A rare day, a rare “bird”; a day in which rain only due to the collision-with-coalescence process operateddeveloped; hold the ice

Yesterday was as rare a  day in Catalina, Arizona as  seeing the marbled murrelet in Olympia, Washington.1

Why?

Our bit of rain (0.12 inches in Sutherland Heights) was only due to that formed by the collision-coalesence process, some times called the “warm rain” process, or more technically, non-brightband rain2.

No ice needed.

Usually clouds at inland locations like Arizona have so many droplets in them , a few hundred thousand per liter or more, larger drops that can collide and coalesce don’t form because the condensed water is spread over so many of them.

So I could feel the excitement out there as that frontal band got closer. Perhaps you saw the drizzle-mist rainbow on the Tortalitas, looked at cloud tops, and saw no ice.  If you said you saw some ice yesterday you were mistaken or lying to impress your friends.

Let us review yesterday in clouds:

7:36 AM. Looking toward the Tortolitas at the line of Cumulus congestus approaching Catalina. Can you see the little piece of rainbow just below those low,low cloud bases? Cloud bases were hot yesterday, 15-17° C, and thus our clouds were extra loaded with water. The warmer the base, the greater the amount of water that condenses above cloud base. The usual cloud base is around 5-10° C this time of year. Photo, of course, not taken while driving; that would be crazy. Is just "shopped" to look that way to provide an "action" setting.
7:36 AM. Looking toward the Tortolitas at the line of Cumulus congestus approaching Catalina. Can you see the little piece of rainbow just below those low,low cloud bases?  Go straight above the white dot marker in the road (Oracle).  Cloud bases were usually hot yesterday morning, 15-17° C, and,  thus.  our clouds were  loaded with extra water. The warmer the base, the greater the amount of water that condenses above cloud base. That means drops is bigger, and can reach sizes where bumping together leads to sticking, not rebound as is normal.  The usual cloud base is around 5-10° C this time of year. Photo, of course, not taken while driving; that would be crazy. Is just “shopped” to look that way to provide an “action” setting.
7:40 AM. Such a pretty scene! Can you see the little bit of lower hanging cloud below the line of Cumulus? It looked like our windshift, cold front line might be on the doorstep. Waited until afternoon to get here, though.
7:40 AM. Such a pretty scene! Can you see the little bit of lower hanging cloud below the line of Cumulus? It looked like our windshift, cold front line might be on the doorstep. Waited until afternoon to get here, though.
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7:45 AM. Here’s a closer look at those lower windshift indicating clouds to the NW yesterday. Now you KNOW the front and “FROPA” is getting close. Very exciting scene. But would it rain? No ice was visible anywhere around.
7:44 AM. In the meantime, Stratocumulus clouds gathered upwind of Catalina with light rain visible just above the horizon SW
7:44 AM. In the meantime, Stratocumulus clouds gathered upwind of Catalina with light rain visible just above the horizon SW/  Was looking for an icy top. to extrude above the Stratocu,   but didn’t see one.  You didn’t either.
7:49 AM. In the meantime, not much is going on over the Catalinas. Notice how much shallower the Stratocu are than just over there by the Tortollitas. Really showed that the lifting zone of the front was so close!
7:49 AM. In the meantime, not much is going on over the Catalinas. Notice how much shallower the Stratocu are than just over there by the Tortollitas. Really showed that the lifting zone of the front was so close!
8:22 AM. Suddenly, it was raining! All this misty rain having developed while the author wasn't paying attention. Did that Stratocumulus develop rain, or did that bit of rain above the horizon move in? Maybe this can be answered at the next club meeting.
8:22 AM. Suddenly, it was raining! If you don;t believe me there are drops on the camera lens in this photo.  All this misty rain  developed while the author, cloud maven person,  wasn’t paying attention.   Did that Stratocumulus develop rain, or did that bit of rain above the horizon move in? Maybe this can be answered at the next club meeting.
8:25 AM. Starting to lose photo control here, as things closed in, prettyness getting enhanced be passing rays of sun on the greenish Catalina Mountains. How can you not record this? Well, maybe you can go ho-hum, but no cloudcentric person could.
8:25 AM. Starting to lose photo control here, as things closed in, prettyness getting enhanced be passing rays of sun on the greenish Catalina Mountains. How can you not record this? Well, maybe you can go ho-hum, but no cloudcentric person could.
8:33 AM. By this time it was all over and 0.05 inches had been logged. Here, those raining clouds zip off to Oracle State Park and vicinity over the horizon. Still looking for icy tops, but haven't seen any, such as in those Cumulus tops, horizon left.
8:33 AM. By this time it was all over and 0.05 inches had been logged. Here, those raining clouds zip off to Oracle State Park and vicinity over the horizon. Still looking for icy tops, but haven’t seen any, such as in those Cumulus tops, horizon left.  Photos now being taken almost every minute, certainly within every five minutes.  Wondering if I need a doctor….?
8:47 AM. Rain begins to form on Pusch Ridge from low-based Cumulus clouds. The misty look, lack of a shaft, has you thinking "warm rain" all the way, Maybe of Hawaii, too.
8:47 AM. Rain begins to form on Pusch Ridge from low-based Cumulus clouds. The misty look, lack of a shaft, has you thinking “warm rain” all the way, Maybe of Hawaii, too.

Skipping a LOT of pretty scenes now…..

9:47 AM. Think how special you would think you were when this ray of sunlight bathed you for those few seconds, darkness all around.
9:47 AM. Think how special you would think you were when this ray of sunlight bathed you for those few seconds, darkness all around.
9:48 AM. Pretty much the same scenes as you've already seen over and over again, but this one has a bird in it for the sake of variety.
9:48 AM. Pretty much the same scenes as you’ve already seen over and over again, but this one has a bird in it for the sake of variety.
10:33 AM. A little break allowed some nice scenes of the Cumulus congestus on the Catalinas. Notice how low the base is. You could have been hiking in it. Very few people get to hike in the base of a Cumulus congestus cloud. You still haven't seen any sign of ice, either.
10:33 AM. A little break allowed some nice scenes of the Cumulus congestus on the Catalinas. Notice how low the base is. You could have been hiking in congestus bases yesterday!  Very few people get to hike in the base of a Cumulus congestus clouds. You still haven’t seen any sign of ice, either.
10:44 AM. Something in the way of a shaft out there over Marana/Oro Valley probably made you start to wonder, "maybe there is some ice up there?" It dissipated quickly before it arrived dropping only a few drops.
10:44 AM. Something in the way of a shaft out there over Marana/Oro Valley probably made you start to wonder, “maybe there is some ice up there?” It dissipated quickly before it arrived dropping only a few drops.  Still has hard as you and I looked, we couldn’t see any as it came and its remains went.  U of AZ computer model soundings at this time had the tops way above freezing.  In case you don’t believe me again here is a sample:

Valid for 10 AM, yesterday. Output was from the 11 PM AST model run, a diagram with a lot of writing on it.

Ann Predicted 10 AM TUS sounding

11:50 AM. Major windshift line now beginning to make progress toward Catalina along with a line of deeper clouds along it. Was thinking ice might be seen somehwere up there at this time, but nope.
11:50 AM. Major windshift line and fontral passage (FROPA) now beginning to make progress toward Catalina along with a line of deeper clouds along it. Was thinking ice might be seen somehwere up there at this time, but nope.
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11:52 AM. When looking for ice, you want to look at what’s ejecting from the tops of the clouds. Here, that little flat cloud above the Cumulus clouds is the “ejecta” from those showers just starting to hit the Tortolita Mountains. As you can see as a cloud maven person, it does not have a fibrous look, nor are there fine strands of ice dropping from it, as would be the case if ice was present. SO it was another piece of circumstantial evidence that ice was not involved in even those dark clouds toward the Tortolitas, ones that would eventually give us our final bit of rain here in Sutherland Heights, Catalian. This kind of cloud has sometimes been called a “water anvil.” This was a really exciting moment, though most folks would find that hard to fathom.
12 Noon. A hard shower has popped up over there toward Marana. Now here's I would have guessed these must be some ice at cloud top from the narrowness of the shaft indicating a higher cloud top than in the other nearby shower-producing clouds. Does anyone out there have an aircraft and can fly IFR? It would be great to be on standby like days like this and go take a look at cloud top heights.
12 Noon. A hard shower has popped up over there toward Marana. Now here’s I would have guessed these must be some ice at cloud top from the narrowness of the shaft indicating a higher cloud top than in the other nearby shower-producing clouds. Does anyone out there have an aircraft and can fly IFR? It would be great to be on standby like days like this and go take a look at cloud top heights.
12:38 PM. Stratocumulus, in one of its best presentations. The rest of the day was overcast, cool with a period of light rain around 2 PM, with the temperature dropping to a remarkable 58° F here in Catalina. Our final rain total was a respectable 0.12 inches.
12:38 PM. Stratocumulus, in one of its better  presentations;  lumpy and widespread.

