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New Mexico gets a good soaking

Automobiles drive through standing water at Unser and Ouray NW, as a storm moved over the West Side of Albuquerque on Wednesday afternoon. Farther north, the rains flooded a part of Paseo del Volcan in Rio Rancho.
Automobiles drive through standing water at Unser and Ouray NW, as a storm moved over the West Side of Albuquerque on Wednesday afternoon. Farther north, the rains flooded a part of Paseo del Volcan in Rio Rancho.
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The monsoon season was in full force in New Mexico on Wednesday, with winds ushering in severe thunderstorms that caused flooding in south-central parts of the state.

As much as 2 inches of rain fell in Guadalupe County, three quarters of which fell in 15 minutes, according to a National Weather Service spokesman. Flash flood warnings and advisories were issued for parts of Socorro, Cibola, Sandoval, Catron and other counties.

“We had a lot of activity in a lot of different places today,” said Weather Service spokesman Troy Marshall.

In Rio Rancho, flooding shut down a section of Paseo del Volcan between N.M. 550 and Iris Road for a few hours after 1.2 inches fell there in 40 minutes. The road fully reopened around 6:20 p.m. Wednesday.

Water from a Wednesday storm flows off the mesa above the Petroglyph National Monument.

Water from a Wednesday storm flows off the mesa above the Petroglyph National Monument.

 

The southern New Mexico storms that crept northward were preceded by high winds, reaching as much as 59 mph east of Edgewood. Meteorologists reported little visibility as they looked out their office windows, Marshall said.

“They called it a ‘brown out,’ ” he said. “I’ve never heard that term before.”

The storm systems headed north throughout the day, slowly dumping rain throughout much of the state. Those thunderstorm cells were expected to leave the state by early this morning.

An area north of Pie Town got 1.5 inches; Bonito Lake near Ruidoso received almost 1.6 inches; and Santa Rosa got 1.5 inches as of 4:15 p.m. on Wednesday.

“This is what we really like to see as far as rainfall for New Mexico during the monsoon season,” meteorologist Todd Shoemake said, a system that set up a pretty good “crop of storms” for the state.

The service issued more than half a dozen flash flood advisories and warnings Wednesday, sometimes twice for the same area, as the storms progressed.

There were, however, no reports of injuries or other damages due to flooding.

Today, odds are in favor of additional heavy rains in the central New Mexico mountains, with 60 to 70 percent chances of precipitation through the mountain chain.

Albuquerque will see about a 30 percent chance of rain on top of a mostly cloudy day.

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