Wednesday, May 18, 2011

May 18

Dust alert for today. Blowing dust and low visibilities will be on the menu starting in the early afternoon and continuing through the evening. Below is the RUC wind forecast for 6 pm today. High winds look to be widespread across the region. The NWS is forecasting winds between 38 and 41 mph with gusts up to 55 mph.

The AQI forecast is also tied to this storm but underestimating it's intensity and spatial extent. The AQI forecast is showing only west Texas and the Paso del Norte with an orange level.
As of 3:30 pm highway 11 is close south of Deming due to zero visibility from blowing dust. Here's a look at the the hourly PM10 from the NMED network in southwestern NM. High PM10 concentrations started around noon at most of the locations.
The dust plumes show up on the evening visible GOES imagery. Below is a visible GOES image at 6:45 pm MDT. A thick plume of dust is west of Sunland Park and another one is south of Las Cruces.
The dust plumes also show up clearly in the NOAA GASP AOD product. The wildfires in Mexico also pop up with very high AOD.
Smoke plumes from wildfires were visible but were shadowed by the very thick dust plumes. Below is the 10 pm MDT analysis from the NOAA HMS product.
So far it looks like tomorrow is a repeat of today. So I'm issuing a dust alert for Thursday.

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