NEW MEXICO (KRQE) –The New Mexico Department of Transportation and law enforcement will be monitoring roadway conditions Monday and Tuesday as high wind advisories have been issued. On Sunday, the National Weather Service provided a weather winter weather briefing. They forecast wind gusts will be 55-65 mph along the central mountain chain starting Monday night and then spreading east into Tuesday. They say this will cause dangerous driving conditions on highways.
NMDOT is reminding drivers that blowing dust can escalate to blinding dust storms in remote areas. They also recommend if you must travel, monitor the local forecast conditions since weather can change quickly in New Mexico.
Road advisories will be posted on nmroads.com or by calling 511. NMDOT advises people if they get caught in a dust storm, follow the guidelines below:
- Avoid driving into or through a dust storm.
- Do not wait until poor visibility makes it difficult to safely pull off the roadway — do it as soon as possible. Completely exit the highway if you can.
- If you encounter a dust storm, check traffic immediately around your vehicle (front, back and to the side) and begin slowing down.
- Do not stop in the roadway; pull completely out of the travel lanes and as far onto the right shoulder as possible.
- Stop the vehicle in a position ensuring it is a safe distance from the main roadway and away from where other vehicles may travel.
- Turn off all vehicle lights, including your emergency flashers.
- Set your emergency brake and take your foot off the brake.
- Stay in the vehicle with your seat belts buckled and wait for the storm to pass.
- Drivers of high-profile vehicles should be especially aware of changing weather conditions and travel at reduced speeds.