Sutherland Height residents rejoice and grouse over drought and road bustin’, super local, 3.36 inch “toad strangler”

“Frog strangler”,  folk expression from the South for extra heavy rains, btw,  which is what we had, except we have toads, not frogs.

Here’s what I think happened to produce 3.36 inches on Sutherland Heights.  The winds were from the east at cloud levels.  Cumulus spawned off the Catalinas/Mt Lemmon area, but the wind shear brought the tops over Sutherland Heights about the time they got cold enough to form ice, yesterday around -5° to -10°C   (higher than the usual temps for ice formation because the cloud bases were so warm.  I know what you’re thinking, “huh?”   Take my word for it, that’s the way it works;  the warmer the bottom of a cloud, the higher the temperature at which ice forms in it.  Of course, over the oceans cloud base temperature doesn’t make that much difference…  I better quit here on that.

Where was I?  Oh…   So, leaning out from the mountains is where they began to dump their loads beginning in mid-morning, when updrafts were likely modest.  The first one missed Sutherland Heights altogether (except for a sprinkle, but drenched Oracle Road and the Basha’s area.  And, likely because it didn’t rain on the east side of the Catalinas until later, those monster turrets kept spawning upwind of us.

The second in this series was a stronger turret, one that could stand more upright against the wind shear and dropped its load on Sutherland Heights.  Indicative of stronger updrafts in that one was the onset of thunder, first aloft, then in ensuing turrets shooting upward, increasing cloud-to-ground strokes until it was unsafe to go outside without the thought of being fried.

And of course, the rainrates picked up, and stayed that way as new turrets launched off the same zone of the Catalina Mountains through mid-afternoon.  That in itself was remarkable, and if you looked around, you could see that it wasn’t raining all that much either to the north or south of Catalina, and that the rainshafts faded as they trekked across Oro Valley.

The net result, an incredulous 3.36 inches here (3.37 inches in NWS-style gauge here), bound to raise eyebrows concerning possible rain gauge fraud;  nothing like it anywhere in the local area!  The ALERT gauge on the Golder Ranch Bridge only had 1.46 inches and Samaniego Peak,  1.93 inches!  There will be very few days in our lifetimes like yesterday.  Go to rainlog.org to see how amazing our local amount was in comparison to other gauges, once again raising the specter of fraud due to an outlandish amount1.

And, again, it was closer to what a REAL monsoon day in India, say, at Cherrapunji, where passing heavy rains are accompanied by the occasional thunderclap.  So, in a sense, yesterday you were climatically transported to a land faraway, where tree roots are so big they make bridges out of them…

Some photos of this event, well, too many, really, after all, too many cloud photos is our niche!:

10:03 AM. The MO for yesterday's rains in miniature. Cumulus launched off around Mt. Lemmon and leaned out over Sutherland Heights as they rose upward. As the tops got higher over us, ice began to form in them, and, down and out it came. Some of the ice, because cloud bases were so warm, began to rain
10:03 AM. The MO for yesterday’s rains in miniature. Cumulus launched off around Mt. Lemmon and leaned out over Sutherland Heights as they rose upward. As the tops got higher over us, ice began to form in them, and, down and out it came. Some of the ice, because cloud bases were so warm (about 60°F, 15° C), probably was frozen raindrops.
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11:08 AM. Only SPKLS so far, but since tallest part of cloud is over Sutherland Heights, some large drops are almost imminent.
11:13 AM. Rain begins in earnest.
11:13 AM. Rain begins in earnest.
11:27 AM. Shafts intensifying.
11:27 AM. Shafts intensifying.
11:53 AM. Pretty much out of control, just snapping away at this incredible intensity of rain!
11:53 AM. Pretty much out of control, just snapping away at this incredible intensity of rain!
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11:53 AM. One second later. Haha. It was three seconds later!
12:37 PM.
12:37 PM.
2:20 PM.
2:20 PM.
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3:16 PM. The CDO wash is full, but not huge, where standing waves a few feet high form (as in the 4+ inch dump of September 2015).
4:06 PM. The raging Sutherland Wash. Was making a lot of noise down there, mostly from this area near the Cottonwoods where the wall is. You could hear it probably all over Sutherland Heights if you listened carefully. Was raining lightly at this time, OCNL LTG, too.
4:06 PM. The raging Sutherland Wash. Was making a lot of noise down there, mostly from this area near the Cottonwoods where the wall is. You could hear it probably all over Sutherland Heights if you listened carefully. Was raining lightly at this time, OCNL LTG, too.
4:06 PM. Another view of the raging Sutherland Wash, probably near its peak.
4:06 PM. Another view of the raging Sutherland Wash, probably near its peak.
4:25 PM. The lightning from this once proud Cumulonimbus cloud has ended, and now it is resigned to be lightly raining Nimbostratus or Altostratus, I don't which, but I what I do know is that its, "cumulonimbogenitus." And don't tell me you haven't heard of "genitus", either, because its a chapter in the Bible!
4:25 PM. The lightning from this once proud Cumulonimbus cloud has ended, and now it is resigned to be lightly raining Nimbostratus or Altostratus, I don’t which, but I what I do know is that its, “cumulonimbogenitus”, “Genitus, of course, being one of the books of the Old Testament Bible–you find information like this that you won’t find on other sites.

