Winter storm watch issued for much of New Mexico for weekend

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Forecasters are warning of potentially hazardous driving conditions as storms bring rain and snow along with frigid temperatures to New Mexico.

The National Weather Service said a quick-moving system would bring rain and mountain showers to northwestern and west-central New Mexico into Friday evening, possibly dropping a few inches of new snow.

A winter storm watch says an arctic airmass and strong storm system will bring significant snowfall, strong winds and bitter cold temperatures to northern and central New Mexico Saturday night through Monday morning.

The New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) urged residents to prepare accordingly for record low temperatures and hazardous high winds.

“Please be prepared for freezing temperatures and potential road closures or other roadway impacts through the weekend and into early next week,” DHSEM Secretary Bianca Ortiz Wertheim said. “If you can avoid traveling through the end of this cold spell, please do so. Don’t take on the cold, wind and snow. Wind gusts and cold will make driving a risk. Please stay informed about risks in your local area, particularly the risk of difficult driving conditions.”

DHSEM advises New Mexicans to consider the following ahead of the weekend:

  • Prepare to have enough food on hand for a few days in home to avoid traveling in unsafe conditions;
  • Consider keeping a water faucet dripping slowly to reduce the risk of frozen pipes;
  • Ensure you have warm winter supplies, like a heavy coat and gloves, and other warming supplies on hand;
  • If you are able, check on your neighbors;
  • Do not travel during the inclement weather unless it is absolutely necessary for health or welfare; and
  • If you must travel, when driving, slow down and use caution as road conditions can change quickly.