Snow Causes Traffic Troubles In El Paso

El Paso – A short-lived snowfall Monday covered parts of El Paso, stalling traffic and forcing officials to close a heavily traveled mountain pass.

The early part of the storm that hit around midday today prompted highway officials to close parts of Trans-Mountain Highway, a state road also known as Loop 375 that connects El Paso's far west side to the northeast and parts of Fort Bliss.

The snow fell in large clumps just before midday, covering car windows and pilling up on trees and rooftops before being washed away by a steady rain.

The National Weather Service says the mix of snow and rain was expected to continue as a storm front moved east across southern New Mexico from southern Arizona. Winter storm warnings were issued for large swaths of southern and eastern New Mexico and West Texas east and north of El Paso into Tuesday.

Forecasters say parts of the area from southern New Mexico to Hudspeth County, just east of El Paso, could see between three and eight inches of snow in 24 hours. The weather service predicted snow and a wintry mix of snow, sleet and rain were expected to move into the South Plains, Concho Valley and Edwards Plateau on Tuesday.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.