Weather Flashback

April 2020 - Lonely Windmill (October 4, 2008)


Increasing southerly winds in response to a rapidly approaching shortwave trough moved this lonely New Mexico windmill's blades around and around. Positioned in the high desert near the Very Large Array telescope, clouds and precipitation from approaching storm systems like the one on this day are often quite limited. However, the strong winds that often accompany fast moving storm systems like this one are able to turn windmill blades, bringing water up from deposits below the surface. This underground water allows for limited animal grazing amidst the otherwise dry and dusty landscape that prevails most of the year.

Plate 1. Lonely Windmill. Captured on October 4, 2008 at 5:05pm MDT. Looking northeast from 34.14°, -107.77°.