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Haze possible from Western wildfires

A West Coast lady butterfly rests in a field of flowers near the 10k Trailhead in the Sandia Mountains on Saturday. Albuquerque is expected to have temperatures in the high-80s this week, with the greatest chances of rain in the afternoons. (Roberto E. Rosales / Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

Northern and western New Mexico have the best chances for rain this week, as the state’s eastern half begins to dry out after recent storms.

Daniel Porter, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Albuquerque, said slow-moving monsoon storms could flood regions where fires have burned large swaths of land.

“It doesn’t take a lot of rain to create mudslides or debris flows over burn scars,” Porter said.

Hazy skies are possible in Albuquerque this week as wildfire smoke from across the West circulates through New Mexico.

Albuquerque has a forecast high temperature of 89 degrees Tuesday, with a 30% chance of rain.

Wednesday’s high in Albuquerque is expected to be 89, and rain chances will rise to 40%.

“As drier air migrates its way into western Texas and eastern New Mexico, precipitation chances in eastern New Mexico will really drop off,” Porter said.

The “slow and chaotic” storms could bring much-needed rain to the Four Corners region.

Northwestern New Mexico has largely missed out on recent rainfall that has caused flooding in many parts of the state.

About 70% of San Juan County is experiencing exceptional drought, the most severe category used by national forecasters.

But the region has rain chances of 60% to 70% for much of this week.

Thursday’s high in Albuquerque is forecast to be 90 degrees.

The city has a 40% chance of rain. A similar storm pattern will continue this weekend.

Albuquerque high temperatures are expected to be in the high 80s.

Theresa Davis is a Report for America corps member covering water and the environment for the Albuquerque Journal.

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