Cold weather below freezing and wind-swept snow may grace Portales residents this morning, weather officials say.
Chuck Jones, a senior meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Albuquerque, said Portales will have a snow and blowing snow advisory in effect through this morning.
Portales school officials will decide at 6 a.m. today whether to cancel school due to cold weather, Steiner Principal Rick Segovia said Wednesday night.
Unlike brief snowfall earlier this season that melted as the day warmed up, temperatures are expected to stay below freezing and will hover in the 20s.
“Of course the winds will complicate matters; there will be quite a bit of blowing and drifting with northeast winds 15 to 25 mph gusting to 35 mph,” Jones said. “With winds like that we can get wind chills averaging around zero and with those gusts we’re talking about wind chills of 10 below.
“People need to dress in layers, for one thing,” Jones said. “They need to leave a little bit earlier, let the car warm up more, and if there is any shoveling to do they need to do that.”
Jones said the snow is caused by two different weather patterns: an upper-level trough of low pressure moving south from Utah and a surface-level cold front bringing winds from the north and northeast.
“That causes air moisture to condense and form clouds and if there is enough moisture, there will be precipitation,” Jones said.