 

The rest of the day was overcast, cool with a period of light rain around 2 PM, with the temperature dropping to a remarkable 58° F here in Catalina.

The last TUS sounding seemed to confirm this unusual rain day, indicating that the stratiform tops near and over the site were at 0° C.

 

The TUS rawinsonde, launched around 3:30 PM yesterday. Cloud tops would be where the two lines, temperature and dewpoint temperature, separate.
Here’s pretty much what the balloon went up through: The TUS rawinsonde, launched around 3:30 PM yesterday. Cloud tops would be where the two lines, temperature and dewpoint temperature, separate.
4:04 PM. Looking toward Pusch Ridge and Tucson.
4:04 PM. Looking toward Pusch Ridge and Tucson.

Our final rain total in Sutherland Heights was a respectable 0.12 inches from a rarely observed event.  0.47 inches fell on Ms. Lemmon for the highest amount around.

Might add more later, but am quitting now to go “lunge” and ride a horse..

PS:  I have added more, re-written some not so great “formulations”…

The End


1If upon reading that sentence you would like bail on reading about clouds and rain here in Arizona and read about that bird, please consult:

Rare Bird:  In search of the marbled murrelet

2When steady rain is occurring,   returns have a bright band, or a augmented return from the layer in the atmosphere where snow is melting into rain.  On days like yesterday, throughout the Tropics, along the West Coast, among many places, non-brightband rain is fairly common.  Typically it falls from  clouds with tops warmer than -5° C.  Ice usually onsets at temperatures between -5° and -10° C in such clouds.  Hawaii is a good example where “warm rain” produces most of the prodigious rain totals there on the windward slopes, such as that at Mt Waialeale on the Island of Kuwai where the average rainfall is more than 450 inches!

A pretty day with some Altocumulus clouds and an icy mystery which isn’t really explained here

Wonder if you saw it, this cloud mystery?  First the pretty and the plain:

2:53 PM. A nice example of Altocumulus perlucidus (flakes close together mostly). Hold the ice. How high up above you did you estimate this cloud is? I will estimate, before looking at the TUS sounding,
2:53 PM. A nice example of Altocumulus perlucidus (flakes close together mostly) transcudius (no gray shading to speak of),  hold the ice.   No ice was showing here in these clouds.  How high up above you did you estimate this cloud is? I will estimate, before looking at the TUS sounding.  I am going to guess 16,000 feet1, meaning about 19, 0001 feet above sea level.  If I am very close I will let you know, maybe spike a fubball.
Ann 2 2016091600Z_SKEWT_KTUS
The Tucson sounding, now launched from the Banner University of Arizona Wildcats around 3:30 PM AST, so its pretty close to the time of the Altocumulus layer. As you can it was at a height. (This being the political season, I am trying to obfuscate error, it was a little higher than I estimated, dammitall. Need more practice. Notice by having text below the arrow, it gives the impresseion of the cloud being lower than it really was. This is kind of a teaching moment in case you run for political office, or just like to play down your daily errorful ways. As meteorologists, we learn this early in our careers because there are so many, its overwhelming, really. (The Ac layer was at 25, 610 feet and at -22° C!!)  Cloud maven person, if that’s what he really is,  was off by a whopping 6,000 plus feet!  Egad!  And this height is higher than we really think of where Altocumulus layers inhabit, 22,000 feet above us yesterday.  Kind of embarrassing.  Humiliating, really2.  The only consolation I can think of is that other cloud estimators probably would have used a standard number, maybe “12,0001 scattered.”

Now for that icy mystery yesterday afternoon:

3:54 PM. An icy conundrumdrum-dee dum. Why there?
3:54 PM. An icy conundrumdrum-dee dum. Why there?

Let us zoom in some more, see if we can find out something:

3:52 PM. Zoomed view of one of the little anomalous snowstorms going on at 25, 600 feet yesterday.  If you click on this, you’ll see the tiny, delicate trails of ice falling out, ones that reflect a different set of circumstances for ice formation and growth that were present in that little cloud, seemingly so uniform, but not really if you were to fly through it with cloud instruments.

DSC_7910

However, we have really learned nothing about why SO MUCH ice fell out of a couple of those clouds.

CMP will offer a hypothesis, one that cannot be verified and so he can’t be shown to be in error again:

I think this may have been due to an aircraft passage in that layer, probably more than an hour ago.  Hypothesizing, it passed through some of the cloudlets and iced them up real good (that is caused ice to form due to its passage through it, not icing on the wings kind of thing, though that may be a part of the reason ice crystals form.   We’re not really sure what causes an aircraft to produce icy holes in clouds or ice canals.

However, in the longer term when an aircraft causes a hole or ice canal, if the layer is sliding upward, the hole  or canal fills back in with droplet clouds just like the one an aircraft glaciated.  Takes a lot of time for that to happen, at least an  hour since the upward slide in mid-level clouds is slight.

Another possible explanation to cover more bases, is that a very few of these now flat clouds once had turrets that stuck up to lower temperatures.  Only slightly cooler temperatures from -22 °C might have triggered what was clearly an explosion of ice.  But given the stable layer at the top of these clouds, that seems a less likely possibility to me.

3:55 PM. There was one more bit of ice falling out of one of these flakes. Look how tiny that strand is falling from a tiny flake! Remarkable. Since ice nuclei increase exponentially with lower temperatures, maybe a half a degree cooler Celsius at the tippy top of this flake compared with surrounding flakes triggered a few ice crystals.
3:55 PM. There was one more bit of ice falling out of one of these flakes. Look how tiny that strand is falling from a tiny flake! Remarkable. Since ice nuclei increase exponentially with lower temperatures, maybe a half a degree cooler Celsius at the tippy top of this flake compared with surrounding flakes triggered a few ice crystals.

Another thing we have learned today among the things we have not learned, is that clouds, especially mid-level ones, can be damn cold without having any ice falling out of them, and that ice falling out of them might even be an inexplicable anomaly!  Doesn’t really happen with clouds in the “boundary layer”, that is clouds formed from ground heating,  and/or connected to dirt and stuff through turbulence.  Too many chances for ice nuclei to get in them and most are  dirt particles like kaolinite.

The End.

———————————————

1When you’re speaking to friends, and to sound more pilot-like, more accurate in your cloud height assessments, its best if you say  heights as at, “one-six thousand, one-niner thousand,  two-five thousand”, etc.    As in, “I think those Altocumulus clouds are at one-eight thousand” as an example.

I really think if you talk like that to your friends when discussing cloud heights you’ll see a little bump of credibility for you.

2Its really OK to admit error, to be humbled once in awhile, get your feet back on the ground, not think of yourself as something special like you do.  In this regard, I have linked to an exemplary example of a media weather forecaster that was acknowledged a major error in a prior temperature forecast for SEA, but at the same time called out the correct elements of his/her forecast to blunt the fallout from the temperature error.   Perhaps, realizing, too,  that he/she/transginger, was using too fine a forecast “brush”,  learns from that and ends with a broader one:  An errorful forecast acknowledged:

An unbelievably long blog about a surprise afternoon sprinkle of rain

A very few small, isolated drops fell between 4:50 and 5 PM here in Sutherland Heights from what appeared to be nothing overhead. You’d have to be really good to have not been driving, and to have anticipated the possibility (by recognizing ice in upwind clouds) and then having observed it.  You would be recognized, given some extra adulation,  at the next cloud maven junior meeting if you did observe it, that’s for sure.

