The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By Lily Martin
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Widespread snow expected through tonight across area

 

Last updated 2/13/2021 at 2:24pm



CLOVIS — Winter decided to stick around for another weekend in eastern New Mexico as the area was placed in a winter storm watch on Friday.

The National Weather Service in Albuquerque has predicted six inches of snow as the most likely scenario for Clovis and Portales, with a 90% chance of more than four inches.

“Widespread snow is expected through Sunday night, along with record cold temperatures and gusty winds. Cold temperatures will linger Monday before the final winter storm arrives on Tuesday through Wednesday, bringing another round of wintery precipitation to the forecast area. Temperatures will slowly start rebounding Thursday and Friday, with improving conditions,” said the NWS’ local forecast discussion.

Tuesday and Wednesday each bring a 30% chance of precipitation.

As for tonight, the high is 11 degrees with a low of minus-11, followed by a high of 17 on Monday.

Why did the weather change for the colder? According to NWS Meteorologist Sharon Sullivan our last winter weather event is responsible.

“This indeed led to a breakdown of the polar vortex, pushing the polar vortex and sending arctic air southward. With strong high pressure over Canada, arctic air has been leaking into the Midwest, Great Plains, and wavering back and forth over eastern New Mexico each day. A reinforcing shot of colder air should finally push the front through the gaps of the central mountain chain, with widespread snow (up to a couple of inches), hazardous travel conditions, and gusty east canyon winds for Albuquerque and Santa Fe on Sunday,” Sullivan said.

She added that temperatures on Sunday will range 40-50 degrees below normal averages for mid-February.

“By Monday morning, wind chills will have the temperature feeling like single digits to around -20 Fahrenheit across the east, something that hasn't been seen at least since the February 2011 cold snap,” Sullivan said. “With these kinds of events, we like to remind people to protect the three P's — pets, pipes, and plants — limit their time outdoors, and wear several layers of warm clothing.”

For today, the low temperature records are 0 degrees for Clovis and 2 degrees for Portales, with both marks set in 2007.

 
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