Category Archives: Catalina climate data

The 2016-17 Water Year for Catalina and how it compares to prior years

There are links appearing below in the online version that I have not added!  Please ignore them until I find out what WordPress has done!

Blog as originally written,  below:

—————–

This is all I have for now.    Am catching up after a long absence due to computer issues.

Advice: its best to never upgrade, and,   “If its not broke, don’t fix it.”

Weather station still offline….  “:(”

WY 2016-17

Catalina record of water years through 17

The End

August disappoints: a look back at a disappointing August, and then a look forward at haze

August rainfall total in Sutherland Heights:  A measly 1.10 inches, to editorialize that bit, rather than to just report facts.   Average August rain here is  3.16 inches.  Egad.

End of looking back….”What’s the Use” (Tuxedomoon) said it best, well, maybe.

What about the haze?  Where’s it coming from and its awful! And its here again today.   Reminds one who lived in southern California of summer skies in southern California, hazy, whitish, the orange- colored sunsets that people sometimes thought were “so pretty” but they were ugly because they were orange because of smoke and smog and s like that.

Where’s it coming from, to repeat?  Not sure.  But see back trajectories below.

These suggest its coming from the east in the last day or so of the trajectories.  The trajectories start high up because we’re in the descending air branch of an upper air anti-cyclone that’s dessicating the air, preventing even little baby Cumulus from forming.

————-

Lidia’s moisture will help some, but it appears no rain will reach us today,   Dang.

But things get more promising for at least a short return of the summer rain season (remember, the real monsoon is in India) in the immediate days ahead,  phrasingly vague enough to insure a great forecast verfication! haha

DSC_7815 DSC_7814Looks across Catalina and Oro Valley toward the Twin Peaks area yesterday afternoon.  “Egad”, to repeat a mild expletive.

6:44 PM. Sunset over the Tortolita Mountains, where else would it be from Catalina (at this time of year)?
6:44 PM. Orangey sunset over the Tortolita Mountains, where else would it be from Catalina (at this time of year)?  The orange suggests a smoke aspect in the aerosol.
Back trajectory ending at 500 m above ground at Tucson at 11 AM AST.
Four-day back trajectory ending at 500 m above the ground and at 11 AM AST yesterday over Tucson.
13549_trj001
Four-day back trajectory ending at 2000 m above ground and at 11 AM AST over Tucson.

Catalina WY progress report; Cal WY update, too, since I grew up in Cal

I thought you’d like to see this:

As of the end of February 2017. We're pretty average, but it took some "heavy lifting" in December and January to get there.
As of the end of February 2017.  You can see were right about at the average for the Water Year,, but it took some “heavy lifting” in December and January to get there.

Doesn’t look promising for much rain here in Catalina in March, however.  No rain in sight through the next 10 days at least.

Let’s check our 7 inches with what’s happening upwind, say, in CALIFORNIA, and see if there’s been any drought relief there, through February,  via the CNRFC:

California water year totals through the end of February 2017. Note one station in the central Califorina coastal range is already over 100 inches!
California water year totals through the end of February 2017. Note one station in the central Califorina coastal range is already over 100 inches!  There are 20 stations already over 100 inches as can be seen from the table at right.  March looks to have substantial rains north of SFO, which will add appreciably to those highest totals.  Amazing!  You can go to the CNRFC and expand these interactive maps, btw.

As you are likely to know from many media stories last year, Cal was in a drought siege of five straight years,  with but got a little relief last year in the northern part thanks to help from  the giant Niño, one of the strongest ever.

Alas, it was one that failed to deliver as the big rain producer for the south half of Cal and the SW in general as was expected.

In case you’ve forgotten how bad things were in Cal, let us look back at what was being said, those horrific appearing drought maps,  and also how hopeful were were at the time  that the Big Niño would take a bit bite out of drought.  This is a really good article:

https://www.climate.gov/news-features/event-tracker/how-deep-precipitation-hole-california

Then, when the Big Niño faded away like maple syrup on a stack of buckwheat pancakes last spring and summer,  we were surely doomed for more dry years.  And, for a time, the dreaded cold tongue of water in the eastern equatorial region, the so-called, La Niña, started to develop, which would be no help at all for  a good rain season like a Big Niño is, usually.

