Cumulus congestus cloud grows into a Cumulonimbus over Sutherland Heights! 0.45 inches falls in 20 min after transformation!!

Also, I am also posting way below a new (!) not-previously-published. but rather rejected- by-important-scientists-a-long-time-ago-manuscript FYI!

Very exciting! (Hah!)

Its published now, though, isn’t it???!!!

“Online.”

Its about science and how it works, and how it has failed;  examples given.   I put it down toward the bottom of a normal blog because I am shy.

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Clouds from a few days ago, August 26th, now that the “choke point” in uploading photos to Word Press  has been, at least temporarily ameliorated.

Here’s the sequence as a great cloud bottom drifted toward us from Pusch Ridge on the afternoon of the 26th.  If you saw this coming, you should have been clearing channels around the house for excessive water flow.  I forgot to.

Unloaded 0.45 inches at this site. 1.69 inches up on there on ol’ lady Lemmon. We sure needed this dump! Below, one of the great cloud bottoms of our time, that of a Cumulus congestus cloud, filled, as we say here, with rainy portent (maybe hail, too):

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1:44 PM, August 26th. Note just a tinge of shading on the right side. First drops, the biggest ones, or even hail stones are just coming out.
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1:48 PM. Cloud beginning to bust open with rain now; updraft collapsing over there. Now its a Cumulonimbus.
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1:53 PM. Nice shafting over there, but will the  cloud base overhead now split open  over us?
1:54 PM. Looks really good almost overhead toward Saddlebrooke! Just don't unload after you go by!
1:54 PM. Looks really good almost overhead toward Saddlebrooke! Just don’t unload after you go by!  Note scruff of lower cloud (called, “pannus”) caused the the outflows of storms to the SW of Catalina.  Not long enough really to be a “arcus” cloud, but clouds like this are almost always associated with a shift in the winds that helps build clouds overhead by acting like a micro-cold front, the rain-cooled air lifting the warmer, humid air ahead of it, and some of that warmer air being cooled to its condensation point producing these lower shelves of cloud.
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2:07 PM. The height of the storm, the visibility down to a hundred yards or two is all. This particular intense period hardly lasted a couple of minutes before it let up noticeably.

 

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Pedagogical or possibly, pedantic (boring) module

Update alert for the posting of new (!) not-published rejected items by this Arthur:

The Cloud Seeding Literature and the Journal Barriers Against Faulty Claims:  Closing the Gaps

(the original title, submitted first in 1997), final rejection in 1999 (Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc.)

The reviewers, Harold O., Danny R., and someone named “Anonymous Reviewer B”, guessed as, “”B”, for “Bernie S.”

Those in the cloud seeding culture don’t need the names spelled out.  Harold O. is part of the “old guard” cloud seeding culture, while Danny R. is part of the new cloud seeding guard, one that has gone on to be a science superstar since his early work at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem under the leader of the Israeli cloud seeding experiments.   He  did some work there on the clouds of the Mediterranean and satellite interpretations of them (available in Hebrew only the last time I checked).

While Danny R was there during the time of the reporting of the benchmark Israeli 2 randomized experiment by the leader of the experiment  (1976-1986) he himself was not involved in those (ultimately flawed) analyses.  Later, he participated in the unraveling of the 2nd experiment with Israeli statistician, K. Ruben Gabriel in 1990, J. Appl. Meteor.  Half of the 2nd experiment’s results had been previously omitted, an omission which produced an apparent, unambiguous “confirmatory” success of the Israeli 1 experiment, for the short of it.

The 1990 development in Israel, in essence a retraction of what everyone thought was an unambiguous cloud seeding success, plus the fall of the equally important, earlier benchmark randomized experiments in Colorado, at one time also claimed to have proved cloud seeding by the National Academy of Sciences (Malone et al 1973),  were the primary reasons for composing the piece being posted today.  You may also know that your very own Catalina  “cloud-maven” was in Israel in 1986 for 11 weeks, in doubt of those “hard-to-rain” clouds that were being described by the leader of those experiments, resulting in “Rain from Clouds with Tops Warmer than -10° C in Israel”, (1988, Quart J. Roy. Meteor. Soc.).  This was to some degree the first crack in those experiments.  (Of course, I would say that!)

How could such glowing,  but ultimately critically flawed journal papers appear ultimately involving hundreds of journal pages?  What went wrong with peer reviews?

I attempt in this piece to describe in this piece how science is supposed to work, and these pretty amazing chapters of science in cloud seeding,  and offered some possible solutions.

At one time, Prof. Peter V. Hobbs, named to write up a status piece on Clouds-Climate for the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 2003 or so, was going to use the “rise and fall” of the Colorado and Israeli experiments  in this piece I have just posted.  He was going  to demonstrate how we scientists can think we have proved something,  but upon closer inspection, find that we have not proved at all!

Peter Hobbs was concerned that the then many unknowns about clouds were not being treated properly in climate models (being parameterized too crudely), and therefore those parameterizations of clouds in climate models could  lead to erroneous conclusions concerning the amount of global warming that might be ahead.

In his take on this MS, and that “rise and fall” section in particular, Peter, who was not one to dole out compliments very often said of it, “This is pretty good.”  Peter had not reviewed it beforehand.

Ultimately, Peter contracted pancreatic cancer and was unable to submit his status summary to the WMO.

Large pileus of Cumulus featured

As well as some shots of that violent blast that hit the CDO HS and the area around Concordia Ave.  One ALERT gauge reported 1.34 inches!  Nice.  The uprooting of trees wasn’t so nice, however.

Sutherland Heights whiffed again on rain, except for that little sprinkle just after 8 PM, sad to say.

