Saturday, March 19, 2011

March 18 and 19 summary

March 18 - I was on the road today driving to San Diego on interstates 10 and then on 8. No internet access at hotel on the 18th so I'm posting events on the 19th.

Very hazy past Tucson and visibility lowest around Yuma. Some of it was due to local source blowing dust but I didn't see a lot along the freeway. Still very hazy past El Centro looking west. Haze looked high and not from sources in California. My guess it's the Asian dust plume based on these observations, experiences from past Asian dust episodes, and the NAAPS model predictions. Below is the NAAPS model output at midnight on the 18th. The upper left panel shows dust optical depth as the green blob over much of the US and eastern Pacific.
Looking at MODIS AOD off the coast of southern California and Baja you can see a verification of the NAAPS model from the higher than average AOD. Below is a map of AOD from the afternoon Aqua pass. Map courtesy of the IDEA project. The higher AOD stands out as the lighter blue whisps over the ocean.

March 19 - I'm in San Diego today and finally have internet access. Spent the afternoon at the UCSD campus so a little behind in posting today.

Today's winds started out from the west and eventually from the southwest. Below is the prediction at 18Z (noon) for winds based on the 20-km RUC. Areas in the Paso del Norte saw a little more winds than the rest of the region as seen below.
Observations backed this up with winds causing some windblown dust at the Sunland Park City Yard. Peak hourly PM10 reached 316 ug/m3 at 3 pm.

I am still expecting a windy Monday based so far on both NAM and GFS guidance. Below is the output from the 80-km NAM run at 00Z. It shows widespread high winds across our study region at 00Z (6 pm).

Below is the same time on Monday but from today's 00Z GFS run. It looks like the NAM model brings the highest winds further north while the GFS shows maximum wind impacts in the Bootheel region.

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