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ABQ ties, breaks more heat records

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Sarah Kaiman and her 22-month-old son Yuri cool off at the Rio Grande pool on Sunday, when the temperature reached 100 degrees in Albuquerque. The metro area is expected to reach a high of 98 degrees on Tuesday. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

Extreme, record-setting heat across New Mexico – including breaking an 82-year-old record high in Albuquerque on Monday – is unlikely to let up this week, said Todd Shoemake, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Albuquerque.

“One of the main hazards associated with the monsoon is that we often see those really high temperatures and the heat before the moisture arrives, before the thunderstorms become more widespread,” Shoemake said.

The Albuquerque Sunport recorded a high temperature of 103 degrees Monday, breaking the 1939 record of 101 degrees. And Albuquerque’s Sunday high temperature of 100 degrees tied the previous record for June 13, set in 1956.

The high temperatures and low humidity levels prompted Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to issue an executive order Monday urging New Mexico municipalities and counties to implement local fireworks bans.

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A man walks past a sign reading 103 degrees in downtown Albuquerque on Monday. The high temperature broke the previous record for June 14 of 101 degrees, set in 1939. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

Specifically, the governor’s order said about 88% of New Mexico is experiencing severe drought conditions and about half the state is experiencing exceptional drought conditions. It also pointed out that several wildfires have already been burning around New Mexico.

Previous governors have pushed for more authority to restrict fireworks sales, but such efforts have been largely unsuccessful, and state law does not currently allow the governor to enact a statewide fireworks ban.

In addition, Lujan Grisham’s executive order does not affect municipal or county fireworks displays planned for the Fourth of July.

Meanwhile, drifting smoke from Arizona wildfires may linger in the Albuquerque area Tuesday morning and cause hazy skies throughout the city.

Tuesday’s high in Albuquerque is expected to be 98 degrees.

Farmington’s high is forecast at 103 degrees.

The forecast shows a high temperature of 98 degrees Wednesday in Albuquerque and 97 Thursday and Friday.

Isolated afternoon and early evening storms are possible every day this week for western and northern New Mexico.

“Unfortunately, a lot of these thunderstorms are not really beneficial rainmakers,” Shoemake said. “There will be a lot of dry air, and so as the rain falls from these fairly weak thunderstorms it will tend to evaporate. I think a lot of places will be lucky to get just a few hundredths of an inch from any one storm.”

Slightly lower temperatures are expected for the weekend as the high-pressure system exits New Mexico.

Journal Capitol Bureau chief Dan Boyd contributed to this report. Theresa Davis is a Report for America corps member covering water and the environment for the Albuquerque Journal.


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