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Recent rains bring cooler temperatures

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Weather-wise, Roswell has broken three records in the past week — one for rainfall and the other two for high temps.

On Saturday, the Roswell International Air Center was drenched with 1.5 inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service, breaking the previous record of 1.2 inches for a single day reported in 1971.

Thursday and Friday’s record-breaking high temperatures were 98 and 97 respectively, said Brian Guyer, a meteorologist with the NWS in Albuquerque.

Guyer said the recent turnaround in southeastern New Mexico’s weather is being caused by an upper-level, low-pressure system over Arizona that is drawing a lot of moisture into the Land of Enchantment.

“The rain is expected to remain active over the next five days,” Guyer said on Tuesday. “The nice thing is that it’s cooled the temps down.”

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Tuesday’s high was 68 degrees, while highs for today and the rest of the week are expected to range from the high 60s to the low 70s.

Though many parts of town saw heavy rain and even small hail stones Monday evening, Guyer said there wasn’t much activity at the airport, which is the main reporting station for Roswell.

However, in the five days preceding Tuesday, 2.2 inches were reported in Acme, a ghost town close to where the Pecos River crosses U.S. 70, and 1.9 inches were logged at a reporting station on the northwest side of town.

Kristen Currie, morning meteorologist for KRQE in Albuquerque, predicted Monday that if Chaves and Eddy counties receive much more rain, flooding could become a problem because the ground is already so saturated.

Guyer agreed with Currie’s forecast, adding that flooding could be quite severe in Jal, a tiny community near Hobbs, that he said could get between 5 to 8 inches of rain in the next two days.

Though the recent downpours have helped Roswell play catch up for what we should expect for this time of the year, Guyer said with 8.97 inches of rain so far in 2017, we are below the normal average of 10.23 inches for the last week of September.

Sandra Barraza, county program director and extension agricultural agent for the Chaves County Cooperative Extension Office, said that although it’s late in the growing season, the recent precipitation is like “banking moisture in the ground” for the next growing season.

“We have a lot of perennial plants (like trees) and crops,” she said.

For those area growers who want to get out to their fields to harvest corn or alfalfa, the rain and wet soil does present a temporary setback.

“But in the big picture, this is a very good thing,” she said.

Community News Reporter Timothy P. Howsare can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or vistas@rdrnews.com.