ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Snow and ice struck parts of New Mexico on Tuesday, causing difficult driving conditions, closing schools and ending a record-breaking winter dry spell in the state’s largest city.
According to the National Weather Service, the drought-stricken city of Albuquerque saw about 3 inches of snow Tuesday, ending its longest period between December and February — 43 days — without any precipitation. It also was the longest stretch of consecutive days since 1920 without any measureable precipitation during winter.
In Santa Fe, parts of the city saw close to 4 inches of snow early Tuesday, prompting school officials to cancel classes. Santa Fe County Magistrate Court also opened two hours late as snow blanketed the Capitol just as lawmakers continued their 30-day legislative session.
The storm, which began late Monday, brought needed fresh snow to ski resorts in northern New Mexico. Ski Santa Fe, for example, was expecting around 6 inches of new snow, while Taos Ski Valley was expecting as much as 5 inches, skicentral.com reported. Angel Fire Resort reported that the cold front brought 6 inches of snow by Tuesday evening.
Meanwhile, the Department of Transportation said difficult driving conditions remained throughout northeastern New Mexico and around Alamogordo in the south because of snowy and icy roads.
No major accidents were reported.
Additional fresh snow was expected to fall in northern New Mexico through Tuesday as well as elsewhere in higher elevations.
Another cold front Wednesday could bring more snow to the northeastern part of the state and even may bring snow to dry southeast areas, forecasters said.
Roswell will see a 30 percent chance of snow showers Wednesday with lows around 17 degrees, the National Weather Service said. Roswell also has not seen any measureable precipitation for more than 40 days, making it the third-longest dry-spell in the city’s recorded history.