Snow covers le[auth] aves still retaining their autumn colors in Cahoon Park on a wintry Saturday morning. (Mark Wilson Photo)
The winter weather that has dampened the weekend is expected to clear up in time for Thanksgiving, according to the National Weather Service.
A winter storm warning is in effect for most parts of the state, including Chaves County. In Roswell, the warning is set to expire at 6 a.m. Monday.
“It looks like the holiday travel period will bring fair weather and improving conditions,” said David Craft, a meteorologist employed by NWS in Albuquerque.
Craft said snow was expected to intensify Saturday night and taper off this afternoon.
NWS predicts 3 to 6 inches of snow accumulation by Monday morning, followed by some rain and snow showers throughout the day. Temperatures Monday are predicted to begin in the low 20s then climb into the 40s by the afternoon.
Wintry conditions entered the area Thursday, bringing a mix of freezing rain and sleet on Friday. Conditions gave way to snow Saturday morning. Temperatures have hovered mostly in the upper 20s and lower 30s.
The cold and precipitation over the weekend is pegged to the interaction between a cold front and a low-pressure weather system moving in from Southern California and gathering moisture along the way.
“I think we were anticipating a bit more freezing precipitation on the plains, but it is turning into snow, which we expected,” Craft said.
The Weather Channel has dubbed the storm “Winter Storm Boreas,” and reported Saturday that Boreas had dropped 17 inches of snow on the Taos ski area. TWC predicted the Albuquerque metro area would see 3 to 5 inches of snow.
TWC predicted snowfall would be heaviest in the Rocky Mountains and that the storm would bring icy weather to Texas and Oklahoma before heading to the East Coast.
Craft commented that New Mexico has not “seen much activity like this” over the past few years.
“It probably seems a little strange to people because of the tremendous drought we’ve been in,” he said.