Old man winter was really nipping in Clovis on Tuesday morning with predictions he’d be biting by evening.
Area residents didn’t wake to the 2-5 inches of snow that had been forecast, but the less than an inch of flakes that did fall was dry and blowing as wind-chill drove already low temperatures even further down.
Clovis schools opened on time but Texico, Farwell, Friona and Portales students were delayed two hours and Melrose, San Jon, Tucumcari and House canceled classes.
And the 9th Judicial District Courts in Curry and Roosevelt counties closed for the day.
With winds of 15 to 25 mph, the expected high of 15 degrees in Clovis will feel more like 10 below, according to Amanda Abeyta, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Albuquerque.
And it’s not going to get any better for a couple of days, she said.
“This is a pretty big system with two lows, so it’s kind of like a one-two punch,” Abeyta said.
The area could see up to an inch more snow Tuesday night or Wednesday and the bitter cold won’t disappear until Friday, she said.
Wednesday, the high is expected to be 11, and up to 23 degrees Thursday, she said.
However wind-chill will continue to be a factor, with lows around 5 degrees combined with up to 35 mph winds, making it feel like 23 below in the early morning hours both days.
“Obviously with the wind-chill and everything frost bite can occur very rapidly,” Abeyta said.
“If you have to be out, just be very careful.”
By Friday, Abeyta said temperatures will go up into the mid-40’s and by the weekend the mid-50’s.
The storm, which is gripping much of the nation with 30 states under some form of winter watch or advisory, is an arctic system typically seen every 10 to 20 years.
“These types of events do occur, just not very often thankfully,” she said.
Overall this year, due to a La Nina pattern, Abeyta said it’s been predominately a “timid” winter with dry and unusually warm weather.