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Late-summer heat wave breaks records

Copyright © 2019 Albuquerque Journal

Ernest Espinosa and his grandson, Mariano Espinosa, 1, beat the heat by playing in the Civic Plaza fountain Monday. Albuquerque hit a record high of 98 degrees Monday, but temperatures will drop slightly this week as a cold front pushes into New Mexico. (Greg Sorber/Albuquerque Journal)

New Mexicans sweltering under a late August heat wave may start to see some relief Tuesday, but temperatures are expected to remain above normal for a few more days.

Albuquerque had a high of 98 degrees Monday, breaking the Aug. 26, 1994, record of 96 degrees. The average high for this time of year is a full 10 degrees lower – in the mid 80s.

National Weather Service of Albuquerque meteorologists said temperatures will start to drop today, thanks to a cold front that has made its way into northeastern New Mexico.

The front will also bring some rain to Albuquerque and the rest of the state Tuesday and Wednesday.

“It won’t be a blockbuster monsoon pattern, but anything’s better than what we’ve seen these past few days,” said NWS scientist Danny Porter.

August in Albuquerque is shaping up to be hotter and drier than normal, due to a sporadic monsoon season. The National Weather Servce Albuquerque station at the airport recorded zero precipitation from last Tuesday to Sunday. The precipitation recorded by the station was 0.03 inch on Aug. 12, and the current monthly total is a 0.22 inch.

Tuesday’s high in Albuquerque is expected to be 93.

“We’ll still have above-average numbers, but not the near-record temperatures like we’ve seen this past weekend,” Porter said.

Weather service meteorologist Randall Hergert said Albuquerque could have low clouds, patchy rainstorms, and wind gusts of 20 to 25 mph as the cold front pushes west.

Albuquerque has experienced above-average temperatures for much of August, and it’s not alone in New Mexico.

The southeastern part of the state continues to endure one of the hottest Augusts on record, but will also get some relief with the cold front. Much of the area remains under a heat advisory that warns residents to drink water and avoid staying outside for long.

Roswell broke a heat record Monday, with a high of 111 degrees. On Sunday, Roswell had a record high of 109 degrees; Saturday’s high of 102 degrees tied the 2002 record. The cold front will reduce Roswell temperatures to a high of 87 Tuesday, but the city will heat up again by Thursday, when the temperature is expected to rise to 97 degrees.

“We’re getting a little relief from the heat, but not much,” Porter said.

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