Winter Storm Warning

by Reporter / Dec 27, 2018 / 0 comments

Winter Storm Warning

Major storm system to impact New Mexico tonight through Saturday morning.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning in effect from 6 p.m. this evening to 6 a.m. MST Saturday, with a hazardous weather outlook is for portions of north and central New Mexico.

Day One...Today and Tonight

A major winter storm will bring heavy snow to much of central and western New Mexico starting tonight. The storm will draw a very strong east canyon wind into the Albuquerque and Santa Fe areas starting late tonight with gusts potentially reaching 50 to 60 mph. The strong winds will blow and drift the snow producing near whiteout conditions at times. Bitter cold wind chills will vary from around 15 above to 20 degrees below zero across the forecast area late tonight.

Days Two Through Seven...Friday through Wednesday

Heavy snow will spread to include the far eastern plains and south central mountains Friday. The focus for heavy snow will then be along the central mountain chain and eastern plains Friday night, before lingering across the eastern plains and south central mountains on Saturday morning. The very strong east canyon winds will persist in the Albuquerque and Santa Fe areas through Friday morning. Bitter cold wind chills will return to the forecast area late Friday night into Saturday morning.

Another storm system will cross from the northwest Monday through Tuesday with a few to several inches of additional snow accumulation favoring northern areas, as well as the central mountain chain and adjacent high plains.

Moderate to heavy snow accumulation is expected tonight through Saturday morning, which will create treacherous travel and extremely poor visibilities in falling and blowing snow. Blizzard

conditions are expected across the Albuquerque Metro Area as well as the Sandia and Manzano Mountains as strong to damaging east winds develop. A strong gradient of snow accumulation is expected across the Albuquerque Metro Area, with western areas potentially receiving significantly more snow than eastern areas due to the east wind. Elsewhere, very heavy snowfall is expected, with the highest amounts expected along and east of the central mountain chain, the Jemez Mountains and Mount Taylor, where one foot of snow will be common, and higher amounts are likely along the east slopes. Very cold temperatures will accompany this system. Wind chills will vary around 15 degrees above zero to 15 degrees below zero across most of northern and central New Mexico during the early morning hours both Friday and Saturday.

What...Heavy snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 4 to 8 inches are expected across much of western New Mexico, the Santa Fe Metro Area, Upper Rio Grande Valley and Lower Chama River Valley. Total snow accumulations of 8 to 16 inches with amounts up to 20 inches are possible across the Jemez Mountains, Mount Taylor, and much of eastern New Mexico. Winds gusting as high as 35 mph Friday.

Where...Portions of northern and central New Mexico.

When...From 6 p.m. this evening to 6 a.m. MST Saturday.

Additional Details...Travel will be very difficult to  impossible. Areas of blowing snow may significant reduce   visibility on Friday. Severe driving conditions are expected and roads may be closed. Stay off roadways if at all possible.

Precautionary/Preparedness Actions...A Winter Storm Warning for snow means severe winter weather conditions will make travel very hazardous or impossible. If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency. The latest road conditions for New Mexico can be obtained by calling 5 1 1 or 1-800-432-4269.

Impacted areas:

Northern Sangre de Cristos above 9500 feet/Red River-Southern Sangre de Cristos above 9500 feet-East Slopes Sangre de Cristo Mountains-Upper Rio Grande Valley-Lower Chama River Valley-Santa Fe Metro Area-Middle Rio Grande Valley/Albuquerque Metro Area-Lower Rio Grande Valley-Sandia/Manzano Mountains-Estancia Valley-Central Highlands-South Central Highlands-Upper Tularosa Valley-South Central Mountains-Raton Ridge/Johnson Mesa-Far Northeast Highlands-Northeast Highlands-Union County-Harding County-Eastern San Miguel County-Guadalupe County-Quay County-Curry County-Roosevelt County-De Baca County-Chaves County Plains-Eastern Lincoln County-Southwest Chaves County

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