The Niña faded away, too, to nothing as the winter went on, so we really didn’t have much going on in the tropical Pacific to help us figure out what kind of winter rainfall regime we were going to have om 2016-17.  Not having anything going on meant winter rainfall could go either way, a difficult to figure out situation for season forecasters.

In retrospect it is pretty astounding how big a signal must have been out there SOMEWHERE that this winter was going to be one for the history books on the West Coast in general, and in particular, for Californians.  Californians saw their drought chewed up and spit out in a single winter, including snow packs so high the height of some mountain peaks have been revised.  (I’m kidding.)

No one saw such an astounding winter coming.

This winter sure makes one think of the QBO (Quasi-biennenial Oscillation, one up there in the Stratosphere where there’s almost no air (haha, well, practically none)…  Did the QBO have a role in this astounding winter;  was there a delay in the effects of the Big Niño even without a bunch of convection in the eastern Pac tropics?  Doesn’t seem that could be right…

But, William “Bill” Lau, U of Maryland scientist,  reported some statistical evidence of  such a lag way back in ’88 due to a QBO connection of some kind and ENSO, no physical cause could be discerned, however,  not yet,  anyway.  Lau, 1988, is reprised below for readers who want to go deep:

Annual cycle, QBO, SO on global precip J Geophys Res 1988ocr

Sure has looked like the Big Niño WY we expected last year!

Some recent clouds; after all, this is CLOUD maven, not RAIN maven:

I’ve been kind of holding out on you.  I dropped my camera and busted it.  Its no fun taking pictures when you don’t have a real camera.  Still doesn’t work right, but take these anyway:

March 4th, afternoon. Hope you logged this; the rarely seen CIrrus castellanus (almost "congestus" in size) or, informally, "Cumulo-cirrus."
March 4th, afternoon. Hope you logged this; the rarely seen CIrrus castellanus (almost “congestus” in size) or, informally, “Cumulo-cirrus.”
Poppies are out, btw. Nice display on "Poppy Hils" just across and southwest of the Pima County Pistol Club, off Bowman.
Poppies are out, btw, in case you haven’t noticed. Nice display on “Poppy Hils” just across and southwest of the Pima County Pistol Club, off Bowman.
DSC_2499
March 4th, late afternoon. Nothing terrifically special in this tangle of Cirrus spissatus (“Cis spis” to cloud folk) but I thought it was just a really nice scene

Moving to the next day, Sunday, that REALLY windy day:

March 5, Sunday morning 6:13 AM. Altocumulus lenticularis alerts cloudwise folk to the possibility of windy conditions although it was already windy.
March 5, Sunday morning 6:13 AM. Altocumulus lenticularis alerts cloudwise folk to the possibility of windy conditions although it was already windy.
3:55 PM, March 5th. After a day of solid Altostratus overcast with underlying Cumulus and Stratocumulus, a layer of Altocumulus began to move in to add a little more interest to the sky.
3:55 PM, March 5th. After a day of solid Altostratus overcast with underlying Cumulus and Stratocumulus, a layer of Altocumulus began to move in to add a little more interest to the sky.
3:57 PM. Looking to the north revealed that some of the lower Cumulus/Stratocumulus complexes reached heights where ice could form. That smooth region on the bottom and right side of the cloud is a fall of ice from this cloud with a RW- (text for "light rainshower") if you like to text stuff) right below that. This is not a lot of ice and so you'd be thinking the cloud barely made that ice-forming temperature.
3:57 PM. Looking to the north revealed that some of the lower Cumulus/Stratocumulus complexes reached heights where ice could form. That smooth region on the bottom and right side of the cloud is a fall of ice from this cloud with a RW- (text for “light rainshower”) if you like to text stuff) right below that. This is not a lot of ice and so you’d be thinking the cloud barely made that ice-forming temperature.  CMP doesn’t think it was caused by an ice fallout from that higher layer, which sometimes can happen.  Let’s look at the most timely sounding, just to check.  From the real Cowboys at the University of Wyoming, this:
Ann 2017030600.72274.skewt.parc
The TUS sounding which I only now just saw, showing a vast separation between the lower Stratocumulus and the higher layers of Altocumlus and Altostratus on top. Note, too, that over TUS the tops of the lower cloud is not quite at -10°C the temperature we start to look for ice formation in AZ. However, our clouds were NW of that balloon sounding, and it would have been that tiny bit colder, and tops were also lifted some when they passed over the Tortolitas earlier, meaning that the tops of this complex were colder than -10° C (14° F) at some point.

