Updated: January 28, 2020 05:34 PM
Created: January 28, 2020 05:26 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- New Mexico’s snowpack is looking good, according to Clay Anderson, senior forecaster with the National Weather Service.
"We're actually doing pretty well overall," Anderson said.
However, he cautioned that the snowpack levels differ across the state. Some areas are about average, while others are below average.
“The western and northern mountains of New Mexico range anywhere from about 112% to 137% of normal, so decently above normal for this time of year and then the mountains to the south are generally between 40% and 70% of normal," Anderson said.
Quick-moving storms that moved across the state in January helped add to the snowpack.
“If you chart like where we should be at this point of year compared to where we were at last year, the year before that, the year before that, we're faring well," Anderson said.
Anderson acknowledges it’s tough to predict how the rest of the season unfold, but he said it’s not all dependent on snowfall.
“The main thing is this time of year, since we're already doing decently with the snowpack, we want to keep our temperatures cold so that we can preserve that snowpack going into March,” Anderson said. “If we can do that, we'll be OK."
A good snowpack is important come fire season.
"If we have an early warm up, we'll have an early run off season and then that expands our fire weather season,” Anderson said.
Generally, if there is an early runoff, there is a greater threat for fires.
"The longer we can hold on to that snowpack into the fire season, the shorter the window for significant fire activity,” Anderson said.
Fire season typically begins in March and lasts through June.
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