Sunday, April 3, 2011

April 3 - High wind dust event

To sum it up, it was hot, dry, dusty, and windy. The Albuquerque forecast discussion called it a "dynamic but dreadful day." Columbus peaked at 91 degrees today.

Here is the forecast for highest winds this afternoon at 00 UTC (6 pm). Already at the Las Cruces airport there was a 38 mph gust at 1:50 pm. Highest gust by 3 pm at the Deming airport was a 39 mph gust at 2:53 pm.

Below is a preliminary summary of maximum winds gusts today from airport weather stations.

Airport           time  winds
Location           MDT  mph
Las Cruces        17:30 44 
Deming            15:53 48 
El Paso           17:51 53
NWS El Paso       16:40 59
Alamogordo        16:30 40
Holloman AFB      15:55 43
WSMR main pst     15:45 67
San Augustin Pass 16:00 79

A few fires were active during the high winds today. The black lines show outlines of the smoke plumes from the NOAA HMS smoke product. Background image is from today's the Aqua MODIS satellite. Hard to differentiate smoke, clouds and dust today. I'll leave it to the remote sensors to do that.
At 3:45 pm the dust almost obscures the Organ Mountains from NMSU campus.
This webcam provided a view looking west from the NMSU campus and showed the lowest visibility around 4 pm.

Peak hourly PM10 was the highest at the Sunland Park City Yard with a concentration of 2583 µg/m3 at 3 pm. Overall the 24-hour averaged PM10 was over the NAAQS at Anthony, SPCY, Chaparral, Las Cruces-Holman Road, and Deming.
The peak hourly PM2.5 was at SPCY with a concentration on 225 µg/m3 at 3 pm. The 24-hour PM2.5 was over the NAAQS at SPCY.

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