Wow, too much information….after a hiatus in blogging I feel like that  Oroville Dam in California, metaphorically overflowing with too much hand-waving information.

6:03 PM, March 5. Its still real windy. Line of virga brought a few drops when it passed overhead at 6:30 PM.
6:03 PM, March 5. Its still real windy. Line of virga brought a few drops when it passed overhead at 6:30 PM.
6:04 PM. Nice dramatic shot toward Marana as the backside of the middle cloud layer approached allowing the sun to shine through.
6:04 PM. Nice dramatic shot toward Marana as the backside of the middle cloud layer approached allowing the sun to shine through.
6:09 PM. Virga getting closer. May have to park car outside to make sure I don't miss any drops!
6:09 PM. Virga getting closer. May have to park car outside to make sure I don’t miss any drops!
6:22 PM. SW-NE oriented virga strip about to pass overhead. Drops fell between 6:30 and 6:40 PM, but you had to be outside to notice, which you would have been as a proper CMJ eccentric.
6:22 PM. SW-NE oriented virga strip about to pass overhead. Drops fell between 6:30 and 6:40 PM, but you had to be outside to notice, which you would have been as a proper CMJ eccentric.  You would have WANTED that trace of rain report, maybe slackers would not have observed.
6:30 PM. Climax; the great sunset allowed by that backside clearing.
6:30 PM. Climax; the great sunset allowed by that backside clearing.

The End, at last!

May to continue into November

Sure, there’s a bit cooler weather heading our way in the next few days, but “May” will reappear after that, and people will be complaining again that they evacuated their domiciles in northern climes or high altitude sites too early when they returned to their winter homes in Arizona.  I am hearing a lot of that kind of complaint.

Heat,  devoid of thunderstorms,  is truly tough to take here in AZ.

Unfortunately the little troughs so well predicted to occur in NOAA spaghetti plots at the end of October did not bring any rain, and this next one, which slipped from late October into the first of November, looks like its going to be dry, too.

Damnug.

October will end with but 0.01 inches of rain here in The Heights.  Our average is 1.13 inches (1977-2015).   Last year we had over two inches in October AND November, setting the stage for a good spring wildflower display!  Below, a reminder:

2015-16 monthly water year totals vs average
The light bars are the averages; red bars the observed.

 

But, “hey”, looks like southern New Mexicans will get a lot of rain, so let us be happy for them this coming week, and not sad for ourselves when we read about all the rain THEY are getting so close to us.  Its only right.

But here’s the killer plot, just out from the NOAA spaghetti factory.  I couldn’t believe how bad it was for us.   You, too, I am sure will be frustrated and mad when you see it:

Valid at 5 PM AST November 12, 2016
Valid at 5 PM AST November 12, 2016 for about 18, 000 feet above us.  Notice how the blueish lines pretty much the heart of the jet stream)  are way up there in Canada, and our area is devoid of lines (see yellow line and south of there).  This strongly suggests an  upper level, warm high center or at least a bulge of high pressure aloft will sit on top of us and the adjacent states, maybe some jet flow way down around Mexico way.  This may be one of the worst forecast maps for AZ of all time, considering the time of year.  Warmth,  with desiccated air,  dead ahead right into mid-November after our little, brief cool down this coming week.  Note, too, the indications (blue lines) that a big trough will populate the East,  bringing cold conditions there.

In the meantime , we can rejoice at the bountiful October rains they are having in California.  Some records will fall.   Some stations in the extreme north will approach 30 inches for the month of October by the time the month ends, and many stations south of those, including ones in the Sierra Nevadas will log 10-20 inches for the month.

Outstanding.  But, it needs to continue, not dry up….to take a real bite out of drought.

The End

 

Looking back; your updated Catalina water year and summer rainfall graphs

Let’s face it, for most of the people living in Arizona, their best years are in the rear view mirror,  as are mine  which were probably about 50 years ago…  Following that thought, let us not look ahead to further declines, but rather look back at the last water year for Catalina, ending this past September 30th,  and see what it says, if anything,  about the changing global climate we hear so much about:

Your Catalina water year history, compiled through 2008 by the folks at Our Garden there on Stallion Avenue off of Columbus where great, and fresh organic vegetables can be purchased every Wednesday and Saturday morning. Tell them Art sent you!
Your Catalina water year history, compiled through 2008 by the folks at Our Garden there on N. Stallion Rs.  off of Columbus  Blvd. where you can find  fresh organic vegetables every Wednesday and Saturday morning. Tell them Art sent you! Haha.

