When you think of a desert landscape, what comes to mind? Perhaps flat, open land with sand dunes across the horizon. Maybe large Saguaro cacti native to the Sonoran Desert in Arizona. But how about fields of beautiful flowers as far as the eye can see?
Several pictures of Mexican Golden Poppies on the east side of the Franklin mountains in El Paso, TX.
These flowers pictured above are native to the Desert Southwest, termed Mexican Golden Poppies. Wet winters and early springs can enhance the coverage and length of the bloom. As far as El Paso is concerned (and much of southern New Mexico), it has been an extraordinarily wet March (3rd wettest on record in fact) and a relatively active February. Usually March begins the dry and windy season across New Mexico and far west Texas, which makes this wet March all the more spectacular. Lucky for El Pasoans, a brilliant bloom of wildflowers has livened up the Franklin Mountains. And who said deserts can’t be green/colorful?
It has been much drier, and a bit windier the last half/third of March in El Paso, as shown above in the F6 climate report from KELP (El Paso international airport). More of the same looks likely by the middle to later portions of next week as a large upper level trough barrels through the region. The track of this upper level system, through the Four Corners region, typically results in surface low pressure development in the vicinity of southeast Colorado/northeast New Mexico. The pressure gradient consequent of this low-pressure to the northeast results in windy conditions across New Mexico and far west Texas, including El Paso. This is common during March and April most years with dusty conditions possible as well. A diagram below gives a visual of this pattern.
Mother nature can deviate from the norm at will which is exactly what happened this March across portions of southern NM and far west TX. This helped to generate some stunning color in the desert this Spring.
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©2020 Meteorologist Joe DeLizio