We are no longer days, but just hours away from the kickoff to the 51st annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Luckily the weather this weekend will be almost picture perfect, but we have to get through some gusty east canyon winds tonight thanks to a backdoor cold front. This front is currently moving across northeastern New Mexico, expected to arrive and bring wind gusts 35-50 mph this evening. Gusty winds will continue through just before sunrise, expected to calm down just in time for Balloon Fiesta. There is the better potential to see a box set up Saturday compared to Sunday.

Temperatures will be cooler tomorrow morning thanks to the frontal passage. Afternoon highs will be cooler statewide Saturday as well, even with plenty of sunshine and dry conditions. A few isolated showers may develop across the west central mountains, but rain will evaporate before it reaches the ground. Quiet and cool conditions will persist across the Albuquerque metro early Sunday morning as well, it should be a great weekend to see the mass ascension.

There is the potential for a few isolated to scattered afternoon showers/storms across the Gila into early next week. Mostly dry conditions will stick around the lower elevations and eastern parts of the state. Gusty winds will likely arrive by the mid to late week, which may pose a bit of troubles for Balloon Fiesta. Remain weather aware if you plan on heading out. But luckily, this year’s weather for fiesta is looking a LOT better than last year!