Category Archives: Rain shafts

Quarter incher (updated; then updated some more with clickable images! You can read stuff now!)

Its not a McDonald’s product, but rather a reference to yesterday’s rain total here in the Sutherland Heights, but maybe there will be some extra blog  “drive bys” of people looking to order a small meal…

Yesterday’s 0.26 inches was only the second day in 39 years that measurable rain has fallen on June 10th (normally reported the following day, today,  at 7 AM 1 novella-sized ).  Rain mainly fell in Sutherland Heights and to the north in this first episode, and later to the southwest through west of us as a big cell came in after 4 PM from the south sporting a huge anvil.

Measurable rain of at least a mm (0.04 inches),  enough to trip the ALERT gauge bucket, did not even fall on the CDO Bridge at Lago, while 1.02 inches fell 1.5 mi west of Charouleau Gap (Cherry Spring ALERT gauge) yesterday.  Nice.

Continuing with interesting information….

The day of this blog was Saturday,  June 11th.

In the past 39  Junes, it has not rained in Catalina on this day.  Check it out with this updated rain occurrences chart with generalities on it, ones that don’t always apply:

The Banner University of Arizona's Weather Department computer model foretells rain in Catlaina beginning just after noon today. If that happens, and I think it will, we will all experience a very rare event! I am really happy for you!
The Banner University of Arizona’s Weather Department computer model foretells rain in Catalina beginning just after noon today. If that happens, and I think it will, we will all experience a very rare event! I am really happy for you!

 

Yesterday’s clouds (which is now a few days ago, June 10th actually)

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12:00 PM. This was an exciting shot for us since it shows that the mid-and upper portions of the Cumulonimbus clouds that are going to form over the Catalinas a bit later, are going to eject out rapidly toward Catalina. Some good rains here can happen in this situation, though not the heaviest ones since those have to fall through the whole body of the cloud rather than from well above the base since evaporation will take a toll on those falling drops once outside the cloud.
12:24 PM. Another cloud builds explosively upward from Mt. Lemmon. Will this one rain?
12:24 PM. Another cloud builds explosively upward from Mt. Lemmon. Will this one rain?
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12:23 PM. Top of a weak Cumulonimbus passes directly over Sutherland Heights. A light rain shower is falling from the most distant part where ice formed. The ice was forming as the top went over us, and so the precip fell out after it had gone by, pretty unusual. This was partly because this top had not gotten as high as the one forming over us and downstream from Mt. Lemmon as this photo was taken. Sometimes we get pretty good rain in Catalina from clouds whose mid and upper portions eject out over us from Mt. Lemmon.
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12:24 PM. A glaciated portion of the Cumulonimbus top peaks out. No rain was evident from this cloud on top of Mt. Lemmon and whose top passed right over Sutherland Heights. Can you find it? If not, see zoom of this view next.
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12:24 PM. An clearly glaciated portion of the top of the Cumulonimbus cloud sitting on Ms. Mt. Sara Lemmon. Pretty exciting to see for us since no shaft was visible at this time, and only the tiniest radar echo was present since the radar was in between sweeps of our area.
1:05 PM. Rain spreads downwind from Samaniego Ridge and is now falling in Sutherland Heights.
1:05 PM. Rain spreads downwind from Samaniego Ridge and is now falling in Sutherland Heights.
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12:34 PM. Shaft emerges from Cumulonimbus base onto Samaniego Ridge. Ice aloft was seen before this happened.
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7:28 PM. Sun elongates toward the horizon as it sets.
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7:50 PM. Looked promising as this TSTM moved toward Catalinaland but faded before it got here.

 

 

 

——————————————

1Mr. Cloud Maven Person was so excited he forgot that the rain that fell on June 10th will be reported on June 11th.  By convention, the 0.26 inches which fell on the 10th, will be reported as though it had fallen on the 11th.  That’s because it will be the 24 h total ENDING at 7 AM local standard time, the time when most obs are recorded these days.

“These days”?

