Catalina miss, but an inch just next to Saddlebrooke

I guess we can be happy for them…  Here’s how the day went.

9:39 AM In case you missed logging this special cloud, Cirrocumulus undulatus, waves in the atmosphere.
9:40 AM. I guess you could have been distracted by the first Cumulus rising off Mt. Ms. Lemmon.
12:07 PM. Nice progression to our Catalina cloud street off’n Lemmon, but slower to grow than the day before. Reason to be concerned.


3:08 PM. The local picture begins to improve as a Cumulonimbus with a strong rainshaft forms N of Catalina and Cumulus congestus arise away from the Catalinas.
4:23 PM. Now this is really looking fantastic! Its going to dump for sure, and while this Cumulus congestus base is to the N of us and moving away, the ensuing outflow winds from the falling rain might well cause clouds to back up against the wind and new heavy Cumulus might form over us!
4:33 PM. “Dump, der it is”, paraphrasing the popular ditty from “In Living Color” that emerged at ball games, “Bloop, there it is”…  Now, lets see what the outfloiwng wind does.  Can it move that dark region this side of the rainshaft thisaway? I sped off to Sutherland Heights district to get a closer, electrifying look.
4:43 PM and 20 photos later…. This is looking fantastic, at least, over there by Saddlebrooke.
4:50 PM. Someone’s getting ver wet over there. A Pima County ALERT gage reported 1.06 inches under this. But, the dark cloud base on this side has thinned (take a look above the partial rainbow). Its over for Catalina as far as outlfow winds pushing up a new base.
5:15 PM. While pretty to look at, the tattered clouds to the left of the rainshaft are telling you “its over.” Now, the only question that remains is whether there will be a nice sunset?
6:50 PM. And the answer to the sunset question was yes.

By Art Rangno

Retiree from a group specializing in airborne measurements of clouds and aerosols at the University of Washington (Cloud and Aerosol Research Group). The projects in which I participated were in many countries; from the Arctic to Brazil, from the Marshall Islands to South Africa.