Sunday, February 20, 2011

Feb. 20 - High winds occurred today. We started out with a mild 43F as the low at NMSU and ended with a high of 72F. An upper level trough over us has created a high wind event with very little moisture today. The surface wind forecast for 21 UTC (2 pm) below shows the highest winds along two east-west areas.
The EPA AQI forecast for Sunday showed an area of moderate air quality over the Paso del Norte and far West Texas.
At 2:11 pm the Las Cruces Airport AWOS measured a southwest wind of 38 mph with 43 mph gusts. The visibility at the airport at that time was 7 miles. You can see the haze at 2:30 pm today looking toward the southwest over Las Cruces.
From 3:11 to 4:11 pm to the dewpoint has fallen from 21F to -6F corresponding to a RH from 18 to 5 percent.  The Deming airport AWOS measured westerly winds at 25 mph with 40 mph gusts. They had a 9 mile visibility at the time. A summary of the winds from today (not including early morning values) are shown below

Location                    Wind Gust  Time
Las Cruces airport (KLRU)    43 mph    2:11 pm
Las Cruces Holman Road (6ZL) 47 mph    2:00 pm (within that hour)
Las Cruces West Mesa (6WM)   44 mph    3:00 pm (within that hour)
Deming airport (KDMN)        44 mph    3:53 pm
Deming airport (7E)          50 mph    1:00 pm (within that hour)
T or C airport (KTCS)        41 mph    1:53 pm
El Paso airport (KELP)       45 mph    6:51 pm
Socorro 2S (KONM)            37 mph    4:49 pm

Time-lapse from NMSU looking west
Here are the results from this wind storm. At the Sunland Park City Yard we saw peak PM10 reach 1153 µg/m3 and peak PM2.5 hit 92 µg/m3 at 3 pm.
At the Anthony Elementary station the peak PM10 was higher than the Sunland Park station with a peak PM10 of 2154 µg/m3 and peak PM2.5 of 196 µg/m3 at 1 pm.
Further north at the Las Cruces west mesa station we see much lower concentrations and PM10 peaked at 238 µg/m3 at 5 pm. Peak wind gusts at 3pm were 19.6 m/s (44 mph)
At the Las Cruces Holman Road station we saw peak PM10 reach 489 µg/m3 at 2 pm. Peak wind gusts at that time were 21.1 m/s (47 mph).
Looking west at the Deming station we saw PM10 peak at 1028 µg/m3 at 1 pm. This station recorded the highest winds in the air quality network with wind gusts reaching 22.4 m/s (50 mph).

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