Yep.  It used to be the most stations, except those having recording gauges as here, as here, which can partition the rain by the exact 24 h it fell in, reported their precip in the late afternoon, 4-6 PM local standard time.   The shift requested shift for cooperative observers like me occurred in I don’t when, maybe 20 years ago.

This shift had an important impact on climate since reading your thermometer, say, at 5 PM in a heat wave, might mean the highest temperature for the following 24 h was almost the same temperature as you had on your prior observational day even if a cold front came through a few hours later on that day and the high temperature on the following day was cold as heck,  the high temperature actually 30 degrees lower.  But the thermometer you reset at 5 PM the prior day will be immersed in those higher temperatures right after you made that ob.  So, when a crazy thing could happen.  The actual high temperature the following day could be 52 F, but the reset thermometer might have 81 F as the high for the whole 24 h following the official ob time.  Got it?  It is confusing, and something that causes headaches in climate studies.

Now, it is thought that the shift to 7 AM obs could lead to a slight amount of cooling since that same effect could happen during a cold spell.  The low temperature of a cold, cold morning might carry over as the coldest temperature for the next 24 h day even if that next day was far warmer.  Glad I’m not too interested in temperature, but rather clouds!   Temperature is too hard, as Homer Simpson might say.

As you can deduce or not, the problem is that cooperative observers only read their instruments once a day as a rule, and the high and low temperatures for a day are averaged to get the average temperature for the whole day.  Its the best we can do since cooperative observers for the National Weather Service are unpaid volunteers, which is redundant.

However, the cooperative observer network for climate data in the US is in collapse these days; not enough money to keep it up and so if you were to check the government publication, “Climatological Data”, mostly comprised of cooperative observations with a sprinkling of official National Weather Service ones, you would find lots and lots of missing reports.  No one seems to care a lot about climate obs these days, though there is a mighty interest in climate models!

Well, we’ve gotten off into quite an informative  harangue here…..

 

Raining in puddle just ahead, but not on car; also, a horse picture

This was amazing.  I approach one of the puddles on Equestrian Trail.  I see that its raining HARD in the puddle.  I am only 20 feet from it, but its not raining on my car!  Here’s what that scene looked like:

3:26 PM.  Equestrian Trail road puddle outbound from Sutherland Heights.
3:26 PM. Equestrian Trail road puddle outbound from Sutherland Heights.

How could this be?  Of course, we’ve all seen heavy rain on the road and drove into it.  But the illusion here that was so striking is that it only SEEMED to be raining in the puddle, not around it since the drop splashes were not obvious as I drove up to it.

The rest of yesterday was pretty great, too, lots of rainbows, brilliant clouds and skies, too photogenic for a neurotic-compulsive photographer.  However, one of 221 photos was of a human, a neighbor, not of clouds and rain shafts.

Here are a few too many cloud photos; excess is kind of a specialty of mine:

6:25 AM.
6:25 AM.
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6:25 AM.

 

6:25 AM.  Unloading.
6:25 AM. Unloading.
6:26 AM.
6:26 AM.

