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System to bring gusty winds, storms and snow

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Gusty winds, a chance for thunderstorms and more mountain snow are in the forecast as a Pacific storm system passes through New Mexico over the next couple of days.

“It’s all going to ramp up Tuesday night,” National Weather Service meteorologist Clay Anderson said. “We’re looking at rain, thunderstorms and above 8,000 feet, more snow.”

Gusty crosswinds will be present throughout much of the state today, although forecasters say they will not approach wind speeds the state saw last week when gusts reached hurricane force in parts of eastern and southeastern New Mexico. Winds in the Albuquerque metro area are expected to be between 10 to 20 mph today and Wednesday.

The combination of strong winds and low humidity will again increase the fire risk for much of the day in the eastern part of the state, especially the eastern plains.

Rain and thunderstorms are expected to move into the western part of the state tonight as the Pacific system approaches, with snow expected in the higher elevations. There will be a lightning risk during the evening.

The rainfall, storms and snowfall will spread through most of the state Wednesday. The best chances for the precipitation will be during the morning through early evening hours. There will again be a lightning risk.

Snow accumulations will be likely in the western and northern higher elevations.

The system will bring cooler weather.

Temperatures could drop as much as 10 to 15 degrees in some areas. The high in Albuquerque today will be 72, but will drop to 61 on Wednesday before climbing back up to the 70s by the end of the week. The temperature will drop from 64 today in Santa Fe to 52 before rebounding. Highs today will be in the mid-80s for much of eastern New Mexico before plunging into the lower 70s and 60s Wednesday and Thursday.

Anderson said there shouldn’t be any significant travel problems as the system moves through, with the exception of the higher elevations.

Thursday’s weather will be calmer, but temperatures will remain chilly in eastern parts of the state.

Friday’s weather is expected to be pleasant for most of the state, but another storm system is expected to move in during the weekend bringing strong winds and a chance of precipitation to northern parts of the state.

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