Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Dec. 27 -

Below are this morning's observation at the NMSU weather station.
   Yesterday           Today
High(F)  Normal     Low(F)  Normal  Record Low
  49        55        21      27      5 (1987)

We have another day of clear skies over the border region while we sit under an upper level high. This system should bring up the daily high temperatures to above normal. Below is a time series graph of surface temperature (red line), wind speed (blue line), and 500 mb geopotential heights (green) at the grid cell over Sunland Park from the 80km GFS model (12Z run). The green trace are the heights and show the ridge building and peaking on New Years Day. This tells me we should have a good window for sampling the low wind, high PM events in that area at least over the forecast time span. A little short wave my enter the area on the first of the year but the NWS is indicating only high clouds and a slight cooling through the January 2. After that the model is indicating a continual warming trend.
Today's air quality forecast shows it in the good range today.
Areas in central California have it the worst in the country with much of it in the orange and red AQI. The Smog Blog has more discussion on this.

We saw another low wind high PM event at the Sunland Park City Yard station tonight. This one is stronger than last night's event. We were preparing the particle size instrument to be deployed at this location today. I had a little problem programming the CR1000 logger but I think the problem is solved. This instrument will log particle counts from 0.5 to 10 microns in 8 size bins. I will also be deploying the minivol samplers as soon as I get access to the filters in the lab.
The AQI forecast for Wednesday is showing an area of moderate air quality over the El Paso area due to PM2.5.

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