Saturday, June 18, 2011

June 17

The air quality from smoke is improving as we continually see fires but not as intense as last week.  However, air quality near the fires will remain a concern as night time smoke drainage down from higher to lower elevations will be an issue. These are difficult to forecast since it depends on the terrain and low level wind patterns. I saw some haze this morning in Las Cruces but not that much more than we usually get. We had some cloud cover that masked some of the smoke today. Below is the NOAA HMS smoke product with fire locations as of 10:26 pm tonight. The Monument fire remains active and burning near Sierra Vista, Arizona. The plume has mixed in with the smoke from the Horseshoe2 to add to the haze.
We saw mostly WNW winds from the surface through 5 km up till this afternoon. Aloft winds are back to southwest in the evening but surface still WNW.
The air quality outlook includes a forecast of winds for this weekend. It will be windy again on Saturday but on Sunday we could see wind blown dust as our major pollutant. However, the winds will also produce more fire activity and probably more smoke in the Monument and Horseshoe2 fires. Temperatures are expected to be in the 100 to 103 range in the lower elevation desert on Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday's smoke outlook shows our area with moderate air quality.
I have not seen any relief in the form of rain at least for the next week. The QPF product shows continued dry over the next 5 days.

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