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New Mexico is in for a week of bitter cold temperatures as a potent front settles in the region.
The front will also create strong winds along the Sandia and Manzano mountains, said Blair Breitreiter, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Albuquerque.
“We’re expecting 20-to-30-mile-an-hour sustained winds with gusts up to 45, 50 miles an hour,” Breitreiter said. “In addition to all of this, light snow is possible across the northern mountains into the northeast plains by late (Tuesday) afternoon.”
The coldest temperatures so far this season will accompany the front.
Tuesday in Albuquerque will hit a low of 27 degrees and high of 50 degrees. Wednesday will dip to 24 degrees and hit a high of 39.
Thursday and Friday are expected to be the coldest days of the week for the metro area, with low temperatures of 19 degrees on both days, and highs of 35 on Thursday and 42 on Friday.
Meteorologists are uncertain whether the cold front will bring any significant snowfall to New Mexico.
“Any accumulations we do see are likely going to be light and favoring the Sangre de Cristo mountains in the overnight hours,” Breitreiter said.
Angel Fire and Las Vegas could receive one to two inches of snow by Wednesday afternoon. If Santa Fe and Albuquerque receive any snow from the storm, it will likely be less than an inch.
Northern New Mexico will bear the brunt of the icy temperatures this week. Angel Fire will hit a low of -10 degrees on Thursday, and Taos and Chama will dip into single digits.
Weather officials are warning residents to protect pipes and pets from the freezing cold. Frostbite is also possible if exposed to the cold for long periods of time, so New Mexicans should bundle up.
The weekend will warm up slightly in the metro area, with high temperatures in the 50s. But another incoming storm system has potential to ramp up the winter weather again on Sunday.