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East Mountains residents may find hazardous commute

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Falling snow and below freezing temperatures will make the commute for East Mountains residents difficult this morning according to the National Weather Service.

Andrew Church, a spokesman with the Albuquerque office, said East Mountains communities, including Sandia Park, Tijeras and Cedar Crest, were expecting 3 to 6 inches of snow Sunday night.

“It’s cold,” he said. “Temperatures are in the teens so anything that falls will stick. It’s going to be a challenging commute for those residents tomorrow morning.”

Temperatures plummeted Sunday evening. About 5 p.m., the Weather Service said the wind chill was making it feel like 15 degrees at the Albuquerque Sunport and minus 6 degrees at Clines Corners – a sharp contrast to last week, when the weather felt more like spring than winter, with temperatures in the metro area in the upper 60s to the 70s. With the wind chill factor, temperatures were about minus 4 degrees in Clayton on Sunday evening as the sun set, which, according to the Weather Service, was 76 degrees lower than the high there Friday.

There was little snow fall in Albuquerque but the Weather Service said there is a 50 percent chance of snow this morning.

Meanwhile, according to nmroads.com, road conditions around the state were difficult. Conditions were classified as severe just south of Vaughn along U.S. 285. Roads were wet, snowpacked and icy in spots, with blowing snow creating low visibility. Most of the roads in the northeast were also classified as having difficult driving conditions.

Church said Red River has seen 15 inches and that the snow may taper off into Sunday evening but will start back up again after midnight.

Angel Fire Resort spokeswoman Krysty Ronchetti said in an email to the Journal on Sunday that the resort had received 12.5 inches of snow and is expecting more before the day is done. Ronchetti said the snow is good news for local resorts with only four more weeks of ski season left.

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