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Winter Storm Watch goes into effect this evening as upper level disturbances merge over NM

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By The Staff

The National Weather Service issued the following weather advisory Wednesday morning:

WINTER STORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM THIS EVENING THROUGH FRIDAY MORNING...

A WINTER STORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM THIS EVENING THROUGH FRIDAY MORNING.

* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS... HEAVIEST SNOW ACCUMULATIONS ARE EXPECTED ALONG THE EAST SLOPES OF THE CENTRAL MOUNTAIN CHAIN EXTENDING FROM THE SANGRE DE CRISTOS DOWN TO THE SACRAMENTO AND CAPITAN MOUNTAINS. MODERATE TO HEAVY SNOWFALL IS ALSO EXPECTED IN ADJACENT HIGHLANDS AND ACROSS MUCH OF THE EASTERN PLAINS.

* TIMING... SNOWFALL WILL INCREASE WEDNESDAY NIGHT AND CONTINUE TO BE HEAVY AT TIMES THURSDAY WITH DIMINISHING SNOWFALL FROM WEST TO EAST LATE THURSDAY NIGHT INTO EARLY FRIDAY.

* WINDS... WINDS ARE FORECAST TO SHIFT TO THE NORTHEAST BEHIND A COLD FRONTAL PASSAGE AND BECOME GUSTY LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT AND CONTINUE TO STRENGTHEN ON THURSDAY. WIND SPEEDS OF 15 TO 25 MPH WILL BE COMMON WITH OCCASIONAL GUSTS TO 35 MPH. WINDS WILL DIMINISH SOME THURSDAY NIGHT.

* SNOW LEVELS... SNOW LEVELS WILL LOWER TO MOST VALLEY FLOORS TONIGHT... HOWEVER A MIXED BAG OF RAIN AND FROZEN PRECIPITATION WILL BE POSSIBLE ACROSS PORTIONS OF THE EAST CENTRAL AND SOUTHEAST PLAINS TONIGHT INTO THURSDAY. ALL AREAS ARE EXPECTED TO CHANGE OVER TO SNOW BY THURSDAY AFTERNOON WITH THE SNOW POSSIBLY BECOMING HEAVY AT TIMES INTO THURSDAY NIGHT.

* LOCAL IMPACTS... THE COMBINATION OF SIGNIFICANT SNOWFALL... FROZEN PRECIPITATION AND AREAS OF BLOWING SNOW HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO CAUSE SIGNIFICANT IMPACTS TO TRAVEL... ESPECIALLY ALONG THE INTERSTATE 40 CORRIDOR FROM TIJERAS TO TUCUMCARI.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

REMEMBER... A WINTER STORM WATCH MEANS CONDITIONS ARE FAVORABLE FOR A HAZARDOUS WINTER WEATHER EVENT IN AND CLOSE TO THE WATCH AREA.

More Information

MAJOR WINTER STORM TO IMPACT MUCH OF NEW MEXICO WEDNESDAY NIGHT THROUGH FRIDAY MORNING...

A MAJOR WINTER STORM IS EXPECTED TO IMPACT MUCH OF NEW MEXICO WEDNESDAY NIGHT INTO EARLY FRIDAY AS TWO UPPER LEVEL DISTURBANCES MERGE OVER THE STATE. THE POTENTIAL FOR HEAVY SNOWFALL WILL EXIST AS THIS UNSETTLED WEATHER PATTERN UNFOLDS. WHILE CONFIDENCE REMAINS HIGHER FOR HEAVY SNOWFALL IN CENTRAL TO EASTERN AREAS OF NEW MEXICO... SIGNIFICANT SNOW WILL ALSO BE POSSIBLE IN MUCH OF WESTERN NEW MEXICO. SOME UNCERTAINTY STILL EXISTS AS TO HOW MUCH SNOW WILL FALL OVER THE SOUTHEAST PLAINS. A STRONG BACK DOOR COLD FRONT WILL PLUNGE INTO THE EASTERN PLAINS LATE THIS AFTERNOON AND INTO TONIGHT... AND WILL SPILL INTO CENTRAL VALLEYS BY MIDNIGHT. COLD TEMPERATURES WILL CONTINUE TO BUILD INTO THE STATE THROUGH THE DAY ON THURSDAY JUST AS THE BRUNT OF HEAVIER SNOWFALL SPREADS OVER THE AREA. SOME BRIEF PERIODS OF SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN WILL ALSO BE POSSIBLE IN PORTIONS OF THE EASTERN PLAINS... GENERALLY ALONG AND JUST BEHIND THE FRONT. SNOW SHOWERS WILL LINGER OVER THE STATE THURSDAY NIGHT... AND WILL DIMINISH BY MID DAY FRIDAY. THIS STORM IS EXPECTED TO IMPACT THE STATE SIGNIFICANTLY WITH HEAVY SNOWFALL IN MANY LOCATIONS. THIS WILL INCLUDE INTERSTATE AND HIGHWAY TRAVEL.