Peak wind gusts this afternoon exceeded 50-60 mph for most of the northern mountains. Mora County recorded 66 mph which only helped fan the flames and spread smoke eastward throughout the day. A cold front also moved through earlier the day. So we’re noticing much cooler and drier air arrive from the northwest. Temps will cool below freezing for Taos and the higher spots over northern NM. We’ll see clear skies with the exception of smoke and haze over parts of Santa Fe and cities downwind of the Canyon Calf and Cerro Pelado fires. Wind speeds will change direction Saturday, and will lift out of Santa Fe improving air quality and visibility through the day. Overall, dry air and mild temperatures return Saturday with slightly cooler highs than Friday.

Highs will reach the upper 70s for ABQ/Rio Rancho, lower 70s for Santa Fe, and middle 80s for Roswell. Strong wind gusts unfortunately return for the state Sunday as another storm emerges from the Pacific. Our winds turn more southwesterly so this will push the smoke more towards the northeast corner. We’ll also turn humid close to the Texas border, allowing some stronger thunderstorms to develop along the Texas line. Into next week, more afternoon wind returns each day with a persistent storm track across the west.