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7:40 AM.
7:40 AM.
11:58 AM.  Cumulonimbus cloud boils upward upwind of Catalina.
11:58 AM. Cumulonimbus cloud boils upward upwind of Catalina.
12:25 PM.  Getting closer....
12:25 PM. Getting closer….
12:51 PM.  Lightning strikes not that close...
12:51 PM. Lightning strikes not that close…Hail up to pea size, though.
1:10 PM.  Backside of storm looked pretty good, too, quite firm and protuberant.  Note whitish fallstreak, likely graupel and or hail.
1:10 PM. Backside of storm looked pretty good, too, quite firm and protuberant, indicating updraft still intact. Note whitish fallstreak, likely graupel and or hail.
1:10 PM.  Horse exults over extra rain.
1:10 PM. Horse exults over extra rain.
1:43 PM.  Crepuscular rays due to rain, not haze.  A pretty scene sez me.
1:43 PM. Crepuscular rays due to rain, not haze. A pretty scene sez me.
2:18 PM.  Another dramatic scene.
2:18 PM. Another dramatic scene.
2:36 PM.  Biosphere 2 hit by light rainbow.
2:36 PM. Biosphere 2 hit by light rainbow.
2:42 PM.  For the sharp-eyed, bit of arcus cloud below Cumulus bases shows the northwest wind and cold front about to hit Catalina.  Hit over there by Marana first.  Was minutes away here.
2:42 PM. For the sharp-eyed, bit of arcus cloud below Cumulus bases shows the northwest wind and cold front about to hit Catalina. Hit over there by Marana first. Was minutes away here.
2:46 PM.  Something akin to an arcus cloud is just about on Catalina.  Remember, the shift of the wind precedes the cloud, and lifts the air above it.  Did you notice how the whole sky began to fill in with clouds as the windshift hit and for the hours after that?  Pretty cool, huh?
2:46 PM. Something akin to an arcus cloud is just about on Catalina. Remember, the shift of the wind precedes the cloud, and lifts the air above it. Did you notice how the whole sky began to fill in with clouds as the windshift hit and for the hours after that? Pretty cool, huh?
3:56 PM.  Awful dark out for this time of day.  And yet another rainbow!  Is this Hawaii, or WHAT?  Rainbow colors end where snow is falling, not rain.
3:56 PM. Awful dark out for this time of day. And yet another rainbow! Is this Hawaii, or WHAT? Rainbow colors end where snow is falling, not rain.

 

4:05 PM.  Day closes with more storms drifting toward Catalina.
4:05 PM. Day closes with more storms drifting toward Catalina.
Lightly looking ahead

Still a lot of “troughy” weather ahead, and chance for decent November rains in the first half of the month after cold one goes by, followed by a short dry spell.

The End.

Pre-dawn thunderama raises rain total to 0.49 inches

in Sutherland Heights, that is.   but 1.58 inches (!) over there by Tangerine and Oracle Road:

Personal weather station rainfall totals as of 7 AM AST this morning.  All of these totals are for the period after midnight last night!
Personal weather station rainfall totals as of 7 AM AST this morning. All of these totals are for the period after midnight last night!  The green and yellow regions are rain areas from the TUS radar.

Yesterday’s clouds;  pretty spectacular stuff

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2:42 PM. Out of focus hailstone. Thought you’d like to see that first.

 

 

 

 

 

The remainder of the photos were taken at various times during the day, except as noted:

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2:49 PM. Dwarf rainbow due to the high altitude of the sun.
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2:49 PM. Dwarf rainbow with a larger view of backyard letting go to HELL, not doing anything with it, or, as we would say, is a “restoration of habitat combined with erosion control project in progress (Letting nettle grass takeover, too.) Its great being environmental and lazy at the same time! Hahahaha, sort of.  Originally this recovering area was scrapped off for a new septic system.  Is in recovery now.  Yay!

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Cloud scenes from August 31, 2015, a big summer rain day

BTW, a little more than 4.5 inches has fallen on Mt. Lemmon in the past 24 h.   0.99 inches fell here in Sutherland Heights.  Maybe the Sutherland Wash will be running this morning.  That would be nice to see.

More rains ahead in the next few days.  Mushrooms coming…

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Rain water balloon about to hit ground.
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Rain water balloon hitting ground, shoving other rain shaft aside.
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Cumulus tribute to Pac Man.
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Electricity.
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Plein air painting by nature.
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Ditto on the Catalinas.
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Dramatic shot, film noir maybe.
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Marana gets wet, too.
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Pretty.
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An approaching complex array of clouds just before sunset led to evening/nighttime TSTMS (weather text for “thunderstorms”).  Often at this time of day, showers like this just fade away to just anvil debris. But not yesterday. Must have been, in this case, indicative of the approach  of an upper level “congregator” or disturbance that doesn’t care so much about day or night.

 

The End.

A day of cloud magnificence and error

Morning thunder, evening thunder; 0.84 inches of rain, 1-2 inches in the mountains, with some of the most dramatic skies and shocking cloud changes ever seen (by me).  “But,  hey, enough of ‘me’, lets get on with the ‘shockumentary'”,  as Rob Reiner might say.

