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

More rain, strange sights mark weekend

 


Staff report

Add another .14 inches to the slightly more than 2 inches of rain since this all began, a power outage on Memorial Day that forced at least one senior living center to use backup generators and an usual weather phenomenon just north of Clovis.

Two cold air funnels were reported Memorial Day afternoon by two separate callers to Clovis emergency dispatch. They were seen in the area of N.M. 209 (Prince Street) and CR 16.

Xcel spokesman Wes Reeves blamed the early morning power outage on a fault in an underground line. One of the 97 customers affected on Clovis’ northeast side was Wheatfields Senior Living Community.

Treasa Hester, a receptionist for Wheatfields, said the facility is fortunate to have a backup generator to avoid issues with power outages. She said Wheatfields backup generators ran from 1 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Monday morning during the outage and powered everything from electricity to oxygen machines.

Power was restored to all customers by about 10:30 a.m.

But about 2:30 p.m. residents near Ned Houk Park reported spotting the imposing cold air funnels high in the sky, according to a report from the city.

The National Weather Service reports a cold air funnel is a high based weak circulation that occurs in a cool air mass. By high based it is meant it develops well above the earth's surface. Since it is high based and weak, cold air funnels rarely touch down although they can look threatening, according to the weather service.

Unlike typical tornadoes, cold air funnels develop in a shallow cool air mass and often behind a cold frontal passage. The mixing of cool and windy conditions in the lower troposphere with air in the middle troposphere flowing in a different direction may spark the rotation that spins up the funnel. If the air is moist enough and rises enough the condensation funnel will be visible.

Though these funnels rarely touch down, they can produce wind gusts up to 55 mph locally if they do.

The weather service was forecasting more thunderstorms and rain overnight with slightly decreasing chances of rain at least through Wednesday.

 
 

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