Classic Mid-Latitude Dynamic Dry Slot Event for New Mexico

NWS ABQ continues to research the MODIS RGB airmass imagery and its potential to improve prediction of significant fire weather, wind, and dust events across New Mexico.  The MODIS satellite captured a stunning example of a dynamic dry slot within the base of a strong mid latitude cyclogenesis over the central Rockies.  Blowing dust in association with the strong jet core sliding directly over eastern NM produced very hazardous conditions for much of the afternoon.  The lead meteorologist from Cannon Air Force Base reported visibilities down to around 100 yards at times with the sky completely obscured for roughly 5 hours.  This was the worst dust storm for the region that he could remember going back to 2006.  He also mentioned the region is about as close to the Dust Bowl as he can imagine with essentially no top soil left after multiple strong wind events already this season and persistent severe to extreme drought.

MODIS RGB Airmass 240pm March 23, 2013.

MODIS RGB Airmass 240pm March 23, 2013.

MODIS/VIIRS Blowing Dust 240pm March 23, 2013.

MODIS/VIIRS Blowing Dust 240pm March 23, 2013.

 

3 thoughts on “Classic Mid-Latitude Dynamic Dry Slot Event for New Mexico

  1. Great post ABQ! And, great use of the imagery for briefing slides! Interestingly, it looks as though the area of most intense dust even shows up in the Airmass RGB.

  2. Very nice post — the RGB imagery certainly shows great promise in the ability to accurately detect important phenomena such as dry slot and blowing dust events. What MODIS channels are used for your Dust Detection RGB? I was quite impressed at how much better the dust showed up on the 1.375 µm near-IR “cirrus detection channel” compared to the standard 0.65 µm visible channel for this case: http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/goes/blog/archives/date/2013/03/23

  3. The Dust RGB imagery from SPoRT via MODIS and VIIRS instruments is based on the EUMETSAT recipe from their “Best Practices” publication:

    The channels used are:
    MODIS VIIRS
    32-31, 31-29, 31 M16-M15, M15-M14, M15

    which roughly corresponds to these wavelengths in microns:
    12.0 – 10.8 : Red
    10.8 – 8.7 : Green
    10.8 : Blue

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