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Massive winter storm takes aim at the region

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By The Staff

The National Weather Service issued the following storm warning Thursday morning:

WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL 4 PM MST SATURDAY...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN ALBUQUERQUE HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW... WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 4 PM MST SATURDAY. THE WINTER STORM WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT.

* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS... 1 TO 2 FEET AT ELEVATIONS ABOVE 7500 FEET... EXCEPT AS MUCH AS 30 INCHES ALONG RIDGE TOPS AND WEST FACING SLOPES. LOWER ELEVATIONS CAN EXPECT 3 TO 6 INCHES AND LOCALLY UP TO A FOOT ALONG THE COLORADO BORDER.

* TIMING... SNOW WILL GRADUALLY INCREASE IN COVERAGE AND INTENSITY TODAY WITH THE FIRST SEVERAL INCHES OF SNOW ACCUMULATION MAINLY ABOVE 7000 FEET BY THIS AFTERNOON. AT LOWER ELEVATIONS RAIN WILL MIX WITH SNOW THROUGH TONIGHT... THEN CHANGE OVER TO ALL SNOW BY MID DAY FRIDAY WITH THE PASSAGE OF A COLD FRONT. ACCUMULATING SNOWFALL WILL GRADUALLY DIMINISH ON SATURDAY.

* WINDS... SOUTHWEST TO WEST 15 TO 25 MPH BELOW 7500 FEET THROUGH TODAY. TONIGHT THROUGH SATURDAY WINDS WILL STRENGTHEN TO 20 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 45 MPH... EXCEPT OVER RIDGES WHERE SPEEDS WILL REACH 25 TO 35 MPH WITH GUSTS AROUND 50 MPH AT TIMES.

* SNOW LEVELS... LIFTING TO BETWEEN 7000 AND 8000 FEET THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING BEFORE DROPPING TO VALLEY BOTTOMS BY MID DAY FRIDAY.

* LOCAL IMPACTS... HAZARDOUS DRIVING CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED WITH VISIBILITIES REDUCED BELOW ONE MILE AT TIMES IN SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW ARE FORECAST THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS. STRONG WINDS ARE LIKELY. ONLY TRAVEL IN AN EMERGENCY. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL... KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT... FOOD... AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.

More Information

ANOTHER WINTER STORM BEGINS TODAY IN THE NORTHWEST MOUNTAINS AND TONIGHT AND FRIDAY ELSEWHERE...

A MASSIVE WINTER STORM WILL MOVE SLOWLY THROUGH THE WESTERN UNITED STATES TODAY THROUGH SATURDAY. SIGNIFICANT SNOW ACCUMULATIONS WILL BEGIN TODAY ALONG THE WEST SLOPES OF THE NORTHWEST MOUNTAINS... AND THEY WILL EXPAND SOUTH AND EAST TONIGHT. SNOW LEVELS WILL LIFT TO NEAR 7500 FEET THIS AFTERNOON AND THIS EVENING BEFORE PLUMMETING TO VALLEY BOTTOMS FRIDAY DURING THE DAY AS A COLD FRONT CROSSES FROM THE WEST. VERY STRONG SOUTHWEST WINDS WILL ACCOMPANY THE STORM TONIGHT THROUGH FRIDAY MORNING ALONG THE CENTRAL MOUNTAIN CHAIN... WHERE THE POTENTIAL EXISTS FOR WIND GUSTS OVER 60 MPH.