ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – After nearly a month with no precipitation for most of New Mexico, a late-winter storm has finally broke the streak dropping rain and snow across much of the state.
The Albuquerque area only saw rain with the storm Saturday, but with the dry and disappointing winter hanging over our heads, many say it’s good to finally see something.
The heaviest rain in Albuquerque came early in the day, sending many people ducking for cover. By mid-day, crowds were out at Tingley Beach, fishing under dark skies and calling the rain a welcome sight.
“I grew up in the mountains of northern New Mexico and I’ve just watched the Jemez and Los Alamos be devastated over the last 10 years,” said a native New Mexican fishing at Tingley Beach.
Along with some soaking rains, wind also came with the storm, blowing hard through most of the city but failing to cause any problems or damage. However, since the last time Albuquerque saw any rain was in early February, roads were slick with lots built up oil.
Drivers on I-40 didn’t report any significant issues, but some say it did make things challenging.
“A lot of rain, the roads were really saturated, higher elevations, there was a lot of snow,” said one I-40 driver who was driving from Arizona to New Hampshire. “No wrecks, you know, a lot of tractor trailers pulled over and broken down vehicles.”
The East Mountains areas saw a lot of action with the storm as well, with rain pummeling brown grass and plants. The current dry streak has left many local residents worried about this summer.
“It’s always a concern, but this year and last year was a big danger with fire, and then we got some rain at the end of last year which was nice, but I think it’s going to be even dryer this year,” said Dan Galasso, a Tablazon resident.
The storm is bringing a buffer of new snow to the state’s northern mountains and ski areas. How long it will last is unclear, but residents are hopeful it’s a good sign.
“This has been our first rain I think of the year. We have a rain gauge now and then, and we just don’t get any moisture at all, so this is a welcome blessing, really,” said Galasso.
Water managers across New Mexico are saying snowpack is far below normal in the state right now. While this storm will help, it won’t restore levels to where they should be at this time of year.