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Fall weather has arrived in Albuquerque, along with the enticing aroma of roasting green chile, the chill of crisp mornings and the view of hot air balloons on the horizon.
But rainy, windy conditions have postponed or canceled several events at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.
National Weather Service meteorologist Scott Overpeck said the state will likely “hold onto the moisture” through the weekend.
“Certainly for the next couple of days, we’re just going to be in this wet pattern,” he said.
High winds grounded the fiesta’s opening weekend evening glow events on Saturday and Sunday.
Rain showers and 15-20 mph winds canceled Monday morning’s launch and competition.
The America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race, originally planned to begin on Saturday, was postponed for at least two days because of the weather.
This year’s race features eight teams from five countries in a distance competition, with the groups each lifting off from Balloon Fiesta Park.
Competitors often travel thousands of miles in the gas balloons.
Kim Vesely, the race’s media liaison, said Monday afternoon that the team was examining forecasts to ensure a “safe, good, competitive” event.
“We’re also looking at conditions in the direction that the balloons will travel,” she said. “We look at what types of weather might be there at the time the balloons get there and what the landing conditions might be like.”
A shifting pattern of erratic storms and winds make predicting race conditions challenging.
“You go when you have that window, and it could be overnight,” Vesely said.
Tuesday in Albuquerque is expected to have a low temperature of 55 degrees and high of 73. The city will be mostly cloudy, with a 40% chance of rain. Showers and thunderstorms are more likely in the afternoon.
Wednesday will likely dip to a low of 52 degrees and reach a high of 68, with a 50% chance of rain. Albuquerque is expected to be partly sunny, with winds at 5 to 10 mph.
Albuquerque could have a low of 52 degrees on Thursday, with a high temperature of 69 degrees and a 40% chance of rain.
Friday’s forecast shows a mostly sunny day, with a low of 52 degrees, high of 69 and a 30% chance of rain.
Saturday and Sunday are both expected to be mostly sunny, with low temperatures each day of 50 degrees and highs of 69.
Saturday has a 30% chance of rain, and Sunday has a 40% chance of rain.
This week’s rainstorms could flood areas in and around the burn scars of this year’s wildfires.
“Storm motions are slow and erratic,” Overpeck said. “That’s one of the reasons why we’re concerned about the flash flooding, not just in the burn areas, but there could be a few other spots that could see isolated flash flooding.”