking to pick a best or most significant weather event, reaching far back into the history books one might choose the Georgetown blizzard of 1913 which dumped an astonishing 86 inches of snow or perhaps the Big Thompson Flood of 1976 which claimed 145 lives.
More recently, there were the holiday storms of 2006 or the Windsor tornadoes from 2007. But, there is one storm that historically stands out not only because of its severity in terms of the weather but also because of the long lasting impact it caused in Denver and Colorado which is still being felt today the Christmas Eve Blizzard of 1982. For those of you that didnt live in Colorado then or are too young to remember, a trip through the history books shows why this storm was so significant. Those that do remember it have memories that will last a lifetime.
As Christmas 1982 approached, forecasters were predicting a white Christmas several days beforehand but most were expecting a moderate snowfall of 6 inches. Two days before Christmas Eve though, the picture began to change. On the 22nd a Pacific cold front came ashore in California bringing severe rain, high surf and even hurricane force winds. As it moved east over higher terrain, it dumped 2 feet of snow in the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City.
At about that same time, jet stream winds were forming a trough of low pressure over the southeastern plains of Colorado. The counterclockwise motion of the trough began to pull moist air into the state. Further east Kansas and Oklahoma experienced severe thunderstorms and even tornadoes. The winds set the stage for strong upslope conditions along the Front Range.
Rain changed to snow on the plains and shortly before midnight on the 23rd, a full blown blizzard had developed. Denver woke to snow on the ground the morning of Christmas Eve but the storm was just getting started. Snowfall rates of 2 3 inches per hour were the norm during the day and winds screamed at 50mph causing wind chill temperatures to plummet to as low as -35 degrees. As conditions continued to deteriorate throughout the day, the gravity of the situation began to be realized.
Stapleton International Airport was forced closed at 9:30am on the 24th and remained closed for 33 hours and only limited operations were possible for days following the storm. Thousands of travelers were left stranded in the airport and forced to spend their white Christmas on the concourses of the facility. Last minute Christmas shoppers quickly found themselves wishing they hadnt procrastinated. Malls and shopping centers became refugee centers as the city shut down and became impassible. Mall workers were unable to go anywhere so the mall restaurants stayed open providing food for those who were stuck. For the first time in history the Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News were unable to publish their newspapers.
4 10 foot snowdrifts covered many areas of the city, built by the extreme winds and snow. Every mode of transportation was paralyzed and every highway into and out of the city of Denver was closed. The snow totals for the storm were nothing short of incredible. Golden Gate Canyon to the west of the city received 48 inches, Thornton 34 inches, Littleton 29 inches and Denver had 25 inches. Denvers 24 hour total was a record which still stands to this day. Colorados bizarre weather can truly be seen also when looking at the snow total for Greeley a mere 45 miles north of Denver where only 1 inch of snow fell!
The aftermath of the storm took weeks to recover from and the toll was astounding. Three people died as a direct result of the storm and there were many injuries from frostbite and falls. Roofs collapsed across the city striking greenhouses especially hard whose damage alone was estimated at $5 million. Fences and trees were downed and power outages were common. The local economy took a tremendous hit as the second busiest shopping day of the year was a bust - it is estimated that area businesses lost $500 million in holiday sales.
The removal of that much snow proved to be a huge effort and is probably what made this storm historic as it brought an end to a political era in Denver and in some ways, it could almost be said to have indirectly brought about the construction of Denver International Airport.
Bill McNichols was the mayor of Denver at the time and was in his 15th year leading the city. He was considered relatively popular at the time but the citys handling of snow removal is thought to have directly led to his defeat in the mayoral elections the following May. $7 million was spent across the metro area on snow removal; $3 million in Denver alone. However, Denvers 45 snowplows simply werent enough to handle the task and the city was slow to even clear major streets.
To make matters worse, the misery of the storm was only prolonged by cold weather in late December and through January which left snow on the ground for 48 consecutive days the third longest period on record. The snow could easily have lasted longer except that perhaps mercifully, no significant snow fell for two months after the blizzard.
Heading into the May elections the next year, the calamitous storm was fresh in voters minds as they went to the polls and a new era in Denver politics began when a young man half the age of his predecessor was elected to office Federico Pena. Mayor Pena’s election brought about the end of the Bill McNichols’ era in Denver politics and Pena became the driving force behind the construction of Denver International Airport. For better or worse, if it werent for the Christmas Eve Blizzard of 1982, Federico Pena may never have been elected and we may still be flying out of Stapleton International Airport.
Due to the timing of the blizzard coming on Christmas Eve, the sheer amount of snowfall, the impact on the city at the time and for the long lasting political implications, the Christmas Eve Blizzard of 1982 is number one on my list of Denver’s “best” storms.
a brown Christmas.. ouch.. we’re dry as a bone here too.
I know my brother in law is itching to go ice fishing but the ice is just not there.. yet.
I haven’t been thru any series snow in Minniesoda since the late 70s..but I definitely remember giant icicles and 15-20 foot hugh drifts to tunnel into and building forts at Christmas as a young ‘un.
damn that Global Varming anyway, just damn.
Some areas of eastern Colorado and western Kansas are expecting 16 inches of global warming tonight.
And the panhandles too.