The National Weather Service has announced a winter storm warning for the Middle Rio Grande Valley and Albuquerque metro area from 5 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 2, through 12 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 3.
The NWS website has information and tips for winter weather safety, including what to do before, during and after a winter storm.
Heavy snow is expected, with accumulations between two and six inches, which could make travel very difficult.
The New Mexico Department of Transportation has prepared its personnel and equipment in efforts to support the need of law enforcement and emergency responders during the storm warning.
The NMDOT will work in conjunction with emergency response to coordinate efforts with any possible traffic interference that may happen.
Traffic updates will be posted on the NMDOT traffic advisory website — nmroads.com — as they are reported, and can be heard on the department’s automated system at 511 in state, or 1-800-432-4269.
Driving tips to know:
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 warmers packets, first aid supplies, high energy snacks, bottled water and medications.
Also, 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 snowplows, 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 snowplow 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 the NMDOT website for current road advisory information at nmroads.com, or dial 511 in the state.
WEAR YOUR SEATBELT
Wear your seatbelt and make sure all passengers also buckle up.
Due to the weather, some subscribers may not be receiving their newspapers Thursday. If you didn’t receive yours, extra copies are available at the Chieftain office. Deliveries to Magdalena and Datil are delayed until Friday.
Due to weather, the Socorro Consolidated School District and the Magdalena Municipal School District are closed Thursday, Feb. 3. Alamo Navajo School will have remote learning for staff and students. The City of Socorro, Socorro County and New Mexico Tech all announced two hour delays. The Socorro Public Library is closed Thursday, Feb. 3. The Socorro Senior Center is also closed Thursday, Feb. 3.