Flash flood watch warning noon–evening today

(Courtesy Photo / Red River Marshal’s Office)
Highways 38 and 64 are open today after being closed yesterday evening due to flash flooding, however, today the National Weather Service in Albuquerque is issuing a flash flood watch for the western slopes of Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the north above 9,500 feet/Red River, the southern Sangre de Cristos above 9500 feet, eastern slopes of the Sangre de Cristos and the San Juan Mountains-Jemez Mountains, from noon (MDT) today through this evening.

“Readily abundant moisture will linger over Northern New Mexico today, leading to scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms over the northern mountains. Slow-moving thunderstorms will be capable of producing locally heavy rainfall this afternoon and into the evening. This will be a particular concern on recent wildfire burn scars, where heavy rain could lead to flash flooding with dangerous debris flows and mud slides.

“The Ute Park, Morris Creek, Sardinas Canyon, Bonita, and San Antonio burn scars will be particularly vulnerable to heavy rain, which could result in dangerous flash flooding, especially on the Ute Park burn scar. Keep a watchful eye on arroyos, creeks, small streams and low lying areas, and stay out of flooded low water crossings. While main stem river flooding is not expected, rapid rises on area rivers, creeks and streams are likely.

“Flash flooding is a very dangerous situation, especially over recent wildfire burn scars. Monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action should Flash Flood Warnings be issued.”

Day One… Today and Tonight

“Scattered to numerous thunderstorms are expected over the Northern mountains of New Mexico today and this evening. Storm motions will be slow to the west, and rainfall could become locally heavy with areas of flash flooding possible over and near wildfire burn scars. A few strong storms may also produce small hail and wind gusts to 50 mph.”

Days Two Through Seven… Saturday through Thursday

“Isolated to scattered thunderstorms will redevelop each afternoon with a few higher terrain areas occasionally observing numerous storms. Locally heavy rainfall will be a concern through the weekend and into next week with burn scar flash flooding also a possibility. A few strong storms may also produce small hail and wind gusts to 50 mph.”

Spotter Information Statement

Spotters are encouraged to report any rainfall measurements or observed flash flooding through the National Weather Service Albuquerque web site at weather.gov/abq or by calling 888-386-7637. You can also submit storm reports and photos on our Facebook page or via Twitter using the hashtag nmwx.

(Photo by Fritz Davis, Red River Miner)