This story is a staff report from The Paper.

The New Mexico Department of Health’s Environmental Health Epidemiology Bureau is calling on residents to closely monitor weather reports today and through the weekend.

National Weather Service (NWS) advisories warn New Mexicans to take precautions against record cold temperatures and high winds that are predicted to move into the northeast part of our state tonight and continue through this Friday. The arctic blast is expected to affect travel in New Mexico and many other U.S. states leading up to the Christmas holiday.

The Albuquerque-based NWS forecasts hazardous crosswinds and dangerous wind chills developing this evening. The strong northerly winds and cold temperatures will lead to prolonged wind chills that can cause hypothermia and frostbite.

Winds will slowly weaken Thursday night with very cold temperatures persisting into Friday.

The Department of Health strongly encourages residents to frequently seek out their local news providers or the NWS website for updated information as this storm system passes through our state.