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Weird Weather Part 2: Snow Hits Texas, New Mexico

new mexico snow
Snow covers a road in New Mexico's San Francisco River Valley on Dec. 4, 2011. (Image credit: David Thornburg/NWS.)

The weird winter weather flip-flop that has recently held sway over the United States continued today (Dec. 5) with snow falling in the Southwest.

A week after unseasonable snow hit the Deep South, a light snow fell this morning on north Texas, with heavier snow blanketing much of New Mexico. The snow falling now is tailing the backside of a cold front that is passing through the region, according to AccuWeather.com. This system brought a dose of heavy rain to the rest of Texas, a welcome sight for the parched state.

About 94 percent of Texas is experiencing severe, extreme or exceptional drought conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor in Lincoln, Neb. While the rain is needed, the cold weather and precipitation knocked out power overnight to thousands in the region, the Houston Chronicle reported. The snowfall in north Texas was light, with Abilene and surrounding areas seeing about an inch (2.5 centimeters) of snow, according to the Weather Channel.

The wintry weather was caused by an upper-level low-pressure system that settled over the region along with an Arctic air mass, the Weather Channel said. Farther west, in New Mexico, a winter storm is under way. In lower elevations, up to 6 inches of snow is expected in the next 48 hours. In the eastern mountains of Albuquerque, 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 cm) of snow has already fallen.

Interstate 25 is snow-packed in New Mexico, and severe wind is expected to be a problem, creating blizzard and whiteout conditions, according to local news reports. The University of New Mexico and Albuquerque schools have closed for the day.

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Live Science Staff
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