Saturday, December 24, 2011

Dec. 24 -

Below are this morning's observation at the NMSU weather station.

   Yesterday           Today
High(F)  Normal     Low(F)  Normal  Record Low
  32        56        27      28      16 (1990)

We picked up 0.15 inches of liquid water precipitation over the last 24-hours out of 1 inch of snowfall. On the ground at NMSU we had 2 inches of snow this morning.  As of this morning we have 1.52 inches of precipitation this month.  Most of the region accumulated nearly an inch more of snow on top of the snow from Friday. Hachita measured a trace, east Deming 1.5", about an inch in Silver City, up to 3" in Las Cruces, and 3.4" in parts of El Paso. The NWS Ridge2 precipitation product shows most of the rain for this storm (past 3 days) and snow fell on NW Dona Ana, NE Luna and southern Sierra counties.
Today's MODIS Aqua image shows the extent of the snow cover using bands 7-2-1 mapped to Red-Green-Blue from the LANCE website. The turquoise areas in the middle of the image show snow cover. Based on this much of the Bootheel didn't receive as much snow as the rest of the region.
A low intensity, low wind, high PM event started out this evening at the Sunland Park City Yard (SPCY) station today. Peak PM2.5/PM10 ratio was 0.85 at 10 pm tonight. Because of the recent precipitation I would expect that the coarse fraction fugitive dust component to the low and most of the particle mass from the fine fraction. That is basically what the plot shows except that it doesn't show what the aerosol is made of. From past studies that fine fraction is organics and probably from burning.
If all goes well, we will be sampling next weekend and potentially by the end of the week for fine fraction organics. We'll be deploying filter samplers and a particle sizer to investigate organic aerosols at this site. I'll be talking more about this in upcoming blog entries.

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