Scene 1: Its morning.  A horsey ride has been planned with an important, published friend.   You’re thinking, “It will be good to be seen with someone important.”  No one’s paying attention to weather.  The weather is cloudy, quite nice really, but nothing threatening can be seen.

6:48 AM.  Nothing to worry about really.  Just a patch of Altocumulus castellanus.  Quite pretty.
6:48 AM. Nothing to worry about really. Just a patch of Altocumulus castellanus. Quite pretty.

Scene 2. Heading out.

7:20 AM.  Heading out.  Wonder what that is coming 'round the mountain.  Probably nothing, though it is kind of dark.  Cloud bases are lower, too.
7:20 AM.  Wonder what that is coming ’round the mountain. Probably nothing, though it is kind of dark over there. Cloud bases are lower, too. Desert’s turning a nice green now after the recent rains.  Too bad there isn’t more rain ahead.

Scene 3.  On the trails.

7:33 AM.  Been on the trails for more than 12 minutes...  Cloud bases lower still, but, its probably just harmless, non-precipitating Stratocumulus.   Nothing to be too concerned about, though the amount of water in the air must be prodigious today.
7:33 AM. Been on the trails for quite awhile, maybe more than 12 minutes… Cloud bases lower still, but, its probably just harmless, non-precipitating Stratocumulus.  Nothing to be too concerned about, though the amount of water in the air must be prodigious today.

Scene 4.  Ooops

7:43 AM.  Huh.  Rain and thunder approaching rapidly.  Note horse's rear pointing in the direction of the storm (lower center right).  As a horseman, you would know that this is a classic sign that a storm is approaching from that direction, though you can see it coming as well,
7:43 AM. Rain and thunder approached rapidly.  Note horse’s rear pointing in the direction of the storm (lower center right). As a horseman, you would know that horses often point there rear ends at storms, hard to say why,  but its a  classic sign that a storm is approaching from that direction, though you can see it yourself as well.  Actually, we were fleeing like mad, embarrassed galore that cloud maven person did not look at radar that morning to see what was over the hill.

Scene 5.  Dramatic skies and a few close strikes.

7:47 AM.  Just about back, but LTG strikes getting closer faster.
7:47 AM. Just about back, but LTG strikes getting closer faster.

The storm passed dropping 0.22 inches.  And, compounding error, as we know, when potent upper air disturbances bring morning thunder and rain, its pretty much always the case that the rest of the day will be dry as a subsiding couplet of air follows a rising one, the the strongly rising couplet of air that forced our morning clouds and storm.

So, was kind of looking ahead to a disappointing rest of the day , but was thankful for the unusual morning storm.

1:49 PM.  As expected, a large clearing occurred, followed by the development of a few harmless Cumulus over the Catalinas.
1:49 PM. As expected, a large clearing occurred following the morning rain, and a few harmless Cumulus developed over the Catalinas.
5:49 PM.  A thunderstorm passes NE of Catalina, but like the day before, will likely only bring on a mighty wind, though a rain-cooled one.  That will be nice.
5:49 PM. A thunderstorm passes NE of Catalina, but like the day before, will likely only bring on “a mighty wind”, to quote Rob Reiner again, though a rain-cooled one. That will be nice.
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5:59 PM.   Quite “histrionic”, but certainly won’t get here…..
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6:07 PM. Nice Cumulus congestus in foreground; giant anvil in back from the storm to the N-NE.
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6:10 PM. Nice scruff of Stratocumulus/Cumulus mediocris rides above the NE winds that blew out of the storm to the north. Certainly, these clouds won’t do anything. Bases disorganized, nothing congealing.
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6:17 PM. Huh. Bases looking a little better, especially back there over the mountains. Still, seems VERY unlikely anything will happen. Its late in the day, temperature falling…..
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6:31 PM. The larger base has crept closer to Catalina. But, as you can plainly see, its not doing anything, and hasn’t over the past 20 min or so, so you can pretty well forget that it will do anything. A few minutes later, thunder began to erupt from it. I could NOT believe it, as you were thinking as well.  No sign of an anvil, ice, or shaft!  Forecast of no rain going bad….very bad.
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6:34 PM. There it is, on the right, the emergence of the shaft from one of the smallest thundering clouds this writer has ever seen. Within a couple of minutes, Oro Valley below was not visible!
6:40 PM. Looking at Oro Valley!
6:41 PM.  Looking toward Catalina.  The visible sun shows that the intense rainshaft and cloud cover was quite narrow and limited.
6:41 PM. Looking toward Catalina, lower portion.  Its gone.   The visible sun shows that the intense rainshaft and cloud cover were quite narrow and limited.
6:54 PM.  Backside of first dump shown above.  Magnificent!
6:54 PM. Backside of first dump shown above. Magnificent!

