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Bundle up, Albuquerque: We’re about to weather the coldest temperatures and the most snow we’ve seen all season.
Monday’s above-average temperatures will give way to conditions 20-25 degrees below normal and some “bitterly cold wind chills” by the end of the week, National Weather Service meteorologist Brian Guyer said.
“It looks like winter weather is going to make an impact on the area as we get into Wednesday and Thursday,” Guyer said, adding that it is the result of a low-pressure system pulling cold air southward from Canada.
Snow could begin falling Wednesday morning and continue through the night, forecasts show. The West Side and Rio Rancho may see 3-5 inches, Guyer said, while other parts of the metro get less due to the Albuquerque snow-hole effect.
Friday morning’s forecast low of 7 degrees at the Albuquerque International Sunport would be well below the city’s lowest temperature thus far this winter: 15 degrees on Jan. 3.
The storm comes during what has otherwise been a mild winter; December 2021, in fact, was New Mexico’s warmest December on record, Guyer said.
And Albuquerque specifically has had 1/10 of an inch of snow total this season, compared to the 5-6 inches it would typically have by now.
The city could make up some snow ground this week, though Guyer said east winds through the canyon sometimes minimizes what actually comes down in Albuquerque.
Still, meteorologists expect some challenging travel conditions. Whatever snow ultimately falls will not soon dissipate, because of the frigid temperatures.
“The most significant impacts are likely going to be the combination of the snow and the cold so the roads aren’t going to improve,” Guyer said. “They’ll be treated, I’m sure, but once they’re iced over there’s going to be areas of difficult travel for several days.”
New Mexico Gas Company on Monday warned the public that the weather “could affect the supply and cost of natural gas,” encouraging customers without prohibitive health concerns to reduce their use by lowering their thermostats.
Conservation tips include setting the thermostat to 68 degrees or lower and the water heater to 120 degrees or lower, taking shorter showers, and opening blinds during the day to welcome sunlight’s natural warmth.