Extended cold snap on way

By Emily Crowe

CNJ STAFF WRITER

ecrowe@cnjonline.com

Eastern New Mexico is headed for a deep freeze later this week as temperatures are expected to dip below freezing for an extended period.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Christopher Luckett said Wednesday’s high temperature is expected to hit 60 degrees, but will only peak at 27 degrees Thursday.

Thursday will also bring a 60 percent chance of snow flurries, with accumulation possibly reaching 1 inch. There is a 10 percent chance for snow Friday and Saturday, according to Luckett.

“Thursday, Friday and Saturday are looking to be pretty much the coldest days,” said Luckett, who expects highs to be in the upper-20s and lows to be in the teens each day.

The average highs for early December is in the low-50s.

Steve Kersh, chief meteorologist for KVII-TV in Amarillo, said the cold weather could be a trend this winter.

While the current winter forecast calls for temperatures similar to those last year, Kersh said the fact that the Polar ice cap has grown 29 percent in the past year could cause additional cold snaps.

“It does mean our cold spells are more than likely going to be colder and last longer than they have in years,” Kersh said.

The cold snaps could lead to freezing temperatures lasting for many days at a time, and could cause snow to stay on the ground for an extended period of time, Kersh said.

For those that must be out in the cold weather, Kersh recommends dressing in layers, limiting outdoor exposure, keeping head and extremities covered and warm and taking breaks to warm up inside.

Winter weather survival kit for long trips

Steve Kersh recommends the following items be kept in a car in case of cold weather emergency.

• Blankets

• Shovel

• Kitty litter or sand

• Candles

• Red fabric for flagging help

• Peanut butter or other easily accessible food