Weekend may bring flooding in southern NM - Albuquerque Journal

Weekend may bring flooding in southern NM

Cassandra Lopez uses her cellphone to capture the scene from Pat Hurley Park as a storm drifts across Albuquerque last week. Heavy monsoon rains across southern New Mexico could lead to widespread flooding this weekend. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

The National Weather Service is warning that heavy monsoon rains across southern New Mexico could lead to widespread flooding this weekend.

Scott Overpeck, a NWS meteorologist in Albuquerque, said storms over saturated soil south of Interstate 40 could cause flash flood impacts to linger.

“It won’t take much for rainfall to start running off into several of our river basins and some of these arroyos,” he said.

The rain could flood the McBride burn scar in Ruidoso, the Black Fire area in the Gila National Forest and the Bear Trap burn scar southwest of Socorro.

“But when we start piling up with 1 to 2 inches or 2 to 3 inches, that’s where the trouble’s going to come in, and it’s not just going to be the burn areas,” Overpeck said.

Most northern areas should be able to weather the storms without severe impacts if rainfall rates are moderate.

But if stronger storms materialize, rainfall amounts could quickly ramp up across the middle Rio Grande valley.

“That might be something that we need to keep an eye on in addition to our southern areas,” Overpeck said.

The rain is also expected to bring lower temperatures to much of the state.

Albuquerque has a forecast high of 71 degrees on Saturday, with a 70% chance of rain.

Temperatures could dip into the 60s across northern New Mexico this weekend.

The Weather Service warns people not to drive through flooded roads and to seek higher ground when strong rain storms arrive.

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