MODIS 1km Captures Downslope Wind Event

A powerful upper level jet stream crossing northern New Mexico on October 25, 2010 created high winds across a large portion of the eastern plains. The north-south oriented mountain ranges of New Mexico make ideal conditions for strong downslope westerly winds.  Many locations immediately to the lee of the central mountain chain experienced wind gusts between 70 and 90 mph.  The first image is a model depiction of the upper level jet stream. The second image shows the MODIS 1km visible channel and surface observations along the Interstate 25 corridor between Raton, Las Vegas, Santa Fe, and Albuquerque.  Click the MODIS image twice to note the peak wind gust of 64 knots at Clines Corners.  The MODIS imagery indicates the sharp cut off between the cloudy airmass to the west and katabatic flow to the east.

Location of the powerful 120-140 knot jet stream October 25, 2010.

MODIS 1km Visible

MODIS 1km visible valid 2040 UTC Monday October 25, 2010. Note the strong drying in region of katabatic flow to the lee of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

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