National Weather Service Issues Winter Storm Warning

Statewide weather map. Courtesy/NWS

NWS Weather Alert:

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning quickly taking shape over New Mexico that will remain in effect until midnight Tuesday:

A storm system is rapidly gathering strength as it moves southeast toward the Four Corners region today. Later today, an arctic airmass over southern Canada will surge south and arrive in

northeast New Mexico by this afternoon. These two air masses will merge over New Mexico and develop into a significant winter storm for New Year`s Eve into New Year`s Day. Widespread snow, blowing snow, freezing fog, low visibility, and bitterly cold temperatures will likely result in major travel impacts over the region.

The heaviest snowfall with this storm is expected to impact western and northern New Mexico (especially over the higher terrain) with still significant snowfall expected over portions of central to east central New Mexico. 

Northwest Plateau-Chuska Mountains-Far Northwest Highlands-Northwest Highlands-West Central Plateau-West Central Mountains-San Juan Mountains-Jemez Mountains-West Slopes Sangre de Cristo Mountains-Northern Sangre de Cristos above 9,500 feet/Red River-Southern Sangre de Cristos above 9,500 feet-East Slopes Sangre de Cristo Mountains-Upper Rio Grande Valley-Raton Ridge/Johnson Mesa-Far Northeast Highlands-Northeast Highlands.

* WHAT…Heavy snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 5 to 10 inches across elevations lower than 7,500 feet with higher  amounts of 8 to 16 inches above 7,500 feet. Locally higher   amounts near 2 feet will be possible in the highest elevations above 10,000 feet.

* WHERE…Much of northern and west central New Mexico, including: Jemez Mountains, Northwest Plateau, Chuska Mountains, Far Northwest Highlands, Northwest Highlands, West Central Plateau, West Central Mountains, San Juan/Tusas Mountains, West Slopes Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Northern Sangre de Cristos above 9,500 feet, Southern Sangre de Cristos above 9,500 feet, East Slopes Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Upper Rio Grande Valley, Raton Ridge/Johnson Mesa, Far Northeast Highlands, Northeast Highlands.

* WHEN…Until midnight MST Tuesday night.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Travel will likely be very difficult to impossible due to snow packed roads and low visibility. Very cold temperatures and low wind chill values are forecast through tonight into Tuesday and Tuesday night. Wind chill readings may fall to the single digits and below zero in many areas.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…A Winter Storm Warning for snow means severe winter weather conditions will make travel very hazardous or impossible. If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.

The latest road conditions for New Mexico can be obtained by calling 511 or 1.800.432.4269.