Wednesday, March 7, 2012

March 7 -

It's going to be a windy day along the border. The big question is how windy.  The National Weather Service is predicting "south southwest wind 20 to 23 mph increasing to between 38 and 41 mph. Winds could gust as high as 60 mph."  That was for Las Cruces and they are indicating slightly high winds for Deming and Columbus. This morning's 20km RUC winds are showing windspread high winds peaking in the early afternoon.
The NWS is also expecting possible road closures along I-10, south of I-10 and on the road to Silver City.

The AQI is taking the wind into consideration and telling us to expect unhealthy air quality today in the Paso del Norte and the rest of El Paso County.
10 am, I can see a brown cloud of dust to the west of Las Cruces moving east. 

10:33am Landsat 7 passed overhead giving us a detailed look at the dust plume.  The black stripes are part of the image since it has a scan problem on the satellite. Image courtesy of Max Bleiweiss and original image from USGS Glovis website.

The 10:55am pass of MODIS-Terra shows the dust plume right over Las Cruces. Image courtesy of NASA Lance website.

11:45 am: thick dust in Las Cruces with visibility less than a mile and decreasing

12:00 pm: highway 180 is closed from Hurley to Deming due to low visibility from dust. AQI at the Las Cruces west mesa station reach "Hazardous" level with hourly PM10 concentration of 690 µg/m3.

2:00 pm: I-10 is now CLOSED from Las Cruces to Lordsburg due to high winds, blowing dust w minimal visibility

2:30 pm: The following graphic from shows the closed highways (red highlight) in the border region.

4:30 pm:  I-10 CLOSURE EXTENDED Las Cruces to AZ State line. Blowing dust w minimal visibility.Avoid travels until conditions change

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