Drier weather has returned to New Mexico Tuesday as high pressure begins to build overhead. Major changes are on the way late this week as the monsoon begins, bringing daily afternoon thunderstorms chances beginning as early as Thursday.

Near-record heat, dry conditions, and windy weather has brought back a high fire danger to southern Colorado and northern and eastern New Mexico. This weather has caused explosive growth of the Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon Fire Tuesday afternoon. A large plume of smoke was visible today as the fire pushes west into the Pecos Wilderness. Quieter weather does return Wednesday as an area of high pressure builds over the state.

Monsoon moisture surges into New Mexico beginning Thursday. With this initial push of moisture, storms will mainly develop and stay across the central, northern, and western mountains. They will struggle to initially make it into the lower elevations. However on Friday, with a better surge of moisture, more scattered storms are likely across central, northern, and western New Mexico through the evening. Daily afternoon rain and thunderstorms chances will continue into early next week with the best chances for rain staying over the central, northern, and western parts of the state.

Heavy rain will be possible, and even likely, for some through the next few days. While moisture is long overdue, too much too fast will cause major problems. Flash flooding will become a concern as always, especially around arroyos. Flooding over the recent burn scars across the state will also be a big issue this year.