Another week, another winter storm forecast for Northern New Mexico.

Make that two storms, both forecast to arrive from the West Coast, both tied to the same weather system and both carrying the potential to bring snow and rain to the Santa Fe region Monday and Tuesday.

The first part of the system, forecast to hit by Monday morning, may bring "a couple of inches" to Santa Fe, said meteorologist Brian Guyer of the National Weather Service in Albuquerque. 

But that initial hit, which may turn into rain Monday afternoon before moving east by the evening, is just "a preview of what's gonna come next," Guyer said.

The second hit, forecast to arrive Monday night, may remain through most of Tuesday, dropping snow all day long that may add up to 5 inches by nightfall, Guyer said. 

"The second part of this system is going to have widespread, significant impact across the entire state into Tuesday night," he said.

Monday's storm may not affect roads as seriously as Tuesday's, he said, because it won't be as cold Monday, with temperatures hovering around 30 degrees. But on Tuesday, temperatures will drop to the mid-20s, meaning sub-freezing conditions may lead to icy roads. 

The storm is forecast to clear out by Wednesday, though a few lingering snow showers may remain that morning. Temperatures in the 20s and 30s are forecast for Wednesday. 

Guyer said that such storms are welcome this time of year, despite their impact on travel. 

"This is what we want to see," he said. "It's good for the snowpack, it delays the fire-weather season, it keeps the rivers running and it builds our reservoirs up. It's all great."

The National Weather Service is issuing a winter storm watch starting Monday night through all day Tuesday. 

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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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