Wednesday, March 2, 2011

March 2 - Another mild day with afternoon breezes.  The morning low was 33F (normal 34.8F) and the high was 72F (normal 67 .8F) at the NMSU weather station. The NWS forecast for Las Cruces is for winds in the 15 to 22 mph range with gusts to 31 mph. Looking at the 15Z RUC run from this morning, I will tend to be side with the lower end of the wind speed prediction. The map below shows the surface winds at 21 UTC (2 pm) today.

Air quality was overall in the good range in our region today. We saw some elevated values of PM10 in the morning at the southern sites but in the afternoon values were less than 100 µg/m3.
Early in the day we saw higher than usual ozone concentrations at the NMED Hurley station. The plot below shows hourly ozone from March 1 through today. Ozone peaks at 76 ppb at 4 pm on Tuesday. Ozone continues to be in the 50 ppb range all day on March 2.
As a reference here is a plot of hourly ozone over the past month at this site. Concentrations have varied but daytime maximums are in the 45 to 55 ppb range.
The EPA AQI forecast for the region looks to be in the good range for Thursday.

Looking at the next three days I see the NAM is showing peak winds on Thursday afternoon. The map below shows surface winds at 00Z on March 4. Peak winds in northern Luna County are in the 24 mph range. Most of the higher winds are to our north above I-10.

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