Bullseye thunderstorm off the Catalina’s between 12:30 and 1:30 PM really did it, dropping a miraculous 0.55 inches. I suspect that 300 yards N and S got less than our driveway did where the gage is located. The smells, the puddles, the water running down the road; it was all so marvelous, and seemingly it has been decades since we saw this kind of sight. And then, after it looked like it might be “all over”. that dramatic darkening of the lower cloud bases pushing over the Catalinas from the east suddenly began to occur around 6 PM, followed by another nice rain of 0.14 inches. While we did not get the core of that massive system, it was great to see all the rain fall in western Tucson from here, knowing how dry it is everywhere. Finally, that little bit of rain after dark, plumped the gage another 0.04 inches to bring the total to a wondrous 0.73 inches, every drop so necessary now!
Below, a sequence of the cumulus building off the Catalinas, beginning around 10 AM, ending with the approach of the main “dump” just after 1 PM. Sometimes seeing this happen, and being so close to it reminds me of being in an airplane meandering among the Cumulus. The second shot is a great indicator for the rest of the day, a tall, skinny little cloud1 that shows just how ready the atmosphere is to allow huge clouds like yesterday to happen. Seeing that type of cloud should really get you excited about what the rest of the day holds.
An even better way to view yesterday, in a cross section mode, is from the U of AZ time lapse video here. You’ll be amazed by these “volcanic eruptions” of Cumulus and Cumulonimbus clouds over Mt. Sara Lemmon. Better hurry though. Movie is overwritten by today’s later on!
Finally, the “icing on the cake” to be quite unoriginal; that wonderful sunset.
The End except for the footnote.
1You might well call the cloud in the second shot, “Cumulus castellanus”, though technically there is no “castellanus” variety for Cumulus as there is for other cloud genera like Stratocumulus. You could just call it a “towering cumulus”, the kind of remarks seen in airport aviation weather reports, though for some reason my mind always drifts into other domains completely; paleontology, anthropology, and I think of that early man, Homo erectus. Perhaps it was too risqué for those naming clouds to use that modifier as a variety name.