Frank Anger of Mississippi tinkers with his hot air balloon basket on Monday during the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. The city is expected to be cool this week, with showers and thunderstorms likely through the weekend. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)


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Fall weather has arrived in Albuquerque, along with the enticing aroma of roasting green chile, the chill of crisp mornings and the view of hot air balloons on the horizon.

But rainy, windy conditions have postponed or canceled several events at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

National Weather Service meteorologist Scott Overpeck said the state will likely “hold onto the moisture” through the weekend.

“Certainly for the next couple of days, we’re just going to be in this wet pattern,” he said.

High winds grounded the fiesta’s opening weekend evening glow events on Saturday and Sunday.

Rain showers and 15-20 mph winds canceled Monday morning’s launch and competition.

The America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race, originally planned to begin on Saturday, was postponed for at least two days because of the weather.

This year’s race features eight teams from five countries in a distance competition, with the groups each lifting off from Balloon Fiesta Park.

Competitors often travel thousands of miles in the gas balloons.