The End, of a very hurriedly thrown together piece.  Got actual work that must be completed soon, something if you read it, it would be so boring you’d want to shoot yourself before you finished it!  Sciency stuff.   Oh, well, nose to grindstone now.

 

Upside down moon, emptying itself of water, suggests bountiful summer rain season ahead

When the moon is upside down, that is,  turns it concave face down toward the earth, it’s a sign of bountiful rains ahead, in this case, during our summer rain season.  That’s because, according to folklore I made up yesterday, it is figuratively  “emptying itself of its water” onto the land, in this case, onto Samaniego Ridge as you can see below.  (Note to the person who follows this blog:  there is no actual water on the moon,  hence, “figuratively” emptying its water.)

2:34 PM, July 1st.
2:34 PM, July 1st.

DSC_4678This folklore, which I just made up due to mental impediments caused by heat combined with rain starvation, is NOT reflected in the Climate Prediction Center’s forecast for July,  just out.  See below their daunting temperature and rain forecasts for AZ and the US.  We must now take solace that these forecasts can be disastrously WRONG, as we saw last winter for the West.  Stupefying rain and snow amounts occurred in the face of forecasts of not much was to go on.  Doesn’t happen often, but it does happen, thank heavens!  Sizeable error might be our only hope besides bogus folklore.

off15_temp off15_prcp

No cloud pics, of course.  But here is a photo of an odd-shaped twig that blew up against the window and somehow stuck there for awhile.  Thought you like to see that:

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The End

And,  back to work!

(Oh, yeah, baby, cloud-maven person has unretired in a sense, working on technical manuscripts (to be rejected later) in his specialty, weather modification/cloud seeding.  Cloud maven person gets worked when he’s writing in that domain, and reviewers don’t like to read manuscripts by people who are “worked up.”  On the other hand, “worked up” provides energy, and thoughts like, “someone has to do something about this”, whatever it is….)

Some recent clouds

May 24th:

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May 25th, yesterday, starting with sunrise color

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Later yesterday morning, some interesting “Altocumulocirrus”, a rare breed indeed, mocking/mimicking Altocumulus.

Maybe Cirrus floccus would come closest to the true name, but to every eye but that of a genuine cloud maven person, it would be deemed just “Altocumulus”.  Check these out to see how good you were–and NO correcting your cloud diaries!!!!

