Tuesday, March 1, 2011

March 1 - Fair weather dominates. Most lower elevation site in the region warmed up to at least 70F today. Today's low at NMSU was 29F and the high reached 72F. This morning's 5 am sounding at Santa Teresa showed a typical stable layer with little mixing.

Particulates were elevated but not high at most sites with this kind of tranquil weather condition.  The Sunland Park City Yard station showed PM10 in the 70 to 100 range until the sun started to heat up the area and mix up the air within the boundary layer. PM again peaked in the evening with low winds. Most of the day the PM2.5 to PM10 ratio was in the range of 0.15 to 0.25 so I'm inclined to say that that there's a significant amount of coarse particles in the air, probably from local dust sources.
Deming showed a several hour spike in PM10 this evening. Not sure about the cause yet.
The OMI NO2 project showed nothing unusual in our area.
There were some high clouds over the area in the afternoon and lots of contrails. This is a view from NMSU looking west.
video

I'm looking at the long range forecasts for a sign of high winds and coming up short until possibly next Tuesday. I started looking at the 0Z GFS run out to 162 hours and it's showing an upper level low system coming back early to mid next week. So far it doesn't look too strong at this point but I'll keep an eye out for this one.
The GFS is showing a vort max over Colorado but the low looks to be weakening toward the end of the week as a cut-off low. Midweek it might provide some precipitation for northern NM.

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