Dec. 6—A strong storm system could bring wintry weather and gusty winds to much of New Mexico on Thursday and Friday.
Alyssa Clements, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Albuquerque, said high winds are a "major concern" this week.
"Winds up to 40 to 45 mph are going to be pretty common," Clements said. "We're looking at some gusty crosswinds along those north-to-south oriented roads."
Tuesday in Albuquerque is expected to reach a high of 55 degrees, with a low of 35.
Northern mountain areas and northwest New Mexico could see less than half an inch of snow on Tuesday.
The metro area could start out with a low of 33 on Wednesday and reach 57 degrees.
On Thursday, Albuquerque's forecast shows a high of 60 degrees and low of 33, with a 30% chance of rain.
"Along (and east of) the Sangre de Cristos, we're looking at potentially damaging winds in excess of 60 mph," Clements said. "That may also result in areas of poor visibility due to blowing snow."
Clements said that east-central to southeast New Mexico will likely "miss out" on precipitation this week.
Instead, the region may experience blowing dust because of high winds and dry soil.
But snow levels are going to move to lower-elevation regions of central and northern New Mexico as Friday progresses.
Albuquerque has a forecasted high of 51 on Friday, with a 40% chance of precipitation. Snow showers are possible in the city on Friday night.
"By the time we get to Friday evening, we're essentially (seeing snow) at valley floors," Clements said. "It's a little too early to talk about snow amounts, but our west-facing slopes are probably going to be the favored locations for at least a few inches of snow."
The storm system is expected to leave freezing cold air in its wake as it exits the state this weekend.
Albuquerque has a forecasted low of 21 degrees Saturday and a high of 43. Sunday could dip to a low of 22 degrees and reach 51.
Theresa Davis is a Report for America corps member covering water and the environment for the Albuquerque Journal.