Weekend storm could mean a white Christmas

National Weather Service predicts 60 percent chance of snow Christmas Eve

Hannah Grover
Larry Martinez, a facilities manager with the city of Farmington's Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs department, removes rainwater from the ice rink on Thursday at the Farmington Civic Center.

FARMINGTON — San Juan County residents who are dreaming of a white Christmas may get their wish this year.

Forecasters are warning that drivers on roads near ski resorts or over high mountain passes today and Friday may experience difficult driving conditions, according to The Associated Press.

While much of the state received rain today, a winter storm warning was issued through noon Friday for northern New Mexico's mountains higher than 9,000 feet, according to The Associated Press. The mountains will likely receive 10 to 20 inches of precipitation.

While the storm is expected to move out of the state Friday, a second storm will roll in over the weekend and possibly bring snow for Christmas.

Randall Hergerst, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said there is a good chance Farmington may see between a light dusting of snow and about one-tenth of an inch of snow overnight Saturday leading into Christmas.

He said there is a 60 percent chance of snow Saturday night and 30 percent chance on Sunday.

"(The storm) should be clearing out of there as the day goes on," Hergerst said.

He said there may be snow flurries on Christmas morning as people open presents and enjoy hot chocolate.

"As the day goes on, they can go out and play as the sun comes out," he said.

Hergerst said Christmas afternoon will likely be sunny.

He said the San Juan Mountains in southwest Colorado are also expected to get snow.

Snowpacks across most of the state are below normal, according to the National Weather Service.

However, the White Christmas Probabilities report for northern and central New Mexico released by the National Weather Service states the San Juan and Jemez mountains have about 100 to 130 percent of their normal snowpack.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.