What a great wildflower-producing/maintaing storm! While some, well most, of the exceptional weather expected, like TSTMs, funnels, hail, locusts, and afternoon arcus clouds, were not really observed, a lot of rain was. Here’s your cloud day for our stupendous storm, not yet over, beginning with a how-it-fell chart:
How it fell.
7:43 AM. A very Seattle-like view if the Catalina Mountains were the Olympic Mountains west of Seattle, complete with standing lenticular cloud overhead, here due to the SSE winds aloft. Overnight, with just 0.19 inches, we were one of the driest places in SE Arizona due to shadowing of the rain due to that southerly wind.
8:31 AM. Almost the same scene, lenticular plate overhead holding in place, though it soon began to fade.
9:00 AM. Hike to get closer to rain, and to see if Sutherland Wash, east of Sutherland Heights, had any water in it after a few inches had fallen on Ms. Mt. Lemmon. Very pretty sight, coulda been on the west side of the Cascade Mountains, except for the lack of forests.
9:03 AM. Another dramatically gray scene, something in the way of a cloud street coming off the Catalinas at ME.
9:08 AM. Classic Arizona rain day scene. Can’t really be anywhere else with that saguaro, can it? Oh, btw, there was NOTHING in the wash at the Cottonwoods!
9:47 AM. Bored with the lack of rain, took this; Jake the horse, also bored, enjoys new sawdust while waiting for the rain which can’t seem to get here.. Dreamer horse looks on.
11:15 AM. Still wating for rain, though it continues to pound the Catalinas, which is good.
10:50 AM. Still hasn’t rained here in Catalina after the rain near dawn. However, this nice cloud base began to hover to the south of us. Will it do anything? Stand by.
11:47 AM. That hovering cloud base, much like a lenticular, continued in place, but at this time, rain was beginning to fall from the downstream portions over us! And, look how summer-like the rain intensity looks on Pusch Ridge! It started to get real exciting now.
1:21 PM. Still R- to R falling out of this stationary cloud just upstream of Catalina. You could see that the backside of the rain upwind of us was only a mile or two away, but it never arrived during that 2 h rain. One of the most interesting rain situations you and I have ever seen. About a quarter of an inch fell during this situation. Nice. And still, the “Yikes” period mentioned yesterday, suggested by the progs, was still ahead! But would it disappoint?
1:59 PM. For those meteorologists and cloud mavens that like to work without cheating and looking at radar, this scene should have got your heart pounding. Note the dark line on the horizon, “The Yikes Event”m triggered by “Red Curly Air” aloft, is about to happen!
1:59 PM. Close up of the arcus cloud on the and windshift line on the horizon about to move in.
2:26 PM. In case you didn’t believe me, this. Visions of lightning and hail danced in my head; maybe some arcus would turn into a tube!
2:57 PM. Cutting to the chase, the so-so arcus cloud fronting the rain just before the gush of wind and hours of rain for Catalina arrived. The rain here is just arriving at Oracle Road. No LTG, no hail, no funnels were observed though I listened and looked damn hard. That hangy-down thing did not have rotation. See chart at beginning of blog for the great rain that fell. Of course, with all the upper level support this had (“red curly air”) you knew it was going to be a wide rain band, not a cheesy narrow one. We didn’t get the more severe Cumulonimbus clouds probably because there were no sun breaks ahead of this line (as was anticipated); temperatures stayed cool, in the mid-50s. Still, it was a great work of rain (again, see chart).
The End, of yesterday’s cloud story, finished the next day after that. See yesterday’s cloud story today.