Can’t say I see too much going on here in Catalina so far; things seem pretty stable in the precipitation arena for the full water year’s rainfall.

I point out again, with great redundancy since I have pointed this out before,  that the Our Garden climate record started just as a monumental change in circulation patterns occurred.   Most climate scientists would attribute that to a shift as due to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation,  discovered by important scientists I know well, like Mike Wallace1, of the University of Washington Huskies Atmospheric Sciences Department where I worked for about 30 years, but in airborne studies of clouds.

The PDO shift, if that’s what done it, was a circulation pattern change  that brought astoundingly wet conditions to Catalina and the whole Southwest US, wet conditions unlikely to be seen in our remaining lifetimes, which aren’t that much longer anyway.

You may remember that bristle cone pine tree rings in California, analyzed by Haston and Michaelson in 1994,  found only one period in the last 600 years (!) that was as wet as the late 1970s into the 1980s there (certainly spilling into AZ).

Remember how the Great Salt Lake was filling up to record levels back in the 1980s?

And any long term resident here, like the ones that I have spoken to, will tell you about the days of yore when the washes around here were running all year.

Well, that wasn’t the norm. sadly.  They were just so lucky to have seen that era.

In weather, what goes around, comes around.  Count on it happening again at some point in the future IMO.  (Some climate changers might disagree with this assertion.)

How about our summer rainfall, June through September.  Well, here’s that graph, updated through this past summer!  Hope you like it:

Catalina Summer Rain, June through SeptemberNot much going on here, either.

Yesterday’s clouds–another day, another rainbow, of course.

Sprinkles of rain occurred off and on all day yesterday, but couldn’t muster even one hundredth of an inch of rain!  With a few exceptions, the clouds producing the rain weren’t too deep, though still icy ones, and pretty high off the ground, mostly above 8,000 to 9.000 feet above us, which doesn’t help.

First, a  rainbow shot:

