2011 ended on a warm note with temperatures soaring into the 70s over the far southeast. Even the metro managed to reach 60° today. A cold front will slide through the state tonight. But have no fear! This front brings no precipitation, and barely any clouds. Skies will stay mostly clear for New Year’s Eve celebrations, but it will be chilly.
Behind the front, temperatures will cool down by as much as 15° – 20°. Despite cooler temperatures, Sunday will still feature plenty of sunshine. Temperatures will warm back to above average readings by the middle of the week.
We could be looking at our next winter storm next weekend. Right now the models have decent agreement on the track and speed of the system, dropping the storm into Arizona next Sunday. However, the models do not agree on how much moisture and cold air will be in place. Right now, I’m placing the possibility of snow in the Four Corners for late Saturday, expanding to the rest of the state Sunday. We’ll have a better idea of what we’re facing in the coming days. We’ll continue to monitor the forecast models and keep you updated!
Wind gusts up to 50 mph posing a threat to high-profile vehicles are forecast over northeastern New Mexico into this evening.
The National Weather Service expects steady west winds of 25-35 mph with the stronger gusts peaking early in the afternoon and then decreasing around sunset.
Drivers on north-south highways should take extra caution, according to the weather service, which specifically mentioned travelers on Interstate 25 from Las Vegas to Raton, and U. S. Highways 54, 56/412, 64/87 and 84 on the high plains and near the Texas border.
The weather service says the winds are the result of a powerful storm system moving through the central Rocky Mountains and a cold front swing southward into New Mexico.
Today Colorado logged a 126-mph gust at a remotely operated weather station at 12,000 feet in Summit County and a 69-mph gust at Wray in the northeastern plains near the Nebraska border.
The winds toppled three semis near Denver, some ski areas delayed opening lifts and gondolas and police banned high-profile vehicles from 180 miles of Interstate 76 from Denver into the northeast corner of the state, The Associated Press reported.
Gov. Susana Martinez has appointed the only person recommended by the Bernalillo and Sandoval county commissions to fill a vacancy in the state Senate.
Late Friday Martinez, a Republican, announced she had appointed Lisa Curtis, a Democrat, to replace Republican Kent Cravens.
Cravens had a year left in his term when he resigned the District 21 seat to become a lobbyist.
Curtis, the president of the New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association, will have to stand for election to retain the two-county seat past the end of 2012.
Traditionally county commissions have offered replacement candidates of the same party as the departed legislator, and the commissions in two-county districts might propose separate replacements each from their own county.
In this case, both Democrat-controlled commissions voted 3-2 along party lines for Curtis, who lives in Bernalillo County.