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NOUS44 KEPZ 151940

Public Information Statement
National Weather Service El Paso Tx/Santa Teresa NM
140 PM MDT Fri Mar 15 2019

...NWS Damage Survey for 3/13/2019 Wind Event...

Strong westerly winds developed just after sunrise across the
higher terrain of the Sacramento Mountains in Otero County.
Sustained winds of 60 to 70 mph with higher gusts persisted
through most of the day. By 11 am the Village of Cloudcroft lost
all power and would remain without power for more than 24 hours.
Hundreds of ponderosa pines were either uprooted or snapped within
the Village of Cloudcroft resulting in damage to 30 structures,
10 vehicles, and blocking 15 roads. Across the entire area
surrounding Cloudcroft it is estimated that more than 1000 trees
were either snapped or uprooted.

.Surveyed Damage...

Estimated Peak Wind: 98 MPH
LAT/LON: 32.9142 / -105.7513
Event Time:  1110 AM MDT
Damage: 3 foot diameter tree snapped at middle of trunk,
 puncturing roof of nearby home. A 4 foot diameter
  tree was uprooted at home`s driveway entrance

Estimated Peak Wind: 107 MPH
LAT/LON:    32.9535 / -105.7415
Event Time: 1130 AM MDT
Damage: 4 foot diameter tree snapped at trunk,
   falling on house

Estimated Peak Wind: 90 MPH
LAT/LON:          32.9519 / -105.7449
Event Time:  1140 AM MDT
Damage:  2 foot diameter tree uprooted, falling on house

Estimated Peak Wind: 94 MPH
LAT/LON: 32.9452 / -105.7409
Event Time: 1152 AM MDT
Damage: 2 foot diameter tree snapped at middle of trunk,
 falling on home and vehicle

Estimated Peak Wind: 101 MPH
LAT/LON: 32.9519 / -105.7446
Event Time: 1153 AM MDT
Damage:  3 foot tree snapped at trunk, falling on house

Estimated Peak Wind: 94 MPH
LAT/LON: 32.9587 / -105.7434
Event Time: 0320 PM MDT
Damage:  Two 2 foot diameter trees uprooted on property,
  with one tree puncturing the bedroom roof of home

Survey Summary: A damage survey was conducted in the Village of
Cloudcroft in Otero county following estimated wind reports of
over 100 MPH and reports of extensive damage within Cloudcroft and
nearby areas. Extensive tree damage was observed including both
uprooted ponderosa pines as well as pines snapped either at their
base or midsections. The Cloudcroft Fire Department escorted NWS
personnel to multiple locations where both tree and property
damage were located. Wind speed estimates based on the damage done
to the hardwood trees suggested an extended period of stress due
to sustained winds of near 70 MPH. The most significant damage
appeared to be done by wind gusts between 90 and 100 MPH with the
highest estimated wind gust of 107 MPH.

Meteorological conditions at the time included a very strong
gradient wind across the area that extended from the surface to
well above mountain top levels. Light to moderate frozen
precipitation combined with the strong winds led to excessive
rime ice build up on the windward side of the exposed trees. This
ice build up likely caused the trees to become top-heavy, thus
increasing their vulnerability to the strong wind.

Most of the significant damage was located along a north to south
exposed ridge line on the windward side of the mountain. Most of
the damage also appears to be located at the edge of canyons,
where funneling of up-canyon winds resulted in the higher wind
gusts responsible for the most extensive damage.

The information in this statement is preliminary and subject to
change pending final review of the event and publication in NWS
Storm Data.

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