Yesterday, in a ploy to get some rain, I “dared” it to rain on the water year data I presented for Catalina. I didn’t think it would, to be honest, and also wanted a data “scoop” over other presenters of data who might be too shy to present data prematurely. Remember, the rubric here is, “Right or wrong, you heard it here first!”
Yesterday, the water year total I presented has ended up being slightly wrong.
It did rain. Furthermore, the 0.08 inches, is the heaviest amount around if you check our Pima County ALERT gauge data.
Our new Catalina water year total is 10.91 inches after a hard, few minute rain just after 8:30 PM. Mountains to the east were obscured, too, in a whitish haze so quite a little Cumulonimbus cloud emerged from that evening cloud deck, so rain-free for so many hours.
All in all, it was a dramatic day yesterday since the U of AZ rendering of the GTS-WRF had showers developing quickly in the middle of the afternoon and it was SO CLEAR, the sky SO BLUE for so long (a deep blue sky suggests dry conditions aloft), and I wondered if I hadn’t seen an obsolete model run (while out tramping around on a horse yesterday morning)1.
Finally, just before 11 AM some Cumulus started to form on the Catalinas, but more on the north sides. But then clouds slowly started to form everywhere and they gradually filled as the day went on, but were precip-free. Cloud tops remained too warm to form ice, which as you know is the -10 C level (with some exceptions; very warm cloud bases, or, very cold ones).
So, while the sky was very pretty, thank you, there was no virga, or showers visible, at least until very late in the afternoon after I had pretty much given up on seeing precip or ice, though came out to look every 8 minutes to make sure I didn’t miss any surprises. Diligence was to be rewarded; yours, too, I hope. I might also note that the U of AZ Beowulf Cluster run from 5 AM AST, available by mid-morning, also saw that the inversion capping cloud tops was going to be eliminated by 5 PM yesterday; this as a major trough in the westerlies cruises into Arizona from California today. It was just about as perfect a forecast as you can get, since it was just after that time, that cloud tops were able to sprout that bit higher and form ice, and an icy top appeared east of the Catalinas, and showers and virga appeared off toward the N.
Bye-bye, tropical air and summer-like clouds by later today (dry westerlies blasting in behind cool front). I will miss you terribly, summer clouds, but will have to wait until next June or July to see you again. Boo-hoo. Will be a very pretty day, but, rain not likely with front.
Below, your cloud pictoral for September 21st:
1 footnote photo below