Where Is Fire Season?

June 10th, 2014 at 11:01 am by under Weather

By mid-June, we are usually in the heart of fire season. This time last year the Silver Fire was going in the Gila and would eventually burn 138,705 acres. The Thompson Ridge Fire in the Jemez Mountains would cover 23,965 acres and the Tres Lagunas Fire in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains would stretch 10,219 acres.

Of course, we can’t forget the horrible fires from the two previous years. In 2011 the Las Conchas Fire would claim 156,593 acres in the Jemez Mountians. It became the largest fire in New Mexico’s history until the following year when the Whitewater-Baldy Complex Fire in the Gila burned 297,845 acres.

When compared to previous years, we have been very fortunate this fire season. So far we have only seen three major fires, the largest of which has only burned 5,484 acres (Signal Fire). While it is great to count our blessings, it’s very important to remember that we still have a few weeks to go before monsoon season. A great example of this is the Las Conchas Fire which didn’t start until June 26, 2011.

Major fires that have occurred so far in 2014.

Major fires that have occurred so far in 2014.

Now to the forecast… The weather will be mostly quiet over the next couple of days. With more sunshine and a developing westerly flow, temperatures will warm today and Wednesday. Expect highs to reach the mid 90s in Albuquerque Wednesday afternoon, while the south tops out in the low 100s.

A back door cold front will push in from the east Thursday. This will bring temperatures back down. But it will also lead to better storm chances from the central mountain chain eastward. After only spotty storms today and Wednesday, expect more scattered coverage on Thursday.

We return to a westerly flow Friday. This will push the moisture back out of the state and warm our temperatures back up for the weekend. Some moisture will try to edge back into the state by Sunday and early next week, but will barely reach New Mexico. This leaves the best shot of storms across the communities on the far eastern edge of the state.

Leave a Reply