But it wasn’t over by a long ways was it?

6:53 PM.  A new, much larger, firmer base has formed in the same spot as the previous storm.  And you KNOW its going to dump on us!
6:53 PM. A new, much larger, firmer base has formed in the same spot as the previous storm. And you KNOW its going to dump on us!
7:01 PM.  What a blast!  This one brought pea-sized hail.
7:01 PM. What a blast! This one brought pea-sized hail to the Sutherland Heights neighborhood.
7:02 PM.  Perhaps the shot of the day of the first evening blast as it moved off past Saddlebrook.
7:02 PM. Perhaps the shot of the day of the first evening blast as it moved over and past Saddlebrook.

 

The End, finally!

Blues returning to Tucson!

You won’t have to go to New Mexico, Sonora, or the Indian State of Kerala to find great summer rain.  According to this model output from last evening, its only a bit more than a week away!

The last time we saw a model prediction like the ones below, was for the 24 h ending today, made a whopping 12 days ago.  When you consider the great rains we had ending YESTERDAY morning (2-7 inches in the mountains, and inch here in The Heights, that far out prediction was only a day or so off.  So,  there’s hope that the paucity of summer rain that has left our desert so brown will be rectified a bit more in the near future.

Below, from 5 PM AST obs, the WRF-GFS 12-h rain totals predicted for August 20 and beyond as rendered by IPS MeteoStar.   Normally, these are pretty useless predictions, but since that last one with so much rain foretold was close to what actually happened, maybe there’s something to watch out for around the 20th.

Ann 2015080900_CON_GFS_SFC_SLP_THK_PRECIP_WINDS_276
Valid at 5 AM AST, August 20th. Colored regions denote areas where the model has calculated that rain has fallen during the prior 12 h. Blue indicates heavier precip than green.
2015080900_CON_GFS_SFC_SLP_THK_PRECIP_WINDS_300
Hard to be bluer than this! Valid in only 288 h from now!  Valid on Friday, August 21st at 5 AM AST.

Some recent cloud photos

12:46 PM, August 7th.  Telephone pole is going down on Linda Vista due to a microburst.
12:46 PM, August 7th. Telephone pole was going down on Linda Vista due to this microburst outflow.
2:45 PM, August 7th.  The Gap gets shafted.  Nice.
2:45 PM, August 7th. The Gap gets shafted. Nice.
2:55 PM, August 7th.  One of the great cloud bases of our time begins to take shape UPWIND of Catalina!
2:55 PM, August 7th. One of the great cloud bases of our time begins to take shape UPWIND of Catalina!
3:03 PM, August 7th.  "So round, so firm, so fully packed", as the cigarette ad used to say.  This is looking really great for Catalina at this point.  I am sure I am reflecting the excitement you felt that day.
3:03 PM, August 7th. “So round, so firm, so fully packed”, as the cigarette ad used to claim. This is looking really great for Catalina at this point, might unload right on us!. I am sure I am reflecting the excitement you felt that day.
3:03 PM, August 7th.  "Droop, there it is", as they used to sing on In Living Color.  Who woulda dreamed that Sasha Alexander would be one of the Fly GIrls on that show?
3:03 PM, August 7th. “Droop, there it is.  A report from Birdman, Rick Bowers, indicated that 1.16 inches fell in just in this storm. over there on Trotter, south end of Catalina.   Only 0.71 inches in the Sutherland Heights, but still great.  Fizzlerama continued as the storm headed north toward Saddlebrook with less than 0.2 inches there.
3:20 PM, August 7th.  Visibility, for a few seconds, down to 1/8th of a mile in TRW++, wind gusts to 30 kts or so.  Now this is exciting!  Temp dropped from 97 F to 72 F!
3:20 PM, August 7th. Visibility, for a few seconds, down to 1/8th of a mile in TRW++, wind gusts to 30 kts or so. Now this is exciting! Temp dropped from 97 F to 72 F!  This was not quite the lowest visibility.
After a night of intermittent rain and thunder, dawn yesterday brought this dump on Sam Ridge, where 1.06 inches fell in an hour, 0.51 inches in 15 minutes.
After a night of intermittent rain and thunder, dawn yesterday brought this dump on Sam Ridge, where 1.06 inches fell in an hour, 0.51 inches in 15 minutes.