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5:47 AM. Two layers are visible, a distant Altocumulus castellanus one, and the higher, much higher, cirriform clouds resembling Altocumulus. If you don’t believe me, the sounding from the U of AZ is below.
The TUS balloon sounding for 5 AM AST yesterday. The Altocumulus patches were up around 16,000 feet, and the cirriform clouds around 33,000 feet and at about -50°C
The TUS balloon sounding for 5 AM AST yesterday. The Altocumulus patches were up around 16,000 feet, and the cirriform clouds around 33,000 feet and at about -50°C (-58°F).  Had to cuss that bit because I sensed some doubt out there.
6:38 AM. Same cloud layer. Seriously, how can you not call this "Altocumulus", it mimicks it so well. But these globules are all ice, no liquid water of course anywhere near -50°C unless we believe the reports of Simpson (1963) who purported liquid at -62°C. Nobody believed him though; me ,neither.
6:38 AM. Same cloud layer. Seriously, how can you not call this “Altocumulus”, it mimicks it so well. But these globules are all ice, no liquid water of course anywhere near -50°C unless we believe the reports of Simpson (1963) who purported liquid at -62°C. Nobody believed him though; me ,neither.
7:37 AM. Another view of this cirriform layer making a mockery out of Altocumlus. Note that there is that tiny bit of shading, too, in these cloudlets.
7:37 AM. Another view of this cirriform layer making a mockery out of Altocumlus. Note that there is that tiny bit of shading, too, in these cloudlets.
5:24 PM. The convection leading to cellular structure was still evident pretty much the whole day. Again, we have a problem. Shading like this is not officially permitted with in cirriform clouds except in the "spissatus" species. One would be thinking "Altostratus" here since that cloud is widespread and can have gray shading. When you look at the TUS sounding nearest this time, you find that the moisture is still contained in the upper reaches of the troposphere, where it was in the morning, and that would be in the "etage" for high clouds, 33,000 feet or so above sea level.
5:24 PM. The convection leading to cellular structure was still evident pretty much the whole day. Again, we have a problem. Shading like this is not officially permitted with in cirriform clouds except in the “spissatus” species. One would be thinking “Altostratus” here since that cloud is widespread and can have gray shading. When you look at the TUS sounding nearest this time, you find that the moisture is still contained in the upper reaches of the troposphere, where it was in the morning, and that would be in the “etage” for high clouds, 30,000 feet or so above sea level.
The TUS balloon sounding for 5 PM AST, May 25th. The temperature of that icy layer ranged from about -35°C on the bottom to -60° C at top.
The TUS balloon sounding for 5 PM AST, May 25th. The temperature of that icy layer ranged from about -35°C on the bottom to -60° C at top, so there would not be any liquid water in it even though is might appear in some places.  Where’s my Lear jet?  Need to check these things out and in a hurry!

Now for some prettiness from yesterday evening:

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The End

Your cloud dairy for May 9th

Haha, most readers won’t even notice! But maybe some cow-centric, instead of cloud-centric, folks will drop by, raising the worth of this blog to above $35 if sold….that according to a “biz” site.

Had a rainbow yesterday. Hope you noticed. It was pretty early and overhead west. I think the clouds did not have ice in them. The rain echoes were not showing up on the radar, suggesting the beam went over the tops. Sounding suggested tops might have been as cool as -5°C.    In any case, the drops were able to tip the bucket a couple of more times, and along with yesterday afternoon’s brief, light rain showers our total has climbed to 0.37 inches for the storm. Not bad, though as in money, you always want more.

These storm breakup days are always our prettiest, and that’s often what this site is about, being pretty. Yesterday had some fabulous scenes;  couldn’t stop shuttering cam. It is a real neurotic compulsive behavior pattern, as afflicts some of us cloud and storm-centric folk. Check Mr. Olbinsky’s work; his work goes beyond phenomenal whether you want a wedding photographer or want to see a storm chasing video.  But it takes that kind of eccentric energy to be special, to stand out as he does.

Here, though, we let the storms and cloud scenes, such as they are, hope for the best, and let them come to us….  Kind of a lazy storm chaser’s attitude.

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5:49 AM. I really do think this rain came out of clouds that had no ice…maybe 70% sure.
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6:27 AM. Stratus fractus springing to life as Cumulus clouds lining the sides of Sam Ridge (Samaniego). Showed how much instability, the ease of which the slightly warmer air in these clouds could jut upward yesterday
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6:49 AM. Just pretty and so green after the rain.
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6:50 AM. Same scene, focusing in on a highlight.
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7:01 AM. More prettiness in a highlighted baby turret.
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7:01 AM. In case you missed it, here it is again, a little zoomed.
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9:03 AM. Rise of the Cumulonimbus capillatus incus (has anvil). This scene had a lot of portent for the day. You knew more would be forming, maybe drift over us later.
9:33 AM. I thought this was a pretty neat scene, though its just a cloud shadow lining up with the rise of the Catalina Mountains.
9:33 AM. I thought this was a pretty neat scene, though its just a cloud shadow lining up with the rise of the Catalina Mountains.
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9:36 AM. Hmmmm. What the HECK is happening now? Low center was off in the direction, headed for us, with still cooler air aloft. But where are the Cumulonimbus clouds that should come with it? (They formed rapidly, but later.)
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2:23 PM. By mid-afternoon, things were swell all around, lots of Cumulonimbus clouds. They seemed to fade, though, as they marched toward Catalinaland, as this complex did. The rather sharp line in the lower part of the photo, and beyond which you can see distant clouds, is where the melting level was. This is often appears to be the “cloud base” but its really not in the sense of having cloud droplets. If you were to fly in it, all you would see is rain and melting snow just below this line, and just snowflakes above it. If the whole sky was covered in this, we’d call it Nimbostratus, and say the base was at that melting level.
3:42 PM. Another pretty major band appears to be headed this way. DIdn't make it.
3:42 PM. Another pretty major band appears to be headed this way, rotating around that low center, shifting northward.  Didn’t make it.
DSC_3753
6:35 PM. Somewhat promising that a nice dark line and heavy shafts were out there, thinking they might shift northward again. Nope. Fizzled.

