Monday, August 22, 2011

August 22 -

An upper level ridge will keep temperatures in the above normal range today. High temperatures across the region ranged from 97 in Animas, 98 in Hachita, 99 in Deming, and 100 in El Paso.

Nice sunset tonight with crepuscular rays about 15 minutes after the sunset at 7:58pm over Las Cruces. The sun is scattering light from particles high in the atmosphere.
Our chances of rain are diminished due to the high pressure system parked in our area this week. The QPF precipitation forecast for the next 5 days shows the highest probabilities of rain over the mountains and over the Bootheel region.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

August 20 -

A warm day with late afternoon thunderstorms. Highs today ranged from 89 in Animas, 92 in Hachita, 93 at the Las Cruces Airport, and 96 at the El Paso Airport. Most of the precipitation fell in the northwestern quadrant of our study area above I-10 and west of I-25.

Tomorrow's AQI shows a region of moderate air quality over west Texas and the Paso del Norte due to ozone.

Friday, August 19, 2011

August 19 -

We had another decent rain last night with CoCoRaHS amounts:
Hatch 0.02 inches
Las Cruces 1.0 to 0.15
Anthony 0.10
Deming 0.00 to 0.58
Silver City T to 0.42
Lordsburg 0.09
Cd Juarez 0.24
NMSU Coop 0.57 ( we are up to 1.36 inches for the month of August)
We gained another two CoCoRaHS observers today and one yesterday.

Nice low level clouds this morning. Below shows the fog at the base of the Organ Mountains at 7:36am
Today we switched out the core station BAM PM10 monitor that has been having problems with a loaner provided by Ecotech. I will send out the BAM bask on Monday. We'll start the PM10 BAM on Monday afternoon when I get more time. Today was challenging with several meetings and class.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

August 18 -

Today is the first day of classes at NMSU and lots of activity on campus. It will now be a chore to find parking close to the building. I figure it's good to get some exercise.

Today's air quality index shows some moderate air quality in the Paso del Norte due to ozone. Elsewhere shows good (green) air quality.

I spent the day documenting two NWS Cooperative network stations for the AASC funded project. I followed Frank Kielnecker from the Santa Teresa NWS office to the Hillsboro station first. He converted out the Fisher&Porter rain gauge to an electronic one while I surveyed the area. I came up with a detailed check list to document items in the immediate area centered around the MMTS temperature sensor. One the way back we stopped by the Caballo Dam Coop station. I found somebody's abandoned 10-meter tower and equipment next to the NWS Coop station. The wind vane had a missing tail and there were no cups on the anemometer. You can tell it's been there a while since the data wires were all cracked. Nobody there knew who owned it. Thinking back on it, the tower is a safety issue with nobody taking care of the tower.

Tomorrow is the first day of my air pollution class. So far only four are officially signed up and others have given me verbal indications of being in the class. It should be a good class and fun to teach. We're primarily using the Jacobson text but I'll be supplementing it heavily from a number of other books and lecture note when I took the class back in UNR with Alan Gertler.

Writing this blog at 9 pm evening, I'm feeling some nice breezes from the various thunderstorm outflows. Most of the rain fall is to my west in western Dona Ana and Luna counties. Lots of lightning but I've no time to take any photos tonight.

Light rain started at my house at 11:45 pm with lots of lightning.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

August 17 -

Still enough moisture for some scattered thunderstorms today. So far this month the NMSU Las Cruces station received 0.79 inches of rain. We need a few more good rains to reach the long term August normal of 2.22 inches.

The AQI forecast for today shows green (good) over our area.
Afternoon showers showed up across the region today with heavy downpours in some locations. A location in East El Paso received 1.69 inches in one hour near Montwood and Yarbrough. Below is a nice column of rain at 4:17 pm on the west mesa of Las Cruces taken from the Skeen web cam.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

August 16 -

Mostly sunny day and heating up after a few cooler days. The NMSU Coop station received 0.35 inches of rain yesterday. Most of the CoCoRaHS locations received some rain yesterday with 5 station recording an inch or more. Scattered showers also were seen across Deming with the highest values southwest of town.

I received an ETgage from the CoCoRaHS national coordinator to test our and report back with data. Looks like a nice and simple instrument to use.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

August 14 -

I measured another 0.14 inches at my CoCoRaHS gauge in Las Cruces this afternoon. According to the radar estimates of accumulated precipitation a few areas could have received more than 0.5 inches.

I must make a brief detour to make note of an extraordinary rain event in my old stomping grounds in New Jersey. I've been hearing reports of power outages several times this summer and it was out today in my hometown. I took a look and they've been having an opposite problem than we've been having. According to the NWS local storm report from today at 5 pm EDT, there was an observer who measured 9.64 inches of rain today in Elmer, NJ.  For comparison the normal annual rain amount in Las Cruces is 9.74 inches. The map below is of southwestern New Jersey showing areas with radar based accumulation in the range of 8 or more inches in some isolated locations. In fact the area in the center had declared a state of emergency for flooding.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

August 13 -

We saw another round of thunderstorms across the study region today. At the NMSU campus Coop station we have received 2.88 inches of precipitation so far this year (excluding rain that fell this afternoon). By the end of August the normal year to date precipitation is 6.24 inches.Our normal August amount is 2.22 inches. So far we are at 0.44 inches and climbing.

