Saturday JAN 21: Expect blizzard conditions at Sandia Crest

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Saturday JAN 21: Expect blizzard conditions at Sandia Crest

Rosy-finch banding was canceled last weekend because of snow conditions, and this weekend we may be in for more of the same.

Bob Lowder of Friends of the Sandia Mountains (FOSM) announced last night:

Due to the predicted high winds and heavy snows for tomorrow, particularly at the Crest (where we are told that NOAA predicts 55 mph winds and 10+ inches of snow) and the hazardous conditions that will likely result, FOSM has decided to postpone the 15th Annual Sandia Snowshoe Race until next Saturday, January 28, 2017. The safety of our race volunteers and our participants is our highest priority.

Of course, as always, relying on weather predictions is risky business. Now that we have cancelled, tomorrow might dawn with bright sun, palm trees and flamingos abounding and we would be criticized for being overly cautious. On the other hand, if we did not cancel, only to find that no one could could get up the Crest road or it was littered with accidents from those who tried, that would be even worse. So, we go with prudence and do the safe thing. See the race website<> for any additional announcements.

Winter Weather Advisory
Issued: 8:22 PM MST Jan. 20, 2017 – National Weather Service

... Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect until 11 am MST

* snow accumulations... 1 to 3 inches below 7500 feet with higher
  amounts of 2 to 4 inches possible above 7500 feet.

* Timing... snow will increase in coverage and intensity
  tonight... then persist through Saturday morning. Snow will
  become more intermittent and showery by late Saturday morning.

* Winds... southwest around 10 mph tonight... except up to 20 mph
  across the central mountains and Highlands. Strengthening and
  shifting out of the west Saturday at 10 to 20 mph with gusts up
  to 30 mph. Gusts around 40 mph over the central mountains and
  Highlands Saturday.

* Snow levels... cold enough for snow at all locations... except for
  the San Francisco River Valley where the snow level will lower
  to the valley bottom after midnight tonight.

* Local impacts... roads will become snowpacked and icy.

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

A Winter Weather Advisory for snow and blowing snow means that
visibilities will be restricted due to a combination of falling
and blowing snow.