Thunder on the mountains!

Began at 1:15 PM, ended at 1:40 PM.  Then, a second round at 3:58 PM.  Nothing more on tap today through June.  Thought, too, since there’s been a lot of talk about the Southwest monsoon lately in the media, we’d check on that and see how its doing:

This as of June 15-17th (green lines, red lines are normal position.  Things are not so good, seems to be running a week to two weeks behind schedule.
This as of June 15-17th (green lines, red lines are normal position. Things are not so good, seems to be running a week to two weeks behind schedule.

Hmmm. Not so well so far.  Is this being impacted by the developing El Nino?  Our summer rain season, more often than not, has been disappointing as well in El Nino summers.  An El Nino is in formation as you likely know.

Your cloud day yesterday, in thumbnails:

A better way would be to go to our University of Arizona time lapse movie here.

5:55 AM.  Now I didn't mention yesterday because I didn't want you to feel bad, but these crepuscular (aka, "crepsucular") rays were due to a lot of smog in those clouds yesterday morning.  Got mixed out as the day progressed.  Likely, from tropical Mexico based on trajectories at cloud base level.
5:55 AM. Now I didn’t mention yesterday because I didn’t want you to feel bad, but these crepuscular (aka, “crepsucular”) rays were due to a lot of smog in those clouds yesterday morning. Got mixed out as the day progressed. Likely, from tropical Mexico based on trajectories at cloud base level.
5:55 AM.  More smog and clouds, some virga.
5:55 AM. More smog and clouds, some virga.  Ugh.
6:18 AM.  Could be called, I think, Altocumulus castellanus or Cumulus due to the large size of the elements.  However, they are not Cumulus arising from warm air near the ground.
6:18 AM. Could be called, I think, Altocumulus castellanus or Cumulus due to the large size of the elements. However, they are not Cumulus arising from warm air near the ground, but rather from the gentle lifting of the air over the Catalina Mountains.
6:20 AM.  One of the remarkably small, sprinkling clouds that passed over yesterday.  To get rain to the ground from about 11, 000 feet there would have to have been graupel (small, soft hail) forming in those little guys.  SIngle ice crystals, or fluffy flakes would never had made it all that way since they would have dried up.
6:20 AM. One of the remarkably small, sprinkling clouds that passed over yesterday. To get rain to the ground from about 11, 000 feet there would have to have been graupel (small, soft hail) forming in those little guys. Single ice crystals, or fluffy flakes would never had made it all that way since they would have dried up. Think of how great it would have been for you to non-chalantly, in your morning walk with neighbors yesterday, to have dropped the bombshell that, “Must be hail, soft hail, up there in those clouds for rain to fall on us from so high up.” You can see your neighbors’ jaws dropping in disbelief at that point! But you would then be some kind cloud hero to them, never to be seen the same way again. You wouldn’t say anything more about it; you’d made your point, succinctly I might add, and they’d likely get bored hearing anymore about it. Its best to let them just think about it the rest of the day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Afternoon…..

12:53 PM.  Promising Cumulus congestus are forming over the Catalinas, some already spewing a little ice.  Here, about 2 km thick, or something around 6,000-7,000 feet thick, tops already about -10 C or so.
12:53 PM. Promising Cumulus congestus are forming over the Catalinas, some already spewing a little ice. Here, about 2 km thick, or something around 6,000-7,000 feet thick, tops already about -10 to -15 C.
1:15 PM.  Taken just after first thunder heard from this modest Cumulonimbus.  Not much shafting yesterday at all, suggesting weak updrafts and modest condensed water in them. No cloud to ground strikes were observed, and the time between thunder was a few minutes, all adding up to marginal conditions for thunderstorms near us, anyway.
1:15 PM. Taken just after first thunder heard from this modest Cumulonimbus. Not much shafting yesterday at all, suggesting weak updrafts and modest condensed water in them. No cloud to ground strikes were observed, and the time between thunder was a few minutes, all adding up to marginal conditions for thunderstorms near us, anyway.
1:15 PM.  One of the signature shots added yesterday to the "cloud base" collection.  Here, graupel strands are just barely dectable as they fall out.
1:15 PM. One of the signature shots for this website, added  to the “cloud base” collection. Here, graupel strands are just barely dectable as they begin fall out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1:37 PM.  Just before the last thunder, this icy top to a cell approaching Mt. Lemmon.  Since the transitions to all or mostly ice has occurred, this Cumulonimbus would be termed a "calvus."  The outward transition to all ice happens very rapidly, just in a few minutes, kind of an exciting thing to see!
1:37 PM. Just before the last thunder, this icy top to a cell approaching Mt. Lemmon. Since the transition to all or mostly ice has occurred, this Cumulonimbus would be termed a “calvus.” The outward transition to all ice happens very rapidly, just in a few minutes, kind of an exciting thing to see!
1:37 PM.  Here's what the bottom of that top looked like.  No major shaft yet.
1:37 PM. Here’s what the bottom of that top looked like. No major shaft yet, but there will be but out of view.
4:02 PM.  Second round of occasional thunder in progress.  Nice to see a little rain on the Ridge (Samaniego).
4:02 PM. Second round of occasional thunder in progress. Nice to see a little rain on the Ridge (Samaniego).
7:31 PM.  After all the excitement, we were left with little rows of Altocumulus perlucidus  to celebrate a great day of cloud scenery.
7:31 PM. After all the excitement, we were left with little rows of Altocumulus perlucidus to celebrate a great day of cloud scenery.