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New Mexico’s monsoon season starts off cool and wet

Bradley Babb of Santa Fe gets video of the Santa Fe River near Alto Park in Santa Fe on Monday. The river was swollen after a thunderstorm passed through the area during the afternoon. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

Bradley Babb of Santa Fe gets video of the Santa Fe River near Alto Park in Santa Fe on Monday. The river was swollen after a thunderstorm passed through the area during the afternoon. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

SANTA FE, N.M. — Below-average temperatures and chances for heavy rain mark the first week of monsoon season in New Mexico.

“The monsoon is in full swing this week,” said Deirdre Kann, science officer for the National Weather Service’s Albuquerque office. “Almost every day this week, with the possible exception of Wednesday and Sunday, has the possibility of thunderstorms, and any single storm can put out up to 1.75 inches of rain.”

She said high temperatures will be 5 to 15 degrees below seasonal averages across the state through Saturday. High temperatures in the Albuquerque area during that time are expected to range from 84 to 88 degrees. Average high temperatures for Albuquerque this time of year are in the low 90s.

It was 75 degrees in Albuquerque at 2 p.m. Monday.

“That’s unusual for Albuquerque in early July,” Kann said.

Albuquerque got 0.69 inch of rain at the airport, and 0.57 inch at Comanche and Carlisle NE from 4:30 to 5 p.m. Monday. In Santa Fe, starting about 2 p.m. Monday, 0.75 inch of rain fell in 45 minutes at the Plaza. Ski Santa Fe reported 1.57 inches of rain.

Kann said the moisture in New Mexico will be replenished over the next few days. She said Thursday was looking to be the stormiest day of the week after Monday.

“If you picture a monsoon in New Mexico, this is the kind of activity you like to see,” Kann said of Thursday. “An upper high will be supporting a monsoon burst.”

Monsoon season in New Mexico runs from July 1 to Sept. 30. Average rainfall in the Albuquerque area during that time is 3.85 inches. During an above-average monsoon season – and forecasters say this may be such a year – the Albuquerque area often gets as much as 6 inches of rain. In 1988, the wettest monsoon season on record, Albuquerque got 7.36 inches.

Kann said chances of rain will decrease Wednesday, but increase again Thursday and Friday. She said temperatures will climb and the chance of thunderstorms will decrease over the weekend.

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