4:37 PM. What a great looking pilues of Cumulus with a little pileus veil at the very tippy top.
4:37 PM. What a great looking pileus of Cumulus  congestus with a little pileus veil at the very tippy top.  This is heading toward being a Cumulonimbus calvus (remember, “calvus” means “bald”), the most ephemeral stage of Cumulonimbus.  This stage doesn’t last long since its when the cloud droplets are disappearing because of the rapid formation of high ice particle concentrations inside the turret.  Remember, ice and water don’t stay together long; water disappears, evaporates due to mixing of environment air around the turret, all that ice  sucking the life out of those poor droplets since water vapor molecules  love ice more than being inside a droplet when ice is around and they escape to the nearest ice particle, which then gets fatter and fatter, cannibalizing those droplets in a sense.

4:42 PM. The very same Cumulus congestus on its way to Cb calvus. A bird, or possibly an F-116 or Stealth Fighter flies by in the foreground. Cool!

4:52 PM. Jumbo Cumulus congestus has congealed into a complex of Cumulonimbus clouds, riding the north wind that was about to sweep into the Sutherland Heights later in the evening.
4:52 PM. Jumbo Cumulus congestus has congealed into a complex of Cumulonimbus clouds, riding the north wind that was about to sweep into the Sutherland Heights later in the evening.
6:32 PM. WIth the gush of north winds, Stratocumulus and Cumulus bases quickly covered the sky, some piling higher into Cumulonimbus clouds.
6:32 PM. WIth the gush of north winds, Stratocumulus and Cumulus bases quickly covered the sky, some piling higher into Cumulonimbus clouds.
7:08 PM. Northerly wind and associated line of Cumulus above it grow into Cumulonimbus clouds. Very pretty scene. But tops not doing much here, so big dump not likely without something changing, which did! The older wispy turret above the larger rain shaft is already sinking back. The new shaft is coming out of the youngest, firmest looking turret.
6:55 PM. Northerly wind and associated line of Cumulus above it grow into Cumulonimbus clouds. Very pretty scene. But tops not doing much here, so big dump not likely without something changing, which did! The older wispy turret above the larger rain shaft is already sinking back. The new shaft is coming out of the youngest, firmest looking turret.
6:55 PM. Zoomed view of the top of turret where the new rain shaft is coming out. That bubble on the right side is just starting to show its ice externally, though grauple (soft hail) and/or hail were already hidden inside it as evidenced by that new thin rain shaft.
6:55 PM. Zoomed view of the top of turret where the new rain shaft is coming out. That bubble on the right side is just starting to show its ice externally, though grauple (soft hail) and/or hail were already hidden inside it as evidenced by that new thin rain shaft. Notice the younger turret behind it is higher, and therefore colder, and must also be full of precip.  Watch out below!  It doesn’t show the “softness” as the droplets evaporate in the presence of ice likely because its still on its way up, and condensation onto drops is faster than removal of vapor by ice.  Watch out below, #2.
6:57 PM. In the meantime, the Catalinas reap a nice sunset shower.
6:57 PM. In the meantime, the Catalinas reap a nice sunset shower.
7:08 PM. That new turret is now unloading around Ina and Oracle. Very exciting and a pretty scene, too, with the glow of the sunset.
7:08 PM. That new turret is now unloading around Ina and Oracle. Very exciting and a pretty scene, too, with the glow of the sunset.  This storm was to go on for another hour.
7:23 PM. Slightly out of focus, but you can see one of the MANY strokes of lightning that accompanied this tremendous downpour.
7:23 PM. Slightly out of focus, but you can see one of the MANY strokes of lightning that accompanied this tremendous downpour.

AZ mod (from 5 PM data last evening) thinks we have a chance for an afternoon dump today, Thursday.

The End

Some recent clouds I have known; updating “not pubbed” list

7:21 PM, August 13th. A sky so full of portent that evening after a clear day. This our last chance for rain for quite awhile, but Sutherland Heights and Catalina whiffed on this incoming complex of thunderstorms.
7:21 PM, August 13th.
A sky so full of portent that evening after a clear day. This our last chance for rain for quite awhile, but Sutherland Heights and Catalina whiffed on this incoming complex of thunderstorms.  But, we had a fabulous light show from a cell that developed almost overhead, pf Sutherland Heights as dark fell, but a little to the SE, dumping heavy rains in the Romero Canyon/Pusch Ridge area.
7:16 PM. A very dramatic looking shelf cloud spread across and otherwise completely clear sky that evening providing a great sunset photo op.
7:16 PM., August 13th.    A very dramatic looking shelf cloud (Stratocumulus) spread across and otherwise completely clear sky that evening providing a great sunset photo op.  Northerly winds of 25-35 mph and a temperature drop of about 10 degrees accompanied this scene.
6:57 PM. The churning, roiling motion of this turret was remarkable, almost like time-lapse there was so much of it. That easily seen churning was evidence of how unstable the atmosphere was this day, unusually cool for summer at 20, 000 feet or so leading to a strong drop in temperature from the 100 F or so here. which results in the warm air that clouds represent being more buoyant than usual, a hotter than usual hot air balloon, if you will, one that goes up faster.
6:57 PM. The churning, roiling motion of this turret was remarkable, almost like time-lapse there was so much of it. That easily seen churning was evidence of how unstable the atmosphere was on this day.  It was unusually cool for summer at 20, 000 feet or so  above us. leading to a strong drop in temperature from the 100 F or so at the ground.   So, as the warmer air that clouds represent relative to their surroundings, made them more buoyant than usual as they climbed upward;  a hotter than usual hot air balloon, if you will, one that goes up faster.  Stronger updrafts are thought to lead to more lightning compared with Cumulonimbus clouds having weak updrafts.
3:57 PM, August 13th. Even slender clouds could shoot up and reach the "glaciation level", and sent long plumes of ice out. The long trail of ice shows how much the wind increased with height at the top of this cloud. As that evening's storm approached, all of the anvils from the many Cumulonimbus clouds were mostly kept from view so that you couldn't see them.
3:57 PM, August 13th. Even slender clouds could shoot up and reach the “glaciation level” where the tops became comprised of only ice crystals,  and sent long plumes of ice out from the parent cloud. The long trail of ice shows how much the wind increased with height at the top of this cloud. As that evening’s storm approached, all of the anvils from the many Cumulonimbus clouds that were approaching were mostly kept from view so that you couldn’t see them.  This cloud also poses a naming enigma.  Its got an ice plume, a very little rain fell out on the left side where Pusch Ridge begins, but no shaft is visible.  It can hardly be called just a “Cumulus” cloud, and yet the more accurate label, “Cumulonimbus” with all of its attributes, makes one a little uncomfortable due to the lack of a visible shaft.

