Chaves County is expected to experience heavy to moderate snowfall, low temperatures and some gusty winds today through Wednesday morning, making driving conditions difficult for area motorists.
The National Weather Service in Albuquerque has issued a Winter Storm Warning for Chaves, De Baca, Roosevelt and Eastern Lincoln counties, as well as the South Central Highlands and Upper Tularosa Valley. The warning went into effect at 11 p.m. Monday and will last until 11 p.m. tonight.
Todd Shoemake, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Albuquerque, said Monday that a low pressure system from the Baja Peninsula near southern California, heading east and merging over New Mexico with a strong cold front, would create the winter weather.
Conditions were expected to deteriorate Monday night. Intermittent snow is predicted to continue today and tonight, before tapering off some time Wednesday.
Snow accumulations of 3 to 5 inches are expected in the Roswell area, with the northwest corner of Chaves County estimated to get between 4 and 7 inches, Shoemake said.
A 90% chance of snowfall is forecast today with an 80% chance tonight. Temperatures are expected to reach a high of about 35 degrees and then fall again to 24 degrees.
Driving conditions will be quite hazardous throughout the storm on roads and area highways. Shoemake said that Tuesday night, conditions are expected to grow all the more dangerous.
“Whatever doesn’t melt during the daytime Tuesday will probably refreeze overnight, Tuesday evening into Tuesday night,” Shoemake said.
Todd Wildermuth, public information officer for the city of Roswell, said Monday afternoon city crews were planning to pre-salt roads in an attempt to stay ahead of the snowfall.
Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.