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Thanksgiving Winter Storm for Parts of New Mexico

Some folks in New Mexico will experience a "white" Thanksgiving, thanks to a potent storm system dropping southward from the Pacific Northwest. This system has been a particular challenge to accurately forecast the track and expected impacts for New Mexico as the numerical weather models have been flip-flopping back and forth on the track and intensity of this system for the past week.

As of this writing, the forecast models have come into better agreement that the low pressure center will drop southward through the Colorado Rockies and into north-central New Mexico tonight. From there, the low continues south-southeastward to the southeast corner of the state, before turning northeastward into Texas. Along with this system will be a strong cold front that will usher in another shot of cold air and gusty northerly winds, although this air mass will not be as bitter as the recent Arctic air mass that had gripped much of the state last week.

There are still some differences in the exact track and how quickly the low moves through New Mexico, which will determine how much snow will fall and where the greatest impacts will be felt. With the current model guidance, the greatest travel impacts will be along the Interstate 40 corridor from Tucumcari eastward into Texas where 4 to 8 inches of snow could fall. Similar amounts are expected in the Sacramento Mountains, including Ruidoso and Cloudcroft. Lesser amounts are expected for the remaining areas east of the central mountain chain, but still enough for slick roads and treacherous travel. Impacts will be minimal for central and western New Mexico, with just a few flurries, colder temperatures, and gusty winds expected in the Albuquerque metro area.

If you plan to travel through eastern New Mexico for Turkey Day, do allow yourself extra time and drive cautiously to arrive at your destination safely.

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