Huh, Sounds familiar. Well, 50 shades of gray is a theme here at cloud-maven.com. Those various shades brought 0.02 inches of rain this morning to The Heights. Here are yesterday’s 50 shades:
This Altostratus invasion covered the sky within about 15 minutes, and that was it for sun, except some “filtered sun” at times (when this layer is called Altostratus translucidus (the sun’s position can be seen). Its an all ice or mostly ice cloud.
The weather ahead
Pretty much a sure-thing rain (we, unprofessionally forecast at least a 90-100% chance of measurable rain then) will move in late on the 16th or on the 17th. Should be a significant, vegetation-boosting rain, too–by that I mean at least a quarter of an inch–unlike this rain this morning. It looks,. too, like a second rain might move in a day or two after that one. Quite strong support in the ensembles (“spaghetti plots”) for that to happen, too. How great would that be? Very great, of course.
After that, the models are showing even more troughs affecting AZ, but the ensembles aren’t sure about it. Neither am I (CMP).
One branch of a seemingly bifurcated plume, spread north along the side of Samaniego Ridge. The other branch appeared to moved out of Tucson to Continental Ranch, “thence” northward toward the east side of the Tortolita Mountains. It’s happened before, but is pretty rare, maybe once a year occurrence.
(Took an hour for these first three jpegs to be uploaded to WP, btw.)
Quitting here due to slower than dial-up service, hosting service, “godaddy” has confirmed its not them….
0.22 inches was, indeed. how much rain fell in the form of drops from Nimbostratus clouds yesterday as a modest little rain band generated by a rapidly moving trough swept through during the afternoon. Regional precip values can be found here. Our local area got the most, up to about a quarter of an inch, as often happens in marginal storms.
Yesterday’s storm marked the beginning of the new, more normal weather regime for southern Arizona, as has been blabbed about here in recent weeks. No more week after week of droughty weather with temperature far above normal, the kind of weather that has marked this whole fall and winter so far! I. e., “Thank you very much, a snowbird might say, but get the hell out!”, the rest of us might conjure up, thinking about the needs of our desert’s wildlife and vegetation.
Indications are now that below normal temperatures and above normal precip are ahead for us and all of Arizona in late Jan and early February.
The evidence for these claims?
Below, the stunning, jaw-dropping evidence for this seemingly outlandish assertion in the form of an ensemble (spaghetti) plot generated by NOAA last night. I have followed these charts for almost ten years now, and I cannot remember when such a strong signal (clustering of flow lines) 15 days out has occurred before in our region.
So, excessively excited this morning when I saw it! Its been annotated with excitement text.
This troughy pattern begins to take place on January 30th. Until then, a strong but dry cold front with a lot of wind comes by in a few days, on the 25-26th.
The whole interesting, if excessively gray story is shown below:
The weather way ahead
The title sums up where we are now. Will we go have more rain? Oh, yeah. But not right away, as you already know.
What an amazing and “productive” little rainband that was just after midnight! And more rain is likely with weaker bands just upwind here at 4 AM. Could we really approach an inch? Amazing. Didn’t seem possible in this small mind that we could amass that much. For a full regional rain table, go here to the ALERT gauge records.
Now, after this ends, a long dry spell has to be endured, at least until around the 20th of Jan, at which time we hope the troughs and rain threats at least, will begin to barge in every few days, namely, and pattern more typical of winter sets in.
The weather ahead
After the last drops fall today, we’ll suffer through another dry spell and warm up though about the 20th when a major trough passes by.
Oops…. Have cameras ready for a great day of cloud shots once the sun breaks through.
I was thinking how great yesterday was for you. Started out with a spectacular sunrise (lasted just a couple of minutes), and then you could watch for pretty much the WHOLE day, orographically-formed Altocumulus opacus and castellanus transition to ice crystal clouds (in this case, Altostratus with virga and some mammatus) right before your eyes!
After sunrise….this odd scene below of an extended Altocu lenticular cloud:
I first noticed the craft as I was driving up Golder Ranch Drive. At first I thought it was just an Altocumulus lenticularis… Really didn’t think that much about it. We seem them over there all the time.
But it was unusually smooth, I thought, and had a slightly humped up portion on the top I could see after I zoomed in on it. Could it be a cloaked alien space vehicle? Time would tell.
A lenticular expands and contracts while hovering over the same spot. This can go on for hours! But, as you will see, over the next 20 minutes, this cloud, or “craft” did not change in any way, clearly evidence of a cloaked space vehicle! Way too smooth to be a real cloud!
Since it didn’t seem to be doing anything, maybe just spying on me and us as do virtually all institutional entities these days, I lost interest in it and continued doing yard work….
Later, completely different looking clouds came over, Altocumulus tending toward castellanus variety…making the early afternoon smooth-looking cloud more anomalous.
PS: It been said that the UFO craze began with an Altocumulus lenticular cloud in the lee of Mt Rainier in the late 1940s. Why not see if we can start a new craze right here in Catalina? Been abducted lately?