 

The End (of the cloud discussion)

New “not pubbed” item:

I’ve added RViewpoint_10-24-06_submitted date Aug 31, 2006_final, something that’s been sitting around for years!   Spent a lot of time writing it, but ultimately deemed it a hopeless task that it would be published in the Bulletin of the American Meteor.  Soc. under then current leadership in the weather modification domain of that journal, and ultimately never bothered to submit it.  I was sick of the conflict, for one thing.   Haven’t read this piece in years, either, but just wanted to do SOMETHING with it so here it is on this blog.

A longer piece, “Cloud Seeding and the Journal Barriers to Faulty Claims:  Closing the Gaps“, also worked on again in spare time at home, for about two years, with the final rejection in 1999 under pretty much the same Bulletin editorial leadership.  In this MS, I had a chance to get in, but the specific reviewer whose demands the Editor said I had to meet, insisted that I indicate in the manuscript that the lead scientists in the faulty published reports I wrote about “did the best they could under the circumstances” in the  two early benchmark experiments, those in Colorado and Israel.  I knew from direct personal experience that wasn’t true;  I couldn’t write such a bogus statement that might have made the difference in “getting in.”  So two years of on and off effort went down the drain.  Sometime soon I will add this second futile effort to the “not pubbed” list!  I have a number of those…..  It didn’t help either that the two leading scientists whose work I questioned were also the two most beloved scientists in this field.

As with all but one of these pubs (Hobbs and Rangno 1978) in the domain of weather modification, they were done at home, outside of grant funding work while I was at the University of Washington in the Cloud and Aerosol Research Group.  And, as I sometimes alert audiences to, working at home on stuff year after year. thousands of hours involved,  could be considered a “crackpot alert”.  Well, I think of myself as a “good crackpot.”  haha.

Wipeout! Shaft winds weaken before arriving, aren’t able to push clouds up much

Surfaris.  Except it wasn’t funny.  This song begins with a mocking laugh.  Well, maybe “mocking” is correct.

Used 90 min of video on an “incoming” yesterday, thinking we’d get shafted pretty good as a thin line of heavy Cumulus congestus transitioning to Cumulonimbus passed over, maybe a quarter or more of an inch from both warm rain and ice processes1 in a line of clouds produced by the winds resulting from a strong fall of rain from a cell just north of  Biosphere2.   I am sure you were thinking the same thing and are profoundly disappointed today, not only by that one, but also by that Big Bopper that formed in the late afternoon around the same spot to the north-northeast of us.

10:33 AM. Icy topped cell has unloaded N of the Biosphere2 and a line of heavy Cumulus have formed above the outflowing wind boundary, creating a line of rain headed this way!
10:33 AM. Icy topped cell has unloaded N of the Biosphere2 and a line of heavy Cumulus have formed above the outflowing wind boundary, creating a line of rain headed this way!
10:49 AM. Outflow winds pushing nice, fat Cu up, and its getting closer raising hopes.
10:49 AM. Outflow winds pushing nice, fat Cu up, and its getting closer raising hopes.
11:16 AM. Good rain shafting moves into Saddlebrooke. I can feel the huge drops!
11:16 AM. Good rain shafting moves into Saddlebrooke. I can feel the huge drops!  MIght even be an all warm rain process shower, too,  Wind shift almost here, though it is taking its time, I begin to think.
11?39 AM. Shaft thinning by the second! Dammitall. Wind shift, rain drops still not here! This is now looking horrible. Cloud base above wind shift narrowing, falling apart, too. This could be the worst day of my life.
11?39 AM. Shaft thinning by the second! Dammitall. Wind shift, rain drops still not here! This is now looking horrible. Cloud base above wind shift narrowing, falling apart, too. This could be the worst day of my life.
11:58 AM. Rain, wind and wind have quit. Shaft is transparent, Code 1 maybe, easily seen through. 0.04 inches registered by Davis Vantage Pro Mark IV super-duper personal weather station.
11:58 AM. Rain, wind and wind have quit. Shaft is transparent, Code 1 maybe, easily seen through. 0.04 inches registered by Davis Vantage Pro Mark IV super-duper personal weather station.

Wished I’d copied that Wundermap of precip amounts at personal weather stations, but here they are, to reinforce the concept of  a “wipeout“:

North of Saddlebrooke:  1.04 inches

Center of Saddlebrooke:  0.53 inches

South Saddlebrooke:  0.24 inches

Sutherland Heights “video station”:  0.04 inches! Ouch.

Wind blast here out of this event?  Oh, maybe 12 mph.

What started out as a happy day turned sad in a hurry.

And this wasn’t the only “wipeout“!  A worse one happened in the late afternoon that was far more excruciating;  pain unbearable. A real explosion into gigantic Cumulonimbus occurred in a broken line, again in the area north of Saddlebrooke.  It appeared one had produced a huge outflow for a time–probably was up toward the Biosphere2.

