1.15 inches falls on Sutherland Heights! Ms. Lemmon and “Sam” Peak get over 2.70 inches!

Screaming this title here…

WHAT a come-through, drought-denting rain that was yesterday to interrupt our Oct 19 through Dec 4 dry spell!  Take that, rainless November, you disappoint you!

No one expected so much, not even our best models.   In fact, the great U of AZ mod, if you can remember as far back as yesterday at this time and that you ALSO stopped in here,  it had a measly 0.10 to 0.25 inches here, with just 0.50 and 1 inch prediction for the Catalinas–have to look real hard at yesterday’s precip map.    Usually these models overpredict the precip some, too.

Here’s your Pima County ALERT gauge 24 h totals as of 2:30 PM yesterday , though the rain fell mostly in the 12 h ending at this time1:

Gauge 15 1 3 6 24 Name Location
ID# minutes hour hours hours hours
—- —- —- —- —- —- —————– ———————
Catalina A rea
1010 0 0 0.12 0.47 0.83 Golder Ranch Horseshoe Bend Rd in Saddlebrooke
1020 0 0 0.35 0.79 1.81 Oracle Ranger Stati approximately 0.5 mi SW of Oracle
1040 0 0 0.28 0.75 1.10 Dodge Tank Edwin Rd 1.3 mi E of Lago Del Oro Parkway
1050 0 0 0.28 0.67 1.10 Cherry Spring approximately 1.5 mi W of Charouleau Gap
1060 0 0.04 0.55 1.06 1.77 Pig Spring approximately 1.1 mi NE of Charouleau Gap
1070 0 0 0.31 0.75 1.10 Cargodera Canyon NE corner of Catalina State Park
1080 0 0.04 0.28 0.75 1.22 CDO @ Rancho Solano Cañada Del Oro Wash NE of Saddlebrooke
1100 0 0 0.16 0.47 0.63 CDO @ Golder Rd Cañada Del Oro Wash at Golder Ranch Rd
Santa Cata lina Mountai ns
1030 0 0.08 0.55 0.94 1.77 Oracle Ridge Oracle Ridge, approximately 1.5 mi N of Rice Peak
1090 0 0.04 0.59 1.65 2.87 Mt. Lemmon Mount Lemmon
1110 0 0.04 0.47 0.91 1.46 CDO @ Coronado Camp Cañada Del Oro Wash 0.3 mi S of Coronado Camp
1130 0 0.04 0.71 1.46 2.72 Samaniego Peak Samaniego Peak on Samaniego Ridge
1140 0 0.08 0.63 1.14 1.73 Dan Saddle Dan Saddle on Oracle Ridge
2150 0 0 0.16 0.75 1.57 White Tail Catalina Hwy 0.8 mi W of Palisade Ranger Station
2280 0 0 0.08 0.24 0.31 Green Mountain Green Mountain
2290 0 0.04 0.16 0.55 0.94 Marshall Gulch Sabino Creek 0.6 mi SSE of Marshall Gulch

 

Below, the view of our storm during its peak if you had been flying on a commercial satellite, say,  from Honolulu to Washington, DC:

Ann 20141204 vis sat to go with radar
Annotated visible satellite image excerpt for late yesterday morning during the heavier parts of our storm. This image from the University of Washington Huskies Weather Department, and let us not forget that except for clock mismanagement2 in the waning two minutes combined with and an unfortunate fumble that Arizona would NOT be playing in the Big Game in rainy Santa Clara, CA, today since the Huskies had won that game in every way but the score, the latter being the unfair way to get a win when you’ve really been beaten down.  But, that having been said, let us forget our differences and root for whichever team wins! A front from the Pacific is scheduled to move over the players during the game and so, like Napoleon’s ill-advised invasion of Russia, weather may make a huge contribution to history today as it did back then. Recall that extreme cold and lack of preparedness led to the loss of almost all of Napoleon’s invading army in 1812; those poor guys.

