Hold on to your turkeys, ladies and gentlemen.
Inclement weather is expected to roll into the state starting Tuesday and lasting through Thanksgiving Day and into Friday — “absolutely” posing problems with holiday travel, meteorologists said.
Wind will strike first, followed by rain and snow as a pair of storm systems moves in.
A high-wind watch will remain in effect for the eastern, southwestern and south-central areas of New Mexico from late Monday night until Tuesday afternoon, with gusts forecast between 35 and 45 mph, and possibly as high as 65 mph.
In Santa Fe, winds could reach up to 50 mph, pushing temperatures into the low 20s, starting around noon Tuesday, said Jennifer Shoemake, an Albuquerque-based meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
“It will feel very cold,” she said. “It’s definitely going to be unpleasant.”
In addition to wind, Shoemake said, “Each day will have potential for precipitation and cold weather.”
A mix of rain and snow was expected to begin falling in Santa Fe on Wednesday night, she said, with more to come Thursday and Friday.
But she was uncertain how much precipitation the city might see.
“It’s a very complicated forecast,” Shoemake said. “There has been some shifting of forecast models, so we are trying to nail down exactly what’s going to happen.”
One thing was certain: Tuesday’s winds “will usher in much colder temperatures, and those temperatures will stay below normal for the remainder of the week,” she said.
Tuesday night’s low temperature in Santa Fe was expected to drop into the teens, and Wednesday night could see a low in the upper 20s, Shoemake said. The high temperatures in Santa Fe from Wednesday through Friday were expected to be in the low- to mid-40s.
The temperatures “won’t be steady at all,” she added, noting highs and lows will vary depending on the location, elevation and type of storm systems that roll through.
On Monday, she said, meteorologists were “trying to determine the locations that will have the best chances of significant snowfall.” At that time, she predicted most snow would fall in the east-central and northeastern parts of New Mexico, “but it’s not out of the question to see one or two inches in Santa Fe.”
Higher elevations likely will see the most impact from the storm. The Santa Fe ski basin — which is set to open Thursday — could get blanketed with fresh powder.
Whether it’s snow or rain, precipitation could have its greatest effect in Santa Fe on Wednesday night and overnight Friday, Shoemake said, and roadways could become slick “on and off” through the weekend, complicating holiday travel.
“We just advise everybody to stay up to date because changes are possible throughout the week,” she said.