Some background.  Here’s how it all started with a gargantuan line of Cumulonimbus and Cumulus congestus clouds in familiar broken line from just north of the Tortolitas to our northwest to north of Oracle to the northeast shown in the photos below, all taken at 3:43 PM.  CMP wasn’t looking when this eruption of activity suddenly occurred, and seemed to happen elsewhere as well.  May have been that afternoon temperatures just reached that higher point to send these big boys up there.

DSC_6253 DSC_6255 DSC_6256

3:47 PM. Looking toward Tucson as this embarrassing formation arose, Cumulonimbus calvus erectus. This tall, slender cloud was incredible because it showed how great the instability was on this day. Fat clouds we know can rise up to become huge purveyors of rain, but narrow ones like this need a lot instability, lots of humidity around the growing turret so that it doesn't evaporate, and a good updraft so that it doesn't take to long to reach 30-35 kft level, as estimated here. So, it was real demonstration of the type of air mass we had this day.
3:47 PM. Looking toward Tucson as this embarrassing formation arose, Cumulonimbus calvus erectus. This tall, slender cloud was incredible because it showed how great the instability was on this day. Fat clouds we know can rise up to become huge purveyors of rain, but narrow ones like this need a lot instability, lots of humidity around the growing turret so that it doesn’t evaporate, and a good updraft so that it doesn’t take to long to reach 30-35 kft level, as estimated here. So, it was real demonstration of the type of air mass we had this day.
3:55 PM. Crushing rains are now dropping out of those behemoths to the N-NE. Surely a blast of wind will come shooting south toward us!
3:55 PM. Crushing rains are now dropping out of those behemoths to the N-NE. Surely a blast of wind will come shooting south toward us!

After feeding a horse on another property, I am racing back home to experience “The Blast”, and the rain in its full glory.  I stopped to grab this photo, heart pounding.

"Holy Criminy!" Look at this thing, and I can just now begin to see the arcus cloud forming on the nose of the winds coming at us!
4:12 PM.   “Holy Criminy!” Look at this thing, and I can just now begin to see the arcus cloud forming (just to left of where dirt road disappears)  on the nose of the winds coming at us!  This will be incredible!
4:24 PM. There she is! Arcus rolls toward Catalina pumping clouds up above it, though, you know, those clouds above the arcus don't look as big as maybe they should. Some doubt begins to creep in.
4:24 PM. There she is! Arcus rolls toward Catalina pumping clouds up above it, though, you know, those clouds above the arcus don’t look as big as maybe they should. Some doubt begins to creep in.

The arcus cloud and the once proud Cumulonimbus cloud and its incredible rain shaft wiped out, the bottom of it vaporized if that’s possible by rainout, the wind push out of it unable to reach Catalina, in spite of an auspicious start.  I now insert a picture of a horse, Zeus, to keep your interest up, maybe raise your spirits after such a debilitating cloud stories as are found here today.  Animals, such as dogs, miniature horses and donkeys, are often used in psycho rehab units, especially for depressed persons, such as you are right now after reading this.  So, I am really doing this horse insertion for my reader, whom I have depressed royally today:

Zeus, 16.2 hands, eating. Has a pleasant disposition overall.
Zeus,  a Paint breed horse, 16.2 hands tall, eating. Has a pleasant disposition overall.
6:09 PM. Some people no doubt had two or more inches fall on them from those storms north of us, and the day ended cool, humid and overcast, with isolated showers as shown here toward the SSW toward Tucson. It was nice to be outside, swatting gnats and such a minor nuisance.
6:09 PM. Some people no doubt had two or more inches fall on them from those storms north of us, and the day ended cool, humid and overcast due to multiple layers of clouds from Cu, Ac, and As from anvils, with isolated showers as shown here toward the SSW toward Tucson. It was nice to be outside, swatting gnats and such a minor nuisance.

The End (for August 3rd–falling behind more and more!)

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1As a cloud maven junior person, of course, you know what I am talkin’ about when I mention “warm rain” and “ice processes.”

Evening thunderstorms roll across Catalina with apocalyptic cloud scenes

Some apocalyptic cloud scenes can be Cumulus that explode suddenly into Cumulonimbus,  and Cumulonimbus clouds with their foreboding (unless you live in a desert)  rain shafts,  and their predecessor shelf clouds like “swirly dark Stratocumulus”, and arcus clouds, the latter, a lower line of clouds just above and a little behind the wind shift at the ground, usually just ahead of the main rain shaft.  While we didn’t get to see an arcus cloud yesterday, we had some dramatic swlrly dark Stratocumulus clouds to scare us.  I say “swirly” because if you looked up yesterday evening as they passed over, you would have seen rotation in them.

These can combine, as they did yesterday, to make you think someone might drop out of the clouds and fix the world1.  See those scary photos below, way below as it turns out.

This monster collection of Cumulonimbus clouds (“mesoscale convective system” or MCS in weather lingo) with swirly shelf clouds preceding it barged over Catalina later yesterday afternoon after it appeared that not much was going to happen all day.  Heck, there wasn’t even a decent Cumulus over the Catalinas until after 2 PM!

The result of this system slamming Catalina was the usual strong preceding winds roaring down from Charouleau Gap way and points north or northeast.  The winds were not as damaging as three days earlier.

Then the rain!  So nice!   Got 0.55 inches of rain here in Sutherland Heights, an inch and half on Samaniego Ridge, and 1.65 inches on Ms. Lemmon.

Worth watching is the U of AZ weather departments time lapse video, especially beginning at 2 min 50 s into it.  That’s when the big group of Cbs begins to make its presence known from the east.  What is interesting, and what I have not seen before, is that you will see the tops of a thunderhead farther west, that icy part up around 30,000 to 40,000 feet, shoved backwards (back toward the west) by outflow at the tops of the huge incoming system.  Very dramatic.

