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Wintry conditions expected for Thanksgiving

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By Special to the Monitor

The National Weather Service in Albuquerque indicates that a winter storm is expected across portions of western and northern New Mexico on Thanksgiving Day.

An upper level system churning in the eastern Pacific will continue to migrate toward the southwestern United States during the next 24 to 48 hours. The National Weather Service in Albuquerque indicates that a winter storm is expected across portions of western and northern New Mexico on Thanksgiving Day.

An upper-level system churning in the eastern Pacific will continue to migrate toward the southwestern United States during the next 24 to 48 hours.

This system will weaken as it moves toward New Mexico, however enough moisture and cold air aloft will allow for light to moderate snow accumulations over the higher terrain of western and northern New Mexico on Thanksgiving.

In addition, a surface cold front will invade the eastern plains on Thursday, bringing much cooler air to the region.

Expect precipitation to increase in coverage and intensity after midnight Wednesday night over western New Mexico and expand eastward as the day progresses.

The heaviest activity will gradually wane around midnight Thursday night.

It appears snow accumulations will be confined to areas at or above 7,500 feet, lower in the northeast highlands and plains.

It is still early to pinpoint exact snow amounts, but an estimate of two to six inches above 7,500 feet with locally higher amounts up to nine inches are possible at mountain peaks.

This will impact holiday travel, particularly on highways 64, 84 and 285 within the northern high terrain and possibly Interstate 25 from Raton Pass to Glorieta Pass and Interstate 40 from Grants to Gallup, where slippery road conditions could develop.

Snow accumulations are not expected in the Santa Fe or Albuquerque metro areas.

Winter weather advisories may be posted in the near future as forecaster confidence is moderate to high.

Additional snows are possible this weekend with significantly lower snow levels expected.

High uncertainty remains concerning the track of this second storm. Stay tuned to the latest National Weather Service statements concerning the potential for winter weather this weekend.

Weather conditions and model forecasts can change rapidly.  Emergency managers are advised to stay abreast of the latest forecasts, watches and warnings from the National Weather Service in Albuquerque.

For additional questions concerning the threat for winter weather or have snow reports to pass along, call 1-888-386-7637 or 24 hours a day via IEMChat.

This system will weaken as it moves toward New Mexico, however enough moisture and cold air aloft will allow for light to moderate snow accumulations over the higher terrain of western and northern New Mexico on Thanksgiving. 

In addition, a surface cold front will invade the eastern plains on Thursday, bringing much cooler air to the region. 

Expect precipitation to increase in coverage and intensity after midnight Wednesday night over western New Mexico and expand eastward as the day progresses. 

The heaviest activity will gradually wane around midnight Thursday night. 

It appears snow accumulations will be confined to areas at or above 7,500 feet, lower in the northeast highlands and plains. 

It is still early to pinpoint exact snow amounts, but an estimate of two to six inches above 7,500 feet with locally higher amounts up to nine inches are possible at mountain peaks. 

This will impact holiday travel, particularly on highways 64, 84 and 285 within the northern high terrain and possibly Interstate 25 from Raton Pass to Glorieta Pass and Interstate 40 from Grants to Gallup, where slippery road conditions could develop. 

Snow accumulations are not expected in the Santa Fe or Albuquerque metro areas. 

Winter weather advisories may be posted in the near future as forecaster confidence is moderate to high.

Additional snows are possible this weekend with significantly lower snow levels expected. 

High uncertainty remains concerning the track of this second storm. Stay tuned to the latest National Weather Service statements concerning the potential for winter weather this weekend.

Weather conditions and model forecasts can change rapidly.  Emergency managers are advised to stay abreast of the latest forecasts, watches, and warnings from the National Weather Service in Albuquerque.

For additional questions concerning the threat for winter weather or have snow reports to pass along, call 1-888-386-7637 or 24 hours a day via IEMChat.