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Cool weather expected for start of State Fair


Thomas Libbey with Event Toyz attaches dolphins to the outside of a tent on Tuesday as he gets ready for the start of the New Mexico State Fair, which kicks off Thursday. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Visitors to the New Mexico State Fair, which begins its 11-day run Thursday in Albuquerque, will enjoy cooler-than-normal weather for the first couple of days as a cold front is expected to enter the state from the northeast today, meteorologists from the National Weather Service said during a Tuesday briefing.

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The front will produce east canyon wind gusts up to 35 mph in the central valley from Santa Fe southward when it moves through the state tonight.

“The … front that’s at the surface that’s coming down out of eastern Colorado is relatively strong for this time of year,” said Andy Church, a meteorologist with the Albuquerque office of the National Weather Service.

High temperatures across the state will be from 3 to 11 degrees below average through Friday. Average high temperatures in Albuquerque during the first week of September are in the mid-80s.

High temperatures in Albuquerque will be in the low 80s today, the high 70s Thursday and around 80 degrees Friday. The forecast calls for highs in the mid-80s Saturday and the upper 80s Sunday and Monday under sunny skies. Overnight low temperatures around 60 degrees are expected through Sunday.

However, showers and thunderstorms are expected across northern and central New Mexico through Friday.

Church said the greatest chances for precipitation today will be across the northern mountains, especially the eastern slopes of the Sangre de Cristos, and the northeastern and central highlands. He said the eastern plains could have thunderstorms late this evening capable of producing heavy rainfall, large hail and damaging winds.

On Thursday, the coolest day of the week, Church said, the best chances for precipitation are from southwestern New Mexico to the northern mountains.

The last day of scattered to widespread coverage of storms over the state is Friday, as forecasters expect the weekend to bring a drying trend and higher temperatures as a ridge of high pressure builds over New Mexico from the west.

Storms are expected in the northern mountains and northeastern highlands Sunday and Monday.