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Winter storm will cool down New Mexico


 Storm clouds roll over the Sandias last week. A winter storm could bring light snow showers and chilly winds to Albuquerque this week. (Jim Thompson / Journal )

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

A winter storm will bring snow and low temperatures to northern and western New Mexico on Tuesday.

Snow will likely fall in the mountains of northern New Mexico, said Todd Shoemake, meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Albuquerque.

Those areas could receive 2 to 5 inches from the storm.

“The highest amounts we are expecting would be just east of Glenwood, down there in southwest New Mexico in Catron County,” Shoemake said. “We could see 10 inches, if not upwards of a foot, in that area.”

The snow will likely affect travel along Interstate 40 near Gallup on Tuesday, as well as on highways in the northern part of the state.

Tuesday will be the coldest day of the week, with Taos, Angel Fire and Los Alamos remaining below freezing.

In Albuquerque, the forecast calls for a high temperature of 37 degrees Tuesday, with a low of 14. There is a 50% chance of precipitation. Snow showers are possible in the afternoon.

Wednesday will be more “tranquil and dry,” Shoemake said, with a chance of freezing fog in the morning.

Statewide temperatures will rise slightly later in the week, before another storm system moves into western New Mexico on Friday afternoon.

The cold front will bring high winds, cooler air and rain and snow that will spread east across the state on Saturday morning.

Albuquerque temperatures will hit a high of 49 degrees Saturday, with a 20% chance of precipitation.

Meteorologist Scott Overpeck said New Mexico’s drought is in a “holding pattern” because of the recent snow and rain.

More than 80% of the state is experiencing extreme drought. Many regions are struggling to recover from last year’s dry summer and fall.

“The problem is the eastern parts of the state are really still missing out on some of that precipitation, and that’s really where we need it,” Overpeck said.

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