Wednesday, April 20, 2011

April 20

Breezy afternoon but not strong enough for windblown dust. Winds are predicted to be from the west and southwest throughout our region.
A prescribed burn is planned for the San Andres NWR today. The fuel burned is grass and shrubs with an ignition time of around 10am. These west southwest winds will very likely be transported toward the northeast into the northern Tularosa Basin.  The Yellow wildfire in the Gila Wilderness northwest of Gila Hot Springs is burning today at elevations of 6400 to 7000 feet. At the last check on twitter showed the size around 40+ acres.

Similar to yesterday the AQI forecast shows good air quality over the whole state.
So far every afternoon looks to be breezy with winds in the 20+ mph range but not enough for a dust event. Possibly by Sunday or Monday we might have enough winds for dust. Too far in advance to say for sure.

As I was driving back from Lordsburg this afternoon, there was a faint plume of smoke from the Organ Mountains but I think it's from the Ft. Bliss (east) side. Photo was taken at 3:30pm today.
 I did not see any other smoke plumes today as I traversed I-10. I did see lots of dust devils in Deming.

At 5 pm the NOAA HMS fire products are picking up fires near the border south of Deming and in Chihuahua.
Zooming out of our region and looking at the large fires to our south we can see the impacts of these not only on smoke but NO2. Data from the OMI instrument aboard the Aura spacecraft has been processed by the KNMI/NASA group to estimate tropospheric NO2. Below shows a comparison of the NO2 column concentrations along with the NOAA HMS smoke plume outlines. For the Mexican fire there is a very good match between NO2 and smoke.
A low wind high PM event was observed at the Sunland Park City Yard station in the evening.

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