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Monsoon plume to bring dry thunderstorms

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A lightning bolt strikes the foothills in this photograph taken Monday at Snow Park near Moon and Indian School NE. A severe thunderstorm warning was issued for parts of Bernalillo County early Monday evening. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — After several days of hit or miss storms, this week could shape up to be another “monsoon roller coaster” for New Mexico, said Sharon Sullivan, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service Albuquerque office.

“We can’t rule out any storms for (Tuesday) afternoon, but they will have less moisture,” Sullivan said.

Albuquerque is expected to hit a high of 97 degrees on Tuesday. Statewide temperatures will be 5 to 10 degrees above normal. Storms will be concentrated in northeast New Mexico.

Wildfire smoke from Southern California may drift into New Mexico this week if wind conditions allow.

A weak monsoon plume will begin to affect New Mexico on Wednesday. The Upper Gila region in the southwest corner of the state could see dry thunderstorms with gusty winds.

Thursday looks to be the most active weather day of the week. Albuquerque has a forecasted high of 94 degrees and a 20% chance of rain.

“We’ll get a more traditional monsoon plume with storms moving south to north across the state,” Sullivan said. “It likely won’t be a very strong monsoon surge, so while we will see some storms and some activity across state, they still may be drier in nature.”

This weekend, as drier air works its way into the Four Corners region, storms will be isolated in high terrain areas of New Mexico. Albuquerque temperatures will hover in the mid-90s all weekend, with little chance for rain.

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