For the low, low price of a morning newspaper you also get my take on whether or not you can expect a good southwestern monsoon this year. The succinct answer? Dunno….
There are forecasters in the National Weather Service’s Albuquerque office who have never seen a really juicy monsoon.
You know the kind— towering late-afternoon knots of summertime purple over the mountains that roll down and cleanse the Rio Grande Valley, day after day.
The last time summer gave us that kind of blessing was 1999.
Sitting around a table Friday morning with some of those young forecasters and a group of Albuquerque television meteorologists, local Weather Service chief Charlie Liles tried his best to answer the question on everyone’s mind: Will our luck finally turn this year?
Liles’ best bottom line: There’s no way to tell.
Seasonal forecasts are hard any time, but especially summer in the Southwest, and especially in a year like this.
(A journalistic aside. Those not familiar with the business may not realize that the person who writes the story doesn’t write the headline. That’s done by copy editors who have the specialized skill of coming up with a handful of words that does a couple of jobs: accurately representing the complexities of the story that follows, luring readers into the story, and most importantly fitting into whatever size and shape the page design allows. It’s extremely difficult, and I’d be terrible at it. In this case, whoever headlined my story came up with an absolute gem: “It’s Going to Rain … When It Rains“)