No major storm troubles

By Christina Calloway

Joshua Lucero: PNT correspondent Portales resident and former Eastern New Mexico University professor Mercedes Agogino sweeps snow from her sidewalk Thursday afternoon at her home on Main Avenue.

Joshua Lucero: PNT correspondent
Portales resident and former Eastern New Mexico University professor Mercedes Agogino sweeps snow from her sidewalk Thursday afternoon at her home on Main Avenue.

PNT senior writer

ccalloway@pntonline.com

Officials say despite Thursday’s freezing weather delivering 1 to 3 inches of snow, the area remained fairly quiet and no major accidents were reported.

Roosevelt County Emergency Management Director Keith Wattenbarger said there was only one call he received to help a motorist near Kenna who slid off the road, but the woman wasn’t injured.

Most area schools and public offices exercised caution and had delayed starts Thursday.

“There were no power outage reports or people not getting service so I guess we’re pretty fortunate,” Wattenbarger said.

Although Thursday’s temperatures didn’t break any records, National Weather Service Meteorologist David Craft said temperatures on the eastern side of the state were still 35 to 50 degrees below normal for high temperatures.

“Portales had a near-record low of 4 degrees,” Craft said, the record being set on Feb. 6 in 1982 at 1 degree.

Craft said temperatures in Clovis dipped down to 1 below zero, early Thursday morning but the record was set back in 1933 when Clovis reported 7 below.

“This was a strong, backdoor cold front that flowed southward across the plains,” Craft said. “That brought some Arctic air.”

Craft said Clayton hasn’t been above freezing since Monday night and the central and western part of the state was 10 to 20 degrees below normal Thursday.

Craft said although the eastern side of the state will get above freezing today, it will still be 10 degrees below normal. The weekend will give residents a respite from the cold weather, with highs projected to be in the 60s Saturday.

But Craft said another cold front will be brewing and should reach the area by late Sunday night.

Winter advisories remained in effect on Thursday and the National Weather Service said more snow is expected in western New Mexico, with expanded coverage late into the night.

Parts of western and northern New Mexico were expected to see between 3 to 6 inches of snow by today, the National Weather Service said. Meanwhile, the rest the state from Raton to Ruidoso was expected to see anywhere from 1 to 3 inches of snow bringing much needed precipitation in drought-stricken areas.

Albuquerque and Santa Fe, two cities hit harder earlier this week, were likely to see an inch or less, forecasters said.

Still, officials cautioned that slick and icy spots on roads, bridges and overpasses remain.

Weather caused numerous accidents in Albuquerque Wednesday night. The New Mexico Department of Transportation said at least 40 trucks in Albuquerque dumped sand and cinder onto the roadways.

Difficult driving conditions were reported on a 133-mile stretch of Interstate 40 between Clines Corner and near the Texas line. Fair conditions were reported on a 157-mile mile stretch of Interstate 25 between Rowe and Raton.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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