Sunday, April 30, 2017

One State, Two Extremes: New Mexico Sees Red Flag, Winter Storm Warnings in Same Weekend

Andrew MacFarlane
Published: April 28,2017

In the world of wild weather, New Mexico might top the list – as April comes to a close, the state will face a contrast in conditions, depending on the part of the state they call home.
In one corner, a red flag warning has been issued for much of southwest New Mexico. The combination of dryness and blowing winds could act as fuel for the extreme fire conditions.
"Winds as high as 30 mph with higher gusts will blow across southern New Mexico in a very dry air mass with humidity dropping below 10 percent in some areas this afternoon," said meteorologist Jonathan Belles. "This will help to spread ongoing fires and create new ones until winds come down and humidity levels come up."
As of Friday afternoon, parts of the state were under red flag warnings and winter storm warnings.

While none of the state is currently in a drought, more than 41 percent of the state is abnormally dry – and that includes a large chunk of the area under the red flag warning.
In the other corner, winter storm warnings will kick in Friday night and last through the weekend. A large part of northeastern New Mexico will feel the brunt of Winter Storm Ursa, which is expected to blanket the area with heavy snow.
(MORE: Check the Forecast for Winter Storm Ursa)
“In the higher elevations of northeastern New Mexico, these winds will combine with rapidly cooling air to produce heavy snow,” said Belles. “More than 6 inches is expected in much of the higher terrain with as much as 18 inches in the highest elevations. Snow will come to an end by late Saturday.”
MORE: Wildfires in Florida

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

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