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Wildfire smoke has spelled hazy skies and colorful sunsets in Albuquerque of late, and it could continue to affect air quality this week, said Sharon Sullivan, meteorologist with the National Weather Service of Albuquerque.
“With our high pressure in place over the Four Corners region and our steering flow mainly from the north, it’s bringing that smoke down from Colorado, and also kind of circulating the smoke that’s been in place across the Southwest region of the United States,” Sullivan said. “There’s still a chance we could have hazy skies in the area.”
And burnout operations on the Medio Fire north of Santa Fe this week will likely mean more smoke for northern New Mexico.
The Southwest Area Incident Management Team said in a news release that an air resource adviser has joined the Medio team to address public health concerns about smoke.
“Smoke from the Medio Fire is likely to be visible from Santa Fe and surrounding communities as well as along the I-25 and U.S.-285 corridors,” the release said. “Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems or heart disease are encouraged to take precautionary measures.”
Albuquerque high temperatures will hover in the low to mid-90s this week. The heat is above average for late August but a slight relief from recent weeks.
New Mexico is in for more hit-or-miss showers and thunderstorms, said meteorologist Daniel Porter.
“It’s been a pretty sad monsoon season across New Mexico,” Porter said.
Farmington has recorded its third driest monsoon season, with only 0.31 inch of precipitation recorded since Jan. 1.
Later this week storm chances will increase in northern and western New Mexico, but the storms will likely be drier. Gusty winds and lightning could accompany the storms.
A cold front early next week is expected to bring lower temperatures.