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New Mexico is starting off this week with warm weather and high winds, before temperatures drop Wednesday and Thursday as a cold front moves south through the state.
The unseasonable warmth and high winds could fuel critical fire weather Tuesday afternoon, said National Weather Service meteorologist Scott Overpeck.
“Strong, gusty winds will get up in the 40- to 50-mph range across I-40, mostly eastern New Mexico,” Overpeck said. “We’ll also have low relative humidities. Right now, vegetation and fuels are pretty dead, so just how much of a (fire) threat it will be depends on those factors.”
Albuquerque is expected to have a high temperature of 60 degrees and low of 31 Tuesday. A high of 62 degrees is forecast for Wednesday.
A cold air mass moves into New Mexico on Wednesday night.
Albuquerque will have a low of 28 degrees Thursday and a high of 47 degrees, with a 10% chance of precipitation.
One to 3 inches of snow could fall in the northern mountains and northeastern plains by Thursday night. But the rest of New Mexico will likely receive little moisture from the midweek storm.
“As that front pushes through the early morning hours, we should keep an eye on those gap winds for Santa Fe and Albuquerque,” Overpeck said.
Temperatures will rebound by Friday. The Albuquerque area will be mostly sunny with a high of 57 degrees on Friday, and 62 on Saturday.