Great rainshowers pummeled a few nearby areas yesterday; Horseshoe Bend just NE of Saddlebrooke, got 0.75 inches yesterday with another little pulse of water coming down the CDO later. But once again Nature bobbed a rainy apple in front of us, only to jerk it away, to mix metaphors royally. BTW, has there been a baby yet?
I wonder, too, if you saw in yesterday’s sad weather “play”, the colliding outflows NE of Saddlebrooke? Or the the ideal, dark, expansive, flat cloud base indicating a great updraft was feeding the rain shafts just to the north of us, ones that were propagating this way, riding the rain-cooled outflow racing toward Sutherland Heights, that wind shoving the air up as it pushed S, forming new clouds over it?
All this looked so promising to the non-cynical observer. As a meteorologist I was, of course, videoing these events to the north LONG before they happened since we often see this sequence develop to the north of us. But after you experience so many disappointments, as we have here in SH, you begin to expect bad no matter how promising they look at first. Its kind of like being a Cubs fan. You KNOW nothing good is going to come of the season. So that’s where I am now, pretty much like a hopeless Cubs (or a Seattle Mariners) fan.
Have, of course, in five summers, seen this happen before, that is, “The Great Dissipation”, when rain is but yards away, moving down from the N and then doesn’t make it. You probably have, too.
Part of the reason, maybe a large part, is that the wind rushing south from areas north of Saddlebrooke, and especially out of the Charoleau Gap, is going downhill. This means that the upward shove out of the rain shaft is being compromised by downslope motion at the ground. Often, in spite of this downslope motion at the ground, the upward shove is still enough to keep a respectable cloud base going, feeding more precip into the rain shafts that develop above. So, while there have been other situations where strength of the “incoming” is weakened, there was still an upward shove strong enough that we still get drenched.
But not yesterday.
The cloud bottoms/updrafts, necessary for new rain to form and reach here, broke up just as they arrived over Sutherland Heights, with one last gasp rain streamer, the end product of the last decent cloud base/updraft, landing only a mile or less away to the east before giving out completely. Man, that was tough to see.
Here’s a photo diary for yesterday, which, BTW, was one of the most photogenic summer days ever IMO (took around 300 shots (!), though part of that excess was because my camera malfunctioning and had to repeat many):
Now to get through the dry, HOT few days ahead…. Will be tough.
However, take a look at this radar-derived precip map for the US for just the past 7 days, and just look at how the droughty areas of the SW and Plains States have been hit with tremendous rains during this period. So great to see so much, especially here in AZ and NM. From WSI: