Incoming system will increase temperatures beyond normal

By Gabriel Monte

CNJ staff writer

gmonte@cnjonline.com

The heat is on. And according to the National Weather Service, it's about to get hotter after reaching 97 degrees Monday.

Albuquerque National Weather Service forecaster Amanda Martin says a high pressure system that has settled on the Texas Panhandle will help bring temperatures eight to 12 degrees above normal.

According to the National Weather Service website, high temperatures will range between 97 and 98 degrees in Clovis and between 99 and 100 degrees in Portales this week.

For local businesses, the heat hasn't made an impact on foot traffic, yet. Though, business owners say the heat has affected when shoppers come.

Randy Hudson, owner of Randy's Bootshop on Main Street in Clovis, says foot traffic in the downtown area has been the same, though he noticed more shoppers walking earlier or later in the day.

However, he said foot traffic may drop if temperatures remain high.

"After it's hot a few days in a row, then it bothers a lot of people," he said.

For Ian Mountjoy, owner of Do Drop In, the heat has boosted sales of cold items.

"Any of the days that are 95 and up, we see a lot more ice coffees and milk shakes," he said.

Kristin Moore, an employee at Exhibit A antique shop on Main Street in Clovis, says sales and air-conditioning have helped keep the store busy.

"I think you get more (customers) if they have a cool spot to retreat to," she said.

Wes Reeves Xcel Energy spokesman, said the utility will be watching power consumption among as it nears its peak-load season.

He said power consumption begins its ascent in June and peaks in the first week of August then tapers off as the school year starts.

Power consumption so far has averaged about 5,500 megawatts for its 17,000 customer accounts in West Texas and Eastern New Mexico.

"I would imagine by the end of this week we'll be much higher than 5,500 megawatts in the whole area,

He said usage has been down from last year. Last year power demands reached a record level at 5,936 megawatts. Sunday's usage was at 5,470 megawatts.

But he said the utility will be able to meet power demands if usage increases.

"We definitely have the resources to meet the need as long as everything is running as it should run."

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