Our persistent easterly flow is dragging smoke that circulated from the Pac NW and MT fires into AZ since that smoke was circulated southward into the southern Plains States as we saw in those back trajectories from a couple of days ago.
Some Cumulonimbus clouds are foretold to develop in the region today, more tomorrow. This should mean some clarification of the air as the smoky air is mixed over a great depth. Also it appears that the air will be coming from a less smoky direction, more from the south in two or three days, along with a much greater chance for significant rain, and that should help get Arizona skies back to the ones we love!
Now for some disappointing weather and cloud talk…
Well, not much rain, anyway, just 0.04 hundredths here. Nice to see, though. For a time it looked like we were going to get fully shafted by that complex coming over Sam (Samaniego) Ridge around 5:30 PM AST.
On the one hand. we got to enjoy plenty of thunder and some big booms a few times, on the other, an OK rainbow as the rain crept closer on lion’s feet, some gusty winds, 25-35 mph, that blew stuff around, and on a fourth hand, an OK summer rain season sunset.
But let us begin by going back to Sunday for a moment and view an interesting contrail, an old one that looks like a version of CIrrus uncinus.
U of AZ WRF-GOOFUS mod doesn’t think a shower will happen for another couple of days. Since we have Ac cas this morning, I am looking askance at that output, hoping its dead wrong!
What about the haze? Where’s it coming from and its awful! And its here again today. Reminds one who lived in southern California of summer skies in southern California, hazy, whitish, the orange- colored sunsets that people sometimes thought were “so pretty” but they were ugly because they were orange because of smoke and smog and s like that.
Where’s it coming from, to repeat? Not sure. But see back trajectories below.
These suggest its coming from the east in the last day or so of the trajectories. The trajectories start high up because we’re in the descending air branch of an upper air anti-cyclone that’s dessicating the air, preventing even little baby Cumulus from forming.
Lidia’s moisture will help some, but it appears no rain will reach us today, Dang.
But things get more promising for at least a short return of the summer rain season (remember, the real monsoon is in India) in the immediate days ahead, phrasingly vague enough to insure a great forecast verfication! haha
Looks across Catalina and Oro Valley toward the Twin Peaks area yesterday afternoon. “Egad”, to repeat a mild expletive.
Giant homework assignments (i.e., controversial cloud seeding manuscripts for journals) seem to go on and on, and so can’t really talk clouds and stuff so much, with all the usual obligations of living (e.g., like vacuuming, washing windows, pulling some weeds, but not too many for habitat saving purposes, removing a pernicious, spreading hybrid cactus with microscopic glockets, akin to growing your own asbestos, and preparing a home we used to live in here in Catalinaland for sale). Perhaps you’d like to make a HUGE offer on it… That would be great! Thanks in advance for making a HUGE offer! Its where I started blogging, so there is that bit of historicity. haha
From yesterday evening, these:
Seems like another dry day today, though with “Cumulonims” here and there. Rain chances pick up as we close out the month. Way behind average for August; now at only 1.10 inches here in The Heights of Sutherland. Average is 3.36 inches, our wettest month.
In neighborhood news….
Below, the saga of the tortoise. I parked and waited for him/her to get across Equestrian Trail Road. There was a small rise in the road from where he was and someone in a hurry would have smashed him flat. This is who I am and why I write controversial papers about cloud seeding. Some do gooder has to do it, even though in the latter case you become a persona non grata in your specialty, your work isn’t cited when it should be by “scientists” who know about it, etc. Back to torti….
Wonder if anyone out there saw that “The Desert Speaks” program on PBS two nights ago where there was a herpotologist that spent many nights patrolling roads to get critters off the road so that they don’t get squashed. What a guy; a hero really! I think I could do that if I wasn’t so cloud-centric.
Not much going on lately, so will dip into the archives from two days ago. One cloud in particular was so spectacular in its defiance of gravity, rocketing upward the morning of the 4th. So here are shots from that day…
6:46 AM, Aug. 4: The day began with a pretty normal looking patch of Altocumulus perlucidus (honey-comb pattern). No virga, so its likely not too cold. The sounding suggests it was up at 16,000 feet ASL, or 13 kft above Catalina at about 0°C (32 F).
Now, that’s pretty funny. We specialize here in too much said! Its a niche thing. Of course, not enough can be said about our past July. Take a look:
This, of course, was a new July rainfall record for Catalina/Sutherland Heights going back to 1977, anyway. Had to adjust vertical axis of this chart, too. Formerly, it stopped at only FOUR inches! The moon lore was right! It’s interesting how the ancient lore of early peoples that I made up a month ago was more accurate than the Climate Prediction Center’s prediction of an equal chance of above or below normal rain in southern Arizona while something incredible was on the doorstep! Kind of like last winter in the whole West where record amounts of snow and rain piled up over a huge region, and that, too, was also unforeseen “going in.” Think how horrible it would be if those predictions were always right. Sure, billions could be saved by such accurate outlooks, but then the element of surprise would be gone. How bad would that be?
