Monday, January 17, 2011

Jan. 16,17 - The low/highs for the 16th include 33/66F at the NMSU Coop station, 36/66 at the Las Cruces airport, and 22/64 in Deming. Technical note: The 6:46pm climate report (ASUS65) for KLRU says a low of 41 but the 03:39 observation I saw a 36F. Besides for a few clouds in the morning and afternoon it was a very nice sunny day. You can see some of the hot air balloons in the morning in the background from the web cam looking out toward the west from the NMSU campus.

The lows for the 17th include a 35F at the NMSU Coop, and a 30 in Deming. I looked like a gap in the AWOS at KLRU this morning so not sure what the low was there.

Particulate concentrations have been low on both days. At the Sunland Park City Yard PM10 didn't get over 50 µg/m3 and PM2.5 didn't get over 7 µg/m3 on either day.
At the NMED Anthony Elementary station we saw high concentrations both in the evening and this morning.
At Chaparral the winds have been higher than other areas but PM10 hasn't been high, only peaking at 57 µg/m3 at 11 am today. Wind gusts peaked at 13.8 m/s (31 mph) at noon on Sunday the 17th.
At the NMED Las Cruces Holman Road station we saw a sharp increase in PM10 at 5 pm.on the 16th. Peak PM10 Sunday evening was 113 µg/m3. Winds were from the WSW at 5 pm.

Based on the afternoon MODIS flight aerosol optical depth was low in our region on the 17th.
Winds were mainly west northwest in the afternoon of the 17th. Below is a prediction of 21 UTC (2 pm MST) surface winds from the RUC model.
The AQI forecast for Monday the 17th was for good (green) air quality for the area.
On the 16th we saw an early morning peak and evening peak in particulates. Early morning PM2.5/PM10 ratios ranged from 0.20 to 0.63. What is noteworthy of the evening peak is the PM2.5/PM10 ratio in the range of 0.31 to 0.50 with an average of 0.41. While this is not high it is significantly higher than what we usually see with coarse fraction dust. I was not at the site that day but I did smell wood burning about a half mile north of campus along Solano. I recall winds were calm and the temperature was mild in the evening. It would be a guess but the particulates that we see in the evening peak could be a combination of some wood burning mixed in with dust. On the 17th we saw a morning and afternoon peak in both PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations. This is nothing out of the ordinary with a peak PM10 of 81 µg/m3 and peak PM2.5 of 8 µg/m3.

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