Sunday, February 27, 2011

Feb. 27 - High wind dust day. Aloft we saw the high winds from the Deming radar wind profiler.
Above that there's a 140 knot jet at 250 mb that's been there since 00z last night.
The morning pulse of high winds came from the cold front as seen in the surface weather map at 15 UTC (8 am) below.
I saw gusty westerly winds at 7 am and reduced visibility in Las Cruces. Driving along Lohman and on Solano Ave. in Las Cruces around 8 am I can much of the dust coming from local sources along with regional dust. This photo was taken at 8:19 am at the corner of Solano and Idaho looking south toward NMSU.
Here is short movie of the dust storm from NMSU looking west. This camera captured an image every two minutes from sunrise to sunset. The building in the foreground is Skeen Hall. Blogger degrades the resolution but you can still see the maximum dust impacts in the morning around 8:20 am.
video

Dust from the high winds were seen at all sites in the region today. All plots below have the same scaling to help you make site to site comparisons.

At the Sunland Park City Yard site particulates are very high. The AQI is in the hazardous range with maximum hourly PM10 reaching 2310 µg/m3 and maximum hourly PM2.5 was 175 µg/m3. Based on the data from the NMED website the 24-hour averaged PM10 for this day was 390 µg/m3 and the 24-hour PM2.5 average concentration was 38.4 µg/m3.
At the Anthony Elementary station PM is also very high with PM10 exceeding 4000 µg/m3 at 9 am. This was our highest hourly PM10 concentration measured in our region during this storm.
In Las Cruces at the NMSU core site we recorded an hourly PM2.5 concentration of 89 µg/m3 at 9 am. At the Las Cruces NMED West Mesa station we saw peak PM10 occur at 9 am with a concentration of 1204 µg/m3 with an hourly averaged wind speed of 14 m/s (31 mph) and gusts of 22 m/s (49 mph).
At the Deming station peak PM10 occurred at 8 am with a 1-hour concentration of 542 µg/m3 with an hourly averaged wind speed of 12 m/s and gusts of 22 m/s.

Wind gust summaries so far from NWS spotters, airports, NMED, NM Climate Center, and RAWS stations
                      max
station              (mph)     time
-------------------  -----     -----------------------
KLRU                  49       08:31
KDMN                  45       10:53
KELP                  49       13:51
KHMN                  51       09:55
KTCS                  53       07:53
10 NNE EL Paso        67       13:26
6 NNE El Paso         62       13:26
NMSU Fabian Garcia    35       10:00 during that hour
NMSU campus           29       10:00 during that hour 
NMSU Leyendecker      34       10:00 during that hour
6CM Anthony           38       09:00 during that hour
6WM West Mesa         51       08:00 during that hour
6ZG SPCY              41       09:00 during that hour
6ZK Chaparral         50       09:00 during that hour
6ZL Holman Rd         50       08:00 during that hour
6ZM Desert View       45       09:00 during that hour
6ZN Santa Teresa      48       09:00 during that hour
7E Deming Airport     53       08:00 during that hour
6O La Union           49       09:00 during that hour
Dripping Springs RAWS 58       09:00 during that hour
San Andres RAWS       54       09:00 during that hour
Hachita Valley RAWS   53       08:00 during that hour
McGreggor Range RAWS  48       12:00 during that hour
Cosmic RAWS           56       11:00 during that hour

The EPA AQI forecast for tomorrow shows good air quality for our area.

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