4:20 PM. Maybe, following the example of the University of Hawaii (Rainbow Wahini), the Banner University of Arizona should call themselves the Rainbow Wildcats...
4:20 PM. Looking north toward the Charouleau Gap (on the right).  We have so many rainbows in Arizona, maybe, following the example of the University of Hawaii (Rainbow Wahini), the Banner University of Arizona sports teams should call themselves the “Rainbow Wildcats”…
4:42 PM. Here's a problem for a great shaft of rain, sloping tops of Cumulonimbus clouds. Don't see any shaft here, just rain. When tops slope like this, it indicates the updraft isn't very strong and the ice in the cloud is going to collect little in the way of "supercooled" cloud droplets, that would stick to the ice, eventually making it a graupel or soft hail particle, the kind of thing that our vertical shafts are largely comprised of aloft. Slopey tops mean not a lot of growth of the precip, more "stratiform" like rain with fewer is any pulses of big drops.
4:42 PM. Here’s a problem for a great shaft of rain, sloping tops of Cumulonimbus clouds. Don’t see any shaft here, just rain. When tops slope like this, it indicates the updraft isn’t very strong and the ice in the cloud is going to collect very little in the way of “supercooled” cloud droplets because the ice that forms is ejecting downstream from where the greatest growth would occur due to collecting cloud droplets, ones that would stick to the ice crystal, eventually making it a graupel or soft hail particle, the kind of thing that our vertical shafts are largely comprised of aloft.   Slopey tops mean not a lot of growth of the precip, more “stratiform” like rain with fewer is any pulses of big drops.
5:31 PM. Of course, still another rainbow. Notice how the colors are not as vibrant as some rainbows. This would indicate the concentrations of drops are less, and smaller than in the bright ones. So, not a lotta rain falling over there.
5:31 PM. Of course, still another rainbow. Notice how the colors are not as vibrant as some rainbows. This would indicate the concentrations of drops are less, and smaller than in the bright ones. So, not a lotta rain falling over there.
3:50 PM. Now here's a shaft with a real top, a pretty vertical one above it. There were a couple of these. Once again the spaces between the shafts lined up to pass over Catalina, rather than the shafts. The Tortolita Mountains got most of this one. I love these scenes, though, so many times resulting in disappointments.
3:50 PM. Now here’s a shaft with a real top, a pretty vertical one above it. There were a couple of these. Once again the spaces between the shafts lined up to pass over Catalina, rather than the shafts. The Tortolita Mountains got most of this one. I love these scenes, the backlighting, though, so many times they have resulted in disappointments.
4:01 PM. The "Torts" cleaning up with a decent rain as that complex passed over them.
4:01 PM. The “Torts” cleaning up with a decent rain as that complex passed over them.
5:19 PM. But even with a rain disappointment, we get to see these scenes here in The Heights over and over, again and again, to add to redundancy, We are so lucky!
5:19 PM. But even with a rain disappointment, we get to see these scenes here in The Heights over and over, again and again, to add to redundancy, We are so lucky!  The cloud line above the mountains would be Stratocumulus.
5:21 PM. Here crepuscular rays of sunlight produced by falling light rain diverge from the sun's position. Light from an "infinite" source is supposed to be parallel at great distances. This seems to prove that our reality, as is sometimes suggested by philosophers, is not what we perceive with our brains, and the sun is much closer to us and much smaller than generally believed by astronomers...
5:21 PM. Here crepuscular rays of sunlight produced by falling light rain diverge from the sun’s position. Light from an “infinite” source is supposed to be parallel at great distances. This seems to prove that our reality, as is sometimes suggested by philosophers, is not what we perceive with our tiny human brains.  These diverging rays demonstrate  that the sun is much closer to the earth and much smaller than generally believed by astronomers…  The true reality of life and the universe are sometimes  right in front of us.
5:37 PM. By this time, the crepuscular rays and the existential questions they raised were gone and reality was back to normal. Here a pretty good Cumulonimbus with a pretty vertical top and big shaft heads in the general direction of Catalina, once again raising hopes for measurable rain.
5:37 PM. By this time, the crepuscular rays and the existential questions they raised were gone and our perceived reality  back to normal.   Here a pretty good Cumulonimbus with a pretty vertical top and big shaft heads in the general direction of Catalina, once again raising hopes for measurable rain.  Instead, it faded to sprinkles and our total rain from them was only a trace.

The End

—————–

1Well, actually we said “hi” in the halls once in awhile, I gave a talk in his class once, and, along with a bunch of Atmos Sci faculty, got to watch the 1992 New Year’s Day Rose Bowl mash down of Michigan for the Washington’s 1991 NCAA Division I fubball championship at his house.   He also mediated an authorship kerfluffle between Peter Hobbs and me.

 

Quarter incher (updated; then updated some more with clickable images! You can read stuff now!)

Its not a McDonald’s product, but rather a reference to yesterday’s rain total here in the Sutherland Heights, but maybe there will be some extra blog  “drive bys” of people looking to order a small meal…

Yesterday’s 0.26 inches was only the second day in 39 years that measurable rain has fallen on June 10th (normally reported the following day, today,  at 7 AM 1 novella-sized ).  Rain mainly fell in Sutherland Heights and to the north in this first episode, and later to the southwest through west of us as a big cell came in after 4 PM from the south sporting a huge anvil.

Measurable rain of at least a mm (0.04 inches),  enough to trip the ALERT gauge bucket, did not even fall on the CDO Bridge at Lago, while 1.02 inches fell 1.5 mi west of Charouleau Gap (Cherry Spring ALERT gauge) yesterday.  Nice.

Continuing with interesting information….

The day of this blog was Saturday,  June 11th.

In the past 39  Junes, it has not rained in Catalina on this day.  Check it out with this updated rain occurrences chart with generalities on it, ones that don’t always apply:

The Banner University of Arizona's Weather Department computer model foretells rain in Catlaina beginning just after noon today. If that happens, and I think it will, we will all experience a very rare event! I am really happy for you!
The Banner University of Arizona’s Weather Department computer model foretells rain in Catalina beginning just after noon today. If that happens, and I think it will, we will all experience a very rare event! I am really happy for you!