So, a long blog about anticipating and observing a sprinkle of rain (RW—, “RW triple minus” in casual weatherspeak or text).

We start with some nice, but inapplicable to our main story photos from yesterday.

3:14 PM. Another one of those, to me, memorable, dramatic shots just because of cloud shadows on our pretty mountains caused by Cumulus humilis and mediocris clouds; Cirrus uncinus on top.
3:14 PM. Another one of those, to me, memorable, dramatic shots just because of cloud shadows on our pretty mountains caused by Cumulus humilis and mediocris clouds; Cirrus uncinus on top.
3:15 PM. Pretty CIrrus uncinus, "Angel's hair."
3:15 PM. Pretty CIrrus uncinus, “Angel’s hair.”
3:15 PM. Looks like a cloud street off the Tucson Mountains, one that streamed toward Catalina. Hope you were unbusy enough to notice it. Its a pretty common one here when the lower level winds are out of the SSW, and the clouds shallow.
3:15 PM. Looks like a cloud street off the Tucson Mountains, one that streamed toward Catalina. Hope you were “unbusy” enough to notice it. Its a pretty common one here when the lower level winds are out of the SSW, and the clouds shallow.
3:50 PM. Shadow quirk. The cloud shadow follows the terrain line. Wow. Never seen that before, but I suppose if you had an infinite number of monkeys watching, they'd see it all the time. Maybe they would type out some Shakespeare as well in time.
3:50 PM. Shadow quirk. The cloud shadow follows the terrain line. Wow. Never seen that before, but I suppose if you had an infinite number of monkeys watching, they’d something like this all the time. Maybe they’d type out some Shakespeare as well in time.
3:54 PM. While busy watching the cloud-sahdow dappled mountains, some honest-to-goodness Cumulus congestus arose in a line to the southwest! Not at all expected! Looks like they're tall enough to form ice, but don't see any. Will take too many photos to see if any develops though.
3:54 PM. While busy watching the cloud-sahdow dappled mountains, some honest-to-goodness Cumulus congestus arose in a line to the southwest! Not at all expected! Looks like they’re tall enough to form ice, but don’t see any. Will take too many photos to see if any develops though.
3:56 PM. That poor turret that first extruded from this line (center raggedy one) is being ravaged by "entrainment", that cloud killing process wherein the surrounding dry air gets in and kills off the droplets. Pretty sad when you think about. It also shows you just how friggin' dry the air was just above the main tops. No ice visible here.
3:56 PM. That poor turret that first extruded from this line (center raggedy one) is being ravaged by “entrainment”, that cloud killing process wherein the surrounding dry air gets in and kills off the droplets. Pretty sad when you think about. It also shows you just how friggin’ dry the air was just above the main tops. No ice visible here.
3:56 PM. Let's zoom in to be sure. Anyone saying they can see some ice in this is either an ice-detecting genius or just play lying.
3:56 PM. Let’s zoom in to be sure. Anyone saying they can see some ice in this is either an ice-detecting genius or just plain lying. BTW, that turret on the left, partially visible, is much taller, so its got a good chance to convert to ice.

Ann DSC_7808

3:58 PM. Now even little tiny babies can see the ice that formed in that now dessicated turret. This means some rain fell out of it! Wow, did not see that coming today.
3:58 PM. Now even little tiny babies can see the ice that formed in that now dessicated turret. This means some rain fell out of it! Wow, did not see that happening today.
3:58 PM. Pulling back to grab the whole scene, those Cumulus congestus clouds converting to small Cumulonimbus clouds that will bring those few tiny drops to Catalina in an hour.
3:58 PM. Pulling back to grab the whole scene, those Cumulus congestus clouds converting to small Cumulonimbus clouds that will bring those few tiny drops to Catalina in an hour even as the dry air up there wasted them. Real cloud mavens would be thinking about the possibility of rain here, seeing the ice form in clouds upwind of us, that right at that time! Congratulations!
4:09 PM. Doesn't look that great now, but areas of ice visible, and its heading this way with a light shower falling out of it! Maybe we'll pick up another trace!
4:09 PM. Doesn’t look that great now, but areas of ice visible, and its heading this way with a light shower falling out of it! Maybe we’ll pick up another trace! But what cloud name would you put on this scene? Well, its kind of embarrassing to call them “Cumulonimbus”, but we do have a suitable moniker for weakly-producing Cumulus ice clouds with a little precip, Cumulus congestus praecipitatio. Yep, that’s the name I would use here since the rain is reaching the ground (is not just producing virga).
4:30 PM. Code 1 rain shaft, a transparent one. We're going to a LOT of trouble for a trace of rain here! But, you should have been really excited by this time. The possiblity of rain is just minutes away, but you'll have to be outside to notice it!
4:30 PM. Code 1 rain shaft, a transparent one. We’re going to a LOT of trouble for a trace of rain here! But, you should have been really excited by this time. The possiblity of rain is just minutes away, but you’ll have to be outside to notice it!
4:40 PM. Drawing back to look at the whole scene, which is not that great. Bottom of sprinkle cloud has evaporated leaving that big patch of ice, left side of photo. Can the sprinkle heading toward us survive? Your heart probably was really pounding at this point since you wanted to see some drops so BAD, report that trace the next day, one that maybe only you would have noticed.
4:40 PM. Drawing back to look at the whole scene, which is not that great. Bottom of sprinkle cloud has evaporated leaving that big patch of ice, left side of photo. Can the sprinkle heading toward us survive? Your heart probably was really pounding at this point since you wanted to see some drops so BAD, report that trace the next day, one that maybe only you would have noticed.
4:47 PM. Three minutes to first drops, though here no drops would be reaching the ground from the condition the cloud is in now, its too high, just really anvil ice, and the ice crystals too small, The drops that are going to be intercepted are surely the last ones reaching the ground, the top of the sprinkle shaft, above which there are no more drops.
4:47 PM. Three minutes to first drops, though here no drops would be reaching the ground from the condition the cloud is in now, its too high, just really anvil ice, and the ice crystals too small, The drops that are going to be intercepted are surely the last ones reaching the ground, the top of the sprinkle shaft, above which there are no more drops.
4:55 PM. Drops are collecting on the windshield a few hundred yards from the house with almost no cloud aloft at this point!
4:55 PM. Drops are collecting on the windshield a few hundred yards from the house with almost no cloud aloft at this point! A trace of rain has been logged!

The End

(What about those gorgeous Cumulus congestus and Cumulonimbus calvus clouds over toward and well beyond Charouleau Gap about this time? Maybe later or tomorrow.)

A thunderful day brings a little rain to Catalina, drenches the Tortolita Mountains.

The day started with some nice Altocumulus “pancakus”, some lenticulars and breezy conditions, reminding one of fall day with a cold front approaching.   Small Cumulus appeared quickly, but with the wind, you wondered if they would get enough heating to power upward into Cumulonimbus clouds.

By noon you had your answer as a large Cumulonimbus complex settled in just beyond the Tortolita Mountains west of Catalina.  And it pretty much recurred  there and over the Tortolitas all afternoon.   In the meantime, passing light showers dotted this side of the Catalinas, but that was about it.  No “Code 4” shafts on those mountains yesterday.   Rain totals were less than a half inch, and most less than a third.  On the other hand, would guess that parts of the Torts got well over an inch. The cores missed us again, with Sutherland Heights logging only 0.03 inches.

Developing showers passed over Catalina dropping occasional very large,  sparse drops, but shafts generally fell out of those clouds after they had passed off to the northeast.

Late in the afternoon, the line of recurring showers finally approached Catalina, but as dry air encroached in the middle levels, at the same time, catching up to that standing line, all those great mushrooming clouds were no more.  The cloud story board is below:

Yesterday’s Clouds but Yesterday’s Gone

(by Chad and Jeremy but with photos of Peter and Gordon with whom the former were often confused with,  the site notes!  How funny is that?)

