Thursday, March 31, 2011

March 31 - Breezy morning, sunny, and warm day at the Border. We end another month with no measurable precipitation in most of the region. Sunday looks to be favorable for windblown dust.

The AQI forecast for today is showing good air quality over the whole state.

A few fires were active in our region today. Smoke from these may have some noticeable impact. Below are fires and smoke plume outlines from the NOAA HMS product with RUC surface winds at 00 UTC (6 pm MDT) shown on top. Overall the plumes match the wind flows at that hour. We've been getting both surface and aloft winds from the northwest most of the day.

I brought in the Aqua MODIS AOD measurement with the fire locations and it looks like the smoke occurred later in the afternoon than the Aqua spacecraft overpass due to lack of correlation with AOD. The higher AOD area to the west of Elephant Butte is interesting since I have been often seeing higher values there.

Our next dust event is shaping up for Sunday afternoon. The NWS is forecasting winds in the range of 38 to 41 mph with gusts to 55 mph.

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