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Winter storm shuts down schools, imperils drivers

A powerful winter storm has closed schools and imperiled drivers across New Mexico with freezing temperatures and blowing snow.

In the Albuquerque Metro area, Albuquerque Public Schools are closed for Monday, as are Rio Rancho Schools and Los Lunas Schools. 

CNM and UNM are closed.

City of Albuquerque offices and state offices in Albuquerque and Santa Fe were on a two-hour delay as of 9 a.m.

Second Judicial District Court and Metro Court in Albuquerque also were ordered closed.

Some ABQ Ride buses are reporting delays. 

The National Weather Service in Albuquerque has placed most of the state under a winter weather warning into Tuesday due to extremely cold temperatures, heavy snow, blowing and drifting snow.

New Mexico State Police say all roads in and out of the Albuquerque-area are open however, travel is discouraged at this time due to heavy, blowing snow. Snow packed and icy roads are making travel very difficult.

A midday Monday weather update

A major winter storm has snow and extreme cold settling into many areas of New Mexico on Monday and through Tuesday morning.

A deep, upper-level low pressure system moving through the Four Corners region Monday will combine with a cold air mass to produce snow over northern and central New Mexico.

Periods of heavy snow will persist over the region Monday night, with the greatest accumulations over higher terrain.

Gusty winds will create blowing and drifting snow in some areas.

The storm system will begin to pull away from the state early Tuesday, allowing for gradual clearing from northwest to southeast.

In addition, very cold temperatures are expected Monday night, with harsh wind-chilll values.

Within Albuquerque, some areas were hit hard with snow while others got just a dusting.

We have reports of 12 to 18 inches of snow in from Edgewood to Sedillo Hill and reports of 4 to 7 inches from Paradise to Rio Rancho.

An afternoon weather update from KOB Eyewitness News 4 Chief Meteorologist Jason Stiff

Here's an afternoon weather update from KOB Eyewitness News 4 Chief Meteorologist Jason Stiff:

As of 2 p.m. light snow was falling in Farmington, Gallup, Socorro and T or C. Moderate snow was falling in Silver City.

Moisture was moving over Valencia County, southern Bernalillo County and western Torrance County.

There is a line of rain, rain/snow, and snow extending from the Bootheel northeastward toward the Sandias and Manzanos.

Belen is now reporting light snow and it may be hitting the ground in Los Lunas.

The moisture continues to stream northeastward from the Bootheel through Socorro County and into Valencia, western Torrance and eastern Bernalillo Counties.

As advertised, most of what happens will be later today, tonight and Saturday.

View weather pictures; send us your own

Viewers from all over New Mexico are sending us pictures of wind damage sustained as a winter storm rolled into New Mexico Thursday night.

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Forecasters: New Mexico in for winter blast

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Hold on to those hats and dust off the snow shovels.

Wintry blast on its way for Thursday, weekend

 A powerful cold front will barrel down the eastern plains Thursday morning, surging westward toward the Arizona state line Thursday evening.

Very strong winds and much colder temperatures will accompany the front.

The strongest, potentially damaging, wind gusts are likely below canyons within the Rio Grande Valley as well as the Upper Tularosa Basin, including the Albuquerque area.

Wind chill values will drop to the single digits and teens behind the front, especially across eastern New Mexico.

Winter storm impacts will transition from strong wind on Thursday and Thursday night to potentially significant snow accumulations Friday into the weekend.

This will occur as a strong upper level storm system over Arizona slowly passes over New Mexico.

Significant snowfall accumulations will be possible for many areas, especially in the mountains.

Drought's grip on NM to last through winter

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Drought continues to plague nearly two thirds of New Mexico, and forecasters are warning residents to brace for more dry conditions through the winter.

Members of New Mexico's Drought Monitoring Work Group met Tuesday to talk about the latest weather models and what they mean for New Mexico.

The models show much of the state can expect below-normal precipitation until the La Nina weather pattern begins to ease in the spring.

National Weather Service meteorologist Ed Polasko says the good news is that rains in early October helped the drought recede from northwestern New Mexico, and the Middle Rio Grande Valley is no longer experiencing the worst level of drought.

Still, Carlsbad is more than 8 inches behind with its precipitation.

Glenwood has a 13-inch deficit and Albuquerque is lagging by 4.3 inches.