NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Warmer weather returns to New Mexico through the middle of this week. A major change is on the way for eastern New Mexico beginning Thursday with wind chills as low as -35° by Friday morning.

Sunnier and warmer weather returned to New Mexico Monday. High temperatures, for most, climbed back to around average for this time of year. Relatively quiet weather will continue into the middle of this week. High clouds will stream across the state Tuesday, but high temperatures will stay right around average. Sunshine will return Wednesday, which will be our warmest day this week.

Forecast Continues Below

A major change is on the way beginning late Wednesday night with an arctic front that will push into northeast New Mexico. This arctic air mass will push south across the eastern half of New Mexico through Thursday morning. This frigid air mass will mostly stay in the eastern half of New Mexico, with some of that cold air spilling into the lower Rio Grande Valley around Las Cruces. Windy weather will also move in with the arctic air, creating dangerously cold wind chills. The coldest wind chills will be Friday morning and will range from around -35° in northeastern New Mexico to -10° in southeastern New Mexico. A Wind Chill Watch is in effect for parts of eastern New Mexico Wednesday night through Friday morning.

While all of eastern New Mexico will be impacted by the cold weather and dangerously cold wind chills, much of the western half of the state will stay mild late this week. Some cold air may spill into the Rio Grande Valley, but most of the cold air will stay in the eastern half of the state. Warmer weather will slowly return for the entire state into Christmas, with much warmer weather next week.