Still cold aloft, so having some nice Cumulus today is in the bag, the early Stratocumulus devolving into Cu, that is.

The End

galaxy-like storm pinwheels toward Catalina; 0.32 inches of RAIN logged so far

At this hour, a small,  pin-wheeling, galaxy-like vortex is drifting toward Catalina.  Last night the town was ravaged by 0.30 inches of rain and winds to 50 mph around 2 AM as one of its pin-wheeling bands came through, likely with a big arcus cloud fronting it.

This was the first measurable rain in Catalina since I don’t know when.  You probably don’t remember, either, its been that long.

More rain is expected as the little pin-wheeling vortex moves overhead of the little village of Catalina today and on to New Mexico tomorrow.

Plunked  below is the Pima County ALERT rain map amounts with the Sutherland Heights amount plunked on it as well.  We did pretty well it appears, compared to surrounding amounts.  Yay.  Our desert will love this!  The greatest amount here is 0.46 inches at Dan Saddle in the CDO upper watershed.  I guess he hasn’t found it yet.

Ann local rain mapn 20170509
As of 4 AM today. If you want an update go here. Also here’s the U of AZ rainlog site. Should be pretty well filled in by 8 AM or so.

Some Clouds

8:46 AM. Nice little cloud streets stream off the Catalinas from the southeast. Buys-Ballots Law says there a low to your right facing upwind, or, to our southwest.
8:46 AM.  This pretty scene shows a nice little cloud streets composed of Cumulus  streaming off the Catalinas from the southeast. Buys-Ballots Law says there a low to your right facing upwind, or, to our southwest.  Looked kind of like a summer scene, didn’t it?  The green tinge continues in the desert and on the mountains, even though it hasn’t rained, its been warmer than normal since I don’t know when.  Pretty remarkable when you think about it.

And if you mention our desert vegetation, as I have,  how can you not exult over the fabulous blooms on one of the most horrible plants on earth (haha), as far as spines and glockets go, the prickly pear!

11:48 AM, though I suppose the time is not needed. So pretty.
11:48 AM, though I suppose the time is not needed. So pretty, our “Arizona Rose.”  Some day, they’ll GMO the spines and glockets away, I’m quite sure…
1:41 PM. By early afternoon there were lots of clouds with ice in them and virga and light rain showers around. Techincally this could be a Cumulonimbus, but its a pretty weak one. The bases were again, as the day before above the freezing level. You can see that in the snow plume virga below, one that disappears at the melting level unless the shaft is very dense.
1:41 PM. By early afternoon there were lots of clouds with ice in them and virga and light rain showers around. Techincally this could be a Cumulonimbus, but its a pretty weak one. The bases were again, as the day before above the freezing level. You can see that in the snow virga below, which disappears as the flakes melt just below the freezing level.
3:14 PM. Here's a nice cross-section showing that in general, the shower clouds weren't especially deep about this time.
3:14 PM. Here’s a nice cross-section looking toward Oracle Ridge down Equestrian Trail Road showing that in general, the shower clouds weren’t especially deep at this time, so the shafts coming out of them weren’t so great, either.
3:54 PM. It wasn't long before further deepening occurred and significant showers rolled across the OV. Mom's gone now, but that her trotter horse wind vane now perched on our fence....
3:54 PM. It wasn’t long before further deepening occurred and significant showers rolled across the OV. Mom’s gone now, but that her trotter horse wind vane now perched on our fence….
6:18 PM. Those showers pretty much missed Catalina, but as the evening approached some breaks in the clouds allowed those gorgeous highlighting of our mountains. Its a form of heaven, I think.
6:18 PM. Those showers pretty much missed Catalina, but as the evening approached some breaks in the clouds allowed those gorgeous highlighting of our mountains. Its a form of heaven, I think.

