The Most Extreme Weather State of 2013

By Jon Erdman
Published: September 27, 2013

Massive Windstorm Slams Albuquerque

Above: View of the approaching high winds from the National Weather Service office in Albuquerque, N.M. on July 26, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. MDT. The office is located at the Albuquerque Sunport.

Albuquerque and northern New Mexico are no strangers to severe thunderstorms. But what hit the evening of July 26, 2013 was one of the most intense, severe wind-producing thunderstorms in recent memory in the city.

After 6 p.m., a cluster of thunderstorms fired up in the north side of the metro area. Rain-cooled air from this cluster accelerated to the ground and raced south-southwestward, channeling itself along the Rio Grande Valley (NWS radar loop).

A peak wind gust to 89 mph was measured at the Albuquerque Sunport, the strongest gust measured at that location since 1939. (Note: stronger non-thunderstorm wind gusts have been measured in the foothills east of the city on several occasions).

At the height of the storm, about 28,000 customers were without power. PNM, the state's largest electricity provider, had to call in crews from neighboring states to help restore power for the first time in its history. A section of Interstate 25 had to be shut down for a time due to downed power lines. The total cost to the city from this storm was estimated at $2.3 million. 

(VIDEO:  More views from NWS-Albuquerque | View from the zoo)

Surprisingly, in preliminary data from NOAA's Storm Prediction Center as of Sept. 24, not a single tornado has touched down in the state so far in 2013.


MORE:  Colorado Flood Aerial Photos

Victims of last week's devastating floods retrieve belongings outside a home near the East Platte River east of Greeley, Colo., Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013. The area's broad agricultural flatlands were especially hard hit by the high water. (AP Photo/John Wark)


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