ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.—A strong wintry storm dropped heavy snow Wednesday across much of northern New Mexico, making driving difficult as snow accumulated on roadways and gusty winds cut visibility.

However, forecasters said Thursday should be dry but cold, as a slow warming trend builds and brings above-normal temperatures by the weekend,

The storm Wednesday made driving especially tough in the Taos area on US 64 and New Mexico highways 38 and 434, where plow drivers reported more than 8 inches of snow on roadways, according to the state Transportation Department.

Interstate 25 through Glorieta Pass was also a tough drive. Crews were plowing roads and spreading cinders.

The worst effects of the fast-moving storm were felt from Interstate 40 north to the Colorado border, said National Weather Service senior forecaster Tim Shy.

In Albuquerque, light rain turned to snow in the city's eastern foothills, but no significant accumulation was expected.

Little rain was expected in southern New Mexico., where the storm was mostly a wind event. The airport at Ruidoso reported 54 mpg gusts, a fairly common reading in southern New Mexico on Wednesday.

The rest of the state also was expected to experience high winds, especially as the fast-moving front moved to the east.

Extreme cold was expected behind the storm, with temperatures near zero in northern and western New Mexico, the coldest of the year, Shy said. The Albuquerque area could see lows in the teens.