The National Weather Service (NWS) office in Grand Junction, Colorado, in the Four Corners region where Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico meet, issued winter weather advisories across the mountainous region beginning January 4 as snow began to fall.
Continuing below freezing temperatures were predicted to continue across the coming week, with snow forecast to fall and accumulate daily during the period.
Amid snowfall toping 6 inches by January 4, schools were closed across the region by January 5, and some highways were as well due to accidents, as the Durango Herald reported.
“A winter storm dumped 3 to 6 inches of snow across much of the Four Corners early Thursday, resulting in difficult driving conditions for commuters and closing schools in northwest New Mexico,” said the Durango Herald. “U.S. Highway 160 was closed about 5 miles south of Cortez Thursday morning from about 5:30 a.m. to about 8:20 a.m. after a semitractor-trailer jackknifed near mile marker 31, Schwantes said. The front hill leading to Fort Lewis College in Durango was also closed.”
Reporting on the ongoing winter storm, the NWS office in Albuquerque warned:
A potent storm system is expected to move into the Four Corners region Sunday morning spreading snowfall across much of western and northern New Mexico. The storm system should move across New Mexico Sunday night through Monday with high chances of snow accumulations across much of the area especially the high terrain. There is a growing concern and confidence in blizzard conditions developing Monday morning over NE New Mexico generally north of I-40.
- Snow – creating more hazardous travel conditions with potential for some road closures or stoppages due to accidents;
- Wind – creating blowing snow and blizzard like conditions. Restricted visibility on area roads.
- Blizzard conditions limited to NE New Mexico on Monday; and
- Cold & Wind Chills – dangerous wind chills Monday into Tuesday with much colder conditions and winds.