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

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.

Phantasmagorical?

This September 8-10 model-projected Arizona deluge caused by a dying tropical storm?   Then followed by four more days of rain around here?

Probably.

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:

Ann 2016083000_WST_GFS_SFC_SLP_THK_PRECIP_WINDS_2282016083000_WST_GFS_SFC_SLP_THK_PRECIP_WINDS_240 2016083000_WST_GFS_SFC_SLP_THK_PRECIP_WINDS_252 2016083000_WST_GFS_SFC_SLP_THK_PRECIP_WINDS_264 2016083000_WST_GFS_SFC_SLP_THK_PRECIP_WINDS_288 2016083000_WST_GFS_SFC_SLP_THK_PRECIP_WINDS_300 2016083000_WST_GFS_SFC_SLP_THK_PRECIP_WINDS_312 2016083000_WST_GFS_SFC_SLP_THK_PRECIP_WINDS_324 2016083000_WST_GFS_SFC_SLP_THK_PRECIP_WINDS_336 2016083000_WST_GFS_SFC_SLP_THK_PRECIP_WINDS_348 2016083000_WST_GFS_SFC_SLP_THK_PRECIP_WINDS_360 2016083000_WST_GFS_SFC_SLP_THK_PRECIP_WINDS_372 2016083000_WST_GFS_SFC_SLP_THK_PRECIP_WINDS_384Now 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.

Ann spag_f264_nhbg
Valid at 5 PM, September 9th.

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.

The End.

More cool days ahead after hot spell

Wasn’t going to blog today Mom’s Day in case you forgot, but got pretty excited when I saw this just now.  You will, too.

Valid at 5 PM AST May 19th.
Valid at 5 PM AST May 19th.

As purported earlier, this May might not be so bad, sans a coupla hot spells.   So, hang on when it gets hot, relief is likely on the way!

Weak Cumulonimbus clouds to our north now, almost 6 AM.  Should be a pretty Cumulus day, some ice around for you to detect.

The End

Rain follows the jet

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:2016042812_CON_GFS_500_HGT_WINDS_0005 AM yesterday.  Jet at this level races across central AZ.
2016042812_CON_GFS_500_HGT_WINDS_00611 AM yesterday.  Maximum winds getting closer!  Tiny Cumulus clouds begin to appear over the Catalinas and on the west to north horizon.

11:40 AM.
11:40 AM.

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?

1:11 PM. Looking N toward the Charouleau Gap.
1:11 PM. Looking N toward the Charouleau Gap.  Tiny puff of ice ejects from a Cumulus humilis cloud based at about 8 thousand feet above ground level.  Bases were running about -5 °C

Keep you eye on the brown and yellow streak.

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2:31 PM. Cumulus and Stratocumulus clouds launched off Pusch Ridge and the Tucson Mountains stream toward Catalina. The sky begins to fill in rapidly.
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3:44 PM.
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3:49 PM.
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3:57 PM. A horse eating as it clouds up.
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4:33 PM.
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5:09 PM. Light rain falls in Catalina/Sutherland Heights.
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6:04 PM. RW- (light rain showers) continue in Oro Valley.

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.

Looking ahead….today:

Nice Cu, ice, too.

Farther out:

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.

The End.

All I can say is, “wow”

Partly its because I can’t think of anything else, brain pretty empty, but check this out:

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Valid for May 9th. Shows the kind of “split flow” we expected from the Big Niño, storms dividing in the central Pac or so, parts going northeast, often just grazing the Pac NW, so that area ends up drier than normal, whilst a southern branch from the CenPac carries storms to lower latitudes of the West Coast, drenching southern Cal and the Great American Southwest that we live in. Was that too long for one sentence? Well, moving ahead, you can see this pattern in how the non-political red lines diverge in the eastern Pacific from the non-political blue ones to the north, which there is quite a bit of in politics today as well. Well, anyway, it was kind of interesting of me to point this classic “Niño” pattern out to you, even though it is seen in a computer output form that is largely incomprehensible to most. What does it mean for AZ and Sutherland Heights? The red lines down thisaway on most of these maps to this point mean that there will be chances for rain, AND lower than normal temperatures for the first 10 days of May. Nice! The resultant headline is below:

 

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!

Valid just ahead, really, for May 4th 11 PM AST.
Valid just ahead, really, for May 4th 11 PM AST.  This is the best example output lately and its from yesterday, but who cares.  We should see something resembling  this come out of the lower latitudes of the Pac.  From IPS MeteoStar.

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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!

I think you are going to like May!

The End