 

The End.

 

Some cloud photos from recent days

Have had little time lately, some problems, too, loading photos in WP, so that’s why.  Looks like the next best chance for rain is Friday into Saturday.  But you already know that from all the TEEVEE weather you watch.

The End.

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From three days ago. Marana/west Tucson got shafted pretty good. At least an inch fell in the core of this beauty. This was after it looked like it was going to be a quiet day west of the Catalinas.

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Summer thunderama returns to Catalina for a day

Against the deepening blue skies over us as the sun continues its descent to overhead of the Equator, coming right up (September 22nd, AZ time), our late summer Cumulus and thunderheads become even more spectacular. You can see the whole cloud day here, courtesy of the University of Arizona, if you would like to avoid the tedium of examining photos and captions by yours truly.

I got very excited about a small thunderstorm that took shape almost overhead of Sutherland Heights, and you know what that means.  Yes, too many photos of almost the same thing!  See below.  Captured it, too, BEFORE it even started to rain, or even thought about it.  Produced a large number of cloud-to-ground strikes in the vicinity, too, more that you would expect from such a small storm.  Also, if you could see them, you saw repeated split strikes, ones in the core of the rain, and at the same time a branch in clear air to the north, a mile or two quite a ways from the rain shaft.  I had not seen that before happen over and over again.  Samaniego Peak reported the only rain, 0.28 inches, in the ALERT Catalina Mountain gauges, like twice that in the core of the shaft.

Then, of course, we had a lot of LTG in the early evening and nighttime hours to the NE-S-SW as storms marched across Tucson, Marana and Oro Valley.  Missed us, though.  A place in Avra Valley got an inch.

That’s pretty much it for your cloud and weather day yesterday.  Farther below, the details….

Mods see nothing for a couple of days, until Monday, when the moisture from now Hurricane Odile begins to work its way into AZ.

Yesterday’s clouds

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10:30 AM. After a completely clear morning, Cu began to pop up around 9:30 AM. This size by 10:30 AM gave hope that the day would have full Cumulonimbus clouds later on.

 

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3:26 PM. Just a pretty scene. Note the contrast between the blue sky and the white glaciated top of this Cumulonimbus calvus. Note too, that there is only a faint rain shaft underneath (behind ridge top, that smoother area).

 

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3:48 PM. Here’s where you and me saw a lot of rain promise in this developing cloud base on our nearby mountains. Almost every cloud that had this much base or a bit more, eventually rained. Maybe it would explode into something really big with powerful winds! Well, “really big” didn’t happen, but it did do its job with nice, but small rain shaft a little later.

 

 

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4:01 PM. Excitement builds as base grows a little wider; rain excitement is now guaranteed. I can only imagine what you were thinking when you saw this, and how happy you were since it could lead to a nice rain on you. LTG and wind, just ahead.

 

 

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4:05 PM. Bottom beginning to drop out now!

 

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4:06 PM. Graupel and/or large drop strand (center)  just began to appear (look hard).   This was taken just after the first cloud-to-ground strike near Samaniego Peak (center).

 

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4:11 PM. The gush reaches the ground amid frequent split cloud-to-ground LTG strikes, ones near or in the core, and repeated strikes a mile or two to the right in clear air.

