Thursday, December 29, 2011

Dec. 29 -

We are installing SPCY samplers today. Below are this morning's observations at a few Cooperative weather stations.

                 Yesterday           Today
Station       High(F)  Normal     Low(F)  Normal  Record Low
NMSU            55        56        27      28      13 (1983)
Antelope Wells  62        57        26      25      12 (1997)

Temperatures are finally climbing up to near normal around the region. The AQI forecast for today again is showing an area of yellow or moderate air quality over the Paso del Norte and El Paso county due to PM2.5.
Looking at the GFS model output for guidance on sampling days at the SPCY station I see a possibility today, tomorrow, and possibly Saturday. On Sunday a cold front is expected to crank up winds a little and disperse pollutants. By Tuesday we could see the low wind events reappear.
We have installed most of the instrumentation at the SPCY station including the two minivols and the MetOne particle profiler. While at the station this afternoon there were a few times I could smell wood burning even over the waste water treatment plant sulfur smell. The profiler is located midway between the PM2.5 Partisol and the PM10 Wedding as shown below. The profiler is running and set to accumulate particle counts every 60 seconds and the CR1000 saves the data at 2 minute intervals summing particle counts over that time. All instruments deployed today are running off batteries. The profiler batteries are charged with a 10W solar panel and the minivol batteries are charged up in the lab before each sample day.
and the minivols are attached to the power pole at the northwest corner of the station. We will collect simultaneous filter samples on a Teflon and quartz filter with these.
All of the inlets are of the same height as the SPCY station instruments at approximately 10 feet above the ground.There was a 2-hour low wind, elevated PM event right after we left the station this evening.
On the national scale, ag burning looks to be active today from the NOAA HMS fire detection product. Note the high density of red dots (fires) in Texas. I see just three fire detects in NM.

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