Thursday, February 17, 2011

Feb. 17 - Elevated winds forecasted for region.  The morning low at NMSU was 33F. The forecasted high from the NWS is 72F. The actual high on campus was 75F. Winds may again skirt around Las Cruces and southern Dona Ana County today depending on which model you look at. The NWS forecast for winds in Las Cruces is calling them in the range of 22 to 28 mph with gusts to 39 mph. Areas across northern Luna, Dona Ana, southern Grant, and southern Hidalgo will have the highest winds today. Hazards could exist on Highway 180 going from Deming to Silver City today because of blowing dust. Based on the RUC model the best chance for the highest winds and dust in a populated area is Hatch. Below is the 21 UTC (2 pm) surface wind forecast from the 20-km RUC model. Winds are in mph.
Comparing this with the 12-km NAM we see some differences in the wind magnitudes. The NAM is predicting more momentum than the RUC. The plot below is for the same time as the plot above just the model changed.
Today's AQI forecast is shown below with an area of moderate air quality in West Texas and Paso del Norte.

As of 8:30 am air quality is in the good AQI range. Winds are picking up in our region and we're seeing dust in southern Dona Ana County. Below is a plot of PM and winds at the Sunland Park City Yard station up till noon. The noon PM10 sample was 805 µg/m3 and PM2.5 was 75 µg/m3.
Particulates at the Anthony site are increasing as the afternoon progresses.
Winds across the NMED network were the highest a the Deming Airport today. Winds gusts peaked at almost 18 m/s.
The forecast for Friday is shown below.

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