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Weather service issues red flag warning; Haze over Albuquerque from Arizona

Haze fills the sky over the Sandia Mountains in Albuquerque Friday morning June 21, 2019. The smoke is from a fire just east of Phoenix that has grown to more than 40,000 acres as of late Thursday night. (Donn Friedman / Albuquerque Journal)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Smoke from Arizona wildfires drifting east plus windy and dry conditions has prompted the City of Albuquerque to issue an Air Quality Alert and the National Weather Service in Albuquerque to post a  Red Flag Warning

NWS revised the ‘fire weather warning’ for today to ‘red flag’ conditions, early this morning.

The “Red Flag” conditions are expected across the central portions of New Mexico from Arizona to Texas until 7 p.m.

The smoke that moved into Albuquerque Thursday is coming from a 50,000-acre fire near Phoenix . The city’s Environmental Health Department has issued an Air Quality Health Alert for wildfire smoke effective until noon. It is recommended that children, elderly and those who have respiratory system issues limit their time outside.

The alert is in effect until noon when weather forecasters say the smoke will lift. But the return of winds from the southwest are expected to bring more smoke into the area later today.

Bobby Sisneros, planning manager with the City of Albuquerque, said Friday morning that none of the Senior Games events for the day have been postponed or cancelled.

“In fact, the road race (5K) has just started…we are monitoring the situation, but the forecast is for it to clear by noon,” he said.

Friday’s events planned for outdoor venues include the 5K road run, tennis, archery, horseshoes and  Pickleball.


Here is the full report from the NWS:



The National Weather Service in Albuquerque has issued a Red Flag

Warning…which is in effect from noon today to 7 PM MDT this

evening. The Fire Weather Watch is no longer in effect.

* AREA AND TIMING…Northwest Highlands, Sandia, Manzano, and

Gallinas Mountains, Middle Rio Grande Valley, and the East

Central Plains. Critical conditions are expected to develop

around midday and persist until early evening.

* 20 FOOT WINDS…Sustained at 15 to 25 mph with occasional gusts

between 35 to 40 mph. The strongest winds will be found near

and just east of the central mountains and highlands.

* RELATIVE HUMIDITY…Minimum values ranging from 5 to 10 percent.

These low values will be sustained for 5 to 12 hours.

* IMPACTS…Any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly.

Outdoor burning is not recommended.