- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 11, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Forecasters say New Mexico will have a healthy spring runoff despite seeing the warmest March on record threaten the state’s snowpack.

New Mexico had a return to cool, wet weather late last month, leaving heavy snowpack in the northern part of the state, The Albuquerque Journal reported (https://bit.ly/2p3PgCw).

According to the National Weather Service, the average statewide temperature for March was 51.4 degrees, which beat out the previous record set in March 2010 of 49.8 degrees.

Kerry Jones, a meteorologist with the weather service, said temperatures began to cool down after a March 23 storm hit Colorado and shifted farther south, bringing a series of storms to New Mexico.

One blizzard dumped 21 inches (53.34 centimeters) of snow on the eastern slopes of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

“We had a great turnaround at the end of March,” Jones said Monday.

Farmers and the endangered silvery minnow are expected to benefit from this year’s spring runoff, which typically peaks in mid-May.

In New Mexico on Monday, snowpack in the Rio Chama Basin was 146 percent of normal and 104 percent in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

Eastern New Mexico could be hit with severe thunderstorms on Wednesday, which may bring large hail and damaging winds, according to the weather service. Central and western New Mexico will likely get little of that rainfall.

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Information from: Albuquerque Journal, https://www.abqjournal.com

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