A Weather Sampler in One Afternoon

While California was getting buckets of rain and the east coast strained under too much snow, here in southern New Mexico, we were getting sunny days, no rain, a few clouds, not too hot, not too cold, just-right almost monotonous days.  Then came the last Thursday of the year.  A little chilly, still sunny.  And then the west wind came up.  And with the wind, dust.  A lot of dust and a very strong wind maybe 40 mph or more with gusts.  Couldn’t see the 10 blocks to town.  Tumbleweeds the size of small cars raced along the streets above the speed limit.  Plastic bags, empty boxes, a dust pan, work gloves, and what might have been a sweater also raced up the hill on Silver Street.  Few living things dared go out.

Small tumbleweeds blowing

After this battered us for a few hours, clouds moved in to compete with the dust and eventually a little rain fell – mostly horizontally since the wind was fierce.  The rain and dust battled – charges and retreats – until the there was enough rain to conquer the dust.  The wind dropped and the rain continued, but not enough for run-off.  Nor enough to wash the mud off my windows.

Desert Mountain with light snow

Turtleback Mountain with its dusty snow

And then miraculously there was snow.  Just a few huge fluffy globs – couldn’t stick since it wasn’t cold enough.    Nearby Turtleback Mountain got a dusting and the distant Black Range was white.  And the storm moved on.

It’s so peaceful when the wind stops after roaring for hours.  I had taken several photos of the tumbleweeds, but they moved really fast.  I got shots of only the slower lopsided ones, not so impressive.  I did get the shot of Turtleback Mountain with it’s light snow.  It soon melted.

Now it’s a few days later, skies clear, slight breeze, and a lot colder, but not dusty.  For that I am grateful.

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