Yesterday’s clouds

1:30 PM. Yawn. Its 103 F, dewpoint 60 F.
1:30 PM. Yawn. Its 103 F, dewpoint 60 F. Baby Cu begin dotting the Catalina Mountains.
DSC_5616
2:14 PM. Cumulus congestus finally arises within the local cloudscape. Looks like the top is high enough to convert to ice.

Detour:  detecting ice in clouds….some practice shots

As the burgeoning cloud maven junior person you, of course,  know how important the appearance of ice in our clouds is.  You got ice; you got precipitation, which is snow up there, soft hail, hail, frozen drops.

DSC_5623
2:19 PM. The declining right side of this cloud has ice in it, but its hard to detect for most observers. Only the BEST of the cloud-mavens could scream out, “there it is!”, before its more obvious to the less gifted CMJPs.
2:22 PM. Well, too easy now to see that there's ice in those little fingers extruding out from the body of the cloud; evaporation of the cloud drops has left the slower evaporating ice "naked" so-to-speak. It also in the higher turret, and would be termed a "calvus" topped Cu, properly, Cumulonimbus calvus, though not much fell out of it.
2:22 PM. Well, too easy now to see that there’s ice in those little fingers extruding out from the body of the cloud; evaporation of the cloud drops has left the slower evaporating ice “naked” so-to-speak. It also in the higher turret, and would be termed a “calvus” topped Cu, properly, Cumulonimbus calvus, though not much fell out of this one, close to Saddlebrooke.
3:31 PM. In the meantime while I wasn't looking, Mt. Lemmon erupted sending a plume of cloud droplets which converted to ice skyward to at least 35,000 feet ASL.
3:31 PM. In the meantime while I wasn’t looking, Mt. Lemmon erupted sending a plume of cloud droplets,  higher up,  ice,  skyward to at least 35,000 feet ASL. Indicated a phenomenal amount of instability afternoon, instability that was about to be realized in a line of mammoth Cumulonimbi.
3:49 PM. "Eruption" just about over. Notice how skinny the root is now, AND that the top of the stem of convection is now only about half as high as in the first shot. Like a wild fire plume that has cooled off, the plume height goes down. Still formed ice on the right side, as you SHOULD be able to see. You should also be guessing that those were likely warmer habit crystals, like needles and sheaths. I did, if that's any help.
3:49 PM. “Eruption” just about over. Notice how skinny the root is now, AND that the top of the stem of convection is now only about half as high as in the first shot. Like a wild fire plume that has cooled off, the plume height goes down. Still formed ice on the right side, as you SHOULD be able to see.   You should also be guessing that those were likely warmer habit crystals, like needles and sheaths. I did, if that’s any help.
4:38 PM. Another cloud jack (Cumulonimbus eruption indicating a whole lotta instability), tops probably far above 40,000 feet.
4:38 PM. Another cloud jack (Cumulonimbus eruption indicating a whole lotta instability), tops probably far above 40,000 feet.  A lower portin of the anvil drifts southward toward Catalina.  This one was dumping somewhere near the Biosphere 2 landmark.  Note that anvil, lower right. That was our incoming major complex of Cum
5:17 PM. WOW! This was magnificent, and just one of the many large Cumulonimbus clouds racing toward the Catalina Mountains. This is the one that in the video, the crown of it can be seen forcing the air over us in the opposite direction.
5:17 PM. WOW! This was magnificent, and just one of the many large Cumulonimbus clouds racing toward the Catalina Mountains. This is the one that in the video, the crown of it can be seen forcing the air over us in the opposite direction.  Still, it was not certain at this time these storms would make it here.  And, this is looking ESE, while the storm movement was from the ENE.
5:25 PM. The "Menace of Charouleau Gap". Many of our worst storms roll in from the ENE, toward Charouleau Gap, and many who have lived here will tell you and this is the archetypical seen for those storms. A sudden blackening of the sky beyond Charouleau Gap. These darker clouds are rarely the ons producing the storms, but are riding a strong NE wind surging toward Catalina, about to produce some mayhem. The winds always arrive before the rain. And, as a few days ago, there are times when ONLY the wind arrives, there is not enough instability aloft to allow the storms to drift past higher terrain without falling apart.
5:25 PM. The “Menace of Charouleau Gap”. Many of our worst storms roll in from the ENE, toward Charouleau Gap, and many who have lived here will tell you and this is the archetypical seen for those storms. A sudden blackening of the sky beyond Charouleau Gap. These darker clouds are rarely the ons producing the storms, but are riding a strong NE wind surging toward Catalina, about to produce some mayhem. The winds always arrive before the rain. And, as a few days ago, there are times when ONLY the wind arrives, there is not enough instability aloft to allow the storms to drift past higher terrain without falling apart.  On this day, they will make it.
5:48 PM. I am going to work this scene over because it is associated with one of the more spectacular storm sequences here in Catalina, one that comes up usually a few times every summer.
5:48 PM. I am going to work this scene over because it is associated with one of the more spectacular storm sequences here in Catalina, one that comes up usually a few times every summer.  The anvil outflow aloft is thickening and lowering, and the outrider shallow Stratocumulus are racing out and along the Catalina Mountains.  Things are changing incredibly fast and the NE wind is about to hit.
6:05 PM. Walking the dogs to beat the rain, The NE wind has hit, the power line wires are howling. The sky continues to darken and look ominous, but....no rain shafts have come over the mountains, a cause for concern.
6:05 PM. Walking the dogs to beat the rain, The NE wind has hit, the power line wires are howling. The sky continues to darken and look ominous, but….no rain shafts have come over the mountains, a cause for concern.
6:21 PM. The shallow clouds ahead of the rain area continue to spread down and out from the Catalinas. A small opening in the clouds allows this dramatic highlight. I like highlights.
6:21 PM. The shallow clouds ahead of the rain area continue to spread down and out from the Catalinas. A small opening in the clouds allows this dramatic highlight. I like highlights.
6:22 PM. Let's look a little closer at this spectacular highlight.
6:22 PM. Let’s look a little closer at this spectacular highlight.  Wow!  This is just as good as a bolt of lightning.
6:33 PM. Maybe time to get the Good Book out, cram for the finals.... This was really quite the sight, considering it had been so sunny just a couple of hours before. Again, these are fairly shallow clouds riding the outflow winds, now gusting 35-45 mph in Sutherland Heights. The mottled bases here indicate that there is no organized wide updraft to launch them into deep Cumulonimbus clouds at this moment, anyway.
6:33 PM. Maybe time to get the Good Book out, cram for the finals…. This was really quite the sight, considering it had been so sunny just a couple of hours before. Again, these are fairly shallow clouds riding the outflow winds, now gusting 35-45 mph in Sutherland Heights. The mottled bases here indicate that there is no organized wide updraft to launch them into deep Cumulonimbus clouds at this moment, anyway.
6:34 PM. Finally, a major new rain shaft emerges over Samaniego Ridge, upstream of Catalina!
6:34 PM. Finally, a major new rain shaft emerges over Samaniego Ridge, upstream of Catalina!
6:35 PM. Looks like more and more people are dropping off Word Press as these files are going in pretty easy now. Here, the apocalyptic cloud formation rolls down and out across Oro Valley, with heavy rain just to the left.
6:35 PM. Looks like more and more people are dropping off Word Press as these files are going in pretty easy now.Here, the apocalyptic cloud formation rolls down and out across Oro Valley, with heavy rain just to the left.
6:43 PM. A rare sight, wind driven rain streaming off the tops of the foothills of the Catalinas. The winds were likely hurricane force (>64 mph) to do this.
6:43 PM. A rare sight, wind driven rain streaming off the tops of the foothills of the Catalinas. The winds were likely hurricane force (>64 knots, 74 mph) to do this.  Samaniego Peak received 1.50 inches during this storm.
7:21 PM. Sunset in Catalina, July 29th. The sun does not have a sharp disk because the light is being scattered by large particles like rain drops. When its smog, the particles are of the order of micrometers and a sharp disk will be seen.
7:21 PM. Sunset in Catalina, July 29th. The sun does not have a sharp disk, is rather blurry,  because the light from the sun is being scattered by large particles like rain drops which bend the light so that we can’t see the disk’s outline. When its smog, the particles are of the order of micrometers and a sharp disk will be seen because the sunlight is not bent around large particles.  I think Einstein said that…
7:21 PM. Orange and rainy as sunset procedes as usual.
7:21 PM. Orange and rainy as sunset procedes as usual.

