ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Following a dry and windy spring that helped spread what are now the two largest wildfires in state history, monsoon season has arrived in New Mexico with near record setting numbers. As of June 22, New Mexico’s 2022 monsoon season remains the second rainiest start to the season for Albuquerque, just a week into the official start of the rainy season.

What’s left for this year’s monsoon? Are the monsoons helping put out New Mexico’s historic wildfires? Is the rain truly helping alleviate the state’s continued drought? Have any problems come from the monsoon rains yet? What are some of the key elements you should watch out for?

KRQE News 13’s Chief Meteorologist Grant Tosterud and Digital Anchor Chris McKee broke it down in a live online discussion Thursday. Check out the live special in the video on this page!

We encourage viewers to get involved in the conversation. Send your questions to Chris at chris.mckee@krqe.com. You can also tweet questions at Chris and Grant at @ChrisMcKeeTV or @granttosterudwx, or just use the hashtag #HeyChris or #HeyGrant and we’ll address your questions.

Clear indicators that monsoon rains are helping are starting to emerge. On Friday, June 24, the Santa Fe, Carson, Cibola and Lincoln National Forests and the Valles Caldera are expected to lift much of (but not all of) its forest-wide fire restrictions that have been in place for more than a month. The change will allow visitors to come back on most public grounds, except for areas around the Cerro Pelado Fire on the Jemez Ranger District, and the entire Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District where the Hermits Peak Calf Canyon Fire continues.

“In many areas, these summer storms provide 50% of our average yearly precipitation,” KRQE’s Grant Tosterud said in a recent article about monsoon season. “Without the monsoon, we would be even more of a desert that we already are.”