From Santa Fe New Mexican, June 26, 2018
The closure of Santa Fe National Forest, which encompasses the headwaters of the Pecos River, may last another month, according to officials with the forest and National Weather Service. Although the likelihood of an average or above-average monsoon is high, the forest needs a lot of moisture before authorities with the U.S. Forest Service consider reopening the forest, which has been closed for weeks.
The forest may remain closed until the last week of July or first week or August, based on the monsoon forecast by the National Weather Service office in Albuquerque.
“We are expecting a fairly robust monsoon season this year,” Clay Anderson, a senior forecaster for the weather service, said on July 22.
An early start in June to the monsoon rains “is still on the table,” Anderson said. “But there’s no reason to believe there will be a late onset; it’s an average or slightly early onset at this point.”
The monsoon, which brings moisture from the eastern Pacific, the Gulf of California and the Gulf of Mexico, usually lasts into September. Average rainfall can measure several inches per month in higher elevations, Anderson said.