 

The Weather Way Ahead

Our models, supported by those ensemble “spaghetti” maps are making most of May look pretty darn nice, at least through 20th-25th as the upper air configuration reprises troughs twixt now and then.  They’re looking like dry cool fronts, though, no rain in ’em.   Snowbirds done left too soon!

 

The End

Massive virga pummels air above Catalina; some drops reach ground elsewhere

A Cumulus cloud!  Then traces of ice spewing from them as they deepened and spread over the sky!  Then masses of VIRGA,  snow drifting downward toward the parched desert, which is mostly parched all the time anyway.  What a day, Mr. and Mrs. Catalina!

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12:14 PM. Can this really be happening? A cloud has formed over Ms. Lemmon, or close to her.
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12:14 PM. A closer look to make sure its not an illusion. In a real boo-boo, cloud maven person estimated the base was only 10,000 above Catalina, when in fact, it was probably about 13,000 feet above Catalina at this time, and as bases do on sunny days, rose some more as the afternoon heating carried on, reaching a 100°F here!
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12:14 PM. There even more tiny Cumulus clouds out over the desert to our north! What is going on?
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2:08 PM. How wrong CMP was in his cloud height estimate is becoming clear as ice began to form in great quantities by this time. They had to be much higher than was originally estimated. Its fun saying you were wrong about something because it illustrates humility, and lack of fear about an error, increases your stature with others even if you’re actually upset about it and only pretending to be “happy” and gracious in admitting error.
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3:50 PM. Those Cumulus clouds look pretty dark, but were only about 5,000 feet thick. Notice nice heavy trail of virga in the center. The darkness was likely not the result of so much depth, but the high droplet concentrations. When clouds are full of high droplet concentrations, the droplets are smaller overall, and reflect more sunlight from their tops, making them seem darker on the bottom.   Clouds with larger cloud droplets in them, such as those found over the oceans (away from continents) would be less dark looking with the same cloud depth.
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3:51 PM. Looking toward the southwest at more virga.
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4:07 PM. We really should have a covered grandstand for folks to just sit and watch the sun and shadows highlight our beautiful Catalina Mountains.  Here the Sutherland Trail out of Catalina State Park is highlighted.
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6:43 PM. Some drops appear to be reaching the ground, center, right.

How high up were the bottoms of those Cumulus clouds with all that ice?  Oh, about 17,000 feet above sea level, 14,000 feet above Catalina by mid-to late afternoon.  The base temperatures, as you could tell with all that snow virga hanging down, had to be way below freezing, about -9°C, about 16° F.

Now, with all that ice, can you guess how low the temperatures had to be up around the tops of those clouds?  Remember, if the top is about -12°C in a thin cloud, the droplets are very small because they haven’t been lifted upward much, 1000 to 1500 feet or so, there’s probably not going to be any ice.  The smaller the drops, the harder it is for nature to create an ice crystal.  So guessing that the tops were 1000-1500 feet above the base would be a good starting point, but horribly WRONG for those clouds with a lot of ice!  A cloudwise neighbor,  hearing that estimate, might start laughing, or at least sniggle.

With all that ice up there, and cold based clouds, a good estimate would have been -22.3°C, because adding the decimal would make it appear that you know more than you really do.  Here’s the sounding from the U of AZ for yesterday afternoon when all the ice was in full display, down thataway as well as here:

Ann 2017050600Z_SKEWT_KTUSSo you can see that tops were about -25°C, about right for all the ice we saw come out of those clouds.

As you know, the actual rain from this incoming system doesn’t get here until late tomorrow.  We have to go through a dry slot aloft before the Pacific moisture gets here. The U of AZ Beowulf Cluster output is suggesting that we here in Catalinaland should get at least a tenth of an inch as an upper level vortex goes by (run is not complete as of this writing).  But, because this vortex aloft that’s going to affect us is rather small,  a slight position error could mean much more than that.  It would seem the potential rain amount here might range from a least amount of 0.05 inches to ten times that amount, or 0.50 inches, more uncertainty than usual! Good chance of some thunder with this situation, too, to remind us that the summer rain season is getting closer.