Oh, well,  yesterday might well have been  the end of the summer rain season here in Catalina as far as rain goes, so an ending point song seemed appropriate.

DSC_7599
6:16 AM. Altocumulus with a underlying Altocumulus castellanus.
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6:16 AM. Another view of Altocumulus with an underlying line of Altocumulus castellanus.
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8:06 AM. Altocumulus perlucidus translucidus (real thin).
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10:55 AM. Altocumulus lenticularis clouds provide the real look of a fall day with a significant jet stream overhead. Cumulus begin to form on the Tucson Mountains in the distance.
12:56 PM.
12:56 PM. The idea of a fall day is quickly dispelled by the rapid growth of a narrow Cumulonimbus calvus cloud.
12:57 PM. Wow.
12:57 PM. Wow. At the same time, there’s been an explosion of Cumulonimbus clouds to the west through northwest of Catalina. This looked REALLY promising for a dump here, since it would surely expand southward (to the left) from the rain shafts in progress.
1:30 PM. Line of thunderstorms reaches the Tortolita Mountains. This is looking extremely good for Catalina though the thunderstorm is moving left to right rapidly, not toward us. Why does it look good for Catalina? Because you expect winds pushed away by all that falling rain to blow back against the sotuhwest winds and generate new Cu congestus and Cumulonimbus clouds upwind of the shafts, and more in line with Catalina. Summary: it didn't happen though there were numerous times it looked like it was verging on doing this. So, all those thoughts you had out there that this was going to happen were in considerable error.
1:30 PM. Line of thunderstorms reaches the Tortolita Mountains. This is looking extremely good for Catalina though the thunderstorm is moving left to right rapidly, not toward us. Why does it look good for Catalina? Because you expect winds pushed away by all that falling rain to blow back against the sotuhwest winds and generate new Cu congestus and Cumulonimbus clouds upwind of the shafts, and more in line with Catalina. Summary: it didn’t happen though there were numerous times it looked like it was verging on doing this. So, all those thoughts you had out there that this was going to happen were in considerable error. This was probably because the southwest wind against which the outflow was clashing, was too strong yesterday, limiting how far upwind new clouds could develop.
1:34 PM. This was looking so great! Bases massing there on the right side, pretty much upwind of Catalina.
1:34 PM. This was looking so great! Bases massing there on the right side, pretty much upwind of Catalina.
1:43 PM. Tortolitas now submerged in water.
1:43 PM. Tortalitas now obscured by water.
1:49 PM. Showers are developing farther upwind of the main blast over the Tortolitas as expected and near to upstream of Catalina! Gloating here. Was SURE now we'd get a tankful of rain within the hour.
1:49 PM. Showers are developing farther upwind of the main blast over the Tortolitas as expected and near to upstream of Catalina! Gloating here. Was SURE now we’d get a tankful of rain within the hour.
1:53 PM. In only a few minutes its looking so much better for us, and these showers are racing at us. Looks like the whole line is drifting east, too.
1:53 PM. In only a few minutes its looking so much better for us, and those showers and thunderstorms are racing this way!  Looks like the whole line is drifting east, too.  In the meantime, the thunderstorms moving away from the Tortolitas and toward Saddlebrooke Ranch and points north have sent out a blast of northerly winds into Sutherland Heights, pretty much like yesterday.  The clouds overhead begin to respond to that uplift caused by this blast of north winds.
2:06 PM.
2:06 PM.
2:16 PM. First nice cloud base waits until passing by to drop load, but another promising one appears upwind!
2:16 PM. That first nice cloud base waited until passing by to drop its load, but another promising one appeared upwind!
2:17 PM. In the meantime, another ferocious thunderstorm is dumping on the same area of the Tortolitas as the prior ones!
2:17 PM. In the meantime, another ferocious thunderstorm is dumping on the same area of the Tortolitas as the prior ones!
2:21 PM. A closer look at the Tortolita blast. Expect wind from this to reach Catalina.
2:21 PM. A closer look at the Tortolita blast. Expect wind from this to reach Catalina.
2:22 PM. WIth the north wind blowing you're looking for something to erupt upwind of us as the nose of that north wind pushes into Oro Valley. But here you see that the organization of the cloud bases is poor, too many little light and dark areas, no broad base indicating a strong updraft. This was a depressing shot.
2:22 PM. WIth the north wind blowing you’re looking for something to erupt upwind of us as the nose of that north wind pushes into Oro Valley. But here you see that the organization of the cloud bases is poor, too many little light and dark areas, no broad base indicating a strong updraft. This was a depressing shot but I took it anyway.
2:27 PM, The severe thunderstorm over the Tortalitas has moved NE. Here you see the kind of cloud base you want to see just upwind of you, not that mess in the previous photo.
2:27 PM, The severe thunderstorm over the Tortalitas has moved NE. Here you see the kind of cloud base you want to see just upwind of you, not that mess in the previous photo.
2:29 PM. Only a few minutes later, but look at the change that has occurred upwind of us! That north wind scooting down into Oro Valley has finally triggered a massive base just upwind of us We are going to get pounded!
2:29 PM. Only a few minutes later, but look at the change that has occurred upwind of us! That north wind scooting down into Oro Valley has finally triggered a massive base just upwind of us We are going to get pounded!
2:33 PM. But that great cloud base moves to the west of us, adajacent to yet another blast on the Torts. Ugh. Just can't get this right.
2:33 PM. But that great cloud base moves to the west of us, adajacent to yet another blast on the Torts. Ugh. Just can’t get this right.
2:36 PM. Some lightning for you in case you don't believe me that these were thunderstorms.
2:36 PM. Some lightning for you in case you don’t believe me that these were thunderstorms.
2:49 PM. Yet another promising base, more in the upwind direction passed over, only to leave some enormous drops. Compare splash marks to that mesquite pod on the sidewalk. Sounded like hail at first. But the main load fell downwind. I thought we were going to really get shafted right then, too. Not.
2:49 PM. Yet another promising base, more in the upwind direction passed over, only to leave some enormous drops. Compare splash marks to that mesquite pod on the sidewalk. Sounded like hail at first.
But the main load fell downwind. I thought we were going to really get shafted right then, too. Not.
3:03 PM. An example of poor cloud base structure upwind of us.
3:03 PM. An example of poor cloud base structure upwind of us.
3:04 PM. Curtains of heavy showers continue to bombard the Tortolitas, Amazing how many cells passed through that area as this zone of converging winds remained stationary instead of advancing toward us as I believed it would.
3:04 PM. Curtains of heavy showers continue to bombard the Tortolitas, Amazing how many cells passed through that area as this zone of converging winds remained stationary instead of advancing toward us as I believed it would.
3:18 PM. As skies cleared overhead, some of the prettiest scenes of the day were of these brilliantly white Cumulus congestus clouds over the Catalinas.
3:18 PM. As skies cleared overhead, some of the prettiest scenes of the day were of these brilliantly white Cumulus congestus clouds over the Catalinas.
3:20 PM. Ice detection drill... Can you tell that those two turrets in the last photos are now mostly ice?
3:20 PM. Ice detection drill… Can you tell that those two turrets in the last photos are now mostly ice?
3:28 PM. Can a scene be more beautiful? The turret on the far left has converted to ice.
3:28 PM. Can a scene be more beautiful? The turret on the far left has converted to ice.
3:29 PM. A single strand of hail or the largest drops have plummeted out of this base. This suggests that they were either very large particles, or that the updraft had a minute weakness that allowed some of the load aloft to escape in something of a narrow chute.
3:29 PM. A single strand of hail or the largest drops have plummeted out of this base. This suggests that they were either very large particles, or that the updraft had a minute weakness that allowed some of the load aloft to escape in something of a narrow chute. And, of course, its part of the line still pounding the Tortolitas!
3:47 PM. FINALLY the line appears to be shifting east toward Catalina, but the tops aren't as high, there are no giant cells any more, an indicating that both drier air is moving in and that the instabliity aloft is changing to less favorable for large storms. Oh, me. This was a discouraging scene.
3:47 PM. FINALLY the line appears to be shifting east toward Catalina, but the tops aren’t as high, there are no giant cells any more, an indicating that both drier air is moving in and that the instability aloft is changing to less favorable for large storms. Oh, me. This was a discouraging scene.
3:55 PM. While not as heavy as prior showers, there is still hope that the line will produce measurable rain in Catalina as it drifts east.
3:55 PM. While not as heavy as prior showers, there is still hope that the line will produce measurable rain in Catalina as it drifts east.
4:05 PM. By this time, its looking like the slowly advancing line will die before it gets here.
4:05 PM. By this time, its looking like the slowly advancing line will die before it gets here.
5:24 PM. That line: Done and done.
5:24 PM. That line: Done and done.
6:39 PM.
6:39 PM.

