Storm brings wind, rain to Catalina; snow to high elevations

Above, a typical Los Angeles Times headline for a southern California storm when the writer was growing up, one framed for Catalina.  Few storms don’t do this, so it was always kind of funny.

To coninue on a nostalgic stream for some reason, the LA Times also had a very weather-centric publisher-owner1 in those days, and after a storm, there was also a HUGE rain table in the paper.  I loved ’em, scoured those tables to see who got what amounts, and I think a lot of people do like them,  so’s that’s why I put a rain table in here from time to time.

Below, the Pima County ALERT gauges 24 h precipitation totals ending at 3:24 AM today, covering the first batch of rain.  Scattered light showers, possibly today,  but more likely tomorrow, may add some to these totals, but not very much.

The Sutherland Heights portion of Catalina received 0.57 inches.

Gauge ID              Name,  Location

Catalina Area
1010     0.67      Golder Ranch, Horseshoe Bend Rd in Saddlebrooke
1020     1.02      Oracle RS, approximately 0.5 mi SW of Oracle
1040     0.63      Dodge Tank, Edwin Rd 1.3 mi E of Lago DO Parkway
1050     0.71      Cherry Spring, approximately 1.5 mi W of Char. Gap
1060     1.10      Pig Spring, approximately 1.1 mi NE of Char. Gap
1070     MSG     Cargodera Canyon, NE corner of Cat.  State Park
1080     0.98      CDO @ Rancho Solano,  CDO NE of Saddlebrooke
1100     0.55      CDO @ Golder Rd,   CDO at the Golder RD bridge

0.81 inches average

Santa Catalina Mountains
1030     0.87      Oracle Ridge, about 1.5 mi N of Rice Peak
1090     0.51      Mt. Lemmon,  snow melt will add to this
1110    1.10      CDO @ Coronado Camp, CDO 0.3 mi S of Coronado
1130    1.30      Samaniego Peak, Samaniego Ridge
1140    1.30      Dan Saddle, Dan Saddle on Oracle Ridge
2150     0.43      White Tail, Catalina Hwy 0.8 mi W of Palisade RS
2280     0.51      Green Mountain, Green Mountain
2290     0.28      Marshall Gulch, Sabino Creek 0.6 mi SSE of Gulch

Your storm day,  beginning with a morning light show amid the overcast Stratocumulus:

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7:26 AM. Spotlight on the Tortolitas.
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7:25 AM. Light on Saddlebrooke and environs.
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7:27 AM. Closeup of the sunny highlight on Saddlebrooke.
7:49 AM.  Breaks in the overcast (BINOVC, as we would text that) reveal a higher layer of Altocumulus clouds.  Nice lighting here, too.
7:49 AM, toward the C-Gap.   Breaks in the overcast (BINOVC, as we would text that) reveal a higher layer of Altocumulus clouds. Nice lighting here, too.
8:00 AM.  Streams of dark Stratocumulus clouds rolled across the sky for hours yesterday with no rain falling from them.  I bet you know why they didn't rain.
8:00 AM. Streams of dark Stratocumulus clouds rolled across the sky for hours yesterday with no rain falling from them. I bet you know why they didn’t rain.
9:36 AM.  The Stratocu had deepened up enough by this time to begin preciping.  The misty nature of this made you think it might be a warm rain process, not involving ice.
9:36 AM. The Stratocu had deepened up enough by this time to begin preciping, and I am sure you made a note of this. The misty nature of this made you also think it might be a “warm rain” process, one not involving ice crystals.  However, it did not continue.
11:33 AM.  Light showers finally began to develop SW of Catalina after a two hour hiatus.  Remember how we were thinking that showers might be numerous by now.  Well, it didn't happen.
11:33 AM. Light showers finally began to develop SW of Catalina after a two hour hiatus. Remember how we were thinking that showers might be numerous by now. Well, it didn’t happen.  But even these pretty much fizzled out on their way here.
12:31 PM.  The wind shift line marking the cold front, marked by an arcus cloud (a sharp lowering of cloud bases in the cooler air), appeared NW-NE of Catalina!
12:31 PM. The wind shift line marking the cold front, marked by an arcus cloud (a sharp lowering of cloud bases in the lifting, cooler air), appeared NW-NE of Catalina.  Real rain was just ahead.
1:55 PM.  Eventually the arcus cloud (horizon) and wind shift line made its way across Oro Valley.  You can see how that clash of winds has deepened and darkened the clouds over it.  Was thinking deep Cumulonimbus clouds would now develop,  likely as you did, too, but only weak, puny ones did.
1:55 PM. Eventually the arcus cloud (horizon) and wind shift line made its way across Oro Valley. You can see how that clash of winds has deepened and darkened the clouds over it. Was thinking, “Here we go!”,  deep Cumulonimbus clouds would now develop, likely as you did, too.  But only weak, puny ones did likely with crappy, mounding tops.
2:09 PM.  Sure, there was a nice shaft, and was hopeful this would lead to some thunder, but it pooped out even before getting here!  Wind shift line seemed to come in two surges, the first one dying out.
2:09 PM. Sure, there was a nice shaft, and was hopeful this would lead to some thunder, but it pooped out even before getting here! Wind shift line seemed to come in two surges, the first one dying out.
6:18 PM.  Sun tries to perform a colorful sunset, but fails.
6:18 PM. Sun tries to perform a colorful sunset, but fails.
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6:18 PM. Reflected light off orange cloud tops, or a higher layer being underlit by the fading sun, created a mysterious orange glow on the Catalinas and Pusch Ridge.
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4:50 PM. Some potential for flooding was forecast, and here we see that it indeed verified yesterday.

The weather way ahead

A pretty good rain threat still appears in the March 11-15th window.

The End, except for a gigantic historical footnote below.

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1In 1981, at the prodding of Otis Chandler, the weather-centric owner of the Times, there was EXPANSION of the weather page while the paper devoted an astounding amount of pages to a review weather reporting in the media entitled, “Weather:  Everyone’s Number One Story.”    One side bar,  embedded in this HUGE article took note of the Los Angeles weather situation with the humorous side bar, “Little rain, but lots of coverage.”  You can see that article below, scanned from the original clipping from 1981.  Its a little disjointed due to the odd sizes of article pages.  This article noted that a five month study in 1977 showed that the Los Angeles Times had MORE FRONT PAGE weather stories than any other newspaper in the country!

WEATHER EVERYONE’S NO 1 STORY 001