Albuquerque’s monsoon officially underway

By the powers invested in my by no one in particular, I hereby declare Albuquerque’s 2015 Monsoon Season underway.



The weather radar is showing blobs of color in the high country to the southwest, there are high clouds popping up above the mountains to the east of the city, but the real clue was how muggy it was as I rode my bike the five minutes it took me to drop off something with a friend over at the UNM School of Law.

It that’s mugginess that does the monsoon magic. Moist air gets lofted into the sky by daytime heating, big clouds happen, then they rain.

Some years ago, I wrote in the newspaper about some work by a University of New Mexico undergraduate named Patrick Higgins who concluded that three consecutive days of dewpoints at or above 47F (8.3C) were a reliable indicator that the summer monsoon was here.

Tuesday and Wednesday were above the Higgins Line, and today is on track to finish above 50. If true, and we really do get some rain out of the current pattern, it will be unusually early. Typically we don’t see a serious monsoonal pattern until about a week into July.

I do miss the opportunity to write for the newspaper at this particular time. Monitoring the approach of our summer rains was one of my most-beloved duties. I do not miss the pedantic emailers complaining that, well, I’ve been to India, this really isn’t a monsoon.

By the powers vested in my by no one in particular, I declare that it is.


  1. You may miss working at the paper, but we love having you here working the water beat 24/7. I appreciate your research and insight! Happy Monsoon Season!

Comments are closed.