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Old 05-17-2009, 11:32 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catman View Post
I'm sure of that. I could do the same.

Thanks for the clarification concerning the monsoon. Very enlightening! I should have looked at the precip tables.

You too, jazzlover! I love discussing climates.
A really interesting area of New Mexico climatically is the area just east of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, roughly between Las Vegas and Trinidad, Colorado. This area is far enough north that a Pacific-spawned "Albuquerque Low" (named because it passes east roughly over Albuquerque) can bring occasional huge winter storms that can tap into both Pacific and Gulf of Mexico moisture. It is far enough south and west to enjoy the effects of the Southwest Monsoon in late July and August, and it is far enough east to get incursions of Gulf of Mexico moisture in the late spring and early summer. As a result, it is the most thunderstorm-prone area in terms of thunderstorm days (but not for duration of severity) outside of Florida in the United States.

A really neat area climatically--if I had to pick a place to live solely on that criteria, Las Vegas, New Mexico would be just about perfect for my climatic tastes.
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Old 05-17-2009, 03:18 PM
 
Location: Metromess
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I agree with you concerning Las Vegas, NM. My understanding is that since it's right on the boundary between the plains and the high country, it's the perfect spot fronm which to view the weather events to the east without being in them often. Does the area you mentioned include Clayton, or is that too far east? I didn't realize that the area had so many thunderstorms. Since the annual precip is rather low, it surprises me somewhat. I suppose they mostly just pop up and dissipate.
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Old 05-17-2009, 03:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catman View Post
I agree with you concerning Las Vegas, NM. My understanding is that since it's right on the boundary between the plains and the high country, it's the perfect spot fronm which to view the weather events to the east without being in them often. Does the area you mentioned include Clayton, or is that too far east? I didn't realize that the area had so many thunderstorms. Since the annual precip is rather low, it surprises me somewhat. I suppose they mostly just pop up and dissipate.
BrianH can probably tell you more specifics about Clayton weather. Clayton does get a lot of thunderstorm activity; some of them can go severe. It also gets a lot of wind. Clayton used to have a full US Weather Service station (back in the '50's, I believe). Those "first order" stations collected "thunderstorm day" data, and Clayton was 69 in average annual thunderstorm days, according to Weatherbase , which gets its data from National Weather Service sources--Clayton's data presumably from when it had that first order weather station. Other data I have read indicates 52 thunderstorm days annually for Clayton and 64 for Las Vegas.

Here is a pretty good map of thunderstorm days:

Thunderstorms
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Old 05-18-2009, 02:54 PM
 
Location: Metromess
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From the map, it looks like Clayton is east of the highest concentration. That is a good page on thunderstorms; it reminds me of the SKYWARN classes I've been to. I suppose that anywhere along the front range (terrain's influence) is where the highest concentrations are, especially in combination with the monsoon and the Gulf of Mexico.

As a frequent motorcyclist, I pay special attention to the weather! Being in a hailstorm is no fun at all.
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Old 07-14-2012, 10:53 PM
 
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Default Red River vs Cloudcroft temps

Quote:
Originally Posted by catman View Post
Red River is 8750 feet up. That's almost 9000 feet. I'm surprised that Cloudcroft is a little cooler in summer, since it seems to me that the slight elevation difference would be canceled out by RR's more northerly latitude. Must be more to it.
I realize this is an old thread......

According to the weather channel website Red River is considerably cooler on average that Cloudcroft. We go to Red River nearly every year and have never been to Cloudcroft or Ruidoso. Red River in July and August typically gets to 75, rarely to 80 during the day and low 40s at night, and we have experienced freeezing temps in August in Red River. According to the Weather channel Cloudcroft hits 90 quite often and only the 50s at night. Just about every time we visit Red River we need heat most mornings, and have never missed air conditioning.

Could it be that Cloudcrofts weather stats are not coming from Cloudcroft? This happens alot for Red River (uses Taos which is alot hotter), but if you select "Red River ski resort" it seems fairly accurate.
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Old 07-15-2012, 01:08 AM
 
Location: Albuquerque
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GTAlumnus...I'm not sure what stats you're referring to. Cloudcroft has a cooperative weather observer in town and they have really good, long-term records. They have NEVER recorded a temperature as high as 90 degrees. When it comes to Red River...if the weather channel (or any other source) is using Taos to represent Red River, they don't have a clue what they are doing.

Red River has excellent weather records as well. The all-time maximum temperature recorded there has been 94 degrees (compared to 88 at Cloudcroft), but most years...Red River doesn't ever reach 90 degrees.

