A weak cold front moves into eastern New Mexico Tuesday night. This will bring a chance for isolated and dry thunderstorms in northeastern parts of the state. Lightning will be a threat for new fire development.
Winds were not a major factor in Tuesday’s high fire danger, but instead the combination of very hot temperatures and extremely dry air in eastern New Mexico. Tonight, a cold front will move into northeastern New Mexico and eventually stall out around Roswell and the east slopes of the central mountain chain by Wednesday afternoon. This cold front will bring a slight drop in temperatures to these areas, but more importantly bring a slight increase in moisture. That will help to create a few isolated showers and thunderstorms Wednesday afternoon from the peaks of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the northeastern parts of the state. Unfortunately, the air may still be too dry for much of that rain to reach the ground. Lightning will pose a hazard to new fire development in the northeastern plains.
Thursday brings back critical fire danger to the state. Winds will increase all across New Mexico, especially in the northern half of the state where wind gusts will reach 35 to 55 mph. This will combine with extremely dry air and very warm temperatures to bring back dangerous fire conditions. Windy weather will continue Friday, but the critical fire danger will shift into the southern part of the state as some moisture tries to creep into far northern parts of New Mexico.
Lighter winds return again Saturday and Sunday as temperatures will be cooler thanks to a cold front that will have swept through the state on Friday. Temperatures begin to rebound again though early next week as the extremely dry air continues.