Saturday, March 17, 2012

March 17 -

I just got back from travel and now starting to catch up on things. It was a long drive to DRI Las Vegas and back since Thursday.  It was good to see my colleagues again.  Unfortunately I didn't have time to sightsee so just business. I now have six Minovol samplers (4 borrowed from DRI) to use in our dust study in Palomas, MX.  I also borrowed a Cahn microbalance for weighing the 47mm filters down to 1 µg. Now I just have to make room in my little lab to store all this stuff for a few days. That's not an easy chore.

I got back just in time to see the beginning our windy day along the border. At around 2 pm there was a large dust devil south of Deming as I drove by on I-10.  I didn't see any dust until I saw houses in Deming.  At around 3 pm I could see a large dust plume far south of Deming and probably was in Mexico. Using my polarized sunglasses I could make out the boundary of it south of Las Cruces as I crossed over from the west mesa near the I-10 rest area.

Looking at the GOES sounder long wave temperature differnce maps this afternoon, you can clearly see the  plumes going in the NE direction from the RAMSDIS webpage (see below).
The AQI forecast is showing moderate air quality over the Paso del Norte today due to PM10.
Tomorrow the forecast is showing the color orange or "unhealthy for sensitive groups."  Winds are forecasted to be in the 34 to 37 mph range with gusts to 60 mph. That will be enough for high levels of dust.

I just got done setting up the samplers in the dark.  I'll be collecting collocated 24-hour PM10 Teflon filter samplers at the core site trailer over the next few days. This will give us some comparison between Beta gauge PM10, FRM PM10 (BGI PQ100), and a Minivol with PM10 impactor. Now that I thought about it, I should have set the BAM measurement scale to read up to 10 milligrams/m3 when we get those strong dust storms.  I should also run the Dusttrak II too but I'll have to start that next week.

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