Warm weather continues into Saturday, but an Arctic cold front will bring a blast of cold air across the state starting Sunday. Rain and snow will also be possible across parts of the state.
A backdoor cold front has kept temperatures as much as 30° colder Friday in eastern New Mexico, while the western half of the state continues a warming trend today. Warmer weather will return to the eastern half of New Mexico Saturday as a westerly wind will be breezy at times tomorrow afternoon. However, an Arctic cold front will start pushing into the far northeastern part of the state Saturday evening.
The Arctic cold front will push south Saturday night across eastern New Mexico, bringing much colder temperatures in its wake. As it pushes south, it will also bring snow along the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, A mix of light rain, sleet and very light freezing rain across northeast and east-central New Mexico, and spotty showers in the southeast part of the state. The backdoor cold front will push into the Rio Grande Valley by Sunday afternoon, bringing a gusty east canyon wind by the evening.
By Sunday evening we will also see light rain move into northwestern parts of New Mexico. This will switch over to light and moderate snowfall across the northern mountains and the San Juan Mountains in southwest Colorado. Temperatures will plummet for the rest of the state Sunday night as the Arctic air continues to move in. Depending on the timing of the moisture and temperatures, it is possible that Sunday night into Monday morning, the Albuquerque Metro could see a very light mix of rain and snow. No snow accumulations are expected, but it will be very cold. In the northern mountains, over 3″ of snowfall will be possible across the higher elevations, with up to 6″ near the Colorado state line. The San Juan Mountains could see 5″ to 10″ of snow through Sunday night.
A few light rain and snow showers will stick around through Monday morning across parts of northern and eastern New Mexico, but will move out by Monday afternoon. Many areas across New Mexico will wake up Monday to their first freeze of the season, with cold afternoon high temperatures across the state in the afternoon. Even colder overnight low temperatures settle in Tuesday morning, but a very slow warming trend will start Tuesday afternoon.