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Albuquerque, New Mexico

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March 23, 2007: Widespread Severe Weather Over Eastern New Mexico

The first outbreak of the severe weather season was a major one for eastern New Mexico during the afternoon and evening hours of March 23rd, 2007. An upper level storm formed off the southern California coast on the 20th, then strengthened and drifted south into Baja California on the 21st and 22nd (the left water vapor image below). While this system was parked to our southwest, Pacific moisture was migrating north into northern Mexico and New Mexico. This system eventually moved into northern Mexico on the 23rd and accelerated northeast over New Mexico on the 24th (the right water vapor image below). Click the images below for a larger view.

With plenty of moisture, lift, and instability throughout the atmosphere, showers and thunderstorms were common throughout New Mexico from March 21st through 24th. The most active day was the 23rd, where widespread severe weather ignited over much of the eastern plains. Large hail was reported at several locations, stretching from southeast New Mexico to central Kansas. In addition, thirteen tornadoes where observed across the eastern plains of New Mexico. For a graphical representation of the severe weather reports on March 23rd, visit the SPC website. The two tornadoes that provided the most significant damage in eastern New Mexico were located at Logan (the left radar image below) and at Clovis (the right radar image below). Preliminarily, the Logan tornado created damage that fit within the EF0 to EF1 range on the enhanced Fujita scale. Meanwhile, the damage in Clovis was preliminarily rated to fit within the EF0 to EF2 range. Below are a list of resources which describe the new enhanced Fujita scale:

The Enhanced Fujita Scale (EF Scale)
NOAA National Weather Service Improves Tornado Rating System
NOAA National Weather Service's Improved Tornado Rating System Now Operational

A Damage Assessment Team from the National Weather Service in Albuquerque visited the Logan and Clovis areas on Saturday, March 24th. Below is a preliminary report concerning the tornado tracks and the amount of damage sustained in both communities. A more detailed report will be published in the near future.

The Logan tornado created an intermittent three-mile damage track. Preliminary, estimated maximum winds from this tornado ranged from 100 to 105 mph. The first indication of damage was noted in the open range, one mile south of Logan (where Highway 54 crosses the Canadian River), north along the 4th Street area. The heaviest damage was noted on the south end of 4th Street, from Lake Drive north for approximately five blocks. The last significant damage area was noted in the northern neighborhoods just north of Highway 39. RVs and trailers sustained the most significant damage in the Logan area.

The Clovis tornado also created an intermittent three-mile damage track, with the most significant damage noted in the southern and northern sections of the city. Preliminary, estimated maximum winds for this particular tornado ranged from 120 to 125 mph. The first primary damage track was observed on the south side of Clovis, just east of Highway 70 north to Mabry Street. Another damage track was noted on the east/northeast side of Clovis, mainly a few blocks west of Sycamore Street, from Mabry Street north to 21st Street. Mobile homes were destroyed, trees knocked down, power poles snapped, and roofs of substantial buildings and homes heavily damaged or blown off.

Other verified tornadoes were reported 16 miles north/northwest of Lovington, ten miles north of McDonald, seven miles northwest of Tatum, 12 miles north of Tatum, three miles north of Crossroads, one mile south of Milnesand, two miles north of Arch, Rogers, ten miles northeast of Portales, 10 miles east/southeast of Lakewood, and 15 miles east of Lakewood.

Submit your severe weather photos (including funnel clouds, tornadoes, hail, or flooding) to the National Weather Service in Albuquerque.


Aside from the hail and tornadoes, heavy rains were common throughout New Mexico, with occasional rain falling over a three or four day period. Wet snow even fell over the higher elevations of the northern and western mountains. Below is a table listing rainfall amounts from ASOS reports each day from March 21st through 24th. Another precipitation table is available which indicates four-day rainfall reports as received from the National Weather Service Cooperative Observer Program.

Precipitation Reports Across New Mexico*
Location
March 21
March 22
March 23
March 24
Total
Albuquerque Sunport
0.01
0.09
0.19
0.35
0.64
Carlsbad
0.00
0.04
2.32
0.00
2.36
Clayton
0.00
0.16
1.14
0.07
1.37
Clines Corners
T
0.12
0.14
0.07
0.33
Deming
0.02
T
T
T
0.02
Farmington
0.11
0.17
0.30
0.04
0.62
Gallup
0.02
0.07
0.10
0.01
0.20
Grants
0.05
0.02
0.36
0.00
0.43
Las Vegas
0.00
0.01
0.11
0.36
0.48
Raton
0.00
T
0.22
0.24
0.46
Roswell
0.00
0.04
0.85
0.00
0.89
Santa Fe
0.03
0.13
0.38
0.24
0.78
Truth or Consequences
T
0.02
0.19
T
0.21
Tucumcari
0.00
0.29
1.27
0.00
1.56
* Based on ASOS (Automated Surface Observing System) Stations

National Weather Service
Albuquerque Weather Forecast Office
2341 Clark Carr LP SE
Albuquerque, NM 87106
Ph: 505.243.0702
Page Author: WFO Albuquerque, NM
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