A wintry spring storm plowed into New Mexico on Friday and was expected to dump up to 2 feet of snow in the northern mountains, with the possibility of a rain-snow mix this morning in the Albuquerque area.
Freezing temperatures are forecast for Albuquerque tonight.
A winter storm warning was posted through early Sunday for much of northeastern New Mexico, with National Weather Service forecasts calling for heavy and blowing snow. Motorists were advised to check conditions before leaving home.
“Travel may become hazardous or impossible over portions of northeast New Mexico (today), especially on Interstate 25 in the Raton Pass area, and Highways 64 and 87 from Raton to Clayton,” the weather service said. “North winds of 25 to 35 mph with higher gusts will cause drifting of snow.”
Accumulations “could be significant” – from 8 inches to 2 feet of snow over portions of the Sangre de Cristos and elsewhere in the northern part of the state, the weather service said.
Snow was expected to fall at increasingly lower elevations this morning, and temperatures were expected to drop low enough for snow at all locations across northern New Mexico, forecasters said.
They were predicting a rain and snow mix likely in Albuquerque beginning after 1 this morning, with a low of about 34 at the Albuquerque Sunport. Today’s high is expected to be about 40, with a north wind up to 15 mph and an overnight low of 30 degrees tonight and a high of 61 degrees Sunday.
The average date of the last spring freeze as recorded at the Sunport is April 16, but Albuquerque has had freezing temperatures as late as May 7, in 1982, according to weather service data.
The chance of precipitation in the Albuquerque area is 70 percent for today, with little or no snow accumulation.
Wind gusts exceeding 60 mph were recorded Friday in Albuquerque and near Clines Corner, with numerous reports of 50-mph gusts farther north, from Santa Fe to Glorieta.
In southwestern New Mexico, the weather service posted a “red flag” high-wind warning for much of Friday due to dryness and wind creating critical fire weather conditions.
Warmer weather is expected to return by Monday, with a high in Albuquerque of 71 and an overnight low in the low 40s.