Dec 27- Right now the biggest news I'm looking at the forecast for later this week. The NWS statement issued at 3:41 pm is
"...SIGNIFICANT WINTER STORM TO AFFECT THE BORDERLAND LATE WEDNESDAY THROUGH EARLY FRIDAY... A STRONG UPPER LEVEL STORM SYSTEM WILL AFFECT SOUTH CENTRAL... SOUTHWEST NEW MEXICO AND FAR WEST TEXAS LATER THIS WEEK. SCATTERED SHOWERS AND GUSTY WINDS WILL DEVELOP OVER WESTERN PORTIONS LATE WEDNESDAY AND SPREAD EASTWARD INTO THURSDAY. STRONG...PERHAPS LOCALLY DAMAGING...WINDS WILL ACCOMPANY THIS STORM ON THURSDAY ESPECIALLY OVER AREAS SOUTH AND WEST OF I-10 WITH BLOWING DUST REDUCING VISIBILITY IN THE AFTERNOON. WHILE THIS STORM WILL HAVE LIMITED MOISTURE TO WORK WITH...IT COULD PRODUCE HEAVY SNOW FOR MOUNTAIN AREAS ABOVE 6000 FT. AS A COLD FRONT PASSES LATER ON THURSDAY... RAIN MAY MIX WITH OR CHANGE TO SNOW OVER LOWLAND PORTIONS OF THE AREA WITH LIGHT ACCUMULATIONS POSSIBLE."The 80-km (12 UTC run) GFS model is showing the peak winds around 18 UTC (11 am) on Thursday. The map below shows 10 meter wind speeds in meters per second.
The 12km NAM model shows a very similar picture of high 10-meter wind speeds at 18 UTC.
The NAAPS model is also predicting a regional dust storm on Thursday. The lower left map is the surface dust concentration forecast for 00 UTC 31 December (5 pm Thursday).
The 00 UTC run of the GFS tonight shows the strong storm system over us at 00 UTC on Friday (next to last frame).
The satellite and ground based aerosol optical depth measurements were useless today because of the think cloud cover. I saw a little more haze than usual this afternoon, so maybe its from this large sulfate airmass that extends into southern Mexico and up through New Mexico today. At least that's what the NAAPS aerosol model is predicting in the upper right map below.
Another low wind peak in the evening but not that impressive. At the Sunland Park City Yard station we see a peak PM10 of 186 µg/m3 and PM2.5 of 57 µg/m3 at 7 pm.
The core site PM was very high this afternoon. It actually "pegged-out" the PM10 beta gage instrument starting at 4 pm and ending on 5 pm. Winds were low at the time in the range of 2 to 3 mph with gusts up to 7 mph from the southwest to westerly direction. The PM2.5/PM10 ratio is small ranging from 0.02 to 0.12 during the peaks so I expect this to be some kinds of local dust source. My guess is pecan harvesting near the Garcia Horticultural farm.
Tomorrow's AQI forecast map shows an area of moderate air quality over the Paso del Norte.