New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas brace for incoming winter storm

On February 11th, meteorologists issued a winter storm advisory for certain areas of eastern New Mexico. This advisory comes as the remnants of a powerful atmospheric river storm, which caused significant damage in California last week, make their way eastward. The storm is expected to affect the Texas Panhandle and central Oklahoma as it continues its path.

The National Weather Service issued a warning about treacherous travel conditions due to icy, snow-packed roads as a slow-moving front made its way eastward. This weather system brought the first significant snowfall of the year to parts of New Mexico and deposited over 3 feet of snow in northern Arizona over a span of three days.

Arizona Snowbowl, located in the majestic San Francisco peaks range in Flagstaff, has been blessed with a remarkable 55 inches of fresh snowfall from the recent storms. This incredible accumulation has brought the total snowfall for the season to an impressive 140 inches.

The ski area had all of its lifts and trails open on Sunday, benefiting from the recent snowfall and allowing them to avoid using artificial snow.

A powerful thunderstorm moved through the southern region, unleashing dangerous lightning and hail. As it passed over suburban Phoenix, it brought an unusual combination of wind, rain, and freezing slush known as graupel. This icy mixture covered neighborhoods and intersections, creating a wet and messy slush that resembled freshly fallen snow when viewed in the dark.

According to the National Weather Service in Albuquerque, temperatures in the mid-30s were observed as the front moved east. This is significantly lower, by as much as 25 degrees, than the normal temperature.

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Jennifer Shoemake, a meteorologist for the weather service in Albuquerque, expressed optimism that the current weather condition would improve by sunset.

According to her, the storm system seemed to be moving towards the Texas Panhandle and central Oklahoma. There were already warnings in place for these areas.

The weather service predicted that the city of Lubbock in west Texas could receive up to 8 inches of snow on Sunday. Currently, there are already 1.3 inches of snow on the ground in Amarillo, located in the Texas Panhandle.

The storms that are currently occurring are a result of the atmospheric river that brought significant rainfall and snowfall to California and other western regions since Wednesday. This weather event has caused various issues such as power outages, street flooding, and numerous destructive mudslides in the Los Angeles area.

According to Shoemake, Albuquerque experienced 4 inches of snow on Saturday, while the nearby mountains received between 6 and 9 inches.

According to Shoemake, there will probably be some good skiing conditions.

The Sandia Peak Ski Area in Albuquerque was finally able to open its doors for the first time since 2022, thanks to the heavy snowfall. This winter wonderland has made it possible to enjoy top-to-bottom skiing across 300 acres, encompassing all 35 of its breathtaking trails.

Snowboarder Jovanni Orozco expressed his exhilaration, saying, “It feels like we’re soaring through the clouds up there. You can’t see anything at all, it’s so low, and then suddenly, the snow engulfs your goggles. But despite the challenge, it’s an absolute blast!”

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On Saturday afternoon, the National Park Service had to close the Bandelier National Monument near Los Alamos, N.M. due to the inclement weather. However, after conducting snow removal operations, the agency reopened the monument on Sunday.

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