Spotty snowfall predicted for region

Kevin Wilson

Nobody expects much hardship from tonight’s predicted snowfall, but a little touch of prevention never hurts.

After a hot and dry summer, the area’s first snowfall is predicted for late tonight and early Thursday, with a low of 33 degrees and an 80-percent chance of precipitation, according to weather.com. The site calls for a freeze watch — meaning conditions with precipitation and lows of 32 degrees or less — between midnight and 7 a.m.

Thursday calls for a high of 49 and a low of 29, with a 30-percent chance of precipitation, before the highs go to 61 on Friday and 71 on Saturday. Tuesday’s high temperature was 83.

Tim Shy, a senior forecaster at the National Weather Service in Albuquerque, said the snow will come from the same system that is predicted to hit the Denver area on Wednesday.

“It’s waiting for a reinforcing push of very, very cold air from Canada. That’s the thing that will propel that southward at a greater speed than it’s going.”

The puzzling thing, Fry said, is there is little accumulation predicted. He said accumulation would be spotty in Guadalupe County, but there’s nothing to indicate snow would otherwise accumulate in any areas south of I-40.

Clovis’ public works department is going in under that assumption, but preparations have still been made.

“We’re set up for it,” Public Works Director Clint Bunch said. “We’ve got snow plows on the trucks, we’ve got salt spreaders ready and we’ve got guys who are on call.”

City employees are generally on call from the middle of October through April 1, Bunch said.

Triangle Ace Hardware had fortuitous timing in preparing for Thursday. Staff put in an order for winter items late in the summer, and items like wood pellets, ice scrapers and Carhart clothing arrived just last week, General Manager Randy Petty said.

“Seasonal stuff, sometimes you try to gamble on it,” Petty said. Sometimes the stuff sells pretty easily, he said, and sometimes you have to find space in the back so you can try to sell it next year.

Items usually sell eventually, so ordering for the winter isn’t a big gamble. It’s simply a matter of getting the right amount at the right time.

“In the High Plains, there’s no way to know for sure,” Petty said. “Eighty-something today, snow on Thursday isn’t something that always happens, but it’s not necessarily a surprise.”