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Blustery winter weather on tap to bring colder temps

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The National Weather Service has issued the following special weather statement for the area:

BLUSTERY BLASTS OF WINTER HEADING INTO NEW MEXICO THROUGH THE WEEK...

BLUSTERY WINDS... A DOZEN DEGREE TEMPERATURE DROP... AND MOUNTAIN SNOWS NEAR THE COLORADO LINE WILL COMBINE FOR A SHARP WINTRY WEATHER CHANGE OVER WESTERN AND CENTRAL NEW MEXICO TUESDAY.

A STORM SYSTEM BUILDING STRENGTH OVER NORTHERN ARIZONA WILL PUSH EASTWARD... WITH MUCH COLDER AIR TURNING MOUNTAIN SHOWERS TO SNOW NEAR THE COLORADO BORDER. ACCUMULATIONS WILL PUSH TOWARD THE TWO INCH MARK OVER SUMMITS... WITH LESSER AMOUNTS ON HIGHER SLOPES.

GUSTY WEST WINDS WILL GET STARTED MID MORNING TUESDAY... WITH WIND GUSTS PEAKING NEAR 50 MPH BY MID AFTERNOON ALONG THE INTERSTATE 40 CORRIDOR FROM TIJERAS CANYON EAST TO THE TEXAS LINE... AND GUSTY CROSSWINDS OVER INTERSTATE 25 FROM LAS VEGAS TO RATON. GUSTY WINDS AND DOUBLE DIGIT DROPS IN TEMPERATURE WILL PRODUCE WIND CHILL IN THE 30S AND 40S ACROSS WESTERN NEW MEXICO. MUCH COLDER AIR WILL SET UP A HARD FREEZE ACROSS THE RIO GRANDE VALLEY AND ALBUQUERQUE METRO AREA TUESDAY NIGHT... WITH CONTINUED BELOW FREEZING OVERNIGHTS ELSEWHERE IN THE STATE. THE EASTERN PLAINS WILL REMAIN SOMEWHAT WARMER... OUT AHEAD OF THE COLD AIR.

A MIDWEEK BREAK FROM THE BLUSTERY BLAST WILL BE SHORT LIVED... AS THE NEXT STORM SYSTEM COILING UP OVER THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST WILL BRING A COLDER AND MORE POWERFUL SYSTEM INTO NEW MEXICO HEADING INTO THURSDAY. MOUNTAIN SHOWERS WILL CHANGE TO SNOW WITH ANOTHER 1 TO 2 INCHES POSSIBLE OVER SUMMITS AND HIGHER SLOPES NEAR THE COLORADO LINE... AND MOUNTAINTOP SNOWFALLS ALONG THE SANDIA AND MANZANO CRESTS... THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE... AND THE SACRAMENTO AND GUADALUPE MOUNTAINS. ANOTHER DROP IN TEMPERATURE THURSDAY WILL SET UP THE COLDEST NIGHT OF THE FALL SEASON STATEWIDE THURSDAY NIGHT... WITH THE EASTERN PLAINS OF CHAVES... LINCOLN... AND ROOSEVELT COUNTIES BRACED FOR A HARD FREEZE BY EARLY FRIDAY MORNING.

SHOWERS TAPERING OFF FRIDAY WILL GIVE WAY TO CLEARING SKIES FOR MUCH OF THE WEEKEND... BUT A THIRD PUSH OF COLD AIR AND WINTRY WEATHER IS NEW MEXICO BOUND FOR SUNDAY NIGHT HEADING INTO THE BEGINNING OF THE UPCOMING WORK WEEK.

THOSE PLANNING OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES OR BACK COUNTRY TRAVEL OVER THE NEXT WEEK SHOULD STAY UP TO DATE ON THE LATEST FORECASTS AND STATEMENTS... AND PLAN FOR WINTRY OUTDOOR CONDITIONS. INSPECT AND PROTECT EXPOSED PLUMBING... AND CARE FOR LIVESTOCK AND PETS AS COLDER TEMPERATURES TREND BELOW THE FREEZING MARK.