NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Today is the first official day of winter, and it is turning out to be a lovely first day of the season. Seasonable to above average temperatures are forecast across the state, along with plenty of sunshine. Downslope warming will allow temperatures east to warm 5-10 degrees above yesterday. Winds will begin to pick up this afternoon and evening ahead of an arctic cold front that will bring drastic changes east.

Forecast Continues Below

The arctic air mass will begin to impact far northeast New Mexico into Thursday. Afternoon temperatures in Clayton are forecast to only be in the single digits and teens in Tucumcari. The cold air will continue to push south into Thursday evening, bringing dangerous cold all across the east through 11 AM Friday. Wind Chill Warnings, Advisories, and Watches are in effect all across the eastern plains as wind chill values may get down -15 to -30 below zero.

The cold air will stick around east early Saturday morning, before quickly rebounding into the weekend. Temperatures will get back to normal, and then above average starting Sunday and into the early parts of next week. More active weather is expected by late next week.