Tuesday, May 22, 2012

May 22 -

Another warm, sunny, and breezy day for the borderlands.  Last I checked at 1pm it was 93 degrees.  The big question is how much wind we are going to get over the next couple of days. According to the National Weather Service, the winds tomorrow afternoon are forecasted to be in the 31 to 34 mph range with gusts to 50 mph.

10 am update: I haven't seen much smoke impacts here in Las Cruces although it was a little hazy this morning. I did a quick run of Hysplit starting this morning at 5 am and over the following 24-hours. The plot below shows the trajectories for 500 m (green) and 3 km (red) above the ground according to the 12Z NAM wind fields.
Update 3:30 pm:  Based on the visible GOES satellite loop, I'm seeing some wind shear moving some of the plume toward the east-southeast which is a little different than the Hysplit predictions. That shift in direction could bring some of the smoke south along the Rio Grande River valley.  The afternoon (21z) NOAA HMS smoke outline product is showing widespread smoke over the area.

Today Elizabeth Smith and I set up a weather station to monitor conditions at the second dust control site. This site is located at the Diamond Springs#5 subdivision off of Roadrunner Parkway. We installed a Davis Vantage Pro in a backyard facing the test plots. This station logs weather data every 5-minutes to a datalogger inside the house.
Update 4:45 pm:  I ran Hysplit in ensemble mode using 20km Rapid Refresh model wind fields from 21Z (2 pm) and the plume from the Baldy fire is more closely aligned with the outline from the GOES visible loops.  Green lines are 500m forward trajectories and red is 3km. Based on this I would expect to see impacts from the smoke plume in Dona Ana and Otero Counties over the next 24-hours.
Smoke plume covers the horizon in Las Cruces looking west to north but remains high. It also shows up clearly on the EPZ radar.
Too bad I don't have the ceilometer here. It's still running in Reno but hope to borrow it again. Based on the echo tops from the EPZ radar, the top of the plume reaches 30,000 (9.1 km) to 35,000 feet (10.7 km). Below is the echo top product at 00:51Z.
At 6:58 pm the smoke is over Las Cruces and still high with not much reaching the surface. Below is a photo from campus looking northwest.

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