ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Wild weather played havoc with everything from freight trains to hot-air balloons with a little snow thrown in for good effect on Thursday.
About 30 miles west of Albuquerque the wind was so strong it blew over cars on a moving freight train. The cars carried empty double-stacked shipping and block an adjacent track as they derailed.
No one was hurt, and track sensors alerted another train to the trouble giving it time to stop before plowing into the wreckage.
In Albuquerque pounding rain and wind gusts up to 60 mph were the norm in the afternoon.
In northwest Albuquerque a tree fell on a house, and a viewer submitted a photo of another tree tipped dangerously toward a car below. The viewer said the tree kept leaning a little farther, and the owner of the locked car could not be located.
Things were a little calmer on the ground early Thursday, but it was the winds aloft the ground the special shapes mass ascension from launching at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Some pilots still inflated their crafts while staying tethered to earth.
The special shapes Glowdeo planned for Thursday evening also was scrubbed although the fireworks show was scheduled to go on as planned.
While Albuquerque got rain, measurable snow fell around the Taos, Santa Fe, Angel Fire and Red River ski resorts.
Chief meteorologist Mark Ronchetti reports colder air is flowing in behind the storm system although the winds are calming down, which bodes well for the Balloon Fiesta Friday and on its closing weekend.
The peak wind gusts recorded Thursday were 83 mph on Magdalena Ridge above Socorro and 72 mph in Sandia Park, Ronchetti said.
A winter storm warning has been issued for Albuquerque and surrounding areas through 11 p.m. Thursday.
Tempers flared Wednesday night at the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education meeting as the firestorm over teacher evaluations and student testing continues.
An Albuquerque man says an emergency vet clinic turned away his dying dog because he didn't have enough cash in his pocket to pay to save him. The dog later died.
Closing arguments wrapped up Wednesday in the final sentencing phase of John McCluskey's federal murder trial. The same jury that convicted him of killing an Oklahoma couple, must now decide whether McCluskey should face the death penalty.
Meeting 211 goes to the University of New Mexico Lobos. The Lobos and New Mexico State renewed their rivalry on a basketball court Wednesday night with the Lobos winning 79 to 70.
MMA fighter Holly Holm has more than a fight to talk about this week. Holm also has a major sponsor in her corner.