Blowing dust in northern Mexico, southwestern Texas, and southeastern New Mexico

November 10th, 2012 |
MODIS 11-12 µm IR brightnes temperature difference with surface METAR reports and frontal analysis

MODIS 11-12 µm IR brightnes temperature difference with surface METAR reports and frontal analysis

Strong southwesterly winds (gusting as high as 86 mph in New Mexico and 73 mph in Texas) ahead of an advancing cold front were causing dense plumes of blowing dust that restricted surface visibility to 0.5 mile at El Paso, Texas (station identifier KELP) on 10 November 2012. An AWIPS image of the 1-km resolution MODIS 11-12 µm IR brightness temperature difference (BTD) product (above) showed the areal coverage of the blowing dust (cyan to yellow color enhancement) at 20:17 UTC (3:17 PM local time).

The blowing dust plumes could also be seen on a 250-meter resolution MODIS true-color Red/Green/Blue (RGB) image from the SSEC MODIS Today site (below).

MODIS true-color Red/Green/Blue (RGB) image (displayed using Google Earth)

MODIS true-color Red/Green/Blue (RGB) image (displayed using Google Earth)

MODIS 0.65 µm visible channel and 11.0 µm IR channel images

MODIS 0.65 µm visible channel and 11.0 µm IR channel images

AWIPS comparisons of 1-km resolution MODIS (above) and Suomi NPP VIIRS (below) visible channel and IR channel images revealed that the airborne dust exhibited a cooler signature (lighter gray enhancement) on the IR imagery.

Suomi NPP VIIRS 0.64 µm visible channel and 11.45 µm IR channel images

Suomi NPP VIIRS 0.64 µm visible channel and 11.45 µm IR channel images

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