This September 8-10 model-projected Arizona deluge caused by a dying tropical storm? Then followed by four more days of rain around here?
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:
Now 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.
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.
Partly its because I can’t think of anything else, brain pretty empty, but check this out:
Measurable rain to fall in the Sutherland Heights, Catalina, in May 2016!
OK, got that “scoop” out…. Here’s the link to NOAA from whence the above map came.
BTW, here’s what a split flow storm looks like as it comes into southern Cal. Man, if it was January or Feb, this would be a real gully washer, a “get the sandbags out” kind of storm. I love this map so much!
Now a little more on these kinds of crazy ensemble maps (“Lorenz”, as named here, or more known more generally as “spaghetti” plots)
This kind of map was telling us we had rain threats at this time in April and at the end of the month some 10-15 days in advance, so far in advance that media weather folk would likely consider it unprofessional to make such a prediction so far in advance. Since we’re not worried about being unprofessional here, we have leapt into the void! Just go ahead and say things! Get the story out now!
Today a strong upper level trough with precip in the mountains of central and northern AZ will indeed be occurring today and tomorrow as was indicated by those crazy maps so long ago. The hoped for rain here will not occur.
However, the storm near the end of the month, also indicated way back then, looks even stronger than the present one, and it will reach farther south than today’s, and so will not only bring some rain and very cool air to the central and northern AZ mountains, but likely around us, too!
In the meantime, step aside; a cold front is upon us, a dry one, unfortunately. Should arrive by noon, bringing some small Cu here and there, some Stratocu piling up against the Catalinas, and maybe some lingering Altocumulus lenticular clouds which we got right now (4 AM) downwind of the Catalinas.
Barometer will rise, too, as the cooler, denser air piles on top of it. There’ll likely be a brief windshift to the NW, followed by backing to the SW again.
Over the next couple of days, the deep cold air in the interior of a lingering, massive trough will settle over us, dry up top, but enough moisture in the lower layers below to produce eventually deeper Cumulus, though not today, ones likely to reach up to the “glaciation” level, which will be close to -12° C to -15° C in this situation beginning later tomorrow through the April 1st. The bases of the clouds will be near the freezing level.
Glaciation means that ice will form in those Cumulus clouds, and some (snow) virga will drop out the bottom. So, some snow showers or just light rain showers are likely on the Catalinas, maybe a trace or hundredth here, too, beginning later tomorrow through April 1st.
Should be some really pretty deep blue skies, too, cloud shadows producing quilt-like patterns on the mountains, that sort of thing we are so lucky to enjoy here.
As you know, this end of month March “lion” (at least in wind, anyway) was long foretold in the NOAA spaghetti. Remember how we could laugh at model outputs that didn’t have a big trough here at the end of the month?
But now we wait and see if we can drain a cloud or two of a hundredth. Overall rain chances not looking so “strong” now out of this whole several day situation. Dang.
Clouds will be around today, especially after the cold front goes by, but its unlikely they’ll have anything drop out the bottom.
“2warm4ice”, to be that bit textual.
Model says today’s cloud tops won’t reach -10° Ç, our magic temperature where we can usually start to thinking about ice forming in AZ clouds, those with our usual cool bottoms.
Of course, if you’re really sophisticated, you know that the temperature at which onsets in “continental” Cumulus clouds like we have here in old Arizony, is related to cloud base temperature:
The warmer the cloud bottom, the higher the onset temperature for ice1, “strangely believe it”, as we like to say here after Jimmy Hatlo the cartooonist thought of it first when he was making fun of RIpley’s “Believe It Or Not.”
Now onto the forecasting frontier, forecasting weather patterns way ahead, to far in advance and too specific to be truly professional
Let’s start with something easy. Its gonna warm up real good after this big trough goes by– see spaghetti below, where a big ridge moves over us for a couple of days. It won’t last.
Finally, at the extreme end of the medium range forecasting frontier, this:
Hence, the conclusion that we share that April, will in fact, have measurable rain. Of course, we only average about half an inch in April, as the overall climatology begins a serious a battle against rain heading into the ovenly days of May and June.
1The old English cloud scientist, Frank Ludlow (1952, Quart J. Roy. (haha, “Royal”, oh my) Meteor. Soc.) noticed this first, then that great Soviet Communist cloud scientist, A. M. Borovikov and his companions did (1961, Israeli Translations). Finally, Rangno and Hobbs woke up and noticed this tendency in 1988, (Atmos. Res.) and then again in 1995 (J. Appl. Meteor.–you’ll have to go quite a ways to find the relevant diagram) in their cloud studies and in comparisons with other ice onset reports.
Imagine, rain! Yep, that’s right. You heard it first here, right or wrong, as we like to say, over and over again because we can’t think of anything else.
After a couple of minutes of intense scrutiny, cloud maven person has decided to wake up and go blogulent that the computer prog showing a huge upper trough over the SW in 13-15 days, March 29-32nd is accurate. Will be cold, too. Little crybaby snow birds might be heading back to Wisconsin or Michigan when this cold spell hits. Just kidding, flat landers! (Actually, they’ll be leaving us due to being little crybabies when the temperature hits the 90s-100s every day, temperatures we true Arizonans laugh at.)