We’re often confused with the California island, Catalina, and even places in Spain. Google “Catalina” and see if I am lying again. Oh, maybe that was Catalonia, SP…
Nevertheless, isn’t it time to think about a new name for our “Census Designated Place”, Catalina? In fact, at one time, each Catalina island and our Catalina, each had a marina to further confuse things by adding superficial similarities….
Think about it.
Some sunrise scenes among too many available to the writer from his camera card:
Now, for sunset color:
As you may know, there is some violent weather hitting the West Coast, California in particular. Let’s see what the Reno office of the NWS has to say about the incoming storm:
“…BLIZZARD WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 AM PST WEDNESDAY…
...WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 10 AM WEDNESDAY TO 4 AM
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN RENO HAS ISSUED A BLIZZARD
WARNING, WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 AM PST WEDNESDAY. THE WINTER
STORM WARNING IS NOW IN EFFECT FROM 10 AM WEDNESDAY TO 4 AM PST
* TIMING: DANGEROUS BLIZZARD CONDITIONS DUE TO HEAVY SNOW AND
STRONG WINDS WILL CONTINUE TODAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY MORNING.
PERIODS OF MODERATE TO HEAVY SNOW WILL CONTINUE THROUGH
SNOW ACCUMULATIONS THROUGH THURSDAY MORNING: 5 TO 10 FEET ABOVE 7000 FEET WITH 3 TO 7 FEET AT LAKE TAHOE LEVEL.(Note: The large font size, the capitalization, suggest, as we know, that the writer is screaming, which I am.)
* WINDS: SOUTHWEST 20 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 60 MPH THROUGH
WEDNESDAY MORNING. SIERRA RIDGE GUSTS OVER 100 MPH.
* SNOW LEVELS: BELOW LAKE LEVEL...MAY BRIEFLY RISE TO 6500 FEET
THIS AFTERNOON BEFORE FALLING AGAIN.
* IMPACTS: DANGEROUS LIFE THREATENING BLIZZARD CONDITIONS WITH
NEAR ZERO VISIBILITY WILL EXIST FOR TRAVEL AND OUTDOOR
ACTIVITIES WITH HEAVY SNOW ACCUMULATION ON ALL SIERRA ROADS.
THIS IS A LIFE THREATENING SITUATION. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO TRAVEL!
ROAD CREWS AND FIRST RESPONDERS MAY NOT BE ABLE TO RESCUE YOU.
STAY INDOORS UNTIL THE SNOW AND WIND SUBSIDE. EVEN A SHORT WALK
COULD BE DEADLY IF YOU BECOME DISORIENTED1."
As we know, extremely heavy snows in the Sierras can trigger cannabalism, It is our sincere wish that those affected by this severe storm curb his or her appetite for humans, i.e, that cannibalism does not break out in the Reno-Tahoe area, or ANYWHERE (capitalization for emphasis) in the Sierras during this terrible storm or its aftermath.
————————– 1Thanks to Prof. (emeritus) Roger Pielke, Sr., Colo State, for passing this warning along. His son, a great scientist as well, btw, has the exact same name, and that’s why THIS Roger goes by “senior.” Thought you’d like to know that.
As the morning wore on, the Altocumulus deck faded away, moving east, and we were left with some Cirrus clouds, but what kind?
Well, that was it for photography yesterday.
Doesn’t seem to be any reliable indication of rain in sight. Oh, sure, rain here pops up in the models almost every day, but its about 12-15 days out. As the model gets closer to the day it predicted rain, it seems to go away like the “water mirage” on a hot paved road; always ahead of you, but you never get to it. We’ve had some major rains indicated in the models as of a few days ago, but spaghetti was never very high on those events (clustering those crazy lines in a trough over us), so it wasn’t even worth mentioning.
Not much else to talk about, no rain of course; what is that?
But with so many colorful scenes yesterday, we can be partially sated by the lives we lead here sans rain here. October ended with a puny 0.01 inches in Sutherland Heights.
Now, because I grew up in California and remain a little Cal-centric, this brief diversion from AZ:
But droughty Cal got nailed though, from about San Luis Obispo, so we can be happy about that I guess. One station, Gasquet RS, near the Duck border, got just under 28 inches in October; stations in the Santa Cruz Mountains, way down by Monterrey, got between 14-17 inches! From the California-Nevada River Forecast Center, this nice map of October rainfall anomalies in that domain. Red is real dry, and that’s the color we would be in if it was the California-Nevada-Arizona River Forecast Center:
But let us not dwell any more of generous rains that others got, but celebrate the color and clouds of Arizona. Here are yesterday’s glorious scenes, beginning with a spectacular Altocumulus lenticularis under some Cirrus at dawn:
Now, just some nice lighting and color:
In a further celebration of dryness here, let us examine the rainfall cumulative rainfall predictions calculated by the University of Arizona’s Dept Hydro and Atmos Sci computer the period ending at Midnight on November 5th. Says the coming rain in the State misses us here in SE AZ while falling just about everywhere else, of course. Dang. Let’s hope it one of the worst model predictions ever!
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: