Experts: Dry winter contributed to high temperatures

By Thomas Garcia: PNT Staff Writer

Roosevelt and Curry county residents can expect higher than normal temperatures through August, according to the National Weather Service in Albuquerque.

The high in Clovis and Portales reached 102 degrees Monday, according to the weather service, and is expected to hover around triple digits through Wednesday.

This on top of hotter than normal April and May, when the average high temperature in Portales was about seven degrees higher than in 2007, according to Chuck Jones, meteorologist with the NWS of Albuquerque.

“The dry winter is one reason for the increased temperatures in East Central Plains (Curry/Roosevelt),” Jones said. “The lack of moisture in the ground means the sun does not have to work as hard to increase temperatures.”

With the extra heat, utility bills are likely to go up this summer as residents try to beat the heat.

Xcel Energy, which supplies electricity to Portales and Clovis and parts of West Texas, noted a 19.4 percent increase in power usage for the month of May, according to Xcel Energy spokesman Wes Reeves.

“There has rarely been a day this spring that there has not been an increase in power usage,” Reeves said. “On May 31, the daily power load was 32 percent higher than that used one year ago.”

Water usage has also increased in the area due to the temperatures.

The city of Portales billed the usage of 32 million gallons of water in May, up 3 million gallons from April, according to Portales City Manager Debi Lee.

The average amount of water used in Clovis increased from 7 million gallons a day to 10 million gallons a day over the weekend, according to