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.
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:
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:
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.
Well, I think so, anyway, and those rain chances seem to carry right into the first week of November. I think you can see that in these graphics from NOAA based on last night’s global data. As in “Where’s Waldo”, can you find the State of Arizona? The US?
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…
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:
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:
Below, the upper level configuration that goes with the pattern above:
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.
Welcome to one of the great cloud blogs of our time today, great as in volume, not in eloquence or anything like that.
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.
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.
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:
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:
Spectacular Altocumulus castellanus and floccus (no virga) passed overhead during the morning. I hope you documented them with a few photos.
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:
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.
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.
0.02 inches of it, anyway, as the core of the jet stream at 18,000 feet or so passed by Catalina yesterday afternoon. Keep your eye on the orange and reddish streak in these progs from IPS MeteoStar yesterday morning beginning at 5 AM AST and how it slides over us as the clouds began to ice up:5 AM yesterday. Jet at this level races across central AZ.
11 AM yesterday. Maximum winds getting closer! Tiny Cumulus clouds begin to appear over the Catalinas and on the west to north horizon.
The jet separates deep cold air on the left side, looking downwind, and deep warm air on the south side. The deep warm air prevents Cumulus clouds from getting very deep due to inversions and stable layers where the temperature does not change much with increasing height, or even rises. The temperature at 500 millibars or 18,000 feet above sea level dropped from -17.7 °C to -21.1° C over TUS yesterday between 5 AM and 5 PM, while the temperature about which ice begins to form in our clouds dropped about 400 meters during that time. With the temperatures at the ground rising into the mid-70s as the colder air moved over us, Cumulus clouds deepened, reaching the ice-forming level between 1 and 2 PM.
Also with patterns like this, the cyclonic rotation (vorticity) in the air above us is increasing like mad, and that leads to a gentle upglide motion in the atmosphere, one that also helps cool the air aloft and usually produces sheets of clouds like Cirrus, Altostratus, Altocumulus and NImbostratus. But yesterday the air was too dry for sheet clouds to form.
First ice was noted just after 1 PM. Can you find it?
5 PM yesterday. Just passed! B y this time, Sutherland Heights had 0.02 inches as the tops of Cumulus and Stratocumulus complexes continued to cool and ascend. The sounding from TUS at 5 PM AST (launched about 3:30 PM AST) indicated the coldest tops had reached -20 °C or so, plenty cold enough for ice, virga, and light rain showers. Too bad the bases were so high since we could have had some real rain if they had been lower.
But, we were “lucky” to get that. Even the great U of AZ model had no rain anywhere near us late yesterday afternoon when it fell! THAT does not happen very often.
Nice Cu, ice, too.
Substantial rains, maybe half an inch or so, still on tap between May 6th-8th as previously foretold here. Yay! May averages 0.38 inches here in Catalina. More rain likely after that episode, too. So an above normal May in rain is pretty much in the bag now. Could be an especially great May, too.
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!