Category Archives: The weather WAY ahead (10 days or more)

Rain clouds drop more rain on Catalina; 0.24 inches logged as of 7 AM

But what kind of rain clouds?

That’s why you come here, to answer important questions like that.  After all, those precipitating clouds could have been Nimbostratus, Stratocumulus opacus praecipitatio, Cumulonimbus capillatus incus flammagenitus,  or even just “plain” Cumulonimbus capillatus (no anvil),  and possibly, Stratus opacus nebulosos praecipitatio.

Of course, with no large fires around, we can at once rule out Cumulonimbus capillatus incus flammagenitus….(the new name for clouds on top of fires, formerly referred to by the more accessible terms,  “pyrocumulus” or “pyrocumulonimbus.”

For the curious, and since I broke my camera and don’t have the dozens upon dozens of photos to regale or bore you with, I will reach into the archives for a shot of “flammagenitus” and show you one from the pyromaniacs’ paradise,  Brazil!:

Brazil, 1995: Cumulonimbus calvus flammagenitus. Shot taken by Arthur In flight shot, Porto Velho to Maraba.
Brazil, 1995: Cumulonimbus capillatus flammagenitus. Shot taken by Arthur on flight from, Porto Velho to Maraba.  The black at the bottom is mostly smoke.  Where it starts to turn a little white is where cloud droplets are forming.  Smoky ice is just above the aircraft’s wing and a little behind it.  You probably didn’t expect to see a “flammagenitus” here today, but, here it is.

 

Now, on to more recently viewed clouds, like yesterday’s:

9:16 AM. Stratocumulus praecipitatio line the tops of the Catalina Mountains. What's
9:16 AM. Stratocumulus praecipitatio line the tops of the Catalina Mountains. What’s “wrong” with this scene?  Very shallow clouds are precipitating, ones likely exhibiting, yep, the rare phenomenon in Arizona of “ice multiplication” wherein ice forms in clouds with tops warmer than around -15° C or so in great concentrations (often 10s to 100s per liter.)  Here, probably not that high, maybe several per liter of unaccounted for ice.  Happens when the cloud droplets are larger than usual–so when you see shallow clouds precipitating, but ones with tops still below freezing, -5° C, say, you can report in your cloud diary that you saw some “ice multiplciation on that day.  You would definitely get some accolades for such a report if cloud maven club members were to read  it, perhaps, an “Observer of the Week” award.  Of course, you get a mountain of extra credit for stating that those crystals falling on side of our mountains (Sam Ridge here), “look like needles and hollow columns” those ice crystals that form at temperatures higher than -10° C (14° F).
DSC_2372
10:52 AM. The actual cloud that produced this mist-like precipitation has literally “rained itself out.” What’s interesting here for you is that there seems to be no demarcation of the melting level. Hmmmm. Was this all drizzle then that fell out of that cloud, starting at cloud tops noticeably below freezing? It happens, though usually that phase is short lived as ice takes over.
DSC_2371
10:52 AM. A wider view of this intriguing scene. You can see all the glinting rocks, too, due to a little water on them. So pretty, the highlighting and all.
DSC_2376
11:08 AM. This shot, not taken out the window whilst driving since that would be crazy, gives a nice profile to those shallow, precipitating clouds. Sure would have liked to fly through them, see what the precip actually was. However, we do know that it was snowing on Ms. Mt. Lemmon, so that implicates the ice phase. If you were up there, you may have seen those needles and hollow columns, of course, mostly in aggregates (snowflakes). And, to trigger the “ice multiplication” process, you may have seen some tiny snowballs falling, too, ones we call graupel or soft hail.
The U of AZ balloon sounding for 5 AM AST yesterday morning. May have been valid for those shallower preciping clouds.
The U of AZ balloon sounding for 5 AM AST yesterday morning. May have been valid for those shallower preciping clouds.

Later these scenes were overtaken by a slab of Nimbostratus and steady light rain for a few hours.