 

Analysis of the 500 mb height contours and wind field from IPS MeteoStar for 5 AM AST just after rains began.  Jet max at this level had already spurted inland and south of Tucson by this time.
Analysis of the 500 mb height contours and wind field from IPS MeteoStar for 5 AM AST just after rains began. Jet max at this level had already spurted inland and south of Tucson by this time. Upward motion is best ahead of the bend in the winds around Baja on this map, AND under and north of the strongest winds at THIS level in just about all of the INTERIOR of the SW and into some of the western high Plains, like Denver.  This relationship disappears completely for the eastern US.  In fact, almost no precip of any magnitude falls within the 500 mb jet core back East, just the opposite of here because the major rains and precip back there occur in the warm, moist air rushing northward and rising due to that warmth ahead of fronts and low pressure centers from the Gulf of Mexico.
7:48 AM.  Looking ESE at the Samaniego Ridge and the Catalina Mountains.  R- OCNLY R.
7:48 AM. Looking ESE at the Samaniego Ridge and the Catalina Mountains from Sutherland Heights near Equestrian Trail Road.  Weather, for people who text:  1 R-F;   R- OCNLY R.  (Visibility 1 in light rain and fog, light rain occasionally moderate rain, the latter falling at a rate of 0.1 to 0.3 inches per hour.  This photo valid until about 1:30 PM yesterday.

 

9:41 AM.  Dogs assess rain intensity, flooding indications before deciding if they will venture out.  "Rain, it doesn't just affect people."
9:41 AM. Dogs assess rain intensity and indication of flooding before deciding if they will venture out.   “Rain:  it doesn’t just affect people.”

 

1:44 PM.  Looking west, signs that the storm is about to end or has ended already.  Such signs are marked by huge blue regions in the upwind direction.
1:44 PM. Looking west, signs that the storm is about to end or has ended already. Such signs are marked by huge blue regions in the upwind direction.

 

1:51 PM.  Blue palo verde enjoys a raindrop on a twig, that drop essentially a fish eye lens since the reflection in it is of the mostly blue sky that was moving in at this time.
1:51 PM. Blue palo verde enjoys a raindrop on a twig, that drop essentially a fish eye lens since the reflection in it is of the mostly blue sky that was moving in at this time.
1:46 PM.  Laddled with drops, even the teddy bear cholla, the worst plant known to man, but when covered with snow is called an "Arizona Christmas tree" had a particular beauty right after the rains ended.
1:46 PM. Laddled with drops, even the teddy bear cholla, the worst plant known to man, but when covered with snow is called an “Arizona Christmas tree” had a particular beauty right after the rains ended.

 

Close up view....  This is about as bad as a plant can get.
Close up view…. This is about as bad as a plant can get.

 

3:44 PM.  What spectacularly blue skies and unlimited visibility the day finished with after such a satisfying rain.  Good to be alive still!
3:44 PM. What spectacularly blue skies and unlimited visibility the day finished with after such a satisfying rain.   Good to be alive still!

The weather just ahead….

Another lower latitude wave is progressing toward Arizona as we speak.  That wave and its front will likely drench the AZCats in their championship quest this evening.  And, the southern part of wave is again juicy with a ton of middle and high clouds.  Those clouds start passing over us today, starting, of course, with the highest, thinnest ones, Cirrus, and, as per usual, the level of moisture will lower as time goes on.  The wave (the bend in the winds aloft) passes over us during the day tomorrow, and again, the wind maximum at 500 mb will be south of us.  It is a necessary, but not always sufficient condition for almost all of our winter rains.  Just looking at the upper level map makes me think some rain here overnight or tomorrow.  No model run, as of 11 PM AST, that I have seen has rain here overnight or tomorrow, but I would watch out for a little rain anyway during that “window.”  Cloudwise, lots of Cirrus today, lowering to Altostratus with Altocumulus by tomorrow, lots of virga around by tomorrow and likely sprinkles or light measurable rain around.

Farther  ahead….

Several rain chances are building up, the first one looking better all the time for the 12th, something that has been pretty confidently suggested in the “spaghetti plots3” for more than ten days.  Spaghettis is suggesting lots of trough action over the next two weeks.  The individual details will vary in the model outputs, some will have rain here, some won’t for the same day, but the weather pattern will be, “unsettled”;  lots of trough actions, lot of clouds coming and going like today and tomorrow, no unusual warmth since “Mr. Troughy” (aka, the trough bowl)  will be the dominant weather personage for us over this two week period.  Lots of great sunrises and sunsets guaranteed, no long boring clear spells.

Pretty darn excited about the weather promise ahead!

The End

—————

1Gauge locations can be found here.

2Even a weatherman knows clock mismanagement when he sees it.

3Don’t forget those great, “I heart spaghetti” tee shirts with those colorful spaghetti displays on them!  They make fabulous Christmas gifts for those discerning weather friends of yours; sophisticated, too.  Most people won’t get it. Yours today for just $19.95, plus $43 dollars shipping.  Order now!