An unusually high fire danger for this time of year continues into this upcoming week. Hot temperatures, dry air and windy weather will combine to create these conditions.
A combination of heat, dry air and windy weather has caused the first ever Red Flag Warning to be issued in the month of August for northwestern and northern New Mexico Sunday. Winds have died down tonight, but the fire threat will continue this week. Albuquerque broke a record high temperature Sunday afternoon.
High pressure will direct a fast moving jet stream across northern New Mexico through Wednesday. This will keep windy and dry weather across northern New Mexico into the middle of the week, a very unusual weather pattern for August. Winds could gust as high as 40 mph in the afternoons. These factors will create a high fire danger across the northern half of the state. Any current fires or new wildfire starts will grow rapidly.
Meanwhile, in southern New Mexico, rain chances will return to the Gila and Sacramento Mountains with a mix of wet and dry storms. These storms will struggle to hold together once they move off the higher elevations. Some storms may even develop as far north as I-40 Monday and Tuesday afternoon, bringing isolated storm chances to the Albuquerque Metro as well.
There is some hope that a more typical monsoon pattern will draw up better moisture and better storm chances by this next weekend.