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Weather Update: Winter Storm Warning in effect through Friday morning

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By The Staff

The National Weather Service issued the following advisory Thursday morning:

WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 11 AM MST FRIDAY...

A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 11 AM MST FRIDAY.

* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS... LOOK FOR 4 TO 8 INCHES BELOW 7500 FEET AND 8 TO 16 INCHES WITH LOCALLY UP TO 24 INCHES ABOVE 7500 FEET.

* TIMING... SNOWFALL WILL REMAIN HEAVY AT TIMES TODAY INTO TONIGHT BEFORE DIMINISHING LATE TONIGHT OR FRIDAY MORNING.

* WINDS... GUSTY EAST WINDS OF 15 TO 25 MPH WILL BE COMMON THIS MORNING ALONG THE CENTRAL MOUNTAIN GAPS. GUSTY EAST TO NORTHEAST WINDS WILL ALSO BE FOUND ALONG THE EAST SLOPES OF THE CENTRAL MOUNTAINS AND INTERSTATE 25 CORRIDOR BETWEEN PECOS TO RATON.

* SNOW LEVELS... RAIN MIXED WITH SNOW WILL OCCUR BELOW 6500 FEET THROUGH EARLY MORNING ACROSS THE UPPER RIO GRANDE VALLEY BUT LOOK FOR SNOW LEVELS TO DROP TO THE VALLEY FLOOR BY MID MORNING AND REMAIN THAT WAY THROUGH THE ENTIRE EVENT PERIOD.

* LOCAL IMPACTS... HEAVY SNOW AND SOME BLOWING SNOW WILL PROVIDE SIGNIFICANT TRAVEL IMPACTS TO THE AREA. ESPECIALLY IMPACTING INTERSTATE 25 BETWEEN PECOS TO RATON AS WELL AS STATE HIGHWAY 4 BETWEEN JEMEZ SPRINGS AND LOS ALAMOS.

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.

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MAJOR WINTER STORM UNDERWAY...

A POWERFUL STORM SYSTEM LOCATED OVER NORTHERN MEXICO WILL TRACK SLOWLY NORTHEAST THIS MORNING. THE STORM SYSTEM WILL PASS JUST SOUTH OF ALBUQUERQUE BEFORE EJECTING NORTHEAST ACROSS THE CENTRAL HIGHLANDS AND EASTERN PLAINS OVERNIGHT. HEAVY SNOWFALL ACCUMULATIONS WILL RESULT OVER A LARGE PORTION OF THE REGION WITH SLIGHTLY LESS AMOUNTS ACROSS THE FAR WEST. THE FAVORED AREAS FOR THE HEAVIEST SNOWFALL ACCUMULATIONS WILL BE FOUND ALONG THE EAST SLOPES OF THE CENTRAL MOUNTAIN CHAIN FROM ANGEL FIRE TO RUIDOSO... THE JEMEZ MOUNTAINS AND ALONG INTERSTATE 40 FROM TIJERAS TO TUCUMCARI. WINDY CONDITIONS ALONG INTERSTATE 40 WILL LEAD TO AREAS OF BLOWING SNOW AND NEAR BLIZZARD CONDITIONS AT TIMES DURING THIS MORNING AND AFTERNOON. THE STORM SYSTEM WILL GRADUALLY PULL AWAY FROM THE REGION LATE TONIGHT OR EARLY FRIDAY MORNING WITH CONDITIONS IMPROVING FROM WEST TO EAST OVERNIGHT.