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Flash flood warning until 6 a.m. Thursday

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... FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE TONIGHT...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN ALBUQUERQUE HAS ISSUED A

* FLASH FLOOD WATCH FOR A PORTION OF NORTH AND CENTRAL NEW MEXICO... INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING AREAS... EAST SLOPES SANGRE DE CRISTO MOUNTAINS... EASTERN SAN MIGUEL COUNTY... FAR NORTHEAST HIGHLANDS... FAR NORTHWEST HIGHLANDS... HARDING COUNTY... JEMEZ MOUNTAINS... LOWER CHAMA RIVER VALLEY... NORTHEAST HIGHLANDS... NORTHERN SANGRE DE CRISTO MOUNTAINS ABOVE 9500 FEET/RED RIVER... NORTHWEST HIGHLANDS... QUAY COUNTY... RATON RIDGE/JOHNSON MESA... SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS... SANTA FE METRO AREA... SOUTHERN SANGRE DE CRISTO MOUNTAINS ABOVE 9500 FEET... UNION COUNTY... UPPER RIO GRANDE VALLEY AND WEST SLOPES SANGRE DE CRISTO MOUNTAINS.

* THROUGH LATE TONIGHT

* THE POTENTIAL EXISTS FOR NUMEROUS THUNDERSTORMS WITH HEAVY RAIN TO PRODUCE FLASH FLOODING ACROSS PARTS OF NORTHERN NEW MEXICO THIS AFTERNOON INTO TONIGHT. AN UNSEASONABLY STRONG UPPER LEVEL TROUGH WILL SLOWLY APPROACH THE AREA FROM THE NORTH... WHILE A COLD FRONT PUSHES SOUTHWARD INTO THE STATE. SLOW MOVING STORMS WILL BE CAPABLE OF PRODUCING OVER 1 INCH OF RAIN IN LESS THAN AN HOUR WITH LOCALLY HIGHER RATES NEAR 2 INCHES PER HOUR. OF PARTICULAR CONCERN WILL BE THE WEST SLOPES OF NORTHWEST MOUNTAINS EASTWARD TO THE SANGRE DE CRISTO MOUNTAINS... WHERE THE GROUND IS ALREADY SATURATED IN SPOTS DUE TO HEAVY RAIN THAT FELL OVER THE PAST 2 DAYS. SOME EASTERN PLAINS LOCATIONS HAVE ALSO RECEIVED HEAVY RAIN. THESE LOCATIONS WILL NEED ONLY MODERATE RAINFALL FOR FLASH FLOODING TO DEVELOP TODAY.

* DUE TO RECENT HEAVY RAINS... THE GREATEST RISK FOR FLASH FLOODING WILL BE FROM CUBA TO ESPANOLA NORTHWARD... AND ACROSS THE SANGRE DE CRISTO MOUNTAINS. BURN SCARS... ARROYOS... DITCHES... LOW WATER CROSSINGS AND UNDERPASSES WILL BE ESPECIALLY SUSCEPTIBLE TO FLASH FLOODING THROUGHOUT THE WATCH AREA. NEVER ATTEMPT TO DRIVE THROUGH FLOOD WATERS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A FLASH FLOOD WATCH MEANS THAT CONDITIONS MAY DEVELOP THAT LEAD TO FLASH FLOODING. FLASH FLOODING IS A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION. MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION SHOULD FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS BE ISSUED.