Freezing rain, snow in forecast
A winter storm moving in from the west was expected to bring a mixed bag of rain and snow to Northern and Central New Mexico, including 1 to 1½ inches in Santa Fe, and heavier snowfall in the southern plains from Thursday night through dawn Saturday, weather experts say.
Freezing rain could pose problems for the eastern part of the state, according to a warning issued early Thursday by the National Weather Service in Albuquerque.
“A cold front moving into eastern New Mexico today will set the stage for areas of freezing drizzle and freezing fog late tonight along the east slopes of the central mountain chain,” the notice says.
Roger Smith, a meteorologist with the weather service in Albuquerque, said, “That’s something we are going to have to watch carefully.”
Arizona was getting light to moderate rain Thursday morning, which was heading into New Mexico, Smith said.
Four to 6 inches of snow were forecast high in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains from Thursday night through early Saturday morning, with lesser amounts below 8,000 feet, Smith said.
“It’s a warmer storm,” he said. “So snow levels will start out high [Thursday] afternoon and come down into the city by 8 or 9 p.m. Thursday night.”
Freezing drizzle and fog were expected to extend across Eastern New Mexico through late Friday morning, according to the weather service. Temperatures could warm, causing a transition to rain, the agency said. But if cold air persists, the freezing rain will continue, possibly creating “icing impacts.”