Musings from the Manhut

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Tag: west texas

Noontime Weather Updates

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Noontime #westtx weather update with a couple of pictures

Current Radar Image from MAF

As you can see from the current radar image from Midland’s NWS we are quite out of the woods yet. At noon in Andrews the snows are a little lighter than they have been all morning. Our accumulation here has been around 3″-3 1/2″ so far. The snows started at 7:30am.

The Midland Amateur Radio Club has cancelled it’s meeting tonight. Andrews schools are closing at noon today. I think Big Spring, Grady, Stanton and a couple of others are closing early today but I am not sure of exact times. Most schools in the area have announced delayed starts already for in the morning. As of yet I haven’t heard about any governmental offices closing. I have heard that Lubbock is sending some snowplows to the Midland/Odessa area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can imagine the roads are a slushy, icy mess. If you live in West Texas please remember that you don’t have a clue how to drive on this crap. PLEASE SLOW DOWN!¬†Those oilfield trucks that are acting stupid on the roads today have much more insurance than you do.

 

I am not sure of the whole situation at this time as I am at work and haven’t got the new Twitter account properly filtered for information gathering. The NWS is predicting up to 8′ of accumulation today. I imagine it will freeze tonight making for very dangerous conditions tomorrow morning. IF YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO SOMEWHERE THEN PLEASE DON’T GO ANYWHERE.

#fire wx watch issued for Tuesday afternoon #westtx

…A FIRE WEATHER WATCH IS IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH TUESDAY EVENING FOR THE SOUTHEAST NEW MEXICO PLAINS, THE GUADALUPE AND DAVIS MOUNTAINS, THE VAN HORN AND HIGHWAY 54 CORRIDOR, THE UPPER TRANS PECOS REGION, AND THE PERMIAN BASIN FOR SUSTAINED 20 FOOT WINDS OF 20 MPH OR GREATER, RELATIVE HUMIDITY LESS THAN 15 PERCENT, AND VERY HIGH TO EXTREME FIRE DANGER…

.SURFACE HIGH PRESSURE WILL MOVE EAST TO THE MISSISSIPPI VALLEY TUESDAY, WHILE ANOTHER LEE SURFACE TROUGH DEVELOPS ACROSS NEW MEXICO AND FAR WEST TEXAS. A TIGHTENING PRESSURE GRADIENT BETWEEN THESE TWO FEATURES WILL BRING INCREASED SOUTHERLY TO SOUTHWESTERLY WINDS TO SOUTHEAST NEW MEXICO AND MUCH OF WEST TEXAS TUESDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING. A VERY WARM AND DRY AIRMASS WILL REMAIN IN PLACE. THESE CONDITIONS WILL COMBINE WITH ONGOING VERY HIGH TO EXTREME FIRE DANGER TO POSE A RISK OF CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS ACROSS THESE LOCATIONS TUESDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING.

/O.NEW.KMAF.FW.A.0037.110412T1700Z-110413T0200Z/ GUADALUPE MOUNTAINS NP/LINCOLN NF/LNZ- SOUTHEAST PLAINS/BLM ROSWELL/LNZ-GAINES-DAWSON-BORDEN-SCURRY- ANDREWS-MARTIN-HOWARD-MITCHELL-VAN HORN AND HIGHWAY 54 CORRIDOR- REEVES COUNTY AND UPPER TRANS PECOS-LOVING-WINKLER-ECTOR-MIDLAND- GLASSCOCK-WARD-CRANE-UPTON-REAGAN-DAVIS/APACHE MOUNTAINS AREA- PECOS-GUADALUPE MOUNTAINS- 517 AM CDT MON APR 11 2011 /417 AM MDT MON APR 11 2011/

…FIRE WEATHER WATCH IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH TUESDAY EVENING FOR WINDY CONDITIONS, VERY LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY AND VERY HIGH TO EXTREME FIRE DANGER ACROSS THE SOUTHEAST NEW MEXICO PLAINS, THE GUADALUPE AND DAVIS MOUNTAINS, THE VAN HORN AND HIGHWAY 54 CORRIDOR, THE UPPER TRANS PECOS REGION, AND THE PERMIAN BASIN…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MIDLAND/ODESSA HAS ISSUED A FIRE WEATHER WATCH, WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH TUESDAY EVENING.

