A large storm system is scraping across northern New Mexico today. This is picking up winds across the state this afternoon, with very dry conditions as all the moisture from that storm system is well to our north. Breezy to windy conditions will persist into Thursday as a cold front moves across the state.

Thursday morning is looking a bit questionable when it comes to a mass ascension including special shapes, but hopefully the Special Shapes Rodeo is still able to go on with a least a static display. Winds will continue picking up Thursday afternoon and evening as a backdoor cold front arrives. Keep a close eye on the weather if you plan on heading out to Balloon Fiesta Thursday. Eastern New Mexico will be dealing with the gustiest winds, with High Wind Warnings in effect along and east of the Central Mountain Chain Thursday afternoon. Fire Weather Watches are also in effect thanks to the windy and dry conditions.

The cold front will pass through overnight Thursday, bringing significantly colder conditions (5-15 degrees cooler) early Friday morning across the state. Luckily, the winds should quiet down just in time for mass ascension Friday morning, but make sure to bundle up in lots of layers if you plan on heading out. Temperatures will be a bit cooler even into Friday afternoon.

By the weekend, quieter and calmer conditions will arrive. Morning low temperatures will still be very cold for Fiesta, so make sure to bundle up. But, at least there is very good potential for mass ascension both Saturday and Sunday. For the solar eclipse, weather should be lovely, with a few upper level clouds passing by. This shouldn’t obscure the eclipse too much, luckily looking at a wonderful final weekend of Albuquerque’s 51st Annual International Balloon Fiesta.