The End, whew.

A September thunder, rainbow, and interesting cloud extravaganza (i. e., too many cloud photos for one day but it deserved it)

Welcome to one of the great cloud blogs of our time today, great as in volume, not in eloquence or anything like that.

6:16 AM. Pink castellanus, Altocumulus castellanus. Note the "micro-cumulonimbus turret complete with a little anvil that's shearing off to the left. So now what? Should we have a cloud called an Altocumulonimbus? Maybe so, since on this morning, clusters of Altocumulus grew into major true Cumulonimbus clouds with rain and lightning in Arizona yesterday.
6:16 AM. Pink castellanus, Altocumulus castellanus. Note the “micro-cumulonimbus” turret complete with a little anvil that’s shearing off to the left (center left). So now what? Should we have a cloud called an Altocumulonimbus? Maybe so, since on this morning, clusters of Altocumulus grew into major true Cumulonimbus clouds with rain and lightning in Arizona yesterday morning.  Its a pretty common thing having thunderstorms and Altocumulus castellanus and floccus based at the same level at the same time.
6:21 AM. Looking pretty much at the same scene but a little farther to the north where a dissipated Cumulonimbus can be seen (on the right) formed at the same level of the Ac cas, in case you didn't believe me that that could happen.
6:21 AM. Looking pretty much at the same scene but a little farther to the north where a dissipated Cumulonimbus can be seen (on the right) formed at the same level of the Ac cas, in case you didn’t believe me that that could happen.
6:43 AM. Rainbow and corral, horse poop or pee on crumble in foreground. People often miss the little beauties around us everyday. This special photo yours today only for only $1895. Shows that aforementioned Cumulonimbus was producing rain to the ground
6:43 AM. Rainbow and corral, horse poop in foreground. Yours today for only $1800. Shows that aforementioned Cumulonimbus was producing rain to the ground. Was the first rainbow event of the day.
12:08 PM. While Ac cas and small Cumulonimbus clouds dominated the sky all morning, heating finally started to launch boundary layer clouds fueled by that heating. With lower than normal temperatures aloft due to an upper level trough, watch out! Here we go!
12:08 PM. While Ac cas and small Cumulonimbus clouds dominated the sky all morning, heating finally started to launch boundary layer clouds fueled by that heating. With lower than normal temperatures aloft due to an upper level trough, watch out! Here we go!
12:13 PM. Hardly had the thought to "watch out" crossed my mind, when I looked up toward Winkelman and Mammoth areas and saw that it was too late to "watch out" as this gargantuan Cumulonimbus had already exploded up thataway.
12:13 PM. Hardly had the thought to “watch out” crossed my mind, when I looked up toward Winkelman and Mammoth areas and saw that it was too late to “watch out” as this gargantuan Cumulonimbus had already exploded up thataway.
1:23 PM. A large Cumulonimbus erupts upwind of Catalina. Will it make it? Because this is a fall circulation pattern with a tough in the westerlies affecting us, the clouds are moving more rapidly than usual and from the southwest, not from the eastern semicircle, our as during our normal summer rain regime. Remember, the monsoon is in India and all around there.
1:23 PM. A large Cumulonimbus erupts upwind of Catalina. Will it make it? Because this is a fall circulation pattern with a tough in the westerlies affecting us, the clouds are moving more rapidly than usual and from the southwest, not from the eastern semicircle, our as during our normal “summer rain regime.” Remember, the “monsoon” is in India and all around there.
2:21 PM. OK, its an hour later, that distant Cb didn't make it but this one upwind looks more promising. Why? Because its got a protruding Cumulus base on the left side suggesting it will keep developing. Same on the right side. Without those re-inforcements to the updraft of this complex, it would die, all or most of the rain fall out before it got here. Let's see what happens.
2:21 PM. OK, its an hour later, that distant Cb didn’t make it but this one upwind looks more promising. Why? Because its got a protruding Cumulus base on the left side suggesting it will keep developing. Same on the right side. Without those re-inforcements to the updraft of this complex, it would die, all or most of the rain fall out before it got here. Let’s see what happens.
2:31 PM. Starts to look disappointing again, but hope arises in the distance. See caption-sized note on photo.
2:31 PM. Starts to look disappointing again, but hope arises in the distance. See caption-sized note on photo.
2:43 PM. I could feel your excitement here as the farther out base developed, broadened, new shafts started to appear in the distance from that complex of firm-looking bases. I was excited too. Maybe we'd get half an inch out of this!
2:43 PM. I could feel your excitement here as the farther out base developed, broadened, new shafts started to appear in the distance from that complex of firm-looking bases. I was excited too. Maybe we’d get half an inch out of this group!
2:44 PM. In the meantime, nice lighting on the Catalinas and moderate Cumulus pass by in a hurry. THought for today: "Mountains: the canvas on which clouds paint."
2:44 PM. In the meantime, nice lighting on the Catalinas and moderate Cumulus pass by in a hurry. Thought for today: “Mountains: the canvases on which clouds paint.”
3:03 PM. Heart has sunk. The new base, driven by outflow winds is propagating to the right of the wind flow and so what appeared to be directly upwind, rained out, and new cloud bases formed on the right side with nothing but rainout on the right side that was approaching us. So, no half inch after all. Oh, me.
3:03 PM. Heart has sunk by this time, as did yours.  New cloud bases (on the left side) driven by outflow winds is causing this thunderstorm to propagating to the right of the wind flow and so the part of this that appeared to be directly upwind of us, and looked so good, was now raining out because there was no new cloud forming to keep it going in a steady state way  So, no half inch after all except maybe down there.    Oh, me.  Nice scene, though.
4:21 PM. Break in the action. This Cumulus congestus cloud person seems happy. Not so much here as upwind clouds have dwindled.
4:21 PM. Break in the action. This Cumulus congestus cloud person seems happy, thumb is pointing up. Not so much here as upwind clouds have dwindled.
5:13 PM. THen, just after it looked like it was over, and cloud maven person left his post, all HECK broke loose as a powerful thunderstorm roared out of the Tortolita Mountains and off toward Oracle and points north. The shaft that fell out has produced a small arcus cloud, that lower scruff ahead of it. That was to be our hope. A blast out of the north from this monster that could trigger overhead new cloud developments!
5:13 PM. THen, just after it looked like it was over, and cloud maven person left his post, all HECK broke loose as a powerful thunderstorm roared out of the Tortolita Mountains and off toward Oracle and points north. The shaft that fell out has produced a small arcus cloud, that lower scruff ahead of it. That was to be our hope. A blast out of the north from this monster that could trigger overhead new cloud developments!

