Las Cruces will be windy the next two days

Sun-News Reports

LAS CRUCES - A good word to describe what could be in store for Las Cruces' weather is "extremes."

On Tuesday, Las Cruces' high temperature is forecast for 83 degrees and winds could reach 60 mph. The record high for March 22 is 87 degrees, set in 1997, according to records kept by the Western Regional Climate Center.

Wind could be the biggest factor Tuesday and Wednesday for unpleasant weather. National Weather Service meteorologists believe gusts could climb as high as 60 mph on Tuesday, lessening on Wednesday with gusts to 41 mph.

By Tuesday afternoon, sustained southwest winds in Las Cruces are expected to range from 28 mph to 38 mph. A High Wind Warning, issued by the weather service, will be in effect from noon until 9 p.m. Tuesday. With no measurable rain in Las Cruces since Feb. 2, that means Tuesday could have produce widespread blowing dust.

Weather service meteorologists have already hinted the strong gusts and blowing dust could get bad enough for portions of Interstate 10, especially near the Arizona border, to be closed because visibility could be seriously reduced.

The combination of warm temperatures, high winds and low humidity will have all of New Mexico under a Red Flag Warning on Tuesday, according to the weather service.

A strong storm in the upper atmosphere, passing across southern Colorado, will trigger Las Cruces' weather conditions Tuesday and Wednesday.

Winds shouldn't be as strong on Wednesday, but patchy blowing dust will linger in Las Cruces' forecast. Sustained winds, from the west-northwest, could reach 30 mph Wednesday afternoon. But from a high temperature of 83 the day before, Wednesday's high is anticipated to be 69 degrees, just a few degrees below the average late-March high of 72, with a high of 68 on Thursday in Las Cruces.

Windy conditions could return Saturday, but the early forecast for Easter Sunday in Las Cruces includes sunny skies and a daytime high of 72.

Easter week forecast

Tuesday: Sunny, but winds increasing throughout the morning. Winds from the west-southwest 6 to 16 mph increasing to 28 to 38 mph. Areas of blowing dust after noon, with gusts as high as 60 mph. High near 83. Winds diminishing after sunset. Mostly clear Tuesday night, with a low near 50.

Wednesday: Sunny, but increasing west winds to 20 to 30 mph in the afternoon. Patchy blowing dust after noon, with gusts as high as 41 mph. High near 69. Mostly clear Wednesday night, with diminishing winds after sunset. Low near 44.

Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 68. West to northwest wind 6 to 15 mph. Mostly clear Thursday night, with a low near 39.

Friday: Sunny, with a high near 73. Calm wind becoming west to southwest 5 to 9 mph in the afternoon. Clear Friday night, with a low near 44.

Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 75. Mostly clear Saturday night, with a low near 43.

Easter: Sunny, with a high near 72.

Source: National Weather Service (as of 5 p.m. Monday)