Chuck Jones, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service, says “It
looks like a full onset of the monsoon,”
The coming rains are expected to break Albuquerque’s heat wave, with
today’s forecast of a high of 94 down from Saturday’s 101, the hottest
Albuquerque temperature so far this year.
Southwest New Mexico has the best chance of rain as wet weather
conditions spread north across the state through the week.
While the rains could provide cooling relief to the hot, parched
state, Jones cautioned that they could also create serious flash
flood risk in watersheds burned by wildfire the past two years.
The Weather Service issued a flash flood watch Monday afternoon for
burn areas in the Sacramento, Gila and Jemez mountains, and the risk
of flooding will continue all week.
The summer rainy season generally begins in early July and brings as
much as 40 percent of New Mexico’s annual rain fall.
Thunderstorms have been popping up around New Mexico in recent days,
but not delivering much rain because the air is still too dry.
But the weather pattern is finally changing in our favor, with
additional moisture streaming up from Mexico that should be enough for
widespread rainstorms to develop across New Mexico .
The problem faced in the burn areas, is the ability of burned
landscapes to turn ordinary rainstorms into flash flood-inducing
torrents. Where only 2 percent of the rain that falls on a healthy
woodland runs off into streams and rivers, that can rise to as much as
75 percent of the rain that hits a burned landscape.
The Weather Service is forecasting a 20 percent chance of rain today
in Albuquerque, increasing to 30 percent this evening, with the
pattern repeating on the July 4 holiday.