Snow removal vehicles like this on on Unser Blvd. during the city’s last snow storm may be on the roads Friday when new snow hits. Photo by Garrison Wells/Observer
Snow is coming that will likely impact the Friday morning commute.
Sandoval County and Rio Rancho could see rain showers during the day Thursday before the precipitation turns into the white stuff at about 9 p.m. Anywhere from a half-inch of snow to a couple of inches may fall.
The storm can be attributed to two fronts entering the area: an upper-level system arriving from the northwest and a cold air mass rolling in from eastern New Mexico, said Annette Mokry, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Albuquerque.
Commuters can expect to drive in wintry-type conditions, she said.
Places with higher elevations such as Santa Fe and Los Alamos could see more snow. At least 3-5 inches is expected to hit those areas.
New Mexico Department of Transportation crews will hit the roads at about 9 p.m. Thursday to make sure “everything is good,” said Kim Gallegos, NMDOT District 3 spokeswoman.
Once the storm hits, she said: “If you don’t have to be out on the road, don’t be.” If you do need to go somewhere, drive slowly.
Crews will work 12-hour shifts and treat roadways with a mix of salt and cinders.
Travelers should be well-prepared. For example, have your gas tanks full and have fully charged cell phones in case any roads are closed, Gallegos added.
Along with snow and potentially hazardous road conditions, residents can expect temperatures to drop below freezing.
Highs in Rio Rancho will be in the mid-50s Thursday before dipping to 24 degrees at night. Friday’s high will only be 44 degrees, about 15 degrees below normal. The low on Friday night will be 20 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.