The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

A look back at 2013’s weather


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27th Special Operations Support Squadron

Cannon Air Force Base and Eastern New Mexico have lived up to their reputation of tumultuous weather. Overall, the region measured above average amounts of rain and snow and experienced cooler temperatures than previous years.

The continuance of a three-year drought gripped the region as it persisted through the beginning of 2013. The first relief of any kind arrived in February when a nine-inch blizzard provided much needed moisture during the otherwise dry, dusty winter and spring.

However, the land’s thirst was quenched during the first two weeks of June. Several severe thunderstorms raked Cannon with 50-65 mph winds and also dropped 4.5 inches of rain. On June 7, an EF0 tornado struck 10 miles southwest of Cannon, causing damage to two dairies, a home and numerous outbuildings.

Who could forget the “Flying Saucer” thunderstorm on Aug. 5? This impressive weather phenomenon formed and dropped 1-2 inch hail over much of the Clovis vicinity before fizzling out on its way to Portales.

The rains of September finally broke the drought. On Sept. 11, airfield rain gauges measured 3.09 inches, breaking the 24-hour rainfall record that dated back to 1943. Melrose Air Force Range measured an astonishing 4.8 inches of rain with regions around Fort Sumner recording 6-8 inches in a single day.

More recently, the Thanksgiving snowstorm measured 6-8 inches of snow in the Clovis and Portales area. Then December brought along an Arctic cold front. By midday Dec. 4, the temperature had already hit 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Darkened skies signaled the arrival of the Arctic front. By sunset, the temperature dropped below freezing. The very next day, the thermometer struggled to reach 19 degrees Fahrenheit, bringing 2013 to a chilly end.

Here are some Cannon AFB 2013 weather facts:

1. Total precipitation — 17.52 inches (normal 15.5 inches)

2. Year 2013 snowfall — 16.2 inches (normal 12.2 inches)

3. Winds greater than/equal to 55 mph — seven days

4. Highest 24-hour snowfall — nine inches (February)

5. High temperature — 102 degrees Fahrenheit (June 26 -27)

6. Low temperature — 10 degrees Fahrenheit (Jan. 2)

7. Highest wind gust — 65 mph (June 5)

For more information about weather on Cannon or at Melrose Air Force Range, call the 27th Special Operations Support Squadron weather flight at 575-784-2748.


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