Thursday, December 30, 2010

Dec. 30 - Major high wind, dust event - 10:05 am dust hit campus having seeing it coming from the west. Here is the 20km RUC2 10-m wind speed at 11 am. Colors show winds in meters per second.
The Deming airport station was hammered hard with blowing dust starting at 8 am this morning. Peak PM10 was 4875 µg/m3 at 11 am. This site will have an EPA PM10 exceedance regardless of the rest of the day. I make note that the wind gusts peaked at 25.5 m/s or 57 mph during the 11 am sample hour.

Here is the Sunland Park City Yard station particulates today with peak PM10 of 2697 µg/m3 and PM2.5 of 173 µg/m3.

A similar pattern at the NMED Chaparral station.
At the core site in Las Cruces we see the dust cloud starting at the 10 am sample and lasting 4 hours. The beta gauge sample was set for a maximum 1000 µg/m3 so the actual maximum concentration was not measured.
Here is the view from NMSU looking west today.

The Las Cruces west mesa station recorded a peak hourly PM10 at 2335 µg/m3 at noon. Maximum wind gusts of the day were 26.1 m/s or 58.4 mph during the noon sample hour.

Below is a view of the dust looking south on I-25 near the University exit at 1:17 pm.
After the wind, dust, and rain, it snows! Pic below was taken at 3:08 pm looking west.
I read tonight that highway 11 from Deming to Columbus was closed for a while and highway 180 from Deming to Hurley was closed from milemarker 125 to 160. By the evening only the roads with ice and snow are still closed. See the map below from
Some pretty tight pressure gradients at 21 UTC (2 pm) today following that cold front. I can see why we had some of those high winds. At 12:14 pm the Las Cruces airport ASOS was measuring southwest winds of 46 mph with 61 mph gusts with 1.75 mile visual range. I read on the El Paso Times website that there was a report of pea-sized hail in downtown El Paso a little before 3 pm.
Here's the regional AQI map animation from today.
So where did all this dust go? Carlsbad saw the dust too. Maybe some local and some transported, but they had quite a bit of PM2.5 about a couple hours after our show.

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