A note on the recent southern Cal rain blast

As you know, up ten inches fell in some mountain locations in southern California as a monster low pressure system smashed into the coast near San Francisco1.  You might recall, too,  that the shift of the jet stream (and thus storm track) into the southern portions of California was well predicted two weeks in advance in those crazy spaghetti plots.   You can’t always get much out of those plots except maybe the degree of uncertainty in  weather patterns a couple of weeks out, but that was a rare case in which the signal far upstream for something strong barging into southern Cal also strong.  And, of course, we are experiencing the residual of that storm, also as was indicated in those plots (“…the weather change around the 18th.”

Presently, a another sequence of extremely heavy rain is in the pipeline for central and northern California starting today, which will take a few days for it to come to an end.

Following a  break, what was intriguing in the model outputs, and a little scary was that it appeared that yet another scoop of tropical air was going to jet across the Pacific under another blocking high in the Arctic  and Gulf of Alaska  into California. Take a look at this prog:

Valid Sunday, March 4th, at 5 PM AST.
Valid Sunday, March 4th, at 5 PM AST.

Here’s where spaghetti can shed some real light:

From last night's global data, this output for March 4th at 5 PM with writing on it.
From last night’s global data, this output for March 4th at 5 PM with writing on it.

So while it is still possible that some model runs will indicate a blast from the sub-tropics affecting Cal, they can be pretty much waived off as outliers (not impossible “solutions” but rather unlikely ones.  Breath easier Califs!  At least after the current onslaught ends.

BTW, can you see what kind of weather is indicated in this plot for the SW and old Arizony?

Cold; temperatures below normal, precip likely at times.

The End.

——————————–
1The low pressure center that passed over San Francisco yesterday was not  as deep (988 millibars) as the notorious “Frankenstormmaggedon” of 2010 which barged into Frisco with a 979 millibar center.   You may recall, too, that spaghetti had strongly suggested a “Frankenstormaggedon”, as it was later called, also more than ten days in advance.  Recall, too, if you can recall, that 2009-10 was an El Niño winter with this kind of thing pretty much anticipated.

For history buffs, I reprise that January 2010 storm as seen on our national weather map.  You may recall that, if there’s anything left in that noggin up there, that Catalina experience no less than THREE inches of rain as this system went by, taking a couple of days:

11 AM AST, January 21st, 2010.
11 AM AST, January 21st, 2010.
Valid at 2 PM AST, February 17th.  Junior.
Valid at 2 PM AST, February 17th. Junior.

Dry, dry, hot, dry, all mixed up, then, blammo, the storms roll in again

Well, it will be pretty obvious, ludicrously so to spaghetti lovers, the sequence shown below.  It goes from “warm in the West (again);  cold in the East pattern to another undercutting flow from the Pacific, the kind we’re having right now under the “soft underbelly” of a big blocking high, except that the tropical flow from the Pac this time is a little too far to the north to give us anything.

But, it will be another floody situation for northern Cal in the coming days.   Some places, mainly north of “Frisco”,  have already picked up 4-6 inches in the first blast which hit yesterday.  Ten to 20 inches more is likely over the next week at favored locations.  Having quite the water year there, really a lot of water year.

You may recall that the current situation, alluded to in the “break on through to the other side” refrain used here about ten times,  was well predicted about two weeks in advance!  That’s what spaghetti can do for you!

OK, enough jabbering, let us move on to the current exciting examples that popped out from last night’s global data ( there are outputs after adding little errors at the start of the model run, to see how the flow is changed with them in it.  Sounds crazy, I suppose, but is considered a huge advance in forecasting, a stupendous tool, that is, to make errors in models at the beginning of the run).  Heck, they even do that in climate models that simulate 30-50 years from now, and you’d be amazed at how the tiniest fraction of a degree change the beginning makes (see Deser et al 2012).

Valid on
Valid Sunday evening, 5 PM AST, February 12th (TIme at the top is Zulu Time, as we used to say,  or CUT, Central Universal Time, which takes in a lot of territory IMO.  This is one you look at and say, “Its gonna happen.”  What?  A big blocking high pressure ridge along the West Coast in a little more than a week.  Done weather deal.  Period. The dip to the south in the blue lines over there by the Great Lakes says that cold air will be extruding into the eastern US.  So, we have a Nike swoosh in the jet stream across the whole Pacific and then it makes a sharp left turn up into Alaska, and NW Territories of Canada.  They must be jumping up and down now, seeing this.

