What a day it’s been across the state! Hurricane force wind gusts pelted central and eastern New Mexico with peak gusts reaching up to 83 mph in Tucumcari, 81 mph in the Sacramento Mountains, and even the ABQ metro topping 75 mph. It was the strongest February wind gust in Albuquerque since 2011. These impressive wind gusts wrecked all kinds of havoc this afternoon, creating significant blowing dust and reducing visibility. The extreme gusts also left some destruction in the state, toppling trees and even some trucks on the roads. Conditions are still quite windy for eastern NM, where high wind warnings are in still effect until 1 AM Monday. Thankfully western and central parts of the state are calming down. High temps were all over the board this afternoon ranging from the middle 80s in Hobbs to 40° in Gallup. High wind warnings are still in effect through late tonight.
Meanwhile, the storm also brought our state some mountain snow. We’re still seeing accumulation in the Sangre de Cristo and Jemez mountains, but only lighter snow is expected as drier air approaches tonight. The cold front initially brought some locally heavy snow squalls to areas on I-40 west, but it was rather short lived as the front raced east. Skies clear out overnight as temps plummet. Monday we’ll rebound under sunny skies and much calmer winds for western and central NM. Enjoy it, since it’ll be one of the quieter weather days this week with more windy weather on the horizon Tuesday and Wednesday. Northern mountain snow showers begin to reappear later Tuesday and last through Thursday with the next storm. That one will feature more strong winds, colder temps, but better moisture than this current storm.