Near Hurricane Force Wind Gusts for New Mexico, Texas

By Dan DePodwin, Meteorologist
January 12, 2013; 5:25 AM ET
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Howling winds out of the west raced across the western Plains on the southern side of a gathering storm that brought blizzard conditions to the northern Plains.

Gusts were up to 65 mph in a corridor from northwest New Mexico to southeast Kansas across the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles. Larger cities that got rocked by the winds include Clovis and Las Vegas, N.M., Amarillo, Texas, Lamar, Colo., and Dodge City, Kan.

While not everyone had wind gusts to 65 mph, even gusts as strong as 40 and 50 mph can cause significant problems.

Blowing dust was an issue in some places, significantly reducing visibility. Motorists using I-25 and I-40 should take extra caution today due to the high winds.

Big rigs were advised to be especially careful due to the strong crosswinds on I-25.

These wind gusts also brought down trees and power lines.

Very chilly Canadian air will accompany these strong winds. The combination of gusty winds and temperatures in the 30s made it feel 10 to 20 degrees colder in parts of New Mexico, certainly prompting residents to bundle up.

Friday a final mild day in Texas before the cold air rushed in. This cold shot is the first in a series of arctic blasts headed eastward.

Very windy conditions are not that uncommon in this region of the nation, especially during the winter. The clash of air masses across the area, developing storms, and barren landscape make it an ideal area for air to rush across.

Aside from the 65-mph wind gusts in the western Plains, blizzard conditions unfolded farther north Friday into Friday night. While gusts only topped out near 40 mph in this area, the combination of wind and snow made for hazardous travel.

On Saturday, the gusty winds shifted into the Great Lakes but began to slacken as well.

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