Major winter storm takes aim at SW Great Plains

December 18, 2011 - 5:05 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The National Weather Service says a major winter storm is headed for the southwestern Great Plains, with blizzard conditions expected by mid-day Monday in parts of New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado.

Weather service forecaster Kerry Jones in Albuquerque, N.M., says there's a 90 percent chance that Interstate 40 in eastern New Mexico will be closed because of low visibility and blowing snow by late Monday afternoon.

Up to 18 inches of snow is expected in northeastern New Mexico, the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles, southwestern Kansas and southeastern Colorado.

Jones is warning people in the region not to be fooled by Sunday's pleasant weather — the storm is expected to move in quickly and is potentially life-threatening.

The storm is expected in southwestern New Mexico late Sunday.