The heat’s on: More above average temperatures expected

By Thomas Garcia: Quay County Sun

Triple digit heat has Tucumcari residents feeling the burn.

“In Tucumcari there has been eight days of triple digit heat in the past month,” said National Weather Service forecaster Jennifer Palucki. “The hottest of these days was on Monday with a recorded temperature of 106 degrees.”

In July 1980, the NWS recorded 16 days of triple digit heat in Tucumcari, said Palucki.

Normally during this time of year, Tucumcari receives moisture from the Gulf of Mexico that generates thunderstorms and produces rain, said Palucki. But there has been a high pressure loft causing an increase in warm temperatures and triple digit temperatures, said Palucki.

According to the NWS records, the normal temperature for Tucumcari at this time of year is 90 degrees or 10 to 16 degrees cooler than what has been seen in that area, said Palucki. Typically for Tucumcari, the hottest time of the year is in June or July, said Palucki.
The high temperatures have taken a lot out of people who are working outdoors, such as a Daniel Construction roofing crew on the roof at the Microtel Inn on South First Street.

“It has been extremely hot working on this roof for the past three weeks,” said Charles Hendricks, one of the roofing crew. “It is usually 20 to 30 degrees hotter on a roof than it is on the ground. So, on some days it felt like it was 130 degrees up here.”

“There is a chance that Tucumcari could see some relief from the high temperatures late in the week,” said Palucki. Today, the high should be around 96 degrees, predicted Palucki.

The remnants of Hurricane Dean are forecast to come up through Mexico into Arizona and then over into New Mexico, said Palucki. It is possible that Arizona and the western part of New Mexico will receive moisture from thunderstorms, said Palucki.

In the eastern part of New Mexico, there is a possible chance of increased cloud coverage and scattered storms on Saturday which should bring down the temperature a few degrees in areas such as Tucumcari, said Palucki.

Meanwhile, drink plenty of water and seek out the shade. And don’t forget the sun screen.