Summer nights (on average) are a few degrees cooler in Red River, while summer afternoons tend to be a little cooler in Cloudcroft. This is due to the greater impact of the North American monsoon on Cloudcroft.

The Western Region Climate Center is a good source for climate information and they are an excellent storehouse of weather records. The weather channel should be using these same sources, but...in my opinion, most of the meteorologists and so-called meteorologists on the weather channel know very little about climate details of New Mexico. You may want to check out these links:

RED RIVER, NEW MEXICO - Climate Summary
CLOUDCROFT, NEW MEXICO - Climate Summary

Last edited by mrgoodwx; 07-15-2012 at 01:10 AM.. Reason: dropped a few letters.
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Old 07-15-2012, 07:20 PM
 
Location: Sacramento Mtns of NM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrgoodwx View Post
GTAlumnus...I'm not sure what stats you're referring to. Cloudcroft has a cooperative weather observer in town and they have really good, long-term records. They have NEVER recorded a temperature as high as 90 degrees.
Depends on exactly where the temp is taken in the Cloudcroft area. In the actual town, the temps have hit 85F on a number of days in recent years. Not hard to imagine that just downslope on the east and west sides there could have been 90F recorded on those days.

Where I live in Ruidoso, I am only 500 ft lower than the Smokey Bear Ranger Station automatic weather site, and I am typically either 5F warmer or cooler than that station at any given moment, depending on localized conditions. Example: as I type this it is 81F at the recording station, and 77F at my house. Just the opposite of what one would expect, comparing the 500 ft difference in elevation.

Looking at really long term Cloudcroft temp records, it appears that the past decade or so has been about 10F warmer - on average - than the 1950-70 period when weather records may not have been as accurately kept.


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Old 07-15-2012, 09:46 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque
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joqua...The weather observations for Cloudcroft have been taken on the lodge grounds for many years. They began taking weather observations in December 1901, although it was somewhat hit and miss for years. A better station was installed there in the late 1940s, and the observations were quality controlled on a routine basis before they were sent to the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC in Asheville, NC). The station was also visited twice a year for inspections (National Weather Service- NWS). This may have all changed in the past few years as it appears the NWS is putting less and less emphasis on weather records.

Most certainly...once you get off that 8600+ elevation that is so lush in the summer...you wouldn't need to go downhill too far before seeing some 90 degree maximums. As you know very well...temperatures can change pretty drastically over small differences in distance and elevation.
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Old 07-16-2012, 08:21 AM
 
Location: Sacramento Mtns of NM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrgoodwx View Post
joqua...The weather observations for Cloudcroft have been taken on the lodge grounds for many years.
Since I rely on weather reports from INTERNET stations, I have long used this web site for Cloudcroft:

http://www.cloudcroft.com/cgi-bin/weather.pl

I'm not sure who maintains/owns the web site but here is the footer for the page:

Quote:
Copyright © 2011 by Cloudcroft Online
The Travel and Visitor´s Guide to Cloudcroft, New Mexico
Cloudcroft, New Mexico, "The Most Enchanting Part of the Land of Enchantment"
Last Revised: July 16, 2012
The Cloudcroft Chamber of Commerce web page has a weather link that gives the NOAA forecast and curiously, at 7am this day, the temp is already 70F at that station while the same NOAA site at the Ruidoso Airport - much lower elevation - shows 63F.


Last edited by joqua; 07-16-2012 at 08:34 AM..
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Old 07-16-2012, 12:10 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque
747 posts, read 1,192,762 times
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That first link looks like a good site. I notice when you look up the history (e.g. average monthly highs and lows), they credit the Western Region Climate Center. So...this site appears to integrate the historical NWS-maintained data with an up-to-date, weather station (not likely owned or maintained by the NWS) that reports 24x7. To me, that's a good plan and the data seem to look good. The unfortunate thing about the NWS cooperative sites do not provide real-time weather...so the village of Cloudcroft has taken care of that.

The 2nd link...even though it says Cloudcroft...if you look over to the right, it shows that the data is coming from Alamagordo. Ouch! That's because the NOAA (the parent agency of the NWS) doesn't have any real-time equipment, so they grab the nearest location, as useless as it is.

With regard to Ruidoso, I remember (years ago) the village was going to install their own equipment and post real-time weather on their web page instead of using Sierra Blanca Airport data. The Ruidoso net web site links to the weather channel, and it shows current weather. When I look at the July summary (through the 15th), I see the max temperature for the month has been 84...which seems pretty reasonable. I don't know which station they are tapping into but maybe it's a well-sited station in the village. It looks like a pretty good site to me.
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