 

Yesterday’s clouds (which is now a few days ago, June 10th actually)

DSC_4323
12:00 PM. This was an exciting shot for us since it shows that the mid-and upper portions of the Cumulonimbus clouds that are going to form over the Catalinas a bit later, are going to eject out rapidly toward Catalina. Some good rains here can happen in this situation, though not the heaviest ones since those have to fall through the whole body of the cloud rather than from well above the base since evaporation will take a toll on those falling drops once outside the cloud.
12:24 PM. Another cloud builds explosively upward from Mt. Lemmon. Will this one rain?
12:24 PM. Another cloud builds explosively upward from Mt. Lemmon. Will this one rain?
DSC_4327
12:23 PM. Top of a weak Cumulonimbus passes directly over Sutherland Heights. A light rain shower is falling from the most distant part where ice formed. The ice was forming as the top went over us, and so the precip fell out after it had gone by, pretty unusual. This was partly because this top had not gotten as high as the one forming over us and downstream from Mt. Lemmon as this photo was taken. Sometimes we get pretty good rain in Catalina from clouds whose mid and upper portions eject out over us from Mt. Lemmon.
DSC_4330
12:24 PM. A glaciated portion of the Cumulonimbus top peaks out. No rain was evident from this cloud on top of Mt. Lemmon and whose top passed right over Sutherland Heights. Can you find it? If not, see zoom of this view next.
DSC_4331
12:24 PM. An clearly glaciated portion of the top of the Cumulonimbus cloud sitting on Ms. Mt. Sara Lemmon. Pretty exciting to see for us since no shaft was visible at this time, and only the tiniest radar echo was present since the radar was in between sweeps of our area.
1:05 PM. Rain spreads downwind from Samaniego Ridge and is now falling in Sutherland Heights.
1:05 PM. Rain spreads downwind from Samaniego Ridge and is now falling in Sutherland Heights.
DSC_4333
12:34 PM. Shaft emerges from Cumulonimbus base onto Samaniego Ridge. Ice aloft was seen before this happened.
DSC_4365
7:28 PM. Sun elongates toward the horizon as it sets.
DSC_4372
7:50 PM. Looked promising as this TSTM moved toward Catalinaland but faded before it got here.

 

 

 

——————————————

1Mr. Cloud Maven Person was so excited he forgot that the rain that fell on June 10th will be reported on June 11th.  By convention, the 0.26 inches which fell on the 10th, will be reported as though it had fallen on the 11th.  That’s because it will be the 24 h total ENDING at 7 AM local standard time, the time when most obs are recorded these days.

“These days”?

Yep.  It used to be the most stations, except those having recording gauges as here, as here, which can partition the rain by the exact 24 h it fell in, reported their precip in the late afternoon, 4-6 PM local standard time.   The shift requested shift for cooperative observers like me occurred in I don’t when, maybe 20 years ago.

This shift had an important impact on climate since reading your thermometer, say, at 5 PM in a heat wave, might mean the highest temperature for the following 24 h was almost the same temperature as you had on your prior observational day even if a cold front came through a few hours later on that day and the high temperature on the following day was cold as heck,  the high temperature actually 30 degrees lower.  But the thermometer you reset at 5 PM the prior day will be immersed in those higher temperatures right after you made that ob.  So, when a crazy thing could happen.  The actual high temperature the following day could be 52 F, but the reset thermometer might have 81 F as the high for the whole 24 h following the official ob time.  Got it?  It is confusing, and something that causes headaches in climate studies.

Now, it is thought that the shift to 7 AM obs could lead to a slight amount of cooling since that same effect could happen during a cold spell.  The low temperature of a cold, cold morning might carry over as the coldest temperature for the next 24 h day even if that next day was far warmer.  Glad I’m not too interested in temperature, but rather clouds!   Temperature is too hard, as Homer Simpson might say.

As you can deduce or not, the problem is that cooperative observers only read their instruments once a day as a rule, and the high and low temperatures for a day are averaged to get the average temperature for the whole day.  Its the best we can do since cooperative observers for the National Weather Service are unpaid volunteers, which is redundant.

However, the cooperative observer network for climate data in the US is in collapse these days; not enough money to keep it up and so if you were to check the government publication, “Climatological Data”, mostly comprised of cooperative observations with a sprinkling of official National Weather Service ones, you would find lots and lots of missing reports.  No one seems to care a lot about climate obs these days, though there is a mighty interest in climate models!

Well, we’ve gotten off into quite an informative  harangue here…..

