Range of amounts in Catalina, given kind of a marginal moisture situation:
Goose egg to 0.33 inches max, median 0.165 inches, CMP’s best forecast. A friend and met man/prof predicts 0.50 inches here, FYI.
Have felt a little guilty not posting cloud photos from the last storm, Oct 30th, leading my reader into some sadness, maybe even despair the following day when she didn’t see her cloud day reprised. Here are a couple of the characteristic scenes from that day, which includes a shot of a rare drizzling cloud. You will love that shot! Also reprised here is the pioneering technique of novella-sized captions.
Still windy outside, 6:03 AM to be exact. Looks like the observation of windy is going to be correct. Expecting some nice lenticular clouds to show up today. Have cameras ready. No rain before 7:15 PM. Overnight, watch out!
While living the big western life yesterday by riding a horse, me and my ridin’ pal, Nora B., came across some water flowing in the Sutherland Wash by the rusty gate on the east side of the wash that leads to Coronado National Forest land.
So, with with a 3-5 inch rain on the Catalinas, there WAS some water in the Sutherland here in the Catalina area. It was remarkable that there was no sign whatsoever of water having flowed at the Cottonwoods at the Baby Jesus Trail head on the north side of this flow (shown below), but water was flowing in it a few hundred yards farther downstream.
Nor was there any sign that water had flowed from our big rain in the Sutherland Wash at the back gate to Catalina State Park. In fact, we saw where this Sutherland Wash water disappeared just down from the rusty gate.
So, a lesson has been learned here about wash water flows: it can be flowing modestly between two dry points. Huh. Might not see this again for some time, and it will all be going away soon. Too bad so many of us have to pass hiking or horseback riding to these rare scenes today due to a necessary Pac 12 football TEEVEE vigil beginning just after 12 noon today and lasting through midnight I think. Kind of sad when you have to make choices between two equally worthy activities like these.
Cloudwise, I hope you logged the occurrence of distant Cumulonimbus clouds in the high country on the NW-NE horizon late yesterday afternoon.
From your Pima County ALERT gauges, these 24 h totals ending at 3 AM this morning (covers the whole storm):
Gauge 24 Name Location ID# minutes hours —- —- —- —- —- —- —————– ——————— Catalina Area 1010 0.04 Golder Ranch Horseshoe Bend Road in Saddlebrooke 1020 0.20 Oracle Ranger Stati approximately 0.5 mile southwest of Oracle 1040 0.08 Dodge Tank Edwin Road 1.3 miles east of Lago Del Oro Parkway 1050 0.20 Cherry Spring approximately 1.5 miles west of Charouleau Gap 1060 0.55 Pig Spring approximately 1.1 miles northeast of Charouleau Gap 1070 0.08 Cargodera Canyon northeast corner of Catalina State Park 1080 0.08 CDO @ Rancho Solano Cañada Del Oro Wash northeast of Saddlebrooke 1100 0.04 CDO @ Golder Rd Cañada Del Oro Wash at Golder Ranch Road
Santa Catalina Mountains 1030 0.75 Oracle Ridge Oracle Ridge, approximately 1.5 miles north of Rice Peak 1090 0.00 Mt. Lemmon Mount Lemmon 1110 0.75 CDO @ Coronado Camp Cañada Del Oro Wash 0.3 miles south of Coronado Camp 1130 0.24 Samaniego Peak Samaniego Peak on Samaniego Ridge 1140 0.83 Dan Saddle Dan Saddle on Oracle Ridge 2150 0.12 White Tail Catalina Highway 0.8 miles west of Palisade Ranger Station 2280 0.20 Green Mountain Green Mountain 2290 0.24 Marshall Gulch Sabino Creek 0.6 miles south southeast of Marshall Gulch
The absence of precip at Mt. Lemmon is not because the storm went around it, but rather because it fell as snow.
Here in the Heights, 0.08 inches fell between 1 PM and 3 PM. Clouds accompanied the rain.
But what kind? That’s why I am here for you. See way below.
First, some techno-babble. Rain was an on and off event for Catalina and environs in the models run after run. A forecaster friend sent many e-mails that went from “looks good for rain” here, and just about as many that said, “doesn’t look good for rain.” In fact, the (WRF-GFS) model run for just 12 h before it rained, had no rain here, but just a bit to the north. What happened?
Here’s the amount of trough “sag” (“amplitude”, as we would say) over Arizona predicted just 14 h before it started raining in Catalina yesterday afternoon:
In case you think I am lying again, just because I am a meteorologist and say a lot of wrong things, below is the REAL map for last evening with wind data from rawinsonde balloons on it.
I hope you’re happy now.
Here’s what the temperature did as the windshift and rain began, in case you missed it:
The sequence: cloudy, sunny “sucker hole” (one of Biblical proportions), cloudy, raining, sunny, dusty.
Couldn’t be on “the perch” for that rain here in SH-Catalina late yesterday afternoon (0.14 inches) due to a social engagement, but, serendipitously drove under the 1-2 inch blast of rain, lightning, and 60 mph winds that deluged Oracle Road at Magee and points south. 1.7 inches was measured in 37 minutes at the Ina Road and CDO Wash! You can find more regional totals here. Arrived in that zone just as the bottom unloaded, the most exciting place you can be, as you and storm chasers know, of course. Restaurant, at Ina and Oracle, took quite a bit of water, too
You can see this stupendous sequence, too, from the U of AZ campus here.
A U of AZ mod from 11 PM last night foretells another active rain day today. This is great. Weeds getting crispy, as seen on yesterday’s horseback ride. Maybe some will get rejuvenated. Expert takes on mods will come out later by Bob and Mike, of course. The scene at White Dog Ranch, by the CDO wash and Lago del Oro as of yesterday:
But also saw some wildlfower stragglers
And, to finish off here, the early signs of a likely good day ahead, Cu sprouting above Ms. Lemmon by mid morning, tops reaching “glaciation temperatures” not much later, and, of course, “thunder on the Lemmon before 1 PM.” Like all “signs”, there are exceptions but they usually work out, like yesterday’s downpours.
1The CDO wash is no longer visible at Oracle on the east side, thanks to an unnecessary, unbelievable 400 feet of sound wall monstrosity, extended past the neighborhood (Ramsfield Pass) it was supposed to shelter from a few extra decibels. One Catalina neighbor described it as only slightly better looking than the Berlin Wall. Our tax dollars at work, I guess, in some bizarre way. The wash did NOT need to be protected from a few decibals, and I miss seeing in as we used to!
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