NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Strong winds will begin to develop Wednesday night across parts of New Mexico as our first official winter storm of the season arrives Thursday evening. Heavy snow will be possible for the mountains in southern Colorado and far northern New Mexico.
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Winds are beginning to pick up across New Mexico tonight as a fast-moving jet stream moves into the state. High Winds Warnings are in effect for the Sangre de Cristo Mountains where gusts up to 65 mph will be possible. Wind Advisories are in effect tonight for areas east of the Sandias and Manzanos where 55 mph wind gusts will be possible.
Winds will continue across New Mexico Thursday as our first official winter storm of the season approaches the state. Rain and mountain snow will begin in northwestern New Mexico and southern Colorado Thursday evening. Rain and snow will push east through Friday morning, but moisture will continue to be scoured out as it moves east.
Chances for light rain will be possible in the Albuquerque metro Friday morning, while light snow will be possible in areas like Farmington, Santa Fe, Grants, Gallup, Las Vegas, and the East Mountains. Strong winds will continue statewide, especially Friday morning where gusts could exceed 45 mph across most of the state, and 65+ mph wind gusts will be possible in eastern New Mexico where blowing dust will also be possible.
Few travel problems are expected with this storm system. Mountain passes in northern and western New Mexico, along with southern Colorado, will see the biggest travel problems due to snow and blowing snow. Winds in the eastern half of the state could also cause some travel problems Friday morning.
Much colder weather, the coldest of the season so far, will move in Saturday morning and Saturday afternoon. High pressure quickly warms temperatures again back above average by early next week. Another storm system may be on the horizon by the middle of next week.