Saturday, June 11, 2011

June 11

Air Quality Alert for Saturday. Please read the Air Quality Alert that includes SW New Mexico.

Due to smoke from the Horseshoe 2 Fire it is expected that the air quality in southwest NM will be in the unhealthy for sensitive groups range (orange AQI) over the next two days.

The RUC is showing southwest flow this afternoon with some locations with light southerly winds such as Deming. Below are the 6 pm winds from the 12Z RUC.
Visibility in Las Cruces was good.this morning with a little haze as the day went on. Photo below was from 8 am looking east toward Organ Mtns.
Hourly PM2.5 data from the NMED network is showing a slow increase in concentrations since last night.
 And here are the PM10 data from the NMED network
The 9:11 am Santa Teresa radar was showing what looks like a smoke plume southwest of the area. The 15:11Z 0.5degree reflectivity is shown below.
Forward trajectories from the Horseshoe2 Fire reflect the southwest winds forecasted for today.Trajectory colors are 500 (green), 1500 (blue), and 4000 (red) meters above the ground. The trajectories start at 15 UTC (9 am MDT) and are shown every 3 hours till tomorrow morning at 6 am. Fire locations are from the NOAA HMS product at 10 am today.
I'm also looking at the wildfires on the border of Chihuahua and Sonora. The southwest winds have the possibility of bringing in smoke from that fire. The Hysplit trajectories were run at the same heights as in the map above.
A view of the region from GOES at 7pm provides a verification of the modeled trajectories above.
From Las Cruces at around 7:30pm the smoke plume from the Horseshoe2 is clearly visible but most of the aerosol remains aloft and little at the surface. This was taken looking north from the High Range Neighborhood in Las Cruces.
A timelapse cam from NMSU looking west shows the smoke coming over Las Cruces at about 5 pm overhead.

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