Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Jan. 18 - A calm and sunny start to the day. High of 70F at the Las Cruces airport and 69F in Deming. Winds were forecasted to be light today from the northwest early in the day and from the southeast in the afternoon. Below is the 21 UTC (2 pm MST) surface wind forecast.
Particulate concentrations were low overnight I'm but starting to see build-ups from the morning's commute. PM2.5 at the Sunland Park City Yard began to increase around 4 am and peaked at 8 am. In the evening we saw a low wind, high PM spike starting at 6 pm and continuing till midnight. Peak PM10 during the evening was 210 µg/m3 and PM2.5 was 49 µg/m3.
The particulate pattern at the Anthony Elementary station look similar to the Sunland Park with two peaks. The main difference was that the morning peak at Anthony was the highest of the day with PM10 at 200 µg/m3 and PM2.5 at 27 µg/m3.

I noticed a thin haze layer looking out of my office this morning over Las Cruces toward the west. This morning's sounding (see below) at Santa Teresa showed the strong low level inversion that helped create this build-up. (This Skew-T diagram is from NCAR) I highlighted the temperature profile below 650 mb (2400 m above ground) showing multiple inversion layers.
Nothing unusual at Deming. We saw a diurnal pattern at the Deming airport with peaks in morning and afternoon and breezes in the afternoon but sustained winds were low. 
As in previous nights the NMED Las Cruces Holman Road we saw an evening peak in PM10 around 6 pm.

The forecast for tomorrow is continued warm, breezy, with highs of 71F in Las Cruces,  71 in Deming, and 72 in Lordsburg.

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