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Land Of Enchantment

             If I were the new weather person assigned to a major television station here in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the first thing I would have to say is, "Boy do I have a tough job ahead of me!" The weather here is more unpredictable than a school lunch! But seriously, if I had to describe the weather in Albuquerque in one word, a good answer would be chaotic. First of all, Albuquerque lies in the middle of the Chihuahuan Desert, which means it is going to have hot days and cold nights. This can be attributed, in part, to the continentality of the area it lies in. Land tends to heat up and cool down much more rapidly than water, and the air masses that affect Albuquerque are dominated by this continental effect. Albuquerque is highly elevated and lies on the edge of a small mountain range and therefore experiences quite a bit of snow. Yes, snow in the desert! Albuquerque has over 14 inches of snow at once! It seems that Albuquerque sees plenty of precipitation in the winter months, but in the summer, the precipitation go get down to next-to-nothing, or even nothing-at-all. This is probably a major concern for Albuquerque natives, and being able to handle a drought is a skill that anyone who lives here has to acquire.
             People in the region are very concerned about air pollution. Albuquerque experiences a little known phenomenon called temperature inversion. During calm periods in the winter, an upper layer of warm air traps a layer of cool air along the ground, causing it to become stagnant. This condition is caused by Albuquerque's valley location and also weather factors (calm winter period, cool lower air layer, warm upper air layer). The trapped air has no way to circulate and disburse its pollutants while more and more pollutants are added to it daily. This can cause the air pollution to reach critical levels during a temperature inversion. One form of relief from the cold during the winter is the burning of wood and other flammable materials.

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