Half-foot of snow expected this weekend

Staff and wire reports

The season’s first winterlike storm could be here as soon as Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

A storm will be making its way into New Mexico from Arizona on Friday night, bringing with it up to a foot of snow in some parts of the state. Accumulations may exceed 6 inches in eastern New Mexico.

A winter storm watch has been issued for Friday afternoon through Saturday afternoon.

”We’re going to get the brunt of that storm late Friday, and Friday night into Saturday. Everything points to snow,” meteorologist Kerry Jones said.

But heavy winds will hit New Mexico before snow does.

Strong winds along the Interstate 40 corridor could start as soon as Thursday afternoon, Jones said.

The winds will calm Friday, followed by the storm moving in from the west.

Snow could make for dangerous driving conditions and wreak havoc on traffic in western New Mexico, especially along Interstate 40, Jones said.

”It’s going to be cold enough that most areas in New Mexico will see snow,” he said.

The high temperatures in eastern New Mexico are expected to be in the 30s on Friday and Saturday after topping out in the mid-40s on Thursday, officials said.

Lows this weekend will feature wind-chill factors in the single digits.