Area sees snowfall, record low Monday morning
Last updated 2/16/2021 at 9:40am
CLOVIS - Eastern New Mexico was no exception to the smack of winter weather felt across the country over the weekend.
Area snowfall totals from the weekend, according to the National Weather Service's Albuquerque office, were between 1.5 and 4 inches, with drifts reported up to four feet.
The powder may stick around for the next few days, with a cold start to the week. The Clovis Municipal Airport reported a Monday morning low of minus-11.
"The previous low was 0 degrees, we obliterated that record," NWS meteorologist Todd Shoemake said. "Temperatures will warm up pretty signifcant today. It's still going to be cold, relative to average for today, but it will go up around 20 degrees."
Today's highs are 22 in Clovis and 23 in Portales, with lows around 14 tonight.
"There's a chance for a few flurries throughout the morning, but we're not expecting any more accumulations."
Tuesday will bring a high of 41 degrees. There may be some precipitation, but the chances are in the 30% range and that would still be half an inch or less.
High temperatures will fall back to the upper 20s Wednesday, then trend back up in the mid-30s Thursday and the low 50s on Friday.
The largest report of snowfall came north of Clovis at 4 inches, and the NWS reported 3 inches south of Clovis, 1.5 inches in Portales and an inch in Melrose.
Various public entities, including Curry County, went on two-hour delays. The impact on schools was mitigated for various reasons. Clovis Municipal Schools and Eastern New Mexico University already had the day off for Presidents Day, and Portales Municipal Schools already treats Monday as a remote instruction day in its hybrid learning model.
Melrose was one of the various school districts that made Monday a remote instruction day, and Superintendent Brian Stacy said from his office it was the right call.
"I've got at least four inches everywhere," Stacy said of the campus, "and where the wind got to it I've got a foot."
Stacy did concede that with school districts spending significant portions of the last two school years in virtual learning platforms, an option to go remote is always there as opposed to losing a day of instruction. At around 10:30 a.m. Monday, Melrose announced Tuesday would be a virtual instruction day as well.
"If it was a year ago, this would have been a snow day," said Stacy. "Now that we're in remote, it's easier and we're prepared to do that."
Xcel Energy, speaking on behalf of itself and unidentified electric cooperates in the area, declared a Energy Alert and urged customers to find ways to limit their use of electricity. The release asked customers to turn off lights and appliances unless doing so would be harmful to their health, and noted rolling blackouts may happen if power consumption doesn't fall.
Xcel spokesman Wes Reeves told The News he didn't have specific breakdowns, but that about 200 New Mexico customers were without power at some point.
"I don't recall any widespread outages in your area," Reeves said. "A lot of what we've been dealing with are transformer issues and overloads, which are relatively easy to address. Our main concern at the moment is the fuel supply to our power plants, specifically natural gas. It's been freezing up in the pipeline system and limiting what we can get. That's the main reason we're asking for conservation."
Law enforcement said service calls were limited, likely because people were mostly staying home. Sgt. Nickolas Laurenz of the Portales Police Department said the department has received two calls for weather-related crashes.