Strong winds will begin to pick up Saturday afternoon and will continue into the middle of next week. Prolonged and concerning fire danger will begin Saturday afternoon too.

Friday saw another day with lighter winds across New Mexico. Some winds still gusted over 30 mph this afternoon. Much warmer weather started moving into the state today too, and this warming trend will continue through Saturday. Record and near-record high temperatures are likely Saturday afternoon, with parts of southeastern New Mexico climbing into the triple-digits and Albuquerque seeing its first 90° day of the year.

Despite the heat Saturday, the bigger story is going to be the return of a very high fire danger. Strong southwesterly winds will develop in the afternoon, gusting to as high as 55 mph across northern New Mexico. This will just be the beginning of the wind. Even stronger winds are forecast Sunday and Monday when widespread wind gusts over 40 mph will be common, and parts of northern New Mexico will see gusts as high as 60 to 80 mph. Breezy to windy conditions will continue through at least the middle of next week, and likely through the end of the week as well.

The biggest concern with these strong winds is the extremely high fire danger they will create. Relative humidity will stay in the single-digits across much of the state, and won’t recover much overnight. All of this will contribute to a concerning several days of high fire danger in the state. Fires that are currently burning or develop could and will spread quickly or get out of control. This is a historic period again due to the prolonged nature of the strong winds, extremely dry conditions, and high fire danger.

Warm weather will also be sticking around for the next several days as high temperatures stay well-above average for this time of year.