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High wind watch forecast for Wednesday

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The National Weather Service in Albuquerque has issued a high wind watch for Wednesday, saying the potential exists for heavy winds in eastern New Mexico.

“Southwest to west winds will begin increasing Wednesday morning through the south central mountains and Central Highlands, expanding through east central and southeast New Mexico by noon,” according to the high wind watch issued Monday afternoon.

Winds could increase to 40 or 50 mph by 9 a.m. with gusts up to 70 mph by sometime Wednesday afternoon, before gradually losing strength during the late evening hours, according to the high wind watch.

Eastern New Mexico along and south of Interstate 40 as well as San Miguel and Harding counties will be effected.

“Strong crosswinds with blowing dust will cause dangerous travel conditions on north-to-south oriented highways,” the warning states.

Small and weak structures as well as vegetation could be subject to wind damage, and lightweight objects are likely to become airborne.

Winds combined with dry temperatures and humidity will also increase the risk of fire.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.