Sunday, March 18, 2012

March 18 -

Major dust storm - It started off innocent but by noon we're seen winds pick up. Now in the afternoon we're in a major dust storm today along the border.  So far NM Hwy 11 and 180 are closed going out of Deming. I-10 is still open but warnings are in place for low visibility in spots. Below is an image I took at 1:46 pm at corner of University and El Paseo. Visibility was estimated at 0.3 miles based on landmarks.
I was at the core site trailer earlier today and the PM10 BAM had stopped due to low flow rate. I changed the PM10 BAM max range from 1 mg/m3 to 10 mg/m3 hoping to see the maximum concentrations but it might even exceed 10 mg/m3 today.  At the time, the hourly PM2.5 BAM was reading 521 µg/m3. 

By late afternoon, the flow rate on the PM10 BAM didn't go up until the concentration went down below 1000 ug/m3. The PQ100 was flowing but unfortunately the Minivol didn't run. Below is the filter from the FRM PQ100 sampler. Before exposure the Teflon filters are white.

Below is a chart showing hourly PM10 collected at the NMED stations from today. The Las Cruces Holman Road station recorded the highest at 10,155 µg/m3.
Below is a photo of the PM10 BAM filter tape from samples taken on this day. Normally the spots are just noticeably brown and some days it is hard to tell if there is a sample. 

1 comment:

  1. The UTEP TCEQ station reached a max of about 5000 micrograms per cubic meter PM10... and a 24 hour average of over 700 micrograms PM10. I tried to plug that number into the EPA's "Air Quality Index Calculator" and it disallowed it as impossibly high. By many measures, at least in El Paso, this was the strongest dust event in many years.