Monday, March 16, 2015

Air Quality in New Mexico

The New Mexico Environment Department maintains a network of 22 air quality stations scattered across the state in high-risk areas.  Stations are color-coded to reflect air quality, and currently it looks like all stations are green, representing "good" air quality.

(Albuquerque has their own air quality monitoring data)

The Carlsbad station shows levels of common pollutants over the last week:

And here is the Hobbs station data for the same time period (note the different y-axis scales):

Carlsbad has had much worse air quality over the last week, especially in the early mornings, when nitrate and nitrite spike.  Ozone and PM2.5 are not visible on the Carlsbad graph because of the large NO spikes.  In Hobbes, increases in ozone (O3) are associated with winds blowing more pollution over the sensor.

These time periods experienced moderate wind and rain.  It will be interesting to check back in during a temperature inversion.

For good national data, check out the U.S. Air Quality Smog Blog

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