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.
Still a chance, a small one for a shower today, before it dries out for a few days. Mods pretty sure about rain on the Cats this afternoon, which is good. Should be a very photogenic day, with nice shots of more isolated thunderblasters.
With that out of the way…let us reprise yesterday, the good and the bad.
Only 0.17 inches here in Sutherland Heights yesterday while Saddlebrooke was getting shafted, rain shafted, that is. Moore Road at La Cholla, over there, also got more than TWO inches yesterday afternoon. You can check the interesting amounts here and here.
Another near miss here at the house. May have to sell if this keeps up. July rain here in Sutherland Heights, now at only 2.87 inches (normal is 3.5 inches) while everywhere within radius of two miles has more, for example, about 3.5 inches already over there to the south on Trotter (just S of Golder Ranch Drive), and 4 or so inches in places in and around Saddlebrooke, almost within ear shot.
Here are the effects of more July rain than here; these shots from yesterday morning down in the Regional State Park next to Lago del Oro Road:
Continuing with vegetation shots after nostalgia break:
Also had a surge down the CDO wash. I know you like to see this, you love water, so here are two shots from yesterday afternoon after the Saddlebrooke mash down:
While the rain was a disappointment, all the other scenes yesterday caused more than 200 photos to be taken from it. Since I have termed myself, rightly or wrongly, as a “cloud maven”, I should show you ones I thought were exceptional, pretty and or dramatic. The first one, while I was looking forlornly at the Saddlebrooke cloudburst, “Why there, and not on me?”:
Here’s what rips your heart out, the big, smooth-looking base indicating a good updraft right overhead but nothing comes out. The giant drops, those ones that are the biggest ones in the cloud could be coming down, defeating the updraft that’s been holding them up there because they’ve gotten too big and heavy for it, and likeyly they were even were big hail stones or giant graupel particles (soft hail), and they’re up there. but the strands of those biggest drops begin to streaming downward just a mile away you see. First, you have some sky rage seeing those strands reach the ground just a mile away, your face reddening, but then, being by nature more contemplative, resign yourself to yet another miss as now the sky fills with dead looking debris cloud upstream of you, only producing light, steady “little baby” rain at best, rain that wouldn’t amount to that much, only might be important to a flying ant colony, but that’s about it. Heartbreak Hotel, right here, overhead yesterday, started thinking about moving on again:
Thought back, too, to all the promise, the propitious start to the day with those thunderheads, mimicking hydrogen bomb blasts, over the Mogollon Rim on the north horizon at 9:30 AM. As a cloud maven junior, you would been thinking, “THIS is going to be a special day today.” Here’s that distant scene, so fabulous to see, from Equestrian Trail Road:
Thinking about wildflowers today, and prospects for a good bloom hereabouts are dimming. But, rain is now showing up on the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) GFS models on Thursday, Sunday, and again after the following Wednesday (can be seen here). I am so excited! Maybe this time these model depictions of rain in SE AZ won’t be numerical mirages as they often have been this winter 10-15 days in advance. Model doesn’t seem to know about the “strange repulser” of SW storms, the La Nina phenomenon now in progress I guess.
Also, in the current spell of desiccation, there haven’t even been any cirriform clouds, those high ones that make the sunsets here so nice!
Things are looking pretty sad in the Catalina State Park and surround State free range lands as December rains-inspired grass starts to look a little stunted due to lack of rain over the past six weeks. Don’t want to see hungry (?) cattle here and there eating cholla cactus. See photo. That is not a fake cow. I filmed it gulping several cholla “fruit” down (film rated “PG” since its unimaginable that any living thing would devour something like a cholla bud, and your kids might start to cry if they see this). ((Are there no nerve endings in cow’s tongue?)). (((And if Ripley’s “Strangely Believe It” was still around, I would be submitting this cow photo so fast for some kind of prize.)))
Oops. what is a cholla “fruit”? See next photo. Cholla seem to like people.
Last, reminiscing over the fabulous 2010 wildflower show in Catalina State Park and environs, this 3rd photo: