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.
The loop above, generated by last evening’s global obs by the Enviro Can “GEM” model might be the best a numerical model can put out for Arizona. It might even be the best model day of my life ever here (which hasn’t been that long, but still…).
1. Trough races into the precip “Red Zone”, located immediately SW of AZ. Rain moves in on Friday into Catalina and environs.
2. Trough forms circular, spinning low aloft there, that wanders slightly in place. Cloud and precip rush into Arizona, and it just doesn’t quit as wave after wave of clouds and rain move up from Mexico, the Gulf of Cal-Sea of Cortez, and the Pacific off Baja while the low center dawdles.
3. Low crosses into AZ and departs AZ late Sunday after showery day.
In sum, showery rainy conditions beginning on Friday, continuing into Sunday.
Amounts should be several inches in the mountains of AZ. Here, sans the great U of AZ calcs for the whole storm period, will go with the same “seat-of-pants” estimates of the botttom and top amounts made a couple of days ago: at least 0.4 inches (even if things don’t work out so great; low doesn’t dawdle so long). But as much as 1.50 inches on the high end here in Catalina if it DOES dawdle as this model run from last night shows and we get nailed by recurring rain bands. Best estimate, “therefore” he sez, is the average of the two, or about an inch.
It would seem some thunder now and then would also be in the mix, and BTW, we remind our reader that snow and rain mixed together is NOT SLEET, dammitall! SLEET is frozen raindrops, ones that have frozen on the way down and usually requires two to three thousand feet of below-freezing air temperatures before that happens. Also, they BOUNCE when they hit, are usually clear, and often have spikes where the water was trying to get out since they mostly freeze from the outside inward, and because water expands when it freezes, a spike or ejection of ice splinters results as freezing takes place. Kind of neat really. But its NOT rain and snow mixed together! Sorry, getting into some “sleet rage” here; need to work on it; get it under control. I just don’t want my reader to sound ignorant when rain and snow are mixed together, but rather, “precipitationally erudite.”
Yesterday’s clouds5:20 PM. Jet’s ‘n’ Cirrus. The very short contrails, formed by moisture and carbonaceous crap, oops, black stuff, in the exhaust, are short here because the jets are flying ABOVE the Cirrus.
Our desert greening seems to be reaching its peak now, and so it would be nice for you to get out and see it before football day on Saturday and it could start to wilt that bit under our drier conditions. Just after sunrise, and just before sunset, there is some great lighting on our weedy summer desert vegetation.
Canadians1 think the tropical air will hang around SE Arizona for a few more days, with the chances of rain actually increasing that bit on Saturday. The US WRF-GFS model is not quite so generous with precip here, so we will ignore that one. But, in any event, we should have pretty Cumulus, and distant Cumulonimbus clouds for a few more days before The End, after which we have to wait for a hurricane/tropical storm to roar up the coast of Baja and across Yuma to get any real rain.
In the meantime, I am wondering whether you have taken that trip I suggested to SE Arizona to see the vegetation explosion resulting from this summer’s extraordinary rains they’ve gotten down there? Douglas, for example, has just crossed over the 16 inches mark for this summer a couple of days ago, the wettest summer of the past 100 years down that way. The summer desert vegetation down there must be extraordinary, too, and it would really be worth seeing. I will get down there for sure!
It has continued to rain extraordinary amounts of rain in western Arizona. Here is a depiction of just the past seven days ending yesterday morning (today’s image is not out yet). Its a great sight, considering our “extreme” and “exceptional” drought designations over that way.
1The writer exhibits bias here due to his precipophilic personality combined with having most of his relatives living in Canada. Also, the cruder Canadian model with its larger grid sizes tends to smooth out precip over larger areas than the US WRF-GFS model shown here.
Since we don’t have any clouds and storms to think about, I thought I would think about the moon for you. Here is a fragmentary view from yesterday morning through some Cirrus:
Have any thoughts yet?
Well, here is a surprise that’s been around for a few years but I just found out about it:
The moon is a piece of the earth!
Yep, “Theia”, another planet whose exact size is unknown, COLLIDED with the earth about 3.5 billion years ago! That, my fiend, is the leading theory for the moon’s origin; this from the November 23rd issue of Science: Science-2012–1006-1
I can’t post more beyond these newsy pages from Science because Science is not yet apart of the Open Access Movement where you can learn things from journal content for free! Imagine! Besides, on the second page there is an advertisement for a vacation in June in Iceland, in case you get too hot here.
But, after that diversion, and thinking of Theia (nice name for a girl, BTW), think of the damage! The shaking!
How are we still in orbit? Where’s the crater? (Must be pretty damn big!)
Why would you think such a crazy thing in the first place? After all, as advised in this Disney-produced proper musical ambience and skit (Extraordinary Claims); EXTRAORDINARY CLAIMS require EXTRAORDINARY PROOF!
So where’s the proof?
Its in the isotopes. Amazingly, beyond even Ripley’s Strangely Believe It, much of the isotope composition of the moon is identical with the earth, not like those from meteorites and stuff like that. So, there you have it, though there are some unanswered questions yet. Apparently, it got so hot at the collision interface that everything melted back together, no crater
If it was to happen again, I hope it doesn’t happen during a bowl game (teevee viewing guidance here), since I wouldn’t want to miss the story in case it was played down due to an important upset, as here from an old Seattle Times mention of an asteroid that looked like it might collide with earth. At least this news was on the front page. Gee, if it had happened, maybe we’da got us a new moon to look at!