After the paucity of rain in the preceding five months, and with June carrying into around July 10th this year with its blazing heat and no clouds, all that rain that followed with thunderations day after day, the attendant rain-cooled “breezes” to 50 mph on occasions, blowing stuff all around everywhere, were sure welcomed (?). (Another case of innovative punctuation to emphasize a point, whatever it is.)
Let us begin today by examining the greenth of the 2017 summer on our Catalina Mountains so far, thanks to July’s copious rains. Hah! The climate really has changed. Looking into growing bananas now…Now for some cloud photos from yesterday:
Well, the day closed on a disappointing note as Cumulonimbus debris clouds overspread the sky, killing new convection.
The weather way ahead
Looks like below average rain for August. :(, as we say. Hoping for error here. Average August rainfall here in Catalina/Sutherland Heights is 3.16 inches.
“Frog strangler”, folk expression from the South for extra heavy rains, btw, which is what we had, except we have toads, not frogs.
Here’s what I think happened to produce 3.36 inches on Sutherland Heights. The winds were from the east at cloud levels. Cumulus spawned off the Catalinas/Mt Lemmon area, but the wind shear brought the tops over Sutherland Heights about the time they got cold enough to form ice, yesterday around -5° to -10°C (higher than the usual temps for ice formation because the cloud bases were so warm. I know what you’re thinking, “huh?” Take my word for it, that’s the way it works; the warmer the bottom of a cloud, the higher the temperature at which ice forms in it. Of course, over the oceans cloud base temperature doesn’t make that much difference… I better quit here on that.
Where was I? Oh… So, leaning out from the mountains is where they began to dump their loads beginning in mid-morning, when updrafts were likely modest. The first one missed Sutherland Heights altogether (except for a sprinkle, but drenched Oracle Road and the Basha’s area. And, likely because it didn’t rain on the east side of the Catalinas until later, those monster turrets kept spawning upwind of us.
The second in this series was a stronger turret, one that could stand more upright against the wind shear and dropped its load on Sutherland Heights. Indicative of stronger updrafts in that one was the onset of thunder, first aloft, then in ensuing turrets shooting upward, increasing cloud-to-ground strokes until it was unsafe to go outside without the thought of being fried.
And of course, the rainrates picked up, and stayed that way as new turrets launched off the same zone of the Catalina Mountains through mid-afternoon. That in itself was remarkable, and if you looked around, you could see that it wasn’t raining all that much either to the north or south of Catalina, and that the rainshafts faded as they trekked across Oro Valley.
The net result, an incredulous 3.36 inches here (3.37 inches in NWS-style gauge here), bound to raise eyebrows concerning possible rain gauge fraud; nothing like it anywhere in the local area! The ALERT gauge on the Golder Ranch Bridge only had 1.46 inches and Samaniego Peak, 1.93 inches! There will be very few days in our lifetimes like yesterday. Go to rainlog.org to see how amazing our local amount was in comparison to other gauges, once again raising the specter of fraud due to an outlandish amount1.
And, again, it was closer to what a REAL monsoon day in India, say, at Cherrapunji, where passing heavy rains are accompanied by the occasional thunderclap. So, in a sense, yesterday you were climatically transported to a land faraway, where tree roots are so big they make bridges out of them…
Some photos of this event, well, too many, really, after all, too many cloud photos is our niche!:
The End, of a very hurriedly thrown together piece. Got actual work that must be completed soon, something if you read it, it would be so boring you’d want to shoot yourself before you finished it! Sciency stuff. Oh, well, nose to grindstone now.
When the moon is upside down, that is, turns it concave face down toward the earth, it’s a sign of bountiful rains ahead, in this case, during our summer rain season. That’s because, according to folklore I made up yesterday, it is figuratively “emptying itself of its water” onto the land, in this case, onto Samaniego Ridge as you can see below. (Note to the person who follows this blog: there is no actual water on the moon, hence, “figuratively” emptying its water.)
This folklore, which I just made up due to mental impediments caused by heat combined with rain starvation, is NOT reflected in the Climate Prediction Center’s forecast for July, just out. See below their daunting temperature and rain forecasts for AZ and the US. We must now take solace that these forecasts can be disastrously WRONG, as we saw last winter for the West. Stupefying rain and snow amounts occurred in the face of forecasts of not much was to go on. Doesn’t happen often, but it does happen, thank heavens! Sizeable error might be our only hope besides bogus folklore.
No cloud pics, of course. But here is a photo of an odd-shaped twig that blew up against the window and somehow stuck there for awhile. Thought you like to see that:
And, back to work!
(Oh, yeah, baby, cloud-maven person has unretired in a sense, working on technical manuscripts (to be rejected later) in his specialty, weather modification/cloud seeding. Cloud maven person gets worked when he’s writing in that domain, and reviewers don’t like to read manuscripts by people who are “worked up.” On the other hand, “worked up” provides energy, and thoughts like, “someone has to do something about this”, whatever it is….)
Later yesterday morning, some interesting “Altocumulocirrus”, a rare breed indeed, mocking/mimicking Altocumulus.
Maybe Cirrus floccus would come closest to the true name, but to every eye but that of a genuine cloud maven person, it would be deemed just “Altocumulus”. Check these out to see how good you were–and NO correcting your cloud diaries!!!!