Thursday, February 24, 2011

Feb. 24 - High winds at some sites today caused localized dust. The minimum temperature at the NMSU campus today was 35F. It looks like today we will have breezy westerly winds across Luna and Dona Ana Counties. A storm system is already brewing gusty winds and dust in West Texas. The upper level map from 12 UTC shows this system and the position of the next one to our west that is supposed to be over us this weekend.

Below is the 21 UTC (2 pm) surface winds showing the peak winds across an area that runs NW to NE.
 The NWS is forecasting westerly winds in the range of 19 to 20 mph with gusts up to 31 mph.

The AQI forecast is showing good air quality for all of New Mexico.
By late morning the Sunland Park City Yard station started to see dust from the high winds. Peak hourly PM10 reached 358 µg/m3 at 3 pm. Peak PM2.5 was 50 µg/m3 at that same hour.

 Particulates at the Anthony station also peaked during the high winds today. The highest hourly PM10 was 468 µg/m3 at 9 am and the maximum PM2.5 concentration was 36 µg/m3.
I'm looking at the forecast for this week for possibly a high wind dust event. There are possibilities for dust on both Saturday and Sunday. Sunday looks to be the strongest of the two. Below is the GFS 06Z run showing surface winds on late Sunday morning at 11 am.

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