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Wintry weather set to impact much of NM this weekend

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The National Weather Service has issued the following Special Weather Statement:

BLUSTERY WINDS WITH SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW SATURDAY NIGHT AND SUNDAY...

A POWERFUL STORM SYSTEM OVER THE NORTHWEST COAST OF OREGON NEAR THE MOUTH OF THE COLUMBIA RIVER WILL RACE INTO CENTRAL CALIFORNIA ON SATURDAY AND INTO NORTHERN ARIZONA ON SATURDAY NIGHT.

A BLUSTERY MIX OF STRONG WINDS... MOUNTAIN SNOWS... BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW AND MUCH COLDER TEMPERATURES WILL PROVIDE A WINTRY FINISH TO THE UPCOMING WEEKEND AS THE STORM SYSTEM TAKES A QUICK EASTWARD TRIP SQUARELY ACROSS THE HEART OF NEW MEXICO.

SHOWERS DEVELOPING SATURDAY AFTERNOON OVER THE NORTHERN AND WESTERN MARGINS OF THE STATE WILL CHANGE OVER TO SNOW AS COLDER AIR MOVES IN FROM THE WEST. BY SUNDAY MORNING... SNOW COVERAGE WILL EXPAND SOUTHWARD ALONG THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE... AND EASTWARD TO THE SANGRE DE CRISTO MOUNTAIN SUMMITS AND UPPER SLOPES... AND THE CENTRAL MOUNTAIN CHAIN SUMMITS. EXPECT HEAVIEST SNOWFALL OVER THE SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS NEAR THE COLORADO BORDER... AND OVER THE SUMMITS OF THE WESTERN MOUNTAINS.

VERY GUSTY WINDS SUNDAY WILL CREATE POOR VISIBILITIES IN BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW. SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW ON ROADS MAY CREATE DIFFICULT DRIVING CONDITIONS DURING THE DAY SUNDAY... ESPECIALLY OVER THE INTERSTATE 40 CORRIDOR FROM GRANTS WESTWARD TO THE ARIZONA LINE... HIGHWAY 60 IN WESTERN SOCORRO AND CATRON COUNTY... AND HIGHWAY 550 ACROSS NORTHERN SANDOVAL AND SAN JUAN COUNTY... IN ADDITION TO HIGHWAYS 64 AND 84 ACROSS THE NORTHERN TIER OF THE STATE.

FURTHER EAST... TEMPERATURES WILL BE TOO WARM FOR SNOW ACCUMULATION... BUT VERY STRONG WINDS MAY REACH DANGEROUS SPEEDS IN SPOTS ON SUNDAY AFTERNOON AS THE COLD FRONT WHISTLES THROUGH. VISIBILITIES MAY BECOME POOR IN SPOTS FROM BLOWING DUST. EXPECT STRONGEST WINDS MAINLY SOUTH OF INTERSTATE 40 FROM THE CENTRAL MOUNTAINS EASTWARD... AND NEAR THE TEXAS BORDER OVER THE NORTHEAST PLAINS.

WITH THIS FAST MOVING WEATHER SYSTEM... SHOWERS WILL END RAPIDLY SUNDAY NIGHT WITH REDUCED WIND SPEEDS AND IMPROVING CONDITIONS BY MONDAY MORNING.

THOSE WITH WEEKEND TRAVEL OR OUTDOOR PLANS IN NEW MEXICO SHOULD STAY IN CLOSE TOUCH WITH YOUR PREFERRED WEATHER INFORMATION SOURCE FOR THE LATEST FORECASTS AND STATEMENTS.