Forecasted wind gusts anywhere from 65 mph to 85 mph prompted a high wind warning across southeast New Mexico and western Texas Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).
Weather may have led to the closing of the Ski Apache resort near Mescalero, although NWS could not confirm. A spokesperson from Inn of the Mountain Gods, which is part of Ski Apache enterprises operated by the Mescalero Apache Tribe was not available for comment.
Ski Apache’s website anticipated reopening on Jan. 19.
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Matt Demaria, forecaster with NWS in Albuquerque, said a storm system leaving the plains and increased wind pressure along New Mexico’s Central Mountain Chain brought heavy wind gusts to portions of Lincoln County Wednesday.
Westerly winds of 35 mph with a gust up to 41 mph was recorded at the Sierra Blanca Regional Airport near Ruidoso early Wednesday afternoon.
De Maria said a high wind warning for Lincoln County was effective until 9 p.m. Wednesday.
Conditions at the Sierra Blanca Airport were partly cloudy Wednesday afternoon. De Maria said the Ruidoso area had “different rounds of snow” during the month of January.
He said a weather station near Alto reported 1.1 inches of snow as of early January and 3.5 inches of snow fell in December.
De Mara said the last measurable snowfall in the Ruidoso-Alto area was around Jan. 4.
The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) noted fair driving conditions on United States highway 70 near Ruidoso Downs Wednesday from snow fall.
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High wind warnings extended from the Ruidoso area well into West Texas Wednesday.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park in Texas was open despite westerly winds of 46 mph with gusts up to 66 mph before 1 p.m. Wednesday.
Gusts from 65 mph to 85 mph were forecast by the NWS out of Midland, Texas for the Guadalupe, and Davis Mountains. The NWS predicted difficult travel for high profile vehicles.
“Severe turbulence near the mountains will be hazardous for low flying light aircraft. Winds will be particularly hazardous at higher elevations where the strongest winds are likely to occur,” according to an NWS online statement.
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Around 2 p.m. Wednesday winds at Carlsbad’s Cavern City Air Terminal were westerly at 37 mph with gusts up to 51 mph.
Mike Smith can be reached at 575-628-5546 or by email at [email protected] or @ArgusMichae on Twitter.