Monday, December 5, 2011

Dec 5. -

Most of the study area received precipitation yesterday with many locations around the state receiving up to a foot of snow and more. Below is the AHPS precipitation estimate for this morning showing the rain fall from the past 24-hours.

We did not recorded any precipitation at NMSU although most CoCoRaHS observers measured a few hundreds. Total monthly rain at NMSU stands at 0.49 inches. Rain in Deming ranged from 0.02 to 0.04".  The higher elevation locations received some snow during this storm.

Below is the high from yesterday and the low this morning at NMSU.
   Yesterday           Today
High(F)  Normal     Low(F)  Normal
 43        61        26      29

We are expecting more precipitation in the region as shown in the 1 and 2 day QPF plot from this morning valid from now through Wednesday morning.
As of the morning, most of the rain showers are located in northern Dona Ana and Luna counties based on NEXRAD radar. They appear to be moving southward so I would expect some precipitation in the late morning and into the afternoon. Temperatures are not that far above freezing so some of the precipitation might be falling as snow. My cloud cam at NMSU is showing low clouds to the west of Las Cruces at 11 am.
I am seeing light snow flurries at NMSU at 11:50am. At 1:30pm the temperature was 28F and snow depth is approximately 0.5 inch and still snowing. I forgot to take out the funnel in the recording rain gauge so I did it around 1 pm being careful to dump the accumulated snow on the funnel into the oil pan. Snow is accumulating in the tipping bucket funnels since ours are not heated. The black top parking lots and streets are still snow free but may start accumulating once the temperature drops. As of 11 pm, the Las Cruces airport temperature is 21F. I am reading 17F at my house at the same time.

Moving on to air quality, the EPA AQI forecast for our region is showing an area of moderate air quality in Dona Ana county today (AQI=53) due to ozone. With the snow falling and heavy cloud cover, this area should rather be in the good category.
If there is a brief period of clear skies on Tuesday, ozone might increase due to the high ground albedo from the snow.

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