The NOAA spaghetti factory had indicated this situation and the chances of rain on the 8th more than 10 days ago, and that is the power of those crazy maps, to give us some insight farther out in time than we normally can do any reliability.  The scenario of “troughiness” over us continues well into May in those plots, and that should mean temperatures are moderate, not “ovenly” as we like to say here.  Check it out here.

But that  also means very windy at times, too, along with a chance for additional rain.

The End.

Update on astounding Cal water year totals through April

Unbelievable….  Well over 100 inches in the coastal range just north of San Luis Obispo (see arrow below).    And, check those max totals in the table at right, too.

April also produced significant precip in central and northern Cal with almost 20 inches of water at the wettest site.  More will accrue in May, too.

And remember most of all, that no one saw this incredible year coming!  I think that’s why we love weather.

Makes up for the disappointing Big Niño water year of 2015-16, too.

Ann 2016-17 Water Year PCPN through AprilThe End

Oh, and just now, a very exciting sighting on the front door!

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May to have measurable rain in Catalina and environs!

This is great news, heard here first of course (haha),  after a pitiful April with no measurable rain.  Poor desert.

Its been suggested by the NOAA spaghetti factory for some time, but now actual precipitation is showing up in the models pretty regularly for around May 8th and thereafter, and so we can gleefully start dusting off our umbrellas, seeing if we have enough change for the car wash afterwards, etc.

Even WU (Weather Underground) is starting to catch up, showing about a 3% (THREE percent!) chance of rain at that time from last night’s model output.   Its “waymore better” (a nice name for someone) than that, I think, though its not 100% yet.   That percentage should be climbing as the days get closer.

WU chances of rain for Catalina, as posted early this morning. Watch it rise, I hope....
WU chances of rain for Catalina, as posted early this morning. Watch it rise, I hope….

 

BTW, Have never seen such a pronounced “retrogression” as that shown today  over such a vast region of the globe in those spaghetti plots, and that’s why I’ve taken to the air today.

The good news for AZ-ians is that we get placed in a trough in the lower latitudes, albeit a weak one;  a dip in “jetty jet stream” to the south over us  (meaning cooler temperatures than average aloft should prevail) with some enhanced chances for rain after our main chances coming right up on the 8th and beyond for a couple of days.

As you know already, ovenly weather for this time of year,  with temperatures far above average,  is just ahead,  which takes a big, fat high pressure dome aloft over us.  That high will dissipate as “troughy” conditions begin to shape up toward the weekend.

So, venturing farther,  it would seem a reasonable temperature first half of May is ahead, with RAIN,  after the “meltdown” later this week.

Time for a random thought before closing:

A cactus can be a beautiful thing, can’t it?DSC_3390The End

Sprinkly clouds passed over during night; check dusty cars for drop craters and evidence of a trace of rain

Honestly, I gave up on the chance of rain overnight into this morning at sunset yesterday due to the absolutely clear skies.   And, like you, woke up to not one cloud within a 100 miles!  How could this be, given the synoptic situation?  Started slicing apples for some humble pie, but then, when looking at a radar and cloud loop (this one from IPS MeteoStar) saw that lower clouds had magically erupted to our west before midnight,  and by the time they got here in the early morning hours, had little showers coming out of them!

I did not park my own dusty car out from the carport, either. I thought I would at LEAST see a pile of clouds on Ms. Lemmon, too, this morning!  Sure wrong there.  Here are a couple of images from what has to be considered a tiny weather miracle:

201704290745_SWR 201704290830_SWR

Chances of rain increasing (imagine!), for  just over a week from now as actual model outputs begin reflecting what spaghetti (the many outputs) was indicating, i.e., a big upper trough in the West-Great Basin area.  At the time that spaghetti was indicating that, the actual model outputs were not, indicating that they were outliers.

Check this out from last night.  Since this model output is more in agreement with that crazy spaghetti plot, it inherently has more credibility, and is likely not an outlier model run.   That what the NOAA spaghetti factory is used for, getting a handle on those runs that might be wild, and those that are more likely to verify.

Its valid on the morning of May 8th and shows a trough coming out of the Pacific ahead of the one from the Pac NW, shown at this time over northern Cal.  The hope here would be that the one from the SW would have a generous amount of sub-tropical clouds with rain in them.