* AFFECTED AREA: IN NEW MEXICO, GUADALUPE MOUNTAINS NP/LINCOLN NF/LNZ, SOUTHEAST PLAINS/BLM ROSWELL/LNZ. IN TEXAS, GAINES, DAWSON, BORDEN, SCURRY, ANDREWS, MARTIN, HOWARD, MITCHELL, VAN HORN AND HIGHWAY 54 CORRIDOR, REEVES COUNTY AND UPPER TRANS PECOS, LOVING, WINKLER, ECTOR, MIDLAND, GLASSCOCK, WARD, CRANE, UPTON, REAGAN, DAVIS/APACHE MOUNTAINS AREA, PECOS, GUADALUPE MOUNTAINS.

* TIMING: TUESDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING.

* WIND: IN THE PLAINS, SOUTHERLY WINDS 20 TO 25 MPH, WITH A FEW GUSTS TO 35 MPH. IN THE MOUNTAINS, SOUTHWESTERLY WINDS 20 TO 30 MPH, WITH A FEW GUSTS TO 40 MPH.

* HUMIDITY: 5 TO 15 PERCENT.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A FIRE WEATHER WATCH MEANS THAT CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE FORECAST TO OCCUR. LISTEN FOR LATER FORECASTS AND POSSIBLE RED FLAG WARNINGS.

&&

Francisco Coronado on the Llano Estacado

Photo of Hwy 207 in Crosby County, TX taken and placed in the public domain by leaflet.

“I reached some plains so vast, that I did not find their limit anywhere I went, although I travelled over them for more than 300 leagues … with no more land marks than if we had been swallowed up by the sea … there was not a stone, nor bit of rising ground, nor a tree, nor a shrub, nor anything to go by.”

Sibley Nature Trail- A good walk in the Llano Estacado

With a view to my future of hiking and in hopes of getting into some shape rather than round we decided, on the spur of the moment, to go on a nature hike today. We went to the Sibley Nature Centre out at Hogan Park and walked around their facility and a trail or two that they have in the back forty over there.

Trail Head

The Raymond Howard Trailhead at Sibley Nature Centre

The Centre was closed today but a wealth of information is on placards all around the building telling a little bit about the Llano Estacado. Now if you followed the link you know that the Llano Estacado is a 37,000 square mile chunk of land that is roughly 3000 feet in elevation and home to about a million people. This Estacado lies at the southern end of the Great Plains of the central United States and straddles the border between New Mexico and Texas.

Burr Williams, the director of the Sibley Nature Center, has really opened my eyes to some of the wonders of the Llano Estacado, not only the the God-made wonders but the human-made ones as well. Thanks to him I can say that I am a proud Llanero as well.

Anyway on to todays hike…

Fossils in a wall

Fossils in a wall at a pavillion

More fossils in the same wall

Every so often on the trail are pavilions. They are nothing fancy but in the blazing West Texas sun these pavilions  provide some respite from the unrelenting sun. The first pavilion, and I guess all of them, are built with stone from the Llano Estacado. One had several fossils in it.

Cactus buried in a Mesquite

My part of West Texas is technically not a desert climate. We are in a semi-arid zone. Right to the west of the Llano Estacado is the Chihuahuan Desert, which is the fourth largest desert in North America.

Tasajillo

I believe this particular cactus is called tasajillo. It has these red fruit on it that my son says tastes a lot like tomato. I didn’t try any because it has all these stupid little spines on it that one has to pick off before eating. Besides, as a general rule, I like mesquite beans much much more than I like boring cactus fruit. I was on a quest for mesquite beans!

Frog

One of the joys of hiking in the wilderness is finding critters. As we were out in the early afternoon all the critters had pretty much gone to their dens. I realise that you may not be able to find him in this phone pic but there is a frog in the middle of this pic.

Everything is thorny

Man-refined playa

Some fuzzy plant

Our area is dotted with playas. A playa is basically a hole in the ground that fill us with water occasionally. These playas serve as temporary watering holes for the wildlife that live in the area. Usually the water evaporates in the hot summer air or sinks into the acquifier. Some playas in the cities have some refinements done to them by man and they hold their water and attract various water fowl.

The trail continued on...

This is a neat trail. I would love to go out there with a tour guide and learn about the plants, animals and bugs out there. The folks at Sibley have done an excellent job of putting this together. It is a pretty hike and while on the trail one forgets that you are still in the city limits.

I believe there are two different trails here that overlap one another. I need to get the gps unit out and map the area for openstreetmap. I would also like to go out there with more than a cell phone and take some better picture for you.

Yep, we have cactus around here

My only disappointment from this little walk came from not finding a single mesquite bean to snack on! It’s like someone harvested them for their own pleasure or something.

We walked this several years ago when there was not much there. I am very impressed by the work that Burr William and the Sibley Center have done!

Guadalupe Peak at Sunset

THIS IS A PUBLIC DOMAIN PHOTO.

 


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