New Mexico's weather is always weird - but this spring has been far weirder than normal.

State Climatologist Ted Sammis said in 30 years as a weather watcher he's never seen a spring like it.

Monsoon season isn't supposed to start until July 4, give or take two weeks, he said.

But the persistent small thunderstorms and cooler temperatures of recent weeks sure look like typical July monsoons, Sammis said.

"This looks like monsoon rain because it's not widespread," Sammis said. "It's coming in and we're getting thunderstorm warnings from Doppler radar. You don't get warnings like that from frontal storms."

Frontal storms are more typical of New Mexico's winter weather. They're big storms that cover large parts of the state with somewhat consistent precipitation.

The strange weather of the past few months hasn't been like that, Sammis said.

And the National Weather Service is predicting the trend will continue at least through this weekend.

But this can't really be monsoon season, though, can it?

"Nobody's seen this," Sammis said. "This is just weird. Getting rain like this in May is unheard-of."

Weather service officials won't hazard a guess about early monsoons, but Perry Martin, senior meteorologist in Albuquerque, noted that the average rainfall in April and May is far above normal for Albuquerque this year.

In April at the Albuquerque Sunport the service recorded 1.06 inches of rain, compared with the usual monthly average of 0.5 inches.

As of May 23, the service recorded 1.68 inches at the Sunport, well above the usual monthly average of 0.6 inches.

And that total could easily go up by month's end, he said.

"Going through the weekend and into next week I don't see it drying out too much," Martin said.

Still, he wouldn't attribute any of this to the m-word.

"This is not monsoon-related," Martin said. "This is just a wet spring pattern."

The moisture - which is coming from the Gulf of Mexico - seems to be centered in New Mexico, he added.

"We're not seeing a burst in Mexico or Arizona like a true monsoon," he said.

But if Sammis were a betting man, he said he'd go with a prediction made in April by Dave Gutzler, a climatologist at the University of New Mexico.

Gutzler predicted an early, strong monsoon season for this summer, Sammis said.

Gutzler is out of the country this week and couldn't be reached for comment.

But Sammis said so far Gutzler's predictions have been dead-on.

"I would go along with his April prediction and bet that this is going to be a wetter than normal summer, but who knows," Sammis said.

It's hard to say for sure that this really is monsoon rain - and that the monsoons have actually started in May, he said.

"We normally don't get rain in May at all," Sammis said. It could be that this will continue all the way through summer. Or we could have a little break in June for a few weeks and then the monsoons could start up in July. It's hard to know what's going on."

It's also not really something you can attribute to global warming, Sammis said.

"You can't make statements about that," he said. "Global warming is going to make things more chaotic. But is this weather more chaotic than normal? Who can say."