Snow shutters schools, buildings in parts of New Mexico

March 17, 2023 GMT

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Wintry weather has made for more of a white than green St. Patrick’s Day in New Mexico.

Northern and central parts of the state were blanketed with snow Friday morning thanks to a cold front, resulting in school closures and risky travel conditions.

Residents from metro areas to villages have shared pictures on social media of anywhere from 2 inches (5 centimeters) to a foot (30 centimeters) of snow.

Schools in Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Rio Rancho opted to take a snow day, bringing an early start to a scheduled spring break.

Taos has closed all city and government buildings.

In Los Alamos, officials announced the Bandelier National Monument would be closed and reopen at noon on Saturday. But visitors are urged to check the monument’s website and social media before coming.

The National Weather Service in Albuquerque cautioned drivers to be careful driving on slick roads.


Two hikers stuck in the Sandia Mountains overnight were rescued early Friday by Bernalillo County Fire Rescue. According to authorities, they had planned to hike from Sandia Crest to the Sandia Tram. But they were unprepared for the 2-3 feet (60-90 centimeters) of snow on the trail.

They were treated for hypothermia and are expected to recover.

Forecasters say another spell of chilly and damp weather is expected next week. Meanwhile, eastern New Mexico will see warmer and windier conditions.

Stormy weather has also been creating some stress elsewhere in the Southwest.

Heavy rainfall this week northwest of Las Vegas led to flooding in rural Lincoln County near the Utah border, causing concern that a dam in the area could fail.

On Thursday evening, Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo authorized county leaders to issue mandatory evacuations in the event of a dam failure, but county officials announced Friday morning that water levels were subsiding and the dam remained intact.