Sunday’s storms were a blessing to a thirsty New Mexico, drenching parts of the Albuquerque area with nearly an inch of rain and dropping several inches on parts of the state’s parched southeastern corner.
This week’s forecast for the Albuquerque area promises more of the same with a chance of scattered and isolated thunderstorms every day through Saturday before a warming and drying trend begins early next week.
“Sunday was a big day for lightning and rain,” Kerry Jones, a meteorologist with the Albuquerque office of the National Weather Service,
said Monday. “A lot of areas had more than an inch of rain over the last 25 hours. There was well over 3 inches south of Las Cruces. There was over 2 inches of rain at the Roswell airport.”
Unofficial rain gauges in Albuquerque recorded from three-quarters of an inch up to 0.96 inch in parts of the Northeast Heights. The town of Bernalillo got 1.25 inches, and Sedillo, 23 miles east of Albuquerque, received 1.16 inches. Albuquerque’s official total at the Albuquerque International Sunport on Sunday was only 0.13 inch.
Other parts of the state got much more on Sunday. A gauge at the Leasburg Dam in Doña Ana Country recorded 4.04 inches. A part of Las Cruces got 3.83 inches. Carlsbad soaked up 2.19 inches, Columbus, 1.68 inches, and Santa Fe, 1.40 inches.
Chuck Jones, also a meteorologist with the Albuquerque office of the weather service, said this week also promises to be active.
“Thursday is looking to be the most active day, with Wednesday and Friday the next in line,” he said. “We’ve got a back-door cold front coming in on Thursday and some moisture coming in behind that. There will be a pretty decent shot at some flash flooding as well.”
Chuck Jones said the weekend may start out wet and wild. There is a 30 percent chance of precipitation Saturday afternoon, decreasing to 20 percent Saturday evening.
“There is some sign that by Sunday we may be starting to dry out,” he said. “We will have warmer and drier conditions by early next week. The six- to 10-day outlook is for a drier weather pattern for much of the state.”
Chuck Jones said El Niño, the moisture-laden weather pattern created by high sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, is officially done. El Niño helped make 2015 New Mexico’s fifth-wettest year on record, but it fell short of expectations this year.
“We have gone into a neutral situation now,” Chuck Jones said. “We are looking for a weak La Niña for later this fall and winter.”
La Niña is a weather pattern caused by lower sea surface temperatures in the Pacific, and it produces effects that are opposite those produced by El Niño.
“Odds are in favor of below-normal precipitation, especially across the southern part of the state,” Chuck Jones said.
|Rainfall totals in inches around the Albuquerque area Sunday night:|
|Corrales and N.M. 528||1.12|
|Cedar Hill and Tramway||0.96|
|I-40 and Juan Tabo||0.76|
|Corrales and Applewood||0.33|
|Sunday night rainfall totals around the state:|
|(Doña Ana County)|
Source: National Weather Service