Sluggish storm headed to area

Freedom Newspapers

A strong winter storm was creeping toward New Mexico Thursday and is expected to bring heavy snow and cold temperatures to the eastern New Mexico area through the weekend.

The National Weather Service issued a Winter Storm Warning from noon today and last through 5 p.m. Saturday for Roosevelt and Curry counties. Forecasts called for 6 to 12 inches of snow in the east-central area of the state with winds causing blowing and drifting snow becoming a problem on Saturday.

A news release from the Portales Police Department urged residents to prepare for possible heavy snowfall.

According to Capt. Lonnie Berry of the PPD, those preparations should include stocking up on food and fuel and making sure prescription medications are adequate to get residents through the weekend.

“We’re hoping all our residents will prepare for the upcoming potential severe winter storm,” Berry said.
Karla Baeza, a customer service team leader at Hasting’s in Clovis, expects plenty of customers renting videos over the next few days.

“So far (there hasn’t been a huge spike), but we have had a lot (of business) in the past couple of weeks with the previous storms,” Baeza said. “We get a lot more business when it’s icy and snowy outside.”

The system that’s supposed to bring out the snow plows and ice melt across much of New Mexico between now and Sunday was momentarily in a holding pattern Thursday afternoon.

“The storm center has been stalled out in northern Baja California,” said Albuquerque meteorologist Ken Drozd.

Snow began falling over the southwestern portion of the state late Thursday, and the National Weather Service said the snow would likely move northward today, eventually reaching the Colorado border.

Anywhere from 3 to 6 inches were forecast for Albuquerque and Las Cruces. Higher amounts were likely along the foothills and other higher elevation areas. Even El Paso could get from 3 to 5 inches of snow.

Drozd said once the storm arrives, it won’t be in a hurry to leave.

“We’re going to have snow off and on through Saturday,” he said.

Road conditions
—New Mexico

Phone: (800) 432-4269
Phone: (800) 452-9292

Travel necessities
Tim Manning, director of the state’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management,
suggests travellers carry:
—Sleeping bags or blankets
—Road flares
—Road maps
—A heavy sack of sand or kitty litter (for tire traction)
—Windshield scraper