El Paso Blowing Dust March 16, 2008
- Satellite Animation - GOES
- Webcam Animation - Chelsea
- Webcam Animation - Ranger Peak
- Satellite Image 11:22 am MDT - Texas True Color (from UW SSEC)
- Satellite Image 11:25 am MDT - El Paso True Color (from UT CSR)
- Satellite Image 11:54 pm MDT - West Texas False Color (from UT CSR)
- Satellite Image 1:23 pm MDT - West Texas False Color (from UT CSR)
- Satellite Image 2:39 pm MDT - El Paso True Color (from UT CSR)
Strong gusty southwest winds caused blowing dust in parts of northern Mexico, southern New Mexico, and far West Texas on Sunday, March 16th. Wind gusts as high as 61 miles per hour were reported at Fort Bliss in El Paso. The high winds generated numerous large dust plumes in northern Mexico that merged into a large dust cloud that swept into El Paso in the afternoon.
The highest measured daily average PM10 concentration in El Paso County was 244 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m³) at the Socorro Continuous Ambient Monitoring Station (CAMS) 49 and rated as Level Orange, Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups, on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Air Quality Index (AQI) scale. The other two continuous PM10 sites at Chamizal CAMS 41 and UTEP CAMS 12 measured daily averages in the "Moderate" range, indicating that the blowing dust was heavier on the southeast side of the El Paso area, as was also indicated by the afternoon true color satellite image. The highest measured PM10 hourly average was 1,066 µg/m³ at Socorro CAMS 49 for the hour from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time (MDT).
The visibility measured at Chamizal CAMS 41 dropped as low as 2.4 miles at 1:40 p.m. MDT. The visibility measured at Guadalupe Mountains CAMS 5018 dropped as low as 2.5 miles at 7:05 p.m. CDT, indicating that the blowing dust reached as far east as the Guadalupe Mountains.