CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks Whether 2 or 4 degrees, it was pretty cold in Clovis Wednesday morning according to signs near each other on Seventh and Mains Streets. The high for today is expected to reach 25 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.
The snowfall for the Clovis and Portales area is at an end for now but the cold temperatures aren’t.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Brian Guyer said temperatures below 30 degrees will continue until Friday.
Guyer said temperatures on Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be near 50.
Wednesday night was expected to bring windchills near 25 below.
Today’s temperatures will rebound to highs between 20 and 25 after morning lows between 5 below and 10 below.
With windchills, today will feel like between 10 to 15 degrees.
“It will be a bit of a rollercoaster ride for temperatures but it’ll be nothing like the cold we’re experiencing today and tomorrow,” Guyer said.
He said temperatures will dip back into the 30s on Monday and Tuesday and will warm up for Wednesday.
The cold temperatures remained in the single digits Wednesday and caused plumbing and electrical issues across the area.
Clovis Municipal Schools maintenance personnel worked until midnight Tuesday inspecting pipes and placing space heaters and heat lamps around frozen pipes. Wednesday was spent performing building watches, which consisted of maintenance personnel walking each of the district’s 25 buildings checking on pipes.
Xcel Energy asked customers to conserve energy because of high demand on the area’s electric distribution system. Spokesman Wes Reeves said the company has had no major widespread outages since freezing temperatures set in Monday night.
“We’ve had small scattered outages where we see overloaded transporters or blown fuses. These things are related to just the extreme cold. Customers are using a lot of electricity right now. It’s the same as a very hot summer day,” Reeves said.
Reeves said the small outages affected about 2,500 customers Tuesday in New Mexico.
Reeves said the conservation effort is an attempt to reduce the strain on local distribution lines. Reeves said customers should turn off unneeded lights, computers and appliances and set the thermostat at 68 degrees or lower at home.
Record-setting cold temperatures, strong east winds and snow are making for dangerous traveling conditions. State police say that as of noon Wednesday, there have been 291 car crashes across New Mexico in a 48-hour span. They say there were 21 injuries in those accidents but no reported deaths.
The Weather Service says the cold air will continue flowing into New Mexico on strong east winds, driving wind chills dangerously low and remain that way into Thursday.
The Albuquerque International Sunport says American and Southwest airlines canceled two flights each to Chicago.
Airport officials say 20 flights were canceled Tuesday because of bad weather at their destination points.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.