\

5:15 PM. Unnecessary close up of this monster.
5:15 PM. Unnecessary close up of this monster.
5:20 PM. Another look at the dramatic sideswiping storm
5:20 PM. Another look at the dramatic sideswiping storm. Looks more like a shot from Kansas or OK.
5:20 PM. In the meantime a blast of north wind from the giant cell north of us has hit Sutherland Heights and is pushing up a great looking base that is creeping TOWARD us!
5:20 PM. In the meantime a blast of north wind from the giant cell north of us has hit Sutherland Heights and is pushing up a great looking base that is creeping TOWARD us!
5:21 PM. Its only a minute later, but its such a great, dramatic scene its worth checking again.
5:21 PM. Its only a minute later, but its such a great, dramatic scene its worth checking again.
5:23 PM. That great cloud base just north of Sutherland Heights is starting to unload, but it hasn't progressed farther south. Hmmmm.
5:23 PM. That great cloud base just north of Sutherland Heights is starting to unload, but it hasn’t progressed farther south. Hmmmm.
5:29 PM. The north wind was accompanied by a scruff of clouds that topped Samananiego Peak. But what's wrong here? Look at the poor "quality" of the cloud base over and just east of us now, full of light and dark areas, not a solid blob of darkness as we saw just to the north of us. So, this is going to do nothing here.
5:29 PM. The north wind was accompanied by a scruff of clouds that topped Samananiego Peak. But what’s wrong here? Look at the poor “quality” of the cloud base over and just east of us now, full of light and dark areas, not a solid blob of darkness as we saw just to the north of us. So, this is going to do nothing here.
5:31 PM. That low cloud continues to race south, and with the sun breaking through, produced a pretty scene if a depressing one due to the lack of a "good" big, dark base.
5:31 PM. That low cloud continues to race south, and with the sun breaking through, produced a pretty scene if a depressing one due to the lack of a “good” big, dark base.
5:32 PM. That large, dark cloud base has receded to the north while scud clouds still stream south. Dang.
5:32 PM. That large, dark cloud base has receded to the north while scud clouds still stream south. Dang.
5:39 PM. That great Kansas-looking storm is disappearing now behind Pusch Ridge with only the middle portion of the cloud left to precipitate (once have a great bottom, one that disappeared as the shove upward went to the east. So, its still thick and low enough on the right side to produce a burst of moderate rain, but will it get here?
5:39 PM. That great Kansas-looking storm is disappearing now behind Pusch Ridge with only the middle portion of the cloud left to precipitate (once have a great bottom, one that disappeared as the shove upward went to the east. So, its still thick and low enough on the right side to produce a burst of moderate rain, but will it get here?
5:45 PM. Remarkably heavy rain still falls out of clouds that now appear to be only residual Altocumulus/Altostratus (cumulonimbogenitus, of course).
5:45 PM. Remarkably heavy rain still falls out of clouds that now appear to be only residual Altocumulus/Altostratus (cumulonimbogenitus, of course). And, if you saw this scene, you could anticipate being in somebody’s rainbow when the sunlight got to you, and that you were going to see something special in that regard VERY soon.
5:47 PM. Yes, but two minutes later, the sunlight reached Sutherland Heights causing this rainbow spectacle.
5:47 PM. Yes, but two minutes later, the sunlight reached Sutherland Heights causing this rainbow spectacle.
5:48 PM. Another look at this spectacle. There appears to be a pinkish red drop, maybe a part of the rainbow I have to be in for others to the west of me! Real evidence maybe of being in a rainbow when your in the rain and the sun is shining! Never have seen a pink drop before.
5:48 PM. Another look at this spectacle. There appears to be a pinkish red drop, maybe a part of the rainbow I have to be in for others to the west of me! Real evidence maybe of being in a rainbow when your in the rain and the sun is shining! Never have seen a pink drop before.
5:49 PM. Let's look and see if there is another end to this rainbow... Yes! There it is toward Charouleau Gap.
5:49 PM. Let’s look and see if there is another end to this rainbow… Yes! There it is toward Charouleau Gap.
5:50 PM. Close up of a rainbow to see what it looks like a little better.
5:50 PM. Close up of a rainbow to see what it looks like a little better.
6:44 PM.
6:44 PM.
6:43 PM. Stratocumulus of the evening.
6:43 PM. Stratocumulus of the evening.

A humorous final note: Here are two model runs only 6 h apart from last evening.  The first one, from 5 PM AST global data, valid on the 26th, brings that Mexican Pacific hurricane back into AZ/NM as that strong low drops down into Cal!  How crazy izzat?

The second panel was the model output from just 6 h later for about the same time.  No trough nowhere near Cal as is shown in the first panel, and our powerful hurricane stays well offshore.  Still, it was an intriguing glitch of a magnitude you hardly ever see.

2016091300_WST_GFS_500_HGT_WINDS_372

2016091306_WST_GFS_500_HGT_WINDS_372

The End.

Powerful hurricane to not enter Arizona even though the model shows this happening; horse story

Many of you probably were gasping for air after having seen the WRF-GFS model outputs from last evening’s 5 PM AST global data.

A large hurricane, really more the size of its typhoonic big brothers in the western north Pacific, and one that also dwarfs the late tropical remnant, “Newton” ,  that came through here a week or so ago, is shown to move along the SAME path as Newton into Arizona in about 13 days from now.

For those few of you who did NOT peruse the 00 GMT, CUT,  Z output, here are the fantastic fantasy hurricane depictions that this model, with all of its calculating power, shows entering AZ on the 26th.  Kind of fun to see even if it is bogus because it indicates that such a strong tropical cyclone could come through here one day.

Below, from IPS MeteoStar, these, maybe the best fake AZ hurricane depictions I have ever seen.  Note all the isobars, i.e., lines of equal pressure with this tropical cyclone in AZ, and then remember for all its rain, little Newton had virtually no signature on pressure maps! Hell, the pressure didn’t even fall at Nogales as Newt approached.  Pitiful.

But it wouldn’t be like that in this fantasy hurricane.  Tremendous pressure falls would occur as it entered AZ giving your microbarograph quite a workout as the pressure plummeted and then went up as the center passed by.

You do have a microbarograph don’t you?  If you don’t, think about it.

Ann 2016091200_CON_GFS_SFC_SLP_THK_PRECIP_WINDS_348
“Invalid” (haha) for 5 AM AST September 25th.
Ann 2016091200_CON_GFS_SFC_SLP_THK_PRECIP_WINDS_360
Invalid for 5 PM AST September 25th.

Next,  you’re curious, though,  about what steering pattern caused this hurricane, previously shown to stay far offshore and dissipate over some jellyfish and plastic particles way out in the Pacific in the models.

Let’s look, again from IPS MeteoStar at the steering situation at 500 millybars, or in around 20,000 feet or so:

Here the configuration. You're breathing a sigh of relief, maybe even chuckling: "That's not gonna happen." Ludicroous really, though withing the slightest realm of possibility, maybe one in a thousand. Like kicking a field goal that goes through the uprights after bouncing off an opposing player's helmut. I mean, it could happen, like a golf shot at Carmel that bounces off a stunted cypress and goes into the hole from 500 yards out, or.... OK, enough of that.
Here the configuration. You’re breathing a sigh of relief, maybe even chuckling: “That’s not gonna happen.” Ludicroous really, though withing the slightest realm of possibility, maybe one in a thousand. Like kicking a field goal that goes through the uprights after bouncing off an opposing player’s helmut. I mean, it could happen, like a golf shot at Carmel that bounces off a stunted cypress and goes into the hole from 500 yards out, or…. OK, enough of that.

2016091200_WST_GFS_500_HGT_WINDS_336 2016091200_WST_GFS_500_HGT_WINDS_348 2016091200_WST_GFS_500_HGT_WINDS_360

What you need to have any confidence is a big trough along or just offshore as we had with Newt, not a slight little itty bitty eddy aloft that has to be in exactly the right location at EXACTLY the right time.  I mean, its like a ball that goes for a home run after it bounces of the  center fielder’s head1

Hold your cash on the sand bags.

Finally, there’s really nothing from the spaghetti factory that supports this.  Boohoo.  What you need in spaghetti is strong support for a trough along the coast, not the below:

Valid at 5 PM AST September 25th.
Valid at 5 PM AST September 25th.

Yesterday’s clouds

Spectacular Altocumulus castellanus and floccus (no virga) passed overhead during the morning.  I hope you documented them with a few photos.

