Wednesday, June 22, 2011


This blog post will sound familiar to one of my sisters. She sent me an email asking about the wildfires in New Mexico and after sending her a reply, I thought it would make a good blog post, too. I've made a few changes.

There are wildfires all over the state; it's getting ridiculous. It's a combination of high winds, low humidity (single-digit!), and no rain. The "April winds" are finally over as of yesterday, according to the weather guy on TV. Seriously. The sustained high winds are usually only for the entire month of April, but this year they started in mid-March and kept going until mid-June. And single-digit humidity has been the norm for the last several weeks. According to the weather station we have at our house (so we can always know how miserable we are), the humidity a few days ago was 2%! I didn't know it could get that low. I told Mom that when it gets up to 15% it starts to feel muggy! When I go outside I can feel the moisture being sucked out of my skin.

The fire on the border with Arizona blew a lot of smoke into Albuquerque, with all kinds of air quality warnings. It blew a little bit of smoke here for a few days, but it wasn't that bad here, compared with Albuquerque.

There's another fire in Raton, near the border with Colorado that made them shut down Interstate 25 for several days. The fire started on one side of the interstate, but then it managed to jump over to the other side. We have friends who live up there and they had to evacuate. For several days they didn't even know if they still had a house or not. Fortunately, their house survived, but the fire came within 1,000 feet of their house -- flames 200 - 300 feet high. A DC-10 airplane dropped slurry in the area, saving their house and about 15 other houses.

Here are two videos on youtube.

In this one, the noise you hear is the wind hitting the camera's microphone.

And now there's a fire just north of Santa Fe. We could see the smoke the first day, as the wind blew the smoke our way.

And there are more fires in the far southern part of the state.

The first 10 minutes of the local (Albuquerque) TV newscast is devoted to updates on all the fires in the state, which is kind of a welcome change from the usual, the first 10 minutes devoted to shootings, stabbings, horrific drunk driving accidents, etc.


Barbara said...

It makes a change from freezing from lack of heat, like last winter!

You've got weather and landscape on large scales in the West. That has its good points and its bad points.

Beth said...

What still amazes me is the extremes that happen in one day, when the low temp is 40 and the high temp is 90!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful update! And you know how to embed utube in your blog! Cool!

We think of it as very dry here, but this shows us how very silly that is. Once, on a trip to Phoenix, when we came out of the airport, it felt like the air was being sucked right out of us. This happens to you every time you go outside?

You live beyond my imagination. I wasn't able to imagine the degree of coldness you had last winter and I can't imagine the dryness you have now. And four months of a wind that drives everyone crazy in one month must have been really unbearable to some.

Much love and many moist hugs,