Blast of wintry weather headed for New Mexico
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.