9:11 AM, on the trail looking at a superb example of Altocumulus floccus. Estimated height, 12,000 feet above ground level. No ice visible, so tops likely warmer than -10 C.
9:11 AM, on the trail looking at a superb example of Altocumulus floccus. Estimated height, 12,000 feet above ground level. No ice visible, so tops likely warmer than -10 C.  The bases of these clouds evaporated almost as soon as they formed, but the tops not so much, rose steadily after bottom disappeared.  Tallest ones were likely more than 1,000-2000 feet tall.
12:16 PM. By this time, which was good, smallish Cumulonimbus clouds recurred over the Catalina Mountains mostly east of Ms. Lemmon. Nice stages of ice development in the tops from newly risen, no sign of ice, to frizzy all ice remains, over and over again.
12:16 PM. By this time, which was good, smallish Cumulonimbus clouds recurred over the Catalina Mountains mostly east of Ms. Lemmon. Nice stages of ice development in the tops from newly risen, no sign of ice (right side here), to frizzy all ice remains (left side here), over and over again.

Horse story

Have to depart from clouds and weather to tell this tale.  Yesterday I stopped here to let the mighty Zeus rest a little.  I let him graze “off leash” on some of the still-green nettle grass in a gravel parking area next to our cottage.  I then went to get a pail of water for him, the pail being on the north side of our house.  When he saw I was leaving,  he immediately followed me like a dog.  It was kind of cute.

But as we got to the gravel outside the north porch of our house, our two dogs, Banjo and Emma were going nuts at the sight of a horse outside the north windows.

Zeus got distracted by all of the commotion in the house and went onto the porch to look in one of the windows to see what was up, or maybe he saw his own reflection and thought it was another horse?  Here is the hilarious scene:

2:21 PM yesterday. Zeus looks in to see why the dogs are barking so much.
2:21 PM yesterday. Zeus looks in to see why the dogs are barking so much.

 

The End

 

———————————————–

1This actually happened in South Dakota,  at Mitchell’s Cadwell Park,  during a  baseball game I played in ’72.  I was catching in those days for Mitchell Commercial Bank.    Our center fielder,  a track star, ran to get a scorching line drive to medium depth center, and racing to his left,  reaching up to grab it, the ball instead bounced off his noggin and went some 40 or 50 feet over the fence!  He was OK.   We had no “concussion protocol” in those days.  Had a chance to bat against the legendary Canova, SD,  pitcher, Lee Goldammer in that game.  Whiffed on three pitches;  was maybe at bat for 30 seconds.

Hawaii comes to Arizona from Mexico; 5.91 inches at Dan Saddle! 6.43 inches on Mt. Graham!

Former Hurricane ‘Newt’ brought some real humidity, low clouds with unusually warm bases (around 15-20 ° C) to Tucson and Catalina yesterday as its remnant center passed just about over us.

Old Newt was “dragging” here as a tropical storm, aloft it was pretty strong still,  brought near hurricane force winds on isolated, high, mountain tops.  Mt. Hopkins reached 59 kts from the ESE before the “eye” passed nearby  and the winds turned to the west.  And in the Rincon Mountains   a gigantic 6.39 inches was logged, and a site on Mt. Graham reported 6.43 inches.  (Thanks to Mark Albright for these reports.)

While Sutherland Heights received only 0.29 inches in that all day rain, there were eye-popping totals in the Catalinas.    Take a look at some of these, Dan Saddle near Oracle Ridge,  nearing 6 inches in 24 h!  Below, 24 h totals ending at 2 AM this morning, which pretty much covers Newt:

0.28 Golder Ranch Horseshoe Bend Rd in Saddlebrooke
0.59 Oracle Ranger Stati approximately 0.5 mi SW of Oracle
0.24 Dodge Tank Edwin Rd 1.3 mi E of Lago Del Oro Parkway
0.35 Cherry Spring approximately 1.5 mi W of Charouleau Gap
0.79 Pig Spring approximately 1.1 mi NE of Charouleau Gap
0.47 Cargodera Canyon NE corner of Catalina State Park
0.31 CDO @ Rancho Solano Cañada Del Oro Wash NE of Saddlebrooke
0.39 CDO @ Golder Rd Cañada Del Oro Wash at Golder Ranch Rd
4.13 Oracle Ridge Oracle Ridge, approximately 1.5 mi N of Rice Peak
4.25 Mt. Lemmon Mount Lemmon
1.61 CDO @ Coronado Camp Cañada Del Oro Wash 0.3 mi S of Coronado Camp
2.17 Samaniego Peak Samaniego Peak on Samaniego Ridge
5.91 Dan Saddle Dan Saddle on Oracle Ridge
3.54 White Tail Catalina Hwy 0.8 mi W of Palisade Ranger Station
3.66 Green Mountain Green Mountain
1.77 Marshall Gulch Sabino Creek 0.6 mi SSE of Marshall Gulch

Your cloud day yesterday; we don’t talk about today.  That’s for tomorrow.

The day began with one of the great examples of Nimbostratus, that technically a middle -level cloud greeted us at daybreak in what was one of the great examples of the phantom cloud, the true precipitator, usually hidden from view by lower clouds such as Stratocumulus.  But, yesterday morning, there it was,  “Ns” naked as could be.  I know many of you have been looking for a good shot of Nimbostratus to add to your cloud collection for a long time and I could feel the joy out there when I saw it myself.   I only took a couple of shots myself, wish now I had taken more of an extraordinary scene.

6:49 AM. Nimbostratus! Note how high the bottom is, a bottom marked mostly by falling precip, usually snow because steady light rain is so relatively transparent.
6:49 AM. Nimbostratus! Note how high the bottom is, a bottom marked mostly by falling precip, usually snow because steady light rain is so relatively transparent.
DSC_7360
6:52 AM. Looking NNW toward parts of Saddlebrook/Eagle Crest developments. Notice the nice, relatively uniform, blurry gray, the “blurry” look due to falling rain, the perceived bottom, at the melting level, snow is melting into rain. In winter, therefore, the “bottom” or base of Ns, absent lower clouds, appears lower to us because the snow level is lower.

Then, as the light rain here moistened the air hour after hour, low clouds, such as Stratocumulus and Stratus fractus began to form along the mountains, producing some interesting “tracers” of the chaotic air movement over there by the Catalinas under nearly calm conditions.  Newt disappointed in his wind accompaniment.

1:41 PM. Stratus fractus clouds lined Samaniego Ridge, Stratocumulus or weak Cumulus topped it, with a higher layer of Stratocumulus above that.
1:41 PM. Stratus fractus clouds lined Samaniego Ridge, Stratocumulus or weak Cumulus topped it, with a higher layer of Stratocumulus above that,  That highest layer was once the much deeper Nimbostratus, but now has lost its deep part, so its no longer “Ns” since its not precipitating.
1:42 PM. The deep stratocast has departed, the remaining clouds in the foreground are Stratocumulus. The darkening bases on the horizon southwest of Pusch Ridge are where Cumulus and Cumulonimbus clouds filled with rain are piling up, likely due to the light winds coming together down there, maybe in the low center that was once "Newt."
1:42 PM. The deep stratocast has departed, the remaining clouds in the foreground are Stratocumulus. The darkening bases on the horizon southwest of Pusch Ridge are where Cumulus and Cumulonimbus clouds filled with rain are piling up, likely due to the light winds coming together down there, maybe in the low center that was once “Newt.”

 

Later in the day, as the highest, coldest cloud tops associated with those beautiful Nimbostatus clouds moved off to the NE, and our cloudscape became a mix of deeper Stratocumulus with Cumulus and isolated Cumulonimbus cells,  they produced true drizzle and misty, visibility-reducing “warm rain”, that rare type of rain that falls here from clouds lacking in ice, began to be observed producing Hawaiian looking rain on our mountains, delicate shafts of rain whose small drops slanted away from the base.

