Monday, June 6, 2011

June 6

Today is showing signs of a repeat of yesterday. Surface dewpoint temperatures across southern NM are still high in the low to mid 40s this morning.

We had a few late night thunderstorms in southern New Mexico staring just after 11 pm and continued after midnight. From the CoCoRaHS network the highest amounts were in neighborhoods in southern Las Cruces. At 9am the maximum was 0.72 inches in the Las Alturas Neighborhood east of NMSU. We measured 0.33 inches at the NMSU Cooperative station.

Below is a view of the thunderstorm from my webcam looking west from campus. The power went out at 12:20 am for a short time. There are a few good lightning bolts in this one.

From the NWS AHPS multisensor precipitation product there were a few places where totals were in the 0.50 to 0.75 inch range.
Before the rain fell last night, high thunderstorm outflow winds blew dust at most locations. We might see the same conditions tonight as thunderstorms develop in our area.

By early evening we can see the three large wildfires in Arizona on GOES. The image is from 7:00 pm MDT and shows the extent of the smoke plume transport.
The NOAA HMS product at 01 UTC (7 pm MDT) further indicates that the whole state is under smoke.
Winds were high across northeast Arizona and much of the region so some areas are inundated with thick smoke and dust. As of 4 pm the NM Roads website posted the message "Limited visibility due to smoke from forest fire.  Please reduce speed, drive with caution and obey all posted traffic signs.  This event will be updated as conditions change" on interstate 40 near Grants. Lots of reports of heavy smoke in Albuquerque and the traffic cam images in Albuquerque show the sky as brownish orange this afternoon. Our sunset in Las Cruces is milky today due to slant path through the smoke and dust.

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