Heat wave sets new record temperatures
FARMINGTON — The recent heat wave that is setting new record high temperatures in San Juan County is expected to last for the foreseeable future and county officials stress the importance of protecting yourself from the heat.
New record high temperatures were set at National Weather Service stations in Aztec, Bloomfield and Farmington this past weekend and Monday, meteorologist Chuck Jones said Monday.
New records were set at the Aztec Ruins National Monument location on Sunday with 102 degrees and 103 degrees on Monday. The 103 degree high temperature in Bloomfield on Monday beat the previous record of 102 degrees set in 1922.
It was a record 102 degrees on Monday at the Four Corners Regional Airport in Farmington. Jones said the high temperature for Monday is typically about 90 degrees.
Meteorologist Brian Guyer said a very strong high pressure system currently situated over the Four Corners region is a contributing factor.
“A high pressure system combined with dry air is resulting in the high temperatures over the Farmington area,” Guyer said.
The high temperatures have raised safety concerns for people and animals exposed to the heat, county officials said.
Michele Truby-Tillen, spokeswoman for the San Juan County Office of Emergency Management, said people can prevent heat-related illnesses by drinking plenty of water and wearing a hat to help keep cool.
If a person believes they are experiencing heat stroke — symptoms include nausea, rapid breathing, flushed skin and a high body temperature — Truby-Tillen said they should seek medical treatment.
A cooling center was set up at the McGee Park Convention Center today to help residents in Crouch Mesa deal with the heat after problems with the water delivery system operated by AV Water resulted in water service being cut off to several neighborhoods.
The center was operated by the county’s emergency management office and the Northwestern New Mexico chapter of the American Red Cross.
High temperatures can also be a concern for animals, especially if they are left in vehicles by their owners.
Georgette Allen, Farmington Police Department spokeswoman, said officers have recently responded to a number of calls involving animals left in vehicles.
Allen said a pet owner was cited by officers on June 12 for leaving a dog in a vehicle in the parking lot of the Allen 8 movie theater on East 20th Street.
Animal control officers found the dog was unable to stand on its own and was vomiting due to the heat on the 90 degree day, Allen said. The dog was taken to the Farmington Regional Animal Shelter and treated for heat exhaustion.
According to a post on the Farmington Police Department's blog, the interior temperature of a vehicle can rise to 135 degrees after an hour in 90 degree heat.
The owner received two municipal citations including one for animal neglect, a petty misdemeanor with a $300 fine.
Allen encourages people to leave their pets at home with plenty of water and shade, and to call non-emergency dispatch at 505-334-6622 if they see pets left in vehicles.
Guyer said the temperatures could hover between 96 and 101 degrees for the rest of the week as the center of the high pressure system slowly shifts eastward to Texas.
However, the system could return early next week and hang out through the rest of the month, he said.
Joshua Kellogg covers education for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627.