Most of southwest NM was covered in clouds by the afternoon and a few locations received more than an inch. Below is an estimate of rain fall from today's storms. Accuracy from this product tends to fall off in the western counties due to the distance from the Santa Teresa radar but looks like the bootheel and adjacent land in northwest Chihuahua received rain today.
We saw some downpours on the East Mesa of Las Cruces this afternoon.
Outflow winds created some wind blown dust in southern Dona Ana county and in the Paso del Norte today. Hourly PM10 at the NMED Chaparral station peaked at 473 µg/m3 at 3 pm with winds gusts to 15 m/s. Based on the NWS forecasts, moisture will continue to flow in from the southeast and thunderstorms are likely tomorrow.

Friday, August 12, 2011

August 12 -

A summary of yesterday: Most of southern New Mexico was covered in convective clouds by the evening and a few areas received  some good rain of more than an inch. Rain fell at most of the southern NM CoCoRaHS stations with little falling in the El Paso area. Rain amounts in Las Cruces ranged from 1.02 inches to nothing. The Las Cruces Airport was one of the stations where no rain fell.

Temperatures at NMSU Las Cruces peaked at 95F yesterday and we received 0.33 inches of rain last night. That brings our total in August up to 0.41 inches. As a reference the 1981-2010 normal August precipitation is 2.22 inches. This mornings low was 68F with dewpoint temperatures in the low 60s.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

August 11 -

We received some significant rain in eastern and central Dona Ana County tonight. It also came with a nice lightning show early in the evening. The pic below was snapped at 8:30 pm with lightning around A-Mountain.
From 8:45 to 11:45 pm I measured 0.71 inches (CoCoRaHS NM-DA-201). A flood advisory was issued at 9:55pm for central Dona Ana County, with reports of 1 to 1.5 inches of rain in the Las Cruces Talavera Neighborhood. According to the NWS there was also flooding across highway 478 in Mesquite. The NWS also issued a severe thunderstorm warning for central Grant County this afternoon. Precipitation based on the radar showed this storm provided more widespread coverage across Grant and north central Dona Ana counties than past storms. Tomorrow morning's CoCoRaHS map will test to see how well this measures up to the radar. I believe the orange spot north of highway 70 east of Las Cruces. The showers hardly moved in the early evening.
A view from the Skeen webcam shows the development of the storm in the late afternoon.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

August 4 -

Back from servicing the NM Climate Center's Alcalde station. This station is located at the NMSU Sustainable Agriculture Science Center north of Espanola.
It was a long day driving 5 hours each way from Las Cruces. The weather at Alcalde was a welcome treat coming from Artesia yesterday. It was on and off drizzle during our 3 hours there today. A few areas such as the location near Los Alamos got more rain.
While driving back through Bernalillo we could see the Piedra Lisa wildfire smoke plume on the Sandia Mountain. Not a lot of smoke but visible from I-25.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

August 3 -

A brief morning thundershower in Las Cruces provided some rain after my CoCoRaHS observation. I received about 0.01 inch by around 9 am. Evening thunderstorms produced some rain in isolated areas in the study region.

I spent the day servicing the NM Climate Center's Artesia station. On the way, it rained on the way up to Cloudcroft near the tunnel. It was sunny and hot in Artesia with the airport max temperature reading 99F. We replaced the data logger, modem, solar panel and charge controller, battery, and the environmental enclosure. Found out that the wind speed sensor was bad but we didn't have a replacement. I also removed a tipping bucket rain gauge what not connected to anything.
Tomorrow we head to Alcalde to make some repairs on that weather station.

My Mother in Law was up near Ruidoso today and she said it briefly snowed there. No accumulation but just some flurries. I haven't seen any reports except for some severe thunderstorm warning at 12:08 pm with possible hail in that area.

Looking at the radar tonight I saw lots of thunderstorm outflows producing gusty winds in Dona Ana county. Some of that will likely produce areas of blowing dust. This was probably the case at the Sunland Park City Yard station tonight. Maximum winds were 13 m/s from the NNW with hourly PM10 of 158 µg/m3. Similar conditions were also found at the nearby Desert View Elementary station a few km away.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

August 2 -

We're in a warming trend. High at the LC airport appears to be 99, 98 in Deming, and 102 in Santa Teresa.

Small thunderstorm cells popped up in the afternoon in southern NM. Rain from these are spotty. Below is the radar derived accumulated precipitation at 9:26 pm. I wouldn't count on the darker blue shaded area actually receiving 0.01" of rain. I think it's just a artifact of the radar product. I would believe the areas with lighter shades of blue.
The NWS issued several severe thunderstorm warnings in the late afternoon and evening. A severe thunderstorm warning was issued for Columbus tonight at 6:16pm. Evening thunderstorms provided a show for me tonight. Pic below was snapped at 8:35pm looking west from Las Cruces.

Monday, August 1, 2011

August 1 -

Today I'm working on the July weather summary. As mentioned by many, precipitation was spotty across southern New Mexico. The map below shows the percent of normal precipitation for the month of July based on the AHPS. Any area in the warm color is below average with the reds showing less than 25 percent of normal.

At the NMSU Coop station, July 2011 was the warmest July on record based on average daily temperature. This was due to the average minimum temperatures being the warmest on record. On the 18th the morning low was the highest on record. I'll work on a graphic that shows this.

This morning I was briefed on our Fisher & Porter precipitation gauge upgrade at the NMSU Coop station. We've been collecting 15 minute precipitation on paper rolls for some time. Below shows the upgraded electronic data logger that saves the data to an SD card. Now each month we exchange the SD card with the El Paso NWS office instead of mailing the paper rolls.