NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – A winter storm moves into New Mexico Thursday night bringing snow, rain, wind, and much colder weather through Friday morning. The coldest air of the season settles in on Saturday.

Forecast continues below

Forecast Continues Below

Rain and mountain snow will push eastward overnight bringing rain and snow as far east as the central mountain chain. There is a chance for rain in the metro early Friday morning. A strong Pacific cold front will sweep across the state overnight too, dropping snow levels down to valley floors by Friday morning. The heaviest snowfall will be in the San Juan Mountains in southern Colorado, and the Tusas Mountains outside Chama, New Mexico. Up to 6″ of snow will be possible across the northern and western mountains in New Mexico with higher amounts at the peaks. A dusting to an inch of snow will even be possible for some lower elevations like Santa Fe, Las Vegas, and the East Mountains.

No widespread travel problems are expected with this storm system, but strong winds Friday morning could cause blowing snow, reducing visibility. Accumulating snowfall could also cause some slick spots along high elevation roads in northern New Mexico, highways in southern Colorado, and around the Continental Divide along US 550 and I-40.

Already by noon on Friday, moisture from the storm will have come to an end. Strong winds will peak around this time with gusts up to 65 mph in eastern New Mexico and 45 mph in the western half of the state. Winds will die down again by Saturday morning, but bitterly cold air will be in place. We will wake up to the coldest temperatures of the season by Saturday morning, and that cool air will stick around into the afternoon.

Well above average temperatures will return to the state early next week. Another storm system looks to impact western and northern New Mexico, along with southern Colorado again midweek.