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Santa Fe may be in for snow after Christmas

December 25, 2018

It may not be a White Christmas, but it likely will be a white day-after-Christmas.

The National Weather Service expects between five and 10 inches of snow in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains between late Tuesday and Wednesday, with between one and three inches possible in Santa Fe.

“I think people will at least see snow in Santa Fe,” said Clay Anderson, an Albuquerque-based meteorologist with the National Weather Service. “It’s just a matter of accumulation.”

A storm front moving in from the west originally was predicted to be much stronger, but still could leave the area with a decent amount of precipitation in what is likely to be a busy weather week in New Mexico, Anderson said.

Santa Fe had a Christmas Eve high in the mid-40s, with shoppers filling stores and preparations for the evening walk on Canyon Road progressing without problems.

Christmas Day likely will be a copy of Monday’s weather, with a high in the mid- to upper-40s, Anderson said. But when the storm arrives late in the day, expect significant changes.

On Wednesday, Santa Fe’s high will hit only the upper-30s and Thursday’s high may not even get there, Anderson said.A big part of the state may struggle to get above freezing, the weather service said.

However, the area may not be done with weather issues once the storm departs. A second storm system is expected to come through late in the week, Anderson said.

The disturbance could bring snow and much colder temperatures to the area. One forecast has Santa Fe with a 40 percent chance of snowfall and a high only in the high-20s.

Anderson said forecasters won’t know how much snow the area may be in for late in the week, but added it “could be more impactful” than Tuesday night’s storm. Forecasters predict a greater chance for snow accumulation due to lower temperatures.

Anderson said forecasters don’t predict many travel issues, but warn there could be problems on high mountain roads, such as Bobcat Pass and areas around the Continental Divide.

“At this point, at least, we’re not thinking there will be any major closures,” he said, but “we won’t really know until it happens.”

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