New gauge system helps officials predict mountain flooding

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — With the recent uptick in flooding over New Mexico burn scars, flash flood warnings are more common.

Thanks to the USGS and the National Weather Service, flash flood warnings are now becoming more accurate.

“We are getting this beautiful network of gauges that are helping us measure rainfall in areas that had trouble with the radar,” said Andrew Mangham, a hydrologist at the National Weather Service in Albuquerque. “And so we can see how well our radar is working, we can make adjustments, we can estimate rainfall rates in those gauges, and that helps us then determine when – at what point – we issue a warning.”

So far, the gauges have been set up around the Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak burn scar, along with some near Ruidoso.

More gauges are expected to come online soon in areas like the Pecos River valley.