Blast of win­try weather headed for New Mex­ico

Albuquerque Journal - - METRO & NM - BY STEVE KNIGHT JOUR­NAL STAFF WRITER

Grab the mit­tens. Win­try weather will move into the state late in the week­end and into early next week, with heavy snow pos­si­ble, mainly along and east of the cen­tral moun­tain chain, ac­cord­ing to me­te­o­rol­o­gists.

Jen­nifer Shoe­make, a me­te­o­rol­o­gist with the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice in Al­bu­querque, said fore­cast­ers are mon­i­tor­ing two sys­tems that will com­bine to pro­duce in­creas­ing chances for snow late Sun­day.

“We are ex­pect­ing sig­nif­i­cant travel im­pacts due to the re­turn of heavy snow, mainly across eastern New Mex­ico,” Shoe­make said. “We have a storm sys­tem that will be mov­ing in from the north­west and a cold front that will be mov­ing in from the north. The two will com­bine to pro­duce heavy snow­fall across the area.”

Snow ac­cu­mu­la­tions of sev­eral inches to more than

a foot are pro­jected for the San­gre de Cristo Moun­tains, with 6 inches pos­si­ble in the lower el­e­va­tions of north­east­ern and east-cen­tral New Mex­ico, Shoe­make said.

Snow will spread south­ward Sun­day night, and a band of heav­ier snow is likely to de­velop near or just south of In­ter­state 40.

Travel could be af­fected by snow-packed and icy roads, poor vis­i­bil­ity and drift­ing snow, mainly across eastern New Mex­ico. Road clo­sures are pos­si­ble and may af­fect school op­er­a­tions.

The sys­tem is ex­pected to leave the re­gion late Mon­day, but a very cold air mass will move in be­hind the front, bring­ing some of the low­est tem­per­a­tures of the sea­son to the state.

On Sun­day across eastern New Mex­ico, tem­per­a­tures will be in the mid-30s to mid-40s, or 15 to 25 de­grees be­low nor­mal. Tem­per­a­tures will fall far­ther on Mon­day. Wind chills Sun­day night will be in the sin­gle dig­its and teens. Frost­bite will be pos­si­ble with pro­longed ex­po­sure to the cold air.

Day­time highs will be 10 to 25 de­grees be­low nor­mal on Mon­day. The Mon­day overnight lows will en­sure a hard freeze for all of north­ern and cen­tral New Mex­ico.

Al­bu­querque-area res­i­dents can ex­pect low tem­per­a­tures around 30 de­grees on Sun­day night, along with a slight chance of snow.

A slight chance of snow be­fore 11 a.m. is in the Al­bu­querque-area fore­cast for Mon­day morn­ing, then clouds are ex­pected to clear. High tem­per­a­tures will be in the low 40s on Mon­day.

Tem­per­a­tures will fall to the low 20s in the Al­bu­querque area Mon­day night. High tem­per­a­tures in Al­bu­querque will be in the mid-40s un­der sunny skies on Tues­day.

Me­te­o­rol­o­gists said un­cer­tainty re­mains re­gard­ing the lo­ca­tion and amount of snow­fall. Res­i­dents, es­pe­cially those with travel or out­door plans late this week­end, should con­tinue to mon­i­tor fore­casts for the lat­est in­for­ma­tion, be­cause con­di­tions can change rapidly.

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