Albuquerque, NM

Storm System Expected to Reach the Southern Rockies; New Mexico Will See Severe Storms on Sunday, Forecasters Say

Bryan Dijkhuizen

According to the forecast, light rain and snow are expected to continue to fall over the high peaks of the northern Alps today and into this evening.

Late tonight and Friday, precipitation will become more widespread across the northern highlands, northwest, and west-central regions, with snow accumulation beginning near Dulce and Chama.

As a storm system approaches, winds will become gusty today along and east of the central mountain range, then speeds will increase much more there overnight and Friday early as the flow aloft increases and a surface trough develops in the lee of the southern Rockies.

A busy stretch of weather begins on Christmas Eve and continues through the peak holiday season, with yet another strong wind event to kick off the festivities.

During the day, peak winds of 65-75 mph will likely be along and east of the central mountain chain, while snow will make driving over the northern mountains very difficult.

With a respite in the weather, conditions improve by Christmas morning. The following storm, which arrives Sunday afternoon, will bring the next wave of severe winds with it.

With this system hugging the Colorado border, there will be less coverage of valley rain and mountain snow. A third system is expected to deliver additional wind and precipitation to western and central New Mexico on Tuesday.

There is a good chance that the busy weather will continue throughout the new year.

Snow and strong winds herald the start of the long-term, which will continue until the end of the year.

The shortwave trough that is causing the problem will shortly leave eastward and get entrenched in a strong zonal flow above the atmosphere.

In the high northern terrain, lingering orographically driven snow showers will be the most persistent, and they are expected to be gone completely by the afternoon.

Even though Christmas Day will provide a small respite from the dynamic weather pattern, Boxing Day Sunday will see another fast-moving shortwave through snip the New Mexico/Colorado border, bringing with it the next round of severe winds.

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