Adding to the pile of “credibility” here is that this March came in like a “lamb” I think. Has to go out as a “lion.” Or so the saying goes. Science and folk lore, that’s what you get here.
Here’s the actual computer forecast of the trough from last evening’s global data as rendered by IPS MeteoStar:
Pretty exciting isn’t it, jet stream way to the south like that?
And this after our too-long-dry-spell pretty much since the first week in January, the dry spell associated with the strong “El-None-yo”, to be sarcastic after ALL the high expectations for copious rains, the incredible wildflower bloom that would be our pleasure to experience this spring following the pounding rains due to the Big Niño meteorologists and media got so excited about.
But, no. Moving ahead after draining some emotion…. Thanks for listening.
So’s why CMP going out of what seems to be a long, thin limb here, that other forecasters are afraid of doing, that is forecasting with confidence something so far in advance?
Well, of course its because we got us a pretty darn strong signal again in the NOAA “Lorenz” or spaghetti or “ensemble” plots, where errors1 are deliberately put in the data to see how wildly the outcomes vary. If the outputs don’t vary a lot, then confidence can be high about a forecast. “Varying” is seen in how wildly the lines (contours) on these plots are. Below, an example where there’s not a lot of confidence….
(Below we discuss, in contrast, the one from last evening and how we used one of these crazy plots before):
Rememeber, first, how to spell “remember”, and then that’s how we knew for sure a big trough would be over us even 10-two weeks ahead back whenever it was when we got a little rain and it was damn cold for a few days this March.
Since this forecast of a good chance of rain late in the month is likely to be quite accurate, there’ll be no need to update you after today.
The MAIN thing to remember, in a teaching moment, is to not be afraid when a model run comes out with something vastly different than what I just wrote about 5 minutes after I posted this, to wit, this VASTLY different model output based on data just 6 h after the model outputs above. I laughed at it, since spaghetti rules, not a single model output. That’s the teachable moment, I think.
1 Hahah, as though we don’t make enough of them when we vote and stuff; remember that saying about why there’s an eraser on the top of a pencil? Very profound. And, “hey” look at the state of this planet? We need an awfully big “eraser” these days.
People were wearing jackets as temperatures got locked down below 80° F the past few days, the wind blew once in a while, sometime lifting baseball caps off “gray hairs”, and gray skies hovered over Sutherland Heights for TWO and a half days!
A surprise, few-minute gusher in the early afternoon yesterday was enough to tip the old Davis tipping bucket rain gauge once1, too, to add another 0.02 inches to the 0.08 inches we were drenched with the night before.
What’s ahead. I dunno.
Really thought THIS storm was gonna be a doozie here, not in Mexico as it is now, for Pete’s Sake. Some weeks ago it was read by my reader (s?) here that we had only a 10% chance of LESS than 0.20 inches. In fact, we had a 100% chance of 0.10 inches.
I did not see that coming. But at least March 2016 has recorded SOME rain. Some insects benefited I’m sure.
Climate folks (Climate Prediction Center) are still predicting a wet March-May for us, at least as of mid-Feb. Unfortunately, its only a little more than two inches that makes that three month period wetter than normal here in Catalinaland as we begin to dry out, and heat up.
Time for another, “I love this map so much”, so fully packed with portent:
Frankly, now as the jet stream in the northern hemisphere goes to HELL in the spring, the “Lorenz plots” or “spaghetti” are pretty clueless. As an example of “clueless” look at the spaghetti plot that goes with the map above:
Bottom line: NO rain days ahead, maybe a close call over the next TWO friggin’ weeks. Expect to see 90s on a day or two, as well. “Dang”, as we say in the Great Southwest.
Some clouds of yore, including yesterday.
As a cloud maven junior person, you should compare the shots below and try to chronologically unscramble them using your photos. Also, I would like you to name these clouds. Please keep your answers to yourself. hahaha (ACtually I am being lazy and just threw these in “willy-nilly” (huh, what’s that from? Will have to look it up some day.)
Am working on a true science story-book talk, something I wanted to write up before “tipping the bucket” as we meteorologists say about death. Its kindle-sized, maybe would take 3 h to present if it was an actual talk, having more than 250 ppt slide-pages! I won’t be at the TUS book fair, however, this year….
1FYI, when a meteorologist dies, we meteorologists say that he has “tipped the bucket”, NOT “kicked the bucket.” Its an especially reverent phrase for us.
Looks like it will be on March 7th. Pretty sure thing at this point, maybe 75%-99% chance of rain here in Catalina, combining “spaghetti1” with other forms of forecasting.
7 AM AST Addendum: Hell, why not go for some amounts due to extra confidence:
Min in The Heights: 0.20 inches (10% chance of less); max, 1.00 inches (10% chance of more). The average of these “mental ensemble2” extrema, 0.60 inches, which is usually closer to the actual value.
