Sunday, February 1, 2015

Last Week's Winter Storm

Much of New Mexico experienced winter weather last week as a winter storm made it's way across the state.  Snow began to develop in Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico on the evening of the 20th, continuing on the 21st and finally affecting the Southern part of New Mexico on the 22nd.

The NM Department of Transportation reported several closures over multiple highways across the state.  Schools were also affected.  According to NM news sources, over 90 schools were affected by last week's storm.  Here in Las Cruces, NMSU was closed at 10AM and the Las Cruces Public Schools let out early, allowing staff to leave after 1PM.

Weather station data from last week's storm shows that many locations across New Mexico recorded heavy snowfall.  Other locations saw none at all.  The following map shows CoCoRaHS snowfall amounts across the state.

Although the State Climatologist, Dr. Dave DuBois, was out of town during the storm, the staff at the climate center was able to capture images of the storm as it passed through Las Cruces.

The NMSU weather station taken by Rebecca Britt-Armenta

Another view of the NMSU weather station by Rebecca Britt-Armenta
A neighborhood in Las Cruces by Stanley Engle
Another neighborhood in Las Cruces by Antonio Arredondo

On Another Note

Several weeks ago, the students and staff of the NM Climate Center attended the American Meteorological Society's Annual Meeting in Phoenix, AZ.  This year the theme of the conference was "Fulfilling the Vision of Weather, Water, and Climate Information for Every Need, Time, and Place." We arrived early on the weekend prior to the start of the full meeting to take the Python short course.  As a Python programmer already, I attended the advanced Python short course, while my colleagues, Dr. Dave DuBios, Yizhi Zhao, and Rebecca Britt-Armenta attended the beginner course.

Rebecca and Yizhi learning Python by Dr. Dave DuBois
Every year the conference reaches out to the community by holding a WeatherFest where weather and atmospheric sciences are promoted. This year looked very successful and many kids and their parents attended the event. Here are a few photos from WeatherFest.

On the first Monday of the meeting, I attended the Fifth Symposium on Advances in Modeling and Analysis Using Python.  The major takeaway from this symposium is that Python is here to stay in the atmospheric sciences.  Later on Monday, we attended the exhibit presentations to see the latest and greatest technology available for the atmospheric sciences.
A Davis Vantage Pro2 weather station by Stanley Engle

Of course, one of the most popular exhibits is the NOAA Science on a Sphere.  This would be a good place to get a group picture.
Rebecca, Dave, Stan and Yizhi at AMS Annual Meeting 2015
Unfortunately, I had to leave after Monday, but Dr. DuBois, Yizhi and Rebecca stayed for a few more days.  Rebecca found that the most interesting experience at AMS was attending several talks.  A few noteworthy presentations included those in the "Global Warming Hiatus" on the first day of the conference and several sessions on the National Climate Assessment. Dr. DuBois gave the talk A perspective on drought information services at a state climate office.  According to Rebecca, about 30 meeting attendees listened to his presentation.  Below is a view of that presentation.