Well, the first one’s not so exciting since we’re dry and hot for this time of the year, and its a common one that can get stuck for weeks at a time, so you REALLY hate to see models project a bulging ridge poking north along the West Coast.  It could mean a rainless February here, if it persisted.

Here’s the exciting follow up, though, pretty unexpected given the above, showing a sudden collapse of the West Coast ridge regime, and strongly suggesting that wet spell has begun in Arizona, including regions of Catalina and Saddlebrooke:

Valid
Valid at 5 PM AST, Friday, February 18th.  Given a day or so off, we would be looking at a rainy spell beginning somewhere about this time or a day or around it.   The thing that really jumps out is the clustering of the red lines (564 decameter) contour lines. ALL the way across the Pacific right into central Cal and the Great SW.  This means that the jet stream will once again break through a ridge at lower latitudes just as its doing now, but in this case, a little farther S, which should mean periods of rain for us, keeping those washes going, or restarting the flow in them if we’re lucky.

So, you’ll want to get outdoor work done before this.

Historical note of interest, added value content,  etc.

Some of you may remember that the 564 decameter contour (those red lines) at this level (500 millibars or around 18,000 feet above sea level on average) was used in the early years of forecasting before computer models (50s and early 60s) by southern California forecasters to demarcate where rain would fall in California–at and north of where that 564 decameter contour intersected the coast when upper troughs came in.    The Old Forecaster remembers, though not much else…

So those red lines barging into southern Cal after a LONG fetch from the subtropical Pacific in the plot above mean central and southern Califs better watch out for some major rains a little before we ourselves get a dousing around the 18th of Feb.

Isn’t it great what spaghetti can do, that is, constrain our future weather to fairly certain outcomes two weeks in advance!

There was a sunset yesterday, btw:

6:06 PM. Altostratus with tiny virga illuminated by a setting sun. haha Guess I didn't need to say the sun was setting
6:06 PM. Altostratus with tiny virga illuminated by a setting sun. haha Guess I didn’t need to say the sun was setting.

Upper level snow flurry passes south of Tucson!  Trying to generate some excitement here….

8:56 AM, Feb 1st.
8:56 AM, Feb 1st.

The End

Future shock

From IPS MeteoStar,  this “YIKES!”

Valid at
Valid Saturday morning, 5 AM, January 21st.  Spaghetti was indicating a big change about then, but this is ridiculous (maybe not credible).  This scenario would bring a very violent storm into southern Cal and Arizona about this time.  That white region represents wind velocities of over 100 mph at 500 millibars, around 18,000 feet above sea level, and EXTREMELY unusual occurrence for that region off San Diego, CA.  That would provide the energy for an exceptional lower level storm.

Is this the Big Niño pattern we’ve been waiting for all these years (well, one, anyway)?  Its the kind of thing we looked for last winter during the giant El Niño and there was all that publicity about how much precip the Great Southwest would likley get.  Then it was pretty much a “no show.”

Could this really be a lagged Big Niño pattern caused by a stratospheric phenomenon known as the Quasi-biennal Oscillation or “QBO”?

It was posited years ago by a researcher in a peer-reviewed journal article (not The Atlantic or Reader’s Digest) that I have been too lazy to look up, that the QBO can induce a lag in El Niño effects.

Hmmmmm.

Personally, I blew it off when I read it, but now have hope that person was onto something.

Also, in Science mag recently, it said that the “QBO was positioned to produce heavy rains in Europe”, the first time I have heard that the QBO was associated with weather in the Weathersphere where all weather occurs, clouds and storms and sh… like that.  Hahaha, it is so funny to cuss right there, out of science context!

(Its not really called the “Weathersphere” but rather, the “Troposphere1“,  but thanks for reading that anyway. )  ((Too much laughter-inducing caffeine imbibed this AM…))

The Troposphere is  BELOW the stratosphere as my one blog reader might already know, but its generally thought that doings in the stratosphere don’t have much effect on the Troposphere.  Well,  unless there’s a lot of smog up there produced by a volcanic belch (like Pinatubo, which cooled the earth for a coupla years back in ’92-’93).  That’s 1992 and 1993.

Will be fun to see what REALLY happens.  And, oh, I guess things are collapsing sooner than around the 20th, too.  But will defer to Bob and the other fine professional meteorologists to let you know about that happenstance.  (There are some great photos from Yellowstone by Mike L in Bob’s last post!)

The End

——————————
1It was suggested by this keyboard pounder  in a scintillating article, oh, 50 years ago or so,  in the Spartan Daily student newspaper, San Jose State, not Michigan State,  that the “Troposphere” be renamed, “The Pollutosphere” due to all the crap we put in it and that we rename Earth, “Polluto”).  Think of what the other civilizations out there think of us as they see things flying off the planet  into outer space; “There they go, littering again….”, besides their evaluations of the increasing aerosol depth of the atmosphere.

Polluto?   Fits doesn’t it , with all we’ve messed up;  microplastics throughout the oceans, smog most everywhere, invasive plants and species wiping stuff out, burning up forests, etc.  Perhaps  renaming Earth could be seen as an honorarium of sorts for the late planet, “Pluto.”   Well, that was a depressing summary.   Need more coffee…and more thinking about storms!

Snowbirds to be upset by snow and cold in early December

Wasn’t going to blather about clouds and weather for a few days since there wasn’t any, just sit around and wait for those end of November storms to get  here, then regale you with cloudy pictures.

But when I went to the NOAA spaghetti factory just now, I was blown away, beside myself, when I saw those outputs.  Being one of the meteorological sophisticates, I suspect you’ve already trampled these maps.  But, at the risk of being redundant again and again, here are a couple of jaw droppers from last night’s global data with errors input into the computer model at the beginning of the run to see how much the upper level forecasts change.  There are always errors in measurements, they’re not perfect, and so by deliberately putting errors in models, we can see that range of differences in the outcomes.  At first, there are virtually no differences because the errors are tiny.  But over time their effect grows.

In these plots below, when the two colors of crazy lines cluster (red, representing the warmer side of the jet stream,  and blue, the colder side) , it means the errors had little effect, and the forecast of a general pattern on the jet stream is one you can have great confidence in.

Below, a forecast via the “errorful ensembles” to be alliterative there for a second,  in which the confidence can be quite high showing that a gigantic cold trough will sit atop most of the western US in the coming 9-12 days.  Really, these are incredible:

Valid at 5 PM AST December 2nd. A massive pile of cold air is bound to be planted on top of the West with low temperatures and freezing levels by this time. Should make quite the news stories I would think when this comes around.
Valid at 5 PM AST December 2nd. A massive pile of cold air is bound to be planted on top of the West with low temperatures and freezing levels by this time. Should make quite the news stories I would think when this comes around.
201611230011spag_f264_nhbg
Here’s 24 h later, at 5 PM AST, December 3rd. Look at how far the cluster of red lines is to our south, WAY down in southern Baja. Wow. The clusteriing of blue lines in the West and in Arizona suggests a very cold early December is in the bag for us. These maps also show that the SE part of the US will be nice and toasty in comparison.

So, how will it play out?

Well, we already have rather quickly passing cold troughs with their cold fronts ahead in late November,  one that passes late on the 27th  likely to boost our Sutherland Heights precip totals to our average value or above.

Then,  the cold pattern gets amplified by this gargantuan  trough that sets up a few days after those first couple of cold shots, setting the stage for cold and colder blasts.  So the beginning of our cold weather and snowbirds muttering that they came to Arizona too soon,  is just a few days ahead (followed by a “sucker hole” of brief temperature recovery and a few sunny days.   (Well, I might be complaining, too, since cloud maven person, the writer,  moved to Arizona from Seattle to be warm all day,  every day.  haha, sort of.)

On the other hand, there’ll be some great cloud shots in spite of the cold, and you and I, the rest of the cloud people,  will both manage, warmed by the euphoria of being alive with such gorgeous scenes and exciting, changeable weather.

BTW, will close this shot-from-the-hip blog with a forecast of snow in Catalinaland in early December.  That’s right, CMP is expecting measurable snow right here in Catalina.

Remember our slogan, “Right or wrong, you heard it here first!”

“Alive and local”,  CMP

The End

 

 

 

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

 

Check it out!

Since my risky forecast, and going beyond professional standards of some days ago seems to be working out, I thought I would update you on it. Of course, if it was not working out, you would hear nothing more about it.  Below, for October 29th, as rendered by IPS MeteoStar.  We seem to be in a bull’s eye for rain amounts.  Wouldn’t that be great!?

But, as you know, gotta get through a heat spell first…

Valid at 11 AM AST October 29th. This was the wettest model output I could find, and, it just came in from the 11 PM AST global data ingest! Wow.
Valid at 11 AM AST October 29th. This was the wettest model output I could find, and, it just came in from the 11 PM AST global data ingest! Wow.  I’m kind of screaming in that annotation.

The End

October 2016 to close out with rain!

Threat!  (omitted portion of the headline above)

Check this out:

Valid at 5 PM AST October 28th. 2016.
Valid at 5 PM AST October 28th. 2016 based on global data from 5 PM AST last evening.

You got yer ridgy flow on the top (“top” meaning, “Canada”, around where that yellow line humps toward the north) and yer broadly cyclonic flow on the bottom (“bottom” meaning,  “Baja Cal and Mexico”) that is, across the whole western part of North America.  This indicates that we will have a configuration that suggests a “split flow” where part of the jet stream and a trough is forced into the Southwest.  Models are showing a big trough and cutoff that brings substantial rains to Arizona!

Of course, model forecasts are pretty dicey at this range, more than 10 days, and so that’s why I am reporting it fully here with great excitement!  That’s what we do here,  go over the edge, not just up to it.

And, for that slight amount of additional credibility, the “WRF-GFS” has been spitting out big storms for Arizona over the past several runs during this late October period.  See Arizona rain below from this rendering from IPS MeteoStar:

Valid at 5 PM October 27th, 2016. The colored regions denote where the model thinks in has rain in the prior 12 h.
Valid at 5 PM October 27th, 2016. The colored regions denote where the model thinks in has rain in the prior 12 h.  The rains are foretold to just be arriving at this time, and continue for a couple of days.  Nice!

Since I ran out of anything more to say, I will post a second version of this same map as a public service for international readers who are clueless about states in the USA:

Same as above, but for international readers of this blog, and others who may be geographically challenged.
Same as above, but for international readers of this blog, and others who may be geographically challenged.

Below, the upper level configuration that goes with the pattern above:

Also valid at 5 PM AST October 27th, 2016. Notice how a lot of the flow comes down this way after extruding into Canada, but some continues on across Canada. Disclosure note: this configuration has more amplitude (and thus a bigger chance for rain in southern Arizona, than was seen in the plot from the NOAA spaghetti factory. Few readers may get this far, so that's why I am placing it here. A announcement that rain might fall in southern Arizona makes people happy, and that's why I will show those models that predict the most rain here, not ones that skimp on a future rain.
Also valid at 5 PM AST October 27th, 2016. Notice how a lot of the flow comes down this way after extruding into Canada, but some continues on across Canada. Disclosure note: this configuration has more amplitude (and thus a bigger chance for rain in southern Arizona, than was seen in the plot from the NOAA spaghetti factory. Few readers may get this far, so that’s why I am placing some element of doubt here.   A announcement that rain might fall in southern Arizona makes people happy, and that’s why I will show those models that predict the most rain here, not ones that skimp on a future rain.  Doubt about a future rain disappoints, makes people sad.  Oh, yeah, and the latest WRF-GOOFUS model run, that from the 11 PM AST global data, had none of this.  What a poop that run was!  Does that later run affect the thought of rain late in the month?  Nope.

So, there are some questions about the magnitude of this event, will it be a spring wildflower energizer with a major rain, or a just a breezy spell with a dry cold front going by?  I’m on the side that a good soaking rain will fall sometime in those last few days of October.

No clouds, so no point in going farther….

The End.

 

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.