Tuesday was marked by light intermittent snowfall before growing stronger in the early evening hours.
A Winter Storm Warning from the National Weather Service in Albuquerque was issued for Chaves, De Baca, Roosevelt and eastern Lincoln County, which went into effect at 11 p.m. Monday lasting until 11 p.m. Tuesday.
Totals of 3 to 5 inches of snow in Roswell and 4 to 7 inches in northwestern Chaves County were expected. However, Roswell accumulated about a half inch of snow and northwestern Chaves County about an inch and a half as of Tuesday afternoon, Todd Shoemake, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Albuquerque, said Tuesday afternoon.
Moderate snow fell in Chaves County Tuesday evening.
The wintry conditions were the result of a low-pressure system coming in from the Baja Peninsula and a cold front that hit New Mexico from the northeast.
Tuesday morning, Sheriff Mike Herrington urged motorists to minimize their travel Tuesday into Wednesday, according to a message posted on the Chaves County Sheriff’s Office official Facebook page.
“Once again, I ask you to stay home if you can. Lives and property are at risk,” he wrote in the post.
The New Mexico Department of Transportation on its website stated Tuesday afternoon that some highways around Roswell such as State Road 2, and U.S. Highways 285, 380 and 70, were wet and had icy spots.
Ray Wilson, an officer with the New Mexico State Police, said Tuesday afternoon that no vehicle accidents were reported near Roswell.
Todd Wildermuth, public information officer with the city of Roswell, said Tuesday afternoon there had been no accidents within the city limits as of 5:30 p.m.
City road crews had spent the day salting streets within the city, stopping briefly at 3 p.m. before preparing to venture back out at about 5 p.m. to continue salting.
“They (crews) will continue salting into the night to try to keep the moisture from freezing on heavily traveled streets and will keep salting into tomorrow if necessary, depending on the weather,” Wildermuth said.
Worries about winter weather conditions affected local school schedules. Classes were canceled Tuesday at Dexter, Hagerman and Lake Arthur schools. Roswell schools operated under a two-hour delay.
The Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell campus opened at 10 a.m., but closed at 5:30 p.m, meaning all night classes were canceled.
Shoemake predicted snow will give way to fog this morning, to be followed by clear skies with a high of 48.
Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.