Winter weather hits area

Freedom New Mexico: Tony Bullocks Desiree Romero of Clovis helps out a friend by clearing the snow from their truck Friday on Mabry Drive. Romero said the snow was totally unexpected, but it’s March and “nothing here in Clovis surprises me with weather.”

CNJ staff

Much of eastern New Mexico was expected to receive “significant snowfall” through this morning according to a winter storm warning issued by the National Weather Service in Albuquerque.

It is the first significant snowfall for the year in what has been a dry, warm winter.

Snow began falling steadily in Clovis around 10 a.m. Friday.

During the peak of the snowfall, between approximately noon and 3 p.m., Clovis police responded to 10 weather related motor vehicle crashes, Capt. Patrick Whitney said.

Of those crashes, one resulted in minor injuries, he said.

Whitney encouraged residents to “slow down and drive safe,” during the inclement weather.

The weather service was predicting Curry, Roosevelt, Quay and several other counties could expect about two and a half inches of snow.

The snow is expected to taper off by noon today but could resume around 3 to 4 p.m., said Mark Fettig, a weather service forecaster.

“You should expect on and off snow mixed with a little rain until 5 (p.m.) at the latest, but it doesn’t look like there will be that much overnight,” Fettig said.

Fettig said because of recent warmth, roads were expected to stay relatively clear with the exception of possible freezing in the night as temperatures drop.

Temperatures will rise Saturday and expect warmer weather with 65 and 70-degree temperatures returning by Monday, he said.

“It’s pretty warm thereafter. This is kind of a normal pattern we get into March and early April and we can get some cold snaps (but they end quickly),” Fettig said.