This best guess estimate for the total between midnight March 7th and the evening of the 8th, or over about a 42 h period. Weather gaming is fun.
What’s your prediction?
—————-T. I. P.————————————
Remember, too, as a “truth in packaging” disclosure statement, that this forecast is being made by the SAME person who forecast about 12 days ago or so, rain here in the last week of February which didn’t happen, along with large Cal and AZ blasting storms in early March.
In fact, here and in southern Cal, we had “anti-rain” in the last week of February! This in the form of high temperatures, dry air, and that combination resulting in unusually high evapotranspiration rates with those high temperatures (anti-rain, since whatever surface water, soil moisture, plant moisture is disappearing into the air). In other words, that forecast could hardly have been more incorrect.
Hell, to cuss some more, almost as bad as those forecasts for a drier than normal winter (DJF) for the Pac NW by big forecasting authorities like the Oregon State Climatologist among many others.
In fact, when they were making those forecasts, they were staring at record wetness in the Pac NW! Incredible! Both SEA and PDX have set DJF records for the amount of rain this winter! Wow. It doesn’t get much worse than that, except maybe here sometimes.
People are mad, too, in southern Cal where they were advised to buy sandbags due to the excessive flooding and rains foretold for their winter. Well, we’ll see if March can bring back some of the lost credibility, though, frankly, its hard to do.
Think of all those global warming forecasts of a steady rise in global temps made back in the early part of this century which didn’t happen. Wow. Lost some credibility there, and those forecasters had to move to a new expression, “climate change” to cover up the bad forecast.
Temps on the rise now, so watch out! “Global warming” rising from the ashes more and more now, too.
Changing the subject quickly, the Washington Huskies softball team had a pretty great weekend at the Mary Nutter Classic Tournament in Cathedral City, CA, where it was real hot (90 F), too. The University of Washington was the writer’s former employer.
Whistling here: where are you Niño? Com’ere! Hmmmph, nice name for a dog I think, which is what it has been so far for the Southwest.
1 Formally, called “Lorenz plots” by yours truly, and should be by others.
I dropped everything I was working on, a kindle-sized science piece, after I saw what is being presented to us today. Wanted to generate some happiness out there; its just who I am, except maybe when I am talking about cloud seeding. Then I get mad about all the shenanigans that have happened in that field, and I want you to be mad, too. (Kidding, sort of).
Check this out in the annotated spaghetti if you don’t believe me:
Next, look at this behemoth, Mothra-sized jet street, oozing into the southern portion of the West Coast, the kind of thing we’ve been waiting for with the Godzilla-sized Niño, to allude to more monster movies, ones you probably went to, as a matter of fact. From IPS MeteoStar, these delicious progs valid in about two weeks:
Now let us recalll that the models had almost exactly these kinds of forecasts back in early January, as Catalinans enjoyed some beneficial rains associated with storms looking like those expected with Niño winters.
Recall, too, that in an overzealous blog, your cloud maven person announced the destruction of California in a couple of weeks due to those incredible progs; “FEMA get ready!” Homes to fall in ocean, couple feet to foot and a half of rain in the last two weeks or so alone. Well, there was only a little less than two feet of rain in that predicted time, and it was WAY up in the northern fringes of Cal. Homes, are falling into the ocean, though, due to the big surf that’s been occurring with big storms, too far off to make it rain much in Cal south of Frisco, though. Still going on, too.
Now about what’s ahead, way ahead.
Once again I announce the destruction of portions of California due to exceptional storms now on the horizon in the models. And, its not too late for those kinds of storms–remember what happened at the tail of February into the first few days in March 1938 in southern California and Arizona.
Why possibly make the SAME mistake again?
Because we got us such a BIG Niño, and….I can’t remember what else. Oh, yeah, I think it can’t be held off forever as far as generous SW rains go and I have been looking for this to happen.
Besides, let us, too, remember the 97-98 giant Niño. Remember how it appeared that not so much was happening into JANUARY except north of ‘Frisco in Cal, then the colossus hit all of the State and AZ in late January through February ’98?
Well, we’ve seen the northern portion of Cal get slammed, along with the Pac NW so far.
What if the transition to the blasters farther down the coast is a month late, in late February into March instead of late January into February as in ’98? Could be.
That’s what I am thinking/kind of hoping for, too.
These “outlier” model predictions from the 06Z (11 PM AST global data) that just came in a couple of hours ago–there’s been NOTHING like them in ALL of the prior model runs, so that’s why they’re outliers at this point I think–represent the “REAL DEAL.” This is it.
The Cal calamity expected in January begins with these model runs, that is, occurs at the end of February into March. And who knows how long after that? Remember, the best of the Niños is in late winter and SPRING!
Disclaimer. Cloud Maven Person is overly worked up here, and credibility naturally goes downward if being worked up is going up.
This lowered credibility is due to subjective internal influences such as looking for a return of those astounding progs that came out in early January ever since.
But, I am SURE this time (like a compulsive gambler would say), the above progs have got it right now. That Niño storms we have been looking for all this time will start to arrive before much longer.