 

2015-16 water year, Oct-Sep, off to good start in Catalinaland

2.83 inches of rain fell in October in Sutherland Heights, Catalina, Arizona, a little more than twice normal for here (based on Our Garden’s record dating back to 1977).    Our Garden is located off Columbus and Stallion here in Catalina, some 2 mi and a bit lower than this site.

The greatest Oct rain at Our Garden or here?

The year was 1983, of course, with 5.61 inches, for perspective.  Nearly all of that fell in the first four days!

Will November continue the above normal rainfall here?

Nope1.

The End

————-

1Wanted to be particularly decisive today.  As a matter of fact, women love decisive men,  FYI, to spice up the blog with some life knowledge outside of clouds and weather, besides this being a cheap trick to attract more readers of gender.

———

Huh?  New thought.  Advice columns have millions of readers!  A cloud blog like this one, 2.  Wonder if I could do advice, to help people live better?  Oh, here’s one that’s just come in:

“Dear CMP:  I want to cut my long hair because I LOVE the convenience of having short hair, but my boyfriend won’t let me. What should I do? Gale.

Dear Gale.  Your boyfriend is right.  No woman should have short hair.  Best of luck, CMP.”

Gosh, that was pretty easy…   I think I could do it!

——-

COntinuing WEATHER discussion….

Sure, we got us Big Niño now,   but they don’t have much effect in November unless some  TS2 comes up from Mexico way.   Niñoes effect more of the later winter and spring, as a rule.

1addendumLong period of “troughiness” is still in the works for the first half of November, but the amplitudes of the troughs will not be great enough to give us much in precip.  Remember,  gotta have the jet stream in the middle levels (i.e., at 500 millybars pressure, 18 kft or so) over us or south of us this time of the year  to get precip.   About 95% of our rain in the cool half of the year has to meet that criteria.  Therefore, it  takes high amplitude trough with the jet stream in the middle levels of the atmo curling around us to bring us rain.

Now wind, we’ll have lots of that from time to time as those troughs go by.

2 “TS”–not in the colloquial sense of the expression, but  rather in the tropical sense.  Well, I guess if it was a HUGE TS that came up, the colloquial sense might be OK…

Some recent Catalina water year data

WY 2014-15 WY 2013-14 WY 2012-13

The last data point is for 2014-15.  These data are an amalgam of the Our Garden site on Pinto and Columbus, from the top of Wilds Road, and the last two years from Sutherland Heights.
The last data point is for 2014-15. These data are an amalgam of the Our Garden site on Pinto and Columbus, from the top of Wilds Road, and the last two years from Sutherland Heights.

OOPS. I was listening to a Southwest CLIMAS podcast, originating at the U of AZ,  and realized I missed in the above graph  what can only be termed an “ineffectual Niño” that which occurred in 1986-88 and did not produce a precipitation “signal” here.  How lame was that?

So, while we are excited about the prospects of extra rain this winter due to the current, supersized El Niño, like all things weather, some doubt must be in place.

Rather than hiding the omission of the “ineffectual El Niño” period, I am inserting the corrected water year history plot here with slightly revised annotation so you can compare them both.Corrected Catalina WY history

Catalina cool season precip through 2015

Catalina summer rainfall through 2015These data are mostly from Our Garden, 1977-78 through 2011-12, located at Columbus and Stallion.  The data after that are from Sutherland Heights, Catalina, some 2 mi or so to the SE of that site, and about 300 feet higher in elevation. So there is a bit of what we would call a “heterogeneity” in the data.

The downward trend is  misleading, since the Our Garden record began with extremely wet water years,  due to a combination of a shift in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation that occurred in 1977-78 (a shift that squelched the then record West Coast drought)  and a Niño or two.

That kind of downward trend shown for Catalina in cool season precip does not show up in the Statewide averages for the whole year, anyway, shown below.

Those annual data show the usual oscillations between drier and wetter epochs in Arizona.  In the plot below, you can see that had the Catalina record started in 1950 or so, there would likely be little in the way of a trend since so many of those years were drier than average.  You can also see the effect of the PDO change in the late 1970s where year after year was above for the State of Arizona as a whole.

The annual (Jan-Dec) state averaged rainfall for Arizona through 2014.
The annual (Jan-Dec) state averaged rainfall for Arizona through 2014.

The weather  ahead

Rain, tropical skywater,  still appears headed our way around the 4-6th of October.

The End