Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Feb. 22 - Low of 33F this morning and a high of 71F on the NMSU campus today. Winds look to be in the range of 6 to 12 mph in populated areas along I-10 but higher in Sierra County and in the Bootheel. The map below is the 21 UTC (2 pm) forecast from the RUC model. The forecasted winds at 00 UTC (5 pm) also look very similar to this.
I looked at the 15 UTC winds from the RUC, NAM, NDFD, and RTMA and compared it to the 10-meter tower winds at Anthony and Sunland Park. During the low wind morning hours today only the NDFD reproduced the winds correctly. Winds were northwest at the time and the RUC, NAM, and RTMA were showing a southeasterly wind. I can't fault them too much since the winds were low. I have a hunch that not much of the local data is ingested in the routine NCEP runs and only the local forecasters know how to correct them. It would be useful to ingest the state run NMED and TCEQ meteorological data at some point in the routine model forecasts since I think that most of the analysis is nudged by KELP and maybe K5T6. Not sure how much of a problem it will be to include them since they left out a moisture measurement. Including a RH sensor at each site would be a great upgrade to the NMED network (hint, hint). I was really hoping that at the RTMA was able to simulate the down-valley flows this morning but I am encouraged that the NDFD did so well today.

Looking at the rest of the week I am looking at the closed low that is to our west. That's the orange blob that sits offshore from San Diego. The plot below is the 12 UTC GFS model initial state at 500 mb. The yellow to orange shades show levels of absolute vorticity. The later forecasts show this moving over our area Wednesday afternoon and into Thursday but dissipating. It will probably translate into winds midweek.
Today's AQI forecast is good and green.
After the breezes ended we had pollutant build-up and the evening low wind spike could be seen in the Paso del Norte.
A morning spike in PM was clearly defined at the other site 3-km away in Sunland Park. Both PM10 and PM2.5 have different hourly patterns at such short distance away. Even the PM2.5 peak is a a different hour than the City Yard station.
At the Anthony Elementary site there was a spike in particulates in the morning. more than at Sunland Park.

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