Bitter cold, blowing snow and dangerous driving conditions


Valentine’s Day starts out with a rare blizzard warning for much of the state, coupled with dangerously cold wind chills. The Arctic chill started Saturday night with snow paired and lightning that eventually turned into more snow and blowing snow. The National Weather Service estimates several inches of snow will fall through Sunday and the wind blowing through gaps in the central-mountain chain could bring gusts of 60 miles per hour in the canyons. KOAT Meteorologist Eric Green says temperatures aren’t expected to climb much, if at all, Sunday and could stay in the single digits. The temperatures Sunday night could be some of the coldest the state has seen in 10 years. Law enforcement and emergency management officials are urging New Mexicans to stay home if they can avoid driving. As of Sunday morning parts of the interstate were closed throughout the state. I-40 westbound in Carnuel was shut down around 10:30 am, due to multiple wrecks involving semi trucks. Traffic in that area is being diverted at the Tijeras exit to Route 66.In addition, the southbound lanes at Coors Blvd. are closed at Montano because of several wrecks in the area. More on weather in your areaSubmit your weather photos hereLive RadarThe Department of Transportation released the following driving tips:REDUCE YOUR SPEED The best accident prevention on snow and ice is to SLOW DOWN and leave plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front of you for emergencies. PRACTICE GOOD WINTER DRIVING TECHNIQUES Keep your gas tank full, turn on your head lights, keep your windshield washer fluid full with antifreeze, keep winter driving chains in your vehicle, have a winter survival kit which includes – flashlight, hand warmer packets, first aid supplies, high energy snacks, bottled water, medications and read your owner’s manual for special instructions on driving 4-wheel drive vehicles and vehicles with ABS on snow and ice.AVOID DRIVING IN A SNOW CLOUD Large vehicles, such as semi-trailer trucks and snow plows, may produce dense clouds of blowing snow that make it difficult for drivers to see. When drivers encounter snow clouds, they should stay back to avoid the cloud.PLAN AHEAD AND BE PATIENT Delays are common during bad weather. Leave a little earlier and be patient with delays. CHECK BEFORE YOU PASS Know where a snow plow and blade are before trying to pass. On multi-lane highways, the plow can be in your blind spot. Before attempting to pass, make sure it is safe. PAY ATTENTION TO WEATHER FORECASTS –TRUST THEM Winter storms in New Mexico can become severe quickly, so stay tuned to weather forecasts when planning your trip.DON’T USE CRUISE CONTROL Never use cruise control when the roads are in slippery conditions. Using your cruise control can reduce your control of the vehicle if your tires begin to skid or slip.KNOW YOUR CURRENT ROAD CONDITIONS Visit…



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