ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – While the number of twisters touching down in such a short amount of time may come as a surprise to you, weather experts say it shouldn’t. In fact, this could be just the beginning.
New Mexicans across the state have seen tornadoes touch down over the past two days and the alerts keep coming, one tornado warning after the other.
Eleven of the 33 counties in New Mexico have been under tornado warnings off and on since Friday. There have been reports of more than five possibly touching down since 4:00 p.m. Friday afternoon.
So why all the severe weather?
“We have the dry line which is this feature that’s persistent this time of the year where Gulf of Mexico moisture to the east meets up with cooler, drier air to the west and where these two bodies of air join together, they don’t mix very well and, in fact, that becomes a point where a lot of thunderstorms can develop and we’re getting that right now,” explained New Mexico National Weather Service Senior Meteorologist Tim Shy.
Yet, Shy says this is not unusual.
“The system is not atypical for this time of the year. As a matter of fact, we are a little overdue for something like this,” Shy said.
He says he hasn’t seen activity like this for the state since 2007. That year, more than 13 different tornadoes touched down in New Mexico and at least two people died. Two more popped up just across the state line in Texas.
This time, Colorado was hit by a tornado, along with New Mexico’s round of twisters. It was just 15 miles north of the state line, in Trinidad, and tore apart trees and bushes.
Luckily, this time, no one was seriously injured.
Shy says, while having a big span of little to no tornado activity can be a nice break for the state, it also means people become complacent.
“We’ve had a couple of years of fairly sparse tornado activity and that this probably brings us up closer to what would be considered normal rather than being an exceptional event,” says Shy.
According to the National Weather Service, over the past two days, there were reports of a telephone pole uprooted in northern New Mexico and some damage to a business in Clovis.
While many of the tornadoes we’ve seen have been in eastern New Mexico, meteorologists with the National Weather Service say tornadoes can happen anywhere in the state.