Only the largest hailstones up there can make it to the ground as such here in Arizona due to our high summertime freezing levels.  The rest melt into raindrops, some of which are large enough to reach the ground.  Those downpours that suddenly emit from cloud bases were always  hail or graupel (soft hail) aloft.

Sometimes in deep stratiform clouds attached to clusters of Cumulonimbus clouds, and with especially moist air from the base of the stratiform layer to the ground, clusters of ice crystals we call snowflakes make it to the ground without evaporating as steady light or very light rain.

Last night as our storm was coming to an end, it is likely that THOSE drops were once snowflakes rather than soft hail or graupel.

The End (finally)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

————————————–

1Huh.  Maybe that wouldn’t be a bad thing.  I am very concerned about microplastics (particles 5 millimeters and smaller) in our oceans,  resulting from the breakup of larger plastic items we’ve been throwing in the oceans for decades.  Seems those tiny particles are getting into everything, including the fish out there!  It would be great if someone could get rid of them.

Will Junly continue into August?

Nope1.

The models are FINALLY suggesting a return to our expected July weather by the very end of the month and a normal-looking August one, at least at start of the month.  Daily thunderstorms rumbling around on the Catalinas, some drifting off the mountains, drenching us here The Heights.

Will make our July average rainfall in the Sutherland Heights?

Our average is 2.70 inches and presently we’ve recorded just 1.16 inches with only five days to go.   But, before I make a guess, let me check the latest radar imagery here at 8L17 PM….  OK, got a little rain headed this way..  Excellent.

But, no  I think we’ll be close to average, that we’ll go over 2 inches here.  The steering aloft is weak, but will be from a good directions, from the E to NE, over the next few days and that should allow, as today, cause showers to drift off the higher terrain to us.   Being closer to the mountains we might get more even if those showers peter out farther to the west.

It will be fun seeing what happens, and how close we come to our 2.70 inches average between now and July 31.

 


1“Junly”:  (Joon-lie”)  Meteorologically, a month in July in Arizona that is more like June; has very hot days, way above normal temperatures for July,  and little rain,  except  that all of the above occurs with more humidity.

 

 

Mysterious object flies under clouds before storm drops 1.00 inch of rain on Sutherland Heights

Again, a cheap appeal to gain readers, this time to UFO folks that might drop by this site to investigate a possible sighting, raising number of visits to above 2 per day….

The CoCoRahs gauge had 1.00 inches, the NWS gauge, 0.97 inches, but the online Davis tipping bucket gauge had a serious undercatch due to wind and high rain rate, reporting only 0.80 inches.

If you live in this area, you were treated to quite a nice spectacle, one that happens only a few times a summer here.  A non-precipitating cloud lingers and grows almost directly overhead, at first not looking like much, but broadens and darkens, and then the hole opens up to empty  all the water up there.   If you saw this spectacle, and you saw the first signs of the plug being removed, the appearance of the long, dark column (compare to “The Thin Blue Line”).  Having anticipated this very event by standing around doing nothing for awhile, the correct thing to emote as a cloud-maven junior, is, “Oh yeah, baby!  Come and get me!”  I could feel the joy out there as this was happening!

