By Christina Calloway
PNT senior writer
Clovis schools employee Britney Stephens said she wasn’t able to keep warm Wednesday during her visits to the schools.
An employee of the district’s technology department, the Eastern New Mexico University grad and Hawaii native wasn’t used to the area’s winter temperatures, which remained in the teens most of Wednesday.
“I had to run around the schools all day, which meant dealing with the weather, but the only thing that saved me was constantly drinking hot tea,” Stephens said.
Others were bundled up Wednesday, rushing to their vehicles from buildings and trying not to stay out in the cold too long as the snow began to fall in the late afternoon.
As of 8 p.m. Wednesday, about an inch of snow had fallen in the area.
Accuweather.com Senior Meteorologist John Feerick said temperatures will gradually incline this week, with today’s early morning weather being the coldest.
“Expect lows in the mid-single digits (Thursday morning),” Feerick said, blaming the bout of cold temperatures on arctic air blowing through New Mexico and west Texas. “(Today) will be a bit better with highs in the 20s and Friday in the 40s. We’re forecasting highs in the low 60s for the weekend.”
“You won’t get much more than a coating to an inch,” Feerick said. “In high spots, some may see two inches.”
Feerick said it’s been seasonably cold in the area but there has been hardly any moisture.
The last time it rained was Dec. 21, when there was a reported tenth of an inch of rain for Clovis, Feerick said.
“Before that there was some snow on Nov. 23 and 24,” Feerick said. “That was the last time the area saw a significant amount of moisture.”
Roosevelt County farmer Randy Lieb said Wednesday he hoped the snow would fall non-stop Thursday because the soil needs it.
“We had the really nice snow in November but nothing since,” said Lieb, who’s farm is southwest of Portales. “I hope it just needs keep it up all night.”
Lieb said the moisture will be good for the winter crops, such as wheat, so when it comes out of dormancy, it will have the moisture to grow.
“(The moisture) is crucial to grain sorghum and it’s good to wheat,” Lieb said.
U.S. Air Force veteran Jaime Escalante of Clovis said he stayed in Wednesday and indulged in comfort foods, such as chili and pancakes, to help keep warm.
He said he also had to be creative in getting his apartment warm because his heater didn’t produce enough heat in his small apartment.
“We turned the stove on high to warm the place up. We opened the door on occasion so we don’t die of carbon monoxide,” Escalante joked.
He said he also wrapped his dog up in a blanket to keep him warm.