Freezing temperatures, high winds expected to hit San Juan County this week

Mike Easterling
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — Farmington's first freeze of the season is set to arrive just a few days behind schedule this week, part of a winter-like blast that could result in some light snow across higher elevations in northern New Mexico.

Sharon Sullivan of the National Weather Service office in Albuquerque advised Farmington residents to prepare their pipes, outdoor pets and tender plants for a hard freeze on the morning of Oct. 13 — just four days past the city's average first freeze of Oct. 9, she said.

The weather service is forecasting a low of 28 degrees for Farmington that morning, with a 30-degree low expected on Oct. 14 and a 29-degree low on Oct. 15. Overnight lows are not expected to get above freezing again until late in the weekend, Sullivan said.

Those freezing temperatures are expected to be just one of the byproducts of a weather system that will arrive in San Juan County on Oct. 12. The system will bring with it strong winds and a chance for light precipitation.

With Farmington's first hard freeze of the season coming this week, residents are advised to provide special care for their tender plants, outdoor pets and pipes.

Sullivan said local residents can expect 30 mph winds late in the day on Oct. 12, while the county may see rain totaling less than 1/10th of an inch. But she noted that any moisture would be welcome, as Farmington continues to run behind its average moisture for the year. As of Oct. 11, the city had received 5.12 inches of precipitation at the Four Corners Regional Airport, while the normal for that date is 6.01 inches.

Other parts of San Juan County and the region could see their first snowfall of the season from the storm. Sullivan said higher elevations across northern New Mexico, especially mountain passes, could see up to half an inch of snow through the morning of Oct. 13.

But the system's main impact will be on temperatures. Daytime highs in the Farmington area are expected to be 5 to 15 degrees below normal this week, with overnight lows registering at 10 degrees below normal, Sullivan said.

Temperatures are not expected to return to normal or above normal until Oct. 17, she said, when a warmer and drier trend will develop. The weather service is calling for a high of 64 degrees on that day.

Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610 or Support local journalism with a digital subscription.