2017042900_WST_GFS_500_HGT_WINDS_228

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6:04 AM, 28 April. About the only lenticular seen. Oh, well, there were a few weak ones off to the north, but that was it. CIrrostratus is the higher cloud, too thin to be Altostratus.

Cloud shots will be posted later this morning of the next day….. (i didn’t get to is as I had planned)

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12:52 PM, April 28. There can hardly be a better shot of Stratocumulus. While it looks dark, it was partly because of the Cirrostratus or Altostratus overcast; it was that thick, not thick enough to reach temperatures where ice would form in it, and rain would come out.  And no rain did, and soon this whole overcast was gone, as was the higher Cirrostratus that shadowed it.
4:09 PM. No ice came out of these clouds, but they did allow those beautiful sunny highlights on our Catalina Mountains.
4:09 PM. No ice came out of these clouds, but they did allow those beautiful sunny highlights on our Catalina Mountains.
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4:40 PM. Its remarkable how after weeks and weeks of no rain that so much of our mountains and desert vegetation remains as green as it is.

Yesterday afternoon, the 29th.  Here’s what shallow, icy clouds look like, reflecting the unusually cold air above us.

4:44 PM, April 29th.
4:44 PM, April 29th.
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5:43 AM this morning. In an unusually timely post, here’s a leftover ice puff from yesterday over there beyond Charouleau Gap. You’d be guessing, if you cared, that the tops of both of these icy clouds was colder than about -20° C (4°F) since there seems to be so much ice.

 

The End

PS:  Chance of rain still holding for the 8th.  See below for new depiction of big “cutoff” vortex over AZ from last evening’s model run:

Valid at 5 PM, May 8th.
Valid at 5 PM, May 8th.

Sunset was pretty good; raindrops tomorrow morning? In nine days as well?

Haven’t had much to say, brain pretty empty again after the big review of the NAS 2003 review which really needed reviewing and commenting on real bad….

(More “late homework” in the offing.)

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Nice sunset last night; we have had a series of pretty nice ones over the past few days.

April 26th. Sunset over the Charoulou Gap.
April 26th. Sunrise over the Charouleau Gap.
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Orangy mountains highlighted by a gap in the Altostratus layer that allowed the setting sun to shine through.
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7:04 PM. There was some turreting in this line of Altostratus that passed over, and because of those deeper tops, indicating stronger, if still slight updrafts, larger snow particles developed and produced this line of heavier virga underneath it.
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7:10 PM.
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A contrail that’s more than about ten minutes old, now, after the new Int. Cloud Atlas has been released, termed, Cirrus anthrogenitus, maybe castellanus in this case, too.

From IPS MeteoStar, this interesting map for tomorrow morning.

The orangy colors denote the strongest winds in “Jetty Jetstream”, and as you know, the colder, low clouds, ones capable of reaching the temperatures where ice forms, are contained within that ring of strongest winds at this level (500 mb).  So, while the models I have looked at so far have no rain here, I think there’s a pretty good chance of a rogue shower tomorrow morning anyway.  At least there should be some nice Stratocumulus/Cumulus tomorrow and some will have ice in them.   As you know, it’ll be awful windy today, too, maybe 40 mph or so in brief gusts here in The Heights of Sutherland.

Also will be looking for some nice lenticulars since “Jetty” will be right over us, but a little toward the warm side where lenticulars mostly occur.

Map valid for tomorrow morning at 5 AM AST.
Map valid for tomorrow morning at 5 AM AST.

In the meantime, spaghetti suggests a big trough in our area again about nine days from now.  The later ACTUAL model outputs don’t show much of anything.  What’s up with that?  I’m hanging with spaghetti that later model runs will indicate a strong trough, and at LEAST another pulse of cooler air, and another minor chance of rain as we are going to see today and especially tomorrow as when become within the “ring of winds” aloft.  Didn’t Johnny Cash sing something about that? Maybe it was Wall of Voodoo

Below, some spaghetti for you showing a big trough over Arizona and the Great Basin which is not much reflected in the actual models, as noted.  But, just watch my friend, how those model outputs will change to reflect a bigger trough about this time!

Valid at 5 PM May 7th.
Valid at 5 PM May 7th.

 

The End