How much snow is forecast as winter storm hits northern New Mexico

FARMINGTON — Residents of San Juan County woke up to another late-winter snowstorm the morning of March 10 as part of a system that was expected to leave 3 to 4 inches of powder on the ground by the time it hit. leaves the Four Corners early on March 11. .

Heavy snowfall fell throughout the county on the morning of March 10 and was expected to continue intermittently for the rest of the day, finally stopping just before dawn on March 11. Winds were expected to reach 10 to 20 mph, resulting in sub-zero overnight wind chills.

The snow led to educational institutions across the county either delaying operations or switching to remote learning models for the day.

Chuck Jones, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Albuquerque, said the Chuska Mountains west of Farmington are expected to see 6 to 8 inches of snow, while peaks east of the city will receive accumulations of more than ‘a foot.

The San Juan River Valley southwest of Bloomfield was covered in a light dusting of snow on March 10.

In parts of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains around Taos and other elevated areas of far north-central New Mexico, the total is expected to reach 2 feet, Jones said. He said snowfall totals are also expected to range from 1 to 2 feet in the San Juan Mountains in southwestern Colorado.

The storm was expected to support an already decent snowpack in the San Miguel-Dolores-Animas-San Juan River watershed, according to a summary posted online by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The snow water equivalent in this watershed on the morning of March 10 was 104% of the median, a figure that was likely to increase as the storm continued through the day.

A goose waddles through freshly fallen snow in Farmington's Boyd Park on March 10.

Jones said winter precipitation totals in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado haven’t been bad, especially since it’s a La Niña year, which usually translates to warmer and drier conditions in the American Southwest.

“We have a pretty good connection with La Niña here in New Mexico, but it’s usually the southern half of the state that’s really lacking,” he said. “For the northern half of the state and in Colorado, it’s closer to a normal year.”

Snow covers the ground at Boyd Park Landing adjacent to the Animas River in Farmington on March 10.

Jones said the Eastern Plains and areas of Albuquerque, Roswell and Las Cruces have taken the brunt of the drought this winter. But most parts of New Mexico are expected to see at least 1 to 2 inches of snow from this week’s storm, with only the southeast and southwest corners of the state drying up, it said. he declares.

Conditions in San Juan County are expected to improve quickly heading into the weekend. Sunny skies are expected in the region from at least March 11 to March 15, and a warming trend is expected to arrive on March 12 and continue for several days. Temperatures should reach 50° on Saturday and Sunday before rising to 60° on Monday and Tuesday.

Snow clings to the side of the Shannon cliffs south of Farmington on March 10.

Jones said another minor system is expected to enter the state on Monday, but is expected to veer well east of the Four Corners area.

“It will be quick, and after that it might be a while before we get anything else,” he said.

Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610 or [email protected] Support local journalism with a digital subscription.

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