A photogenic day, lots of action around, but not much rain here (0.01 inches)

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):

5:24 AM.  Cumulus turret beyond the horizon casts a shadow on Cirrus clouds.  Very pretty and dramatic.
5:24 AM. Cumulus turret beyond the horizon casts a shadow on Cirrus clouds as the sun comes up behind it. Very pretty..

 

8:34 AM.  Now here's a great sign, a fingerling shooting up from a Cumulus forming on the Catalinas this early!
8:34 AM. Now here’s a great sign, a fingerling Cumulus shooting up from the Catalinas this early!
SONY DSC
9:39 AM. This is really looking good due to the bulk and towering aspect of the clouds.
SONY DSC
9:43 AM.  So pretty, so isolated, and shows that even the Tortolitas can launch large clouds early yesterday, another great sign for an active day.
9:51 AM.  Clouds continue to be quite aroused over the Catalinas!
9:51 AM. Clouds continue to be quite aroused over the Catalinas, nearly reaching the glaciation level already!  I was quite excited myself and took a lot of photos of these.
10:12 AM.  Rain!  (from a Cumulonimbus capillatus--looks fibrous in its upper portions due to ice crystals and snowflakes
10:12 AM. Rain! (from a Cumulonimbus capillatus–looks fibrous in its upper portions due to ice crystals and snowflakes
11:12 AM.  Within an hour, Lemmon was rumbling, as was this giant off to the N of Saddlebrooke.
11:12 AM. Within an hour, Lemmon was rumbling, as was this giant off to the N of Saddlebrooke.
11:26 AM.  The unusual scene of two outflow winds colliding, just behind the dark base in the foreground.
11:26 AM. The unusual scene of two outflow winds colliding, just behind the dark base in the foreground.  Things were looking so great because you knew there would be an out rush of wind at us, maybe maintaining that big dark base that’s necesssary to keep the rainshafts going its the bottom of the chimney feeding the Cumulonimbus turrets, getting them up there where they cold enough to form new rain/hail/graupel.  Its only a few miles away, too!
11:39 AM.   Learning module.  RIght here you begin to suspect something's wrong, base looking a bit disorganized, not as large and flat, though still has a strong upshoot on the right side
11:39 AM. Learning module. Here’s where your hope for a great rain should begin to fade, a wave of sadness washing over you.  RIght here you begin to suspect something’s wrong, that big fat dark base looking a bit disorganized, not as large and flat, though still has a strong upshoot on the right side.  Maybe the disintegration of the base will continue; once started it always does.
11:49 AM.  This is the trash base that made it over the house.  Put on "The Who", "Won't get fooled again."  New base same as the old base.  Won't get fooled again."
11:49 AM. This is the trash base that made it over the house. Going to put on “The Who” now; you remember them:  “Won’t get fooled again. New base same as the old base. Won’t get fooled again.”  One of the great weather songs of all time.
Dong, twelve noon.  That base at 11:39 AM above had enough upward zoom to produce this narrow rain streamer as the base died.  If you were out, there was a very close lightning strike at this time in Sutherland Heights.
Dong, twelve noon. That diminishing base at 11:39 AM above had enough upward zoom in it to produce this narrow rain streamer as the base disappeared, got rained out. If you were out, there was a very close lightning strike at this time in Sutherland Heights.
4:24 PM.  But the day wasn't over yet was it?  BY late afternoon, new Cumulonimbus clouds had arisen, now drifting from the west that produced this unusual scene of spaced rainshafts.
4:24 PM. But the day wasn’t over yet was it? BY late afternoon, new Cumulonimbus clouds had arisen, now drifting from the west that produced this unusual scene of spaced rainshafts.
7:31 PM.  The day ended with another one of our multi-colored sunsets, the ones we love so much in the summer.
7:31 PM. The day ended with another one of our multi-colored sunsets, the ones we love so much in the summer.

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:

Total precipitation as inferred by radar for the seven days ending today.  Fantastic!
Total precipitation as inferred by radar for the seven days ending today. Fantastic!

The End