At this point you have about 1 minute to tell your neighbors they are going to get smashed.  There was some thunder up there before the plug came open, telling you how deep the cloud was above the base; it wasn’t faking as can happen.     Of course, at this point, if you had radar, you would have seen an echo up there before the opening occurring, but that would be cheating.

I think our big black cloud that cried (compare to the little white cloud that cried song) was the result of wind from storms southwest of us colliding with a light NW wind right here.  And with little strength in the guiding winds aloft,  it sat over us for a longer time than usual.

Got some nice wind out of it, too, as the rain shaft, aided by evaporation, slammed down on Catalina/Sutherland Heights,  pushing hot air out of the way, scattering chairs and cushions all over, kind of a mess really, but it was worth it.

But before I continue with this interesting and dramatic story of our storm, I wish to report that I was distracted by what initially appeared to be floating “trash” just before the storm, tumbling around up there at least a few hundred feet off the ground, and south bound, performing maneuvers that perhaps were not human.  It went near the ground and then back up again, did some crazy things1.

I did not see evidence of other trash or a whirlwind or “dustnado” adding to the mystery.  First, I think we can rule out the most obvious explanation, that it was a party balloon with just enough helium in it to stay afloat, just drifting along in the wind and revealing all the turbulent eddies one might find on a day with Cumulus clouds….  That’s, of course, is what they would want us to think….

2:07 PM. A piece of trash is seen racing toward the ground, but then goes back up!
2:07 PM. A piece of trash is seen racing toward the ground, but then goes back up!
2:08 PM. The "trash" has ascended a couple hundred feet.
2:08 PM. The “trash” has ascended a couple hundred feet.
2:11 PM. After losing sight of the "trash" it reappears underneath this cloud base. Later, the cloud rain a little.
2:08 PM. After losing sight of the “trash” it reappears underneath this cloud base. Later, the cloud rain a little.  It began to look more like an asteroid here, something from outer space.
2:11 PM. The mysterious object continued on its trajectory toward possibly Mexico!
2:11 PM. The mysterious object continued on its trajectory toward the south possibly Mexico with whatever cargo it might have contained.

Now, continuing on to our storm story….

DSC_5193
3:43 PM. A larger cloud base begins taking shape over and NW of the Cat Mountains. Here’s where you should have begun paying close attention. No rumbles at this point. Note how offensive overland wiring is.  This is a blight I thought I should show you.
DSC_5196
3:50 PM. Now this is getting real exciting! Look at the size of that base! While there have been a few duds of this size, this is really looking good. What happens in a “dud”? Instead of having a nice solid dark base, light and dark spots start to appear, and you want to cry. Didn’t happen yesterday.
DSC_5197
3:51 PM. Focusing in on darkness and solidified base, indicating a nice solid updraft is feeding the cloud above here. The appearance of light and dark mottling would have indicated that the updraft is weakening, breaking up.  (From the cloud base collection:  yours for $800 today only.)
DSC_5201
3:57 PM. I am beside myself, snapping photos left and right, out of control, hard drive will surely overflow. But just look at how portentious it looks now. Now you’re looking for the opening, the drain, the spigot, the water fall, and be amazed at how much water can drain from a cloud in a short time.
4:01 PM. Thar she blows! One of the great moments in weather is be under the shaft emergence. And there it is at last!
4:01 PM. Thar she blows! One of the great moments in weather is be under the shaft emergence. And there it is at last!
4:01 Zoomed to hole in sky; fallout in progress. 30 s later than prior photo. You just cannot imagine how exciting this is, with lightning forking around, too.
4:01 Zoomed to hole in sky; fallout in progress. 30 s later than prior photo. You just cannot imagine how exciting this is, with lightning forking around, too.
4:08 PM. I'm in the house now, note reflection. Lightning too close and vicious. Didn't take long to close down after "the hole" did it?
4:08 PM. I’m in the house now, note reflection. Lightning too close and vicious. Didn’t take long to close down after “the hole” did it?  The big Sutherland Heights burst hit starting now.

Some damage shots after the wind and gush of rain:

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Example of flooding (in a swale for that). Sometimes toads appear.
DSC_5235
Example of damage due to wind. I had to move the chair back onto the porch, wash sand off.

Then there was a lot of lightning toward Romero Canyon, a cloud to ground strike every few seconds.  Really was quite amazing:

DSC_5240 DSC_5242 DSC_5243

Some rainfall reports for the Catalina area on the morning of the 19th:

Precipitation Report for the following time periods ending at: 03:04:00  07/19/16
  Gauge    15         1           3          6            24         Name                        Location
    ID#      minutes    hour        hours      hours        hours
    —-     —-       —-        —-       —-         —-       —————–            ———————
Catalina Area
    1010     0.00       0.00       0.00        0.00         0.08      Golder Ranch   Horseshoe Bend Rd in Saddlebrooke
    1020     0.00       0.00       0.00        0.00         0.00      Oracle RS  0.5 mi SW of Oracle
    1040     0.00       0.00       0.00        0.00         0.47      Dodge Tank  Edwin Rd 1.3 mi E of Lago DO Parkway
    1050     0.00       0.00       0.00        0.04         0.16      Cherry Spring about 1.5 mi W of Charouleau Gap
    1060     0.00       0.00       0.00        0.00         0.12      Pig Spring  about 1.1 mi NE of Charouleau Gap
    1070     0.00       0.00       0.00        0.00         1.34      Cargodera Canyon  NE corner of Catalina State Park
    1080     0.00       0.00       0.00        0.00         0.00      CDO @ Rancho Solano  CDO Wash NE of S-brooke
    1100     0.00       0.00       0.00        0.00         0.67      CDO @ Golder Rd  CDO Wash at Golder Ranch Rd
Santa Catalina Mountains
    1030     0.00       0.00       0.00        0.00         0.24      Oracle Ridge  about 1.5 mi N of Rice Peak
    1090     0.00       0.00       0.00        0.00         1.02      Mt. Sara Lemmon
    1110     0.00       0.00       0.00        0.00         0.16      CDO @ Coronado Camp  0.3 mi S of Coronado Camp
    1130     0.00       0.00       0.00        0.00         0.35      Samaniego Peak
    1140     0.00       0.00       0.00        0.00         0.55      Dan Saddle  on Oracle Ridge
2150     0.00       0.00       0.00        0.00         0.59      White Tail   Catalina Hwy 0.8 mi W of Palisade RS
    2280     0.00       0.00       0.00        0.00         0.00      Green Mountain
    2290     0.00       0.00       0.00        0.00         1.54      Marshall Gulch   Sabino Creek 0.6 mi SSE of Marshall Gulch

The End

————————————

1Remember when you were a kid and when you saw trash up high, you knew there was a whirlwind around and you looked for it so you could jump in it?  Those were the days, weren’t they?

June continues into July

Yes, that’s right.  The “meteorological June”, characterized by westerly flow aloft, desiccated air from the surface to 150,000 feet and maximum temperatures between 100 and 200 °F,  has extruded itself into July this year in Arizona.  There is no difference to speak of between what we are seeing now at the ground and aloft and what happens in June, a month when we’d like to be anywhere but here!  Even Florida!

Remember, June is mostly cloudless here in Arizona, too.  Well, that’s what we had yesterday in the middle of July.  It was a tough day for a cloud-maven.  It was also hard to imagine being in Arizona Phoenix and driving ALL THE WAY to Tucson on a hot afternoon (111 °F in parts of Mesa!) and NOT see a single Cumulus cloud!   It just doesn’t happen.  Nothing over the Mogollon Rim;  nothin’ nowhere.  I got pretty excited about nothing, and I am trying to relay that excitement to my readers, if any.

July is expected to begin late on the 18th or 19th.  For more on July, and great forecasting,  see Bob and Mike.

Oh, the weather station here in The Heights is working again.  Pretty boring stuff these days, though.

The End

6 h Catalina area totals going over 2 inches….in June, our driest month!

NWS-style 8-incher gauge here in Sutherland Heights collected no less than 2.04 inches!  All of this fell after about 11:30 PM last night.  Good grief.

Flying ants are out in big columnar swarms, btw, confirmation of a major rain event here in the Sonoran Desert.

CDO wash had a major run, but was dry at Golder Ranch  Dr. and Lago del Oro Parkway at 6 AM.  The Sutherland Wash also had a major run, but is down to a relative trickle now.   Am thinking flow in these washes in June must be extremely unusual, if not “historic.”

The well-exposed rain gauge. Note how prickly pear cacti come up to about where the top of the gauge is. Great for keeping the wind losses down when its raining, a problem with rain gauges.

DSC_4852
About 6:30 AM this morning. The Sutherland Wash at the Cottonwoods and also, start of the Baby Jesus Trail.
DSC_4849
The CDO Wash at East Wilds Road, about 6:15 AM this morning showing evidence of a major run last night.

These some totals from around here and in the Catalin Mountains ending at 4 AM AST today from the Pima County ALERT system gauges.  Note 6 h totals, next to last column on the right:
Gauge      15              1             3              6                 24               Name                        Location
    ID#      minutes    hour        hours      hours        hours
    —-     —-       —-        —-       —-         —-       —————–            ———————
Catalina Area
    1010     0.00       0.00       0.08        0.94         0.94      Golder Ranch       Horseshoe Bend Rd in Saddlebrooke
    1020     0.00       0.08       0.16        0.51         0.51      Oracle RS                  0.5 mi SW of Oracle
    1040     0.04       0.04       0.20        2.01         2.01      Dodge Tank              Edwin Rd 1.3 mi E of Lago Del Oro
    1050     0.04       0.12       0.35        2.05         2.05      Cherry Spring          About  1.5 mi W of Charouleau Gap
    1060     0.04       0.20       0.31        2.09         2.09      Pig Spring                   1.1 mi NE of Charouleau Gap
    1070     0.00       0.08       0.24        0.75         0.75      Cargodera Canyon     NE corner of Catalina State Park
    1080     0.08       0.08       0.28        0.71         0.71      CDO @ Rancho Solano     CDO  Wash NE of S-brooke
    1100     0.00       0.04       0.16        0.87         0.87      CDO @ Golder Rd        CDO Wash at Golder Ranch Rd

Santa Catalina Mountains
    1030     0.04       0.16       0.24        1.46         1.46      Oracle Ridge   Oracle Ridge, about 1.5 mi N of Rice Pk
    1090     0.04       0.20       0.51        1.02         1.02      Mt. Lemmon        Ms. Mount Lemmon
    1110     0.04       0.16       0.31        2.44         2.44      CDO @ Coronado Camp    CDO  Wash 0.3 mi S of Coronado Camp
    1130     0.00       0.04       0.12        1.57         2.17      Samaniego Peak   Sam Peak on Samaniego Ridge
    1140     0.00       0.24       0.47        2.13         2.13      Dan Saddle      Dan Saddle on Oracle Ridge
    2150     0.04       0.12       0.31        0.35         0.35      White Tail      Catalina Hwy 0.8 mi W of Palisade RS
    2280     0.00       0.12       0.35        0.39         0.39      Green Mountain      Green Mountain
    2290     0.04       0.20       0.31        0.35         0.35      Marshall Gulch   Sabino Creek 0.6 mi SSE of Marshall Gulch

The above is from a rolling archive, so without a lot of trouble, you won’t be able to see them later on.

The End for now.  Water and spiders in garage requiring immediate cleanup due to R++ last night; 1.00 inches in about 20 min!  Is this June, or WHAT?  Seems like the climate has gone beserk.  Has anyone considered this?