Snow blankets portions of Southwest, forces closings

Story highlights

  • Road and school closures across two states
  • U.S. Army missile range in New Mexico closes
  • More snow is expected into Friday

(CNN)Residents in portions of New Mexico and Texas were dealing Thursday with a rare winter storm.

More than a foot of snow had fallen just south of Amarillo in the Texas Panhandle. The National Weather Service says Amarillo recorded its 11th snowiest day on record, dating back to 1892.
El Paso, Texas, and Las Cruces, New Mexico, accustomed to only a wintry dusting, were seeing more than their usual share of the white stuff.
    On Thursday, snow continued to fall in eastern New Mexico and El Paso, where several road closures and school closures were announced. The Texas Department of Transportation was warning motorists to stay off the roads and watch for black ice on roadways in the El Paso area.
    New Mexico State Police tweeted several road closures and crashes due to "whiteout conditions."
    Notably, Interstate 10 westbound was closed in Las Cruces, where up to 5 inches of snow was recorded by midday. Up to a foot of snow fell east of Raton, New Mexico, in the town of Folsom, said the National Weather Service.
    Parts of New Mexico saw near white-out conditions Thursday.
    New Mexico resident Danielle Rodeheaver posted photos on Twitter saying, "I was told when I moved to Las Cruces it's rare that it snows and now I have a snow day."
    White Sands Missile Range, a testing facility for the U.S. Army south of Albuquerque, was "closed today due to inclement weather," according to a post on its Facebook page.
    The snow continued to fall heavily as winter storm warnings continued for most of the region.
    Forecasters are predicting between 1 to 4 inches, with amounts of up to 7 inches in the Guadalupe and Davis mountains in west Texas through Friday morning.