- Associated Press - Thursday, February 6, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Officials in New Mexico Thursday closed schools and delayed the opening of some government offices ahead of the third winter storm set to pummel the state this week.

Driving conditions remained difficult on some northeastern New Mexico highways and Rio Rancho officials opted to close schools while schools in Albuquerque and Clovis delayed their starts.

Still, winter advisories remained in effect on Thursday and the National Weather Service said more snow is expected in western New Mexico, with expanded coverage late into the night.

Parts of western and northern New Mexico were expected to see between 3 to 6 inches of snow by Friday, the National Weather Service said. Meanwhile, the rest the state from Raton to Ruidoso was expected to see anywhere from 1 to 3 inches of snow bringing much needed precipitation in drought-stricken areas.

Albuquerque and Santa Fe, two cities hit harder earlier this week, were likely to see an inch or less, forecasters said.

Still, officials cautioned that slick and icy spots on roads, bridges and overpasses remain.

Weather caused numerous accidents in Albuquerque Wednesday night. The New Mexico Department of Transportation said at least 40 trucks in Albuquerque dumped sand and cinder onto the roadways.

Difficult driving conditions were reported on a 133-mile stretch of Interstate 40 between Clines Corner and near the Texas line. Fair conditions were reported on a 157-mile mile stretch of Interstate 25 between Rowe and Raton.

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