Tuesday, 8 January 2013: 5:15 PM
Room 6B (Austin Convention Center)
The monitoring for dust events in the US/Mexico border region began prior to 2000 and has continued to present time using, primarily, the brightness temperature difference between two adjacent satellite channels in the far infrared portion of the spectrum from the GOES satellites. The motivation for such monitoring was to determine the extent of such events and to identify their source regions as part of a program to eventually allow the forecasting of such events. The importance of such monitoring and forecasting relates to air quality and health issues as, for example, Valley Fever that is endemic to the Border Region. Also important are the impacts to highway travel where Interstate and local highways are closed for hours; sometimes, after huge pileups and death-related accidents have already occurred. During the period, we have identified approximately 450 dates for which dust events have been observed. Those sub-regions most affected are Northern Chihuahua and Sonora in Mexico, Southwest and Eastern New Mexico including the White Sands National Monument, the Four Corners region of Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico as well as the Panhandle of Texas. In addition to our monitoring of the GOES satellite data that has, at times, been sporadic, we have processed the NWS COOP data for dust events. Preliminary analyses of the COOP data as well as the initial results from our identification of dust storm source locations are reported.
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