ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – Parts of drought-stricken New Mexico saw record rainfall over the weekend, and forecasters say more storms are coming, bringing the possibility of flash floods and dangerous road conditions.
Mosquero received close to 5 inches and Raton was hit with 4 inches of rain over a 24-hour period beginning Sunday, the National Weather Service said. That’s a daily record for Mosquero and the second most that Raton has ever seen in a day. Both places are in the northeastern part of the state.
Meanwhile, Santa Fe reported up to 2 inches of rain, and some parts of Albuquerque saw flooding.
More severe weather is expected this week, with possible flooding thanks to more storms that began Monday. The biggest risk is in areas hit by massive wildfires, officials said.
Northeastern and southwestern New Mexico were under a flash flood watch until early Tuesday morning, with showers and thunderstorms likely in recently soaked areas.
Clay Anderson, a senior forecaster for the weather service, said the state will continue to get sporadic showers because of the monsoon’s backdoor fronts. The state can expect to see up to 6 more inches of rain, especially in the northeastern corridor, because of heavy storms, he said.
“They are not going away anytime soon like last week,” Anderson said.
Despite the chances of flooding, the rain is needed. New Mexico is struggling through its fourth consecutive year of drought and just had one its driest winters on record.
But Anderson said recent storms and expected higher than normal precipitation at least until early August are helping New Mexico.
“This is all good news for drought relief and filling up our reservoirs with good water,” he said.
For example, the Canadian River, near Sanchez, New Mexico, swelled to 19 feet Sunday from just 2 feet the day before, Anderson said.