That blast of cold, wintry weather that briefly swept over the city Sunday isn’t going away anytime soon.

In fact, you might want to bring the hanging plants indoors and make sure your outdoor pets have shelter and extra warmth in the way of blankets.

A slightly early freeze is coming to the region, according to the National Weather Service of Albuquerque. The median “first freeze” of the season is Oct. 15, said meteorologist Dave Craft by phone Sunday. This year, it’s probably going to be Oct. 11-12.

A cold front is moving from the western to the eastern part of the state, and the temperature is expected to drop below 32 degrees — freezing — by Wednesday morning.

“It probably won’t rise above freezing until 9, maybe 10 a.m.” Craft said.

The cold front will bring winds in the range of 20 to 30 miles per hour, with gusts of up to 45 mph possible, he said.

Although there’s a 30 percent chance of rain and snow coming with that front, the likelihood of any snow landing in Santa Fe proper is slim, Craft said. The ski basin above Santa Fe might get somewhere under an inch of snow, he said.

Another weather disturbance could roll into the area later this week that would “keep winds gusty each day,” Craft said. And morning temperatures could hover in the 30s for most of the week, though they will probably rise to the mid-50s most afternoons.

Saturday might bring one last gasp of semi-warm weather with temperatures edging into the 60s come that afternoon, Craft said.

Looking back at first freeze data for the Santa Fe area, Craft said, “Rarely is the first freeze before Oct. 1 and it’s usually before Oct. 26.

“This is pretty close to a normal year for Santa Fe, which typically freezes around Oct. 15.”

For those wishing or bracing for an early winter snowstorm to whiten the City Different, Craft said the weather service’s medium-range forecast sees no such possibility.

Another storm front that might move in from the Rocky Mountain region early next week will likely keep temperatures on the cool side, he said, “but without any moisture.”

General Assignment Reporter

Robert Nott has covered education and youth issues for the Santa Fe New Mexican. He is assigned to The New Mexican's city desk where he covers a general assignment beat.

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