Forecasters: Hurricane unlikely to stir up storms

Jared Tucker

The path of tropical storm Hermine is projected to barely miss eastern New Mexico, but can the area expect to see any significant weather activity produced by the storm? Probably not, according to area weather forecasters.

Ken Widelski, lead forecaster for the National Weather Service in Lubbock, said the best chance for eastern New Mexico to see a chance at any rain as Hermine passes through west Texas is late Wednesday night into Thursday, and the atmospheric conditions will make the forecasted 30 percent chance of rain actually less.

“Usually on the western side of these systems, the air tends to sink and not rise, so that will give way to a bit more drier conditions,” Widelski said, noting the maximum rainfall around Clovis and Portales will be a 10th of an inch, if any.

Widelski said as of 2 p.m. Monday, tropical storm Hermine had sustained winds of 60 mph, and could gain Category 1 hurricane strength by the time it reaches land, and will be either a tropical depression or a “remnant low” when it moves north over San Angelo, Texas. Those remnants of Hermine will move to the east of Lubbock, he said.

The storm was located 280 miles from Brownsville, Texas, on Monday afternoon.

The lack of predicted moisture from Hermine is quite different from earlier this year, when the remains of Hurricane Alex dumped 3.14 inches of rain southwest of Portales and around an inch-and-a-half near Clovis, according to the National Weather Service.

According to county officials in July, the rainfall from that storm caused headaches for street crews and made street repair costs increase by one-third in Clovis, and cost Roosevelt County at least 250 tons of caliche to fix wash-outs on county roads.

Today, eastern New Mexico residents can expect a high of 84 degrees with a 10 percent chance of rain and thunderstorms after the noon hour, then cooling off to sixty degrees with the same chance of showers overnight into Wednesday, according to the NWS. Temperatures will stay in the mid-to-high eighties most of the week, when chances of rain decrease and ninety-degree temperatures return by Friday.