2:32 PM. Misty drizzle and very light rain! When did this transition happen?
2:32 PM. Misty drizzle and very light rain! When did this transition happen?
DSC_7367
2:32 PM. Hard to tell the difference here in a photo between the pure, naked Ns, and this lower drizzle,misty rain producing cloud likely topping out well below the freezing level. I’ve seen these transitions before, but I missed this one, where a Stratocumulus deck starts to look a little fuzzy on the bottom as the drizzle, very light rain starts to come out (due to tops rising, drops at the top getting larger, at some point crossing over the “Hocking” droplet threshold of larger than about 38 microns in diameter, where they begin sticking together when they hit). Here, the transition from non-precipitating Stratocu to I-don’t know what has already taken place during between the photos at 1:41 and 1:42 PM. Should drizzly, relatively shallow clouds like these now be termed, Nimbostratus? Or Stratocumulus praecipitatio,to emphasis the shallowness? A question definitely for the cloud philosophers to haggle about. No member of the cloud maven club would be punished for calling this scene one showing “Nimbostratus.” However, the drizzle and very light misty rain should have told you it was from a far different cloud structure than that associated with true Nimbostratus, always a deep cloud with ice in it, often topping out at Cirrus levels.

Here, you might well erupt with, “This doesn’t look like Hawaii, but Ocean Shores, Washington, or some other coastal location along the West Coast on a spring day having Stratocumulus with drizzle!”

You would be correct in that eruption.

Below, an example of drizzle drops on your car’s windshield:

3:50 PM. The tiniest drops you can make out on the window are drizzle drops.
3:50 PM. The tiniest drops you can make out on the window are drizzle drops.  I focused on them and you’ll have to click on it to get the full size to be able to see them.  I was so excited to see some more of them!

Later, it was to look little more “Hawaiian”, but if you’ve been to Hilo, you know its mostly cloudy all day.

 

“Warm rain” or rain due to the colllision-coalescence process, is also mainly associated with “clean” conditions, ones low in aerosol particles that can act as cloud condensation nuclei.  The fewer the “CCN” the fewer are the droplets in clouds, and the larger the individual cloud droplets are when saturation and cloud formation occur.    So, by yesterday afternoon, certainly, it was doggone clean here, no doubt aided by washout in that light rain we had.

 

 

Particularly heavy rain with low visibility fell just south of Catalina yesterday afternoon around Ina and Oracle just after 4 pm.  However, that rain did not have those HUGE drops that we see from unloading, deep, Cumulonimbus clouds making this observer think as heavy as it was, it may have been due to a Cumulonimbus topping out at less than 20,000 feet, where the temperature would have been too warm for ice.  The 500 mb temperature yesterday was a tropical-like -3.7° C on the TUS sounding, almost unheard of with a rain situation here.  This, another sign of tropical Newt, since tropical storms/hurricanes have warm cores.

lacking in those huge drops we see in our thunderstorms, this rain likely formed from the “warm rain” process except maybe in the very heaviest rain areas.  It was a special day.

You probably noticed how quiet it was; no thunder around, for one thing, indicating the updrafts in the clouds were not very strong, and that was another indicator that the clouds may not have contained ice.  Without ice, hail and graupel, soft hail, you don’t have lightning.

The lack of lighting, the all day off and on rain, such as you might experience at Hilo, Hawaii, on the windward side, made it seem like you were in Hilo, Hawaii, or one of the other wet spots on the windward side of the Island.

3:27 PM. Another, to me remarkable misty scene reminiscent of oceanic and coastal Stratocumulus with drizzle and light rain
3:27 PM. Another, to me remarkable misty scene reminiscent of oceanic and coastal Stratocumulus with drizzle and light rain
3:52 PM. In the meantime a much deeper cell had developed to the SW of us, down around Ina and Oracle, where an inch and a half of rain fell. Look how the bottom is so close to the ground, like at a temperature near 20° C, about as warm as a cloud base can be here! And the warmer the base, the more water is going up into that cloud! Very exciting scene! Well, they all are to people of cloud maven persuasion.
3:52 PM. In the meantime a much deeper cell had developed to the SW of us, down around Ina and Oracle, where an inch and a half of rain fell. Look how the bottom is so close to the ground, like at a temperature near 20° C, about as warm as a cloud base can be here! And the warmer the base, the more water is going up into that cloud! Very exciting scene! Well, they all are to people of cloud maven persuasion.
4:24 PM. Into the bursting cloud. Still, drops were not HUGE, as you would expect, but extremely numerous, rain rate over an inch an hour in the heaviest parts. Was taken I around Oracle and McGee, and of course, not while driving. That would be crazy. Only looks like it.
4:24 PM. Into the bursting cloud. Still, drops were not HUGE, as you would expect, but extremely numerous, rain rate over an inch an hour in the heaviest parts. Was taken I around Oracle and McGee, and of course, not while driving. That would be crazy. Only looks like it.
6:32 PM. One of the more Hawaiian looking scenes, fine trails of rain dragging along the Catalina Mountains. The slope of the rain coming out absent much wind down low tells you the drops are small, probably near drizzle sizes. And the "shaft" if you will, is diffuse, indicating the small drops are spreading out due to the little turbulence there was making it fuzzy around the edges.
6:32 PM. One of the more Hawaiian looking scenes, fine trails of rain dragging along the Catalina Mountains. The slope of the rain coming out absent much wind down low tells you the drops are small, probably near drizzle sizes. And the “shaft” if you will, is diffuse, indicating the small drops are spreading out due to the little turbulence there was making it fuzzy around the edges.  Maybe, anyway.

Quitting here.

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Phantasmagorical?

This September 8-10 model-projected Arizona deluge caused by a dying tropical storm?   Then followed by four more days of rain around here?

Probably.

But you wait a lifetime to see model outputs like this, and so I’m going to save it here, even if it is “fantastic”, “phantasmagorical”, surely imaginary in a sense,  is model craziness, etc.

Nevertheless, treasurable moments in model output have been given to us desert dwellers overnight, the kind of rain-in-the-desert projected events that Hallmark cards were made for.

Here are the panels from IPS MeteoStar, a division of Sutron, where you can buy meteorological sensors, real good ones. I am posting so many of these panels, which is a little crazy in itself,  because in 24 h this series (linked to above) will be overwritten by the next model run from 5 PM AST  global data today, and we will likely never see such a wet series again foretold in a model. in our lifetimes.  Who knows, it COULD happen, but prepare for a broken heart:

Ann 2016083000_WST_GFS_SFC_SLP_THK_PRECIP_WINDS_2282016083000_WST_GFS_SFC_SLP_THK_PRECIP_WINDS_240 2016083000_WST_GFS_SFC_SLP_THK_PRECIP_WINDS_252 2016083000_WST_GFS_SFC_SLP_THK_PRECIP_WINDS_264 2016083000_WST_GFS_SFC_SLP_THK_PRECIP_WINDS_288 2016083000_WST_GFS_SFC_SLP_THK_PRECIP_WINDS_300 2016083000_WST_GFS_SFC_SLP_THK_PRECIP_WINDS_312 2016083000_WST_GFS_SFC_SLP_THK_PRECIP_WINDS_324 2016083000_WST_GFS_SFC_SLP_THK_PRECIP_WINDS_336 2016083000_WST_GFS_SFC_SLP_THK_PRECIP_WINDS_348 2016083000_WST_GFS_SFC_SLP_THK_PRECIP_WINDS_360 2016083000_WST_GFS_SFC_SLP_THK_PRECIP_WINDS_372 2016083000_WST_GFS_SFC_SLP_THK_PRECIP_WINDS_384Now that most have left this blog to go elsewhere, let us have some spaghetti to see if there is any hope that a tropical storm-sucking trough will be along the West Coast, and in a position to draw a hurricane northward along the Mexican coast by its southerly steering winds aloft.

Ann spag_f264_nhbg
Valid at 5 PM, September 9th.

As you can see, a trough (emphasized by the blue lines above) is destined to lie along the West Coast, in a position to steer any tropical storms toward Arizona that might be moving up the Mexican coast.  So, it looks like the chance of a tropical storm entering the state is certainly a fair amount greater than zero around the 9-10th of September.

The End.

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):

attachment4
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.
Attachment1
1:48 PM. Cloud beginning to bust open with rain now; updraft collapsing over there. Now its a Cumulonimbus.
Attachment2
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.
Attachment 3
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