 

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4:17 PM. Our little rain shaft offered up a lot of wind, probably in the neighborhood of 50 mph, judging by the spread of the rain “plume” on the ground to the right. Some drops and gusty winds of 20-30 mph reached Sutherland Heights soon after this, making for an especially pleasant evening outside.

 

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5:42 PM. An isolated thunderstorm, rumbling to the west of the Tortolitas yesterday evening , offered up this dramatic shadow scene.Its remnant providing a sunset highlight.

 

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5:48 PM. Trying its best to rain.

 

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6:37 PM. The remains of the thunderstorm shown in the photo above provided a nice sunset highlight as they so often do.

 

Cloud stories, continued

Our last cloud chapter was rudely interrupted by drought, with the last “rain”, an embarrassing one,  of just 0.01 inches here in Sutherland Heights a week ago.  Areas around us, of course, got more.

6:40 AM.  "Etched glass" Cirrus.
6:40 AM. “Etched glass” Cirrus fibratus.  The flocculent patches (center right) are newly formed ones in which the larger ice crystals that are falling out of the stranded regions, have not yet gotten big enough to fall out, but they will follow that same course.

 

7:08 AM.  CIrrus radiatus, or at least the perspective makes it LOOK like its converging in the upwind direction.
7:08 AM. CIrrus fibratus/uncinus radiatus, or at least the perspective makes it LOOK like its converging in the upwind direction.  Had to pull off for this shot, it was SO NICE!
1:32 PM.  Surprise of the day was seeing real Cumulus clouds forming over our Catalina Mountains underneath patchy Cirrus and Altocumulus clouds.
1:32 PM. Surprise of the day was seeing real Cumulus (mediocris) clouds forming over our Catalina Mountains underneath patchy Cirrus and Altocumulus clouds.  Note the rarely seen pileus cap cloud, indicating a good updraft.
Close up of the rarely seen pileus cap cloud.  Would really like to have been in it, and then feel the bump when the Cu top rises through it!
1:32 PM.  Close up of the rarely seen pileus cap cloud. Would really like to have been in it, and then feel the bump when the Cu top rises through it!
2:04 PM.  Nice to see some unexpected shafting around, even if they were weak, indicating the tops were not terrifically high.  With bases at the freezing level yesterday (14 kft above sea level), ice would not form until lower than normal temperatures, maybe around -15 C (5 F), but then would increase with each lower temperature.  Here guessing were likely around -25 C, 25,000 feet or so above sea level due to the weakness of the shaft.  Got a higher later.  Very iffy discussion here, but that's what CMP thinks.
2:04 PM. Nice to see some unexpected shafting around, even if they were weak, indicating the tops were not terrifically high. With bases at the freezing level yesterday (14 kft above sea level), ice would not form until lower than normal temperatures, maybe around -15 C (5 F), but then would increase with each lower temperature. Here guessing were likely around -25 C, 25,000 feet or so above sea level due to the weakness of the shaft. Got a higher later. Very iffy discussion here, but that’s what CMP thinks.
4:31 PM.  Evening closed out with R--- ("triple minus"--hardly noticeable RAIN not drizzle, please) from mid-level clouds, Altocumulus being the lower, lumpy gray patches, and Altostratus Cumulonimbogenitus, being the one producing the sprinkles, not drizzle.
4:31 PM. Evening closed out with R— (“triple minus”–hardly noticeable RAIN not drizzle, please) from mid-level clouds, Altocumulus being the lower, lumpy gray patches, and Altostratus Cumulonimbogenitus, being the one producing the sprinkles, not drizzle.

Today’s weather….

Well, its no fun telling folks what they already know, but will say it looks tentatively, relying on the U of AZ 11 PM AST run of last night, like a day similar to yesterday, except a cloudier morning, which I just saw was the case by looking outside right now at 5:49 AM. Cu develop, tops should get cold enough to produce ice-hence-rain and shafting. Hope its measurable today. Also, as you know, moisture levels increase over the next couple of days with substantial rains likely.

In a model curiosity, three consecutive runs of the US WRF-GFS model, beginning with the 5 AM AST, 11 AM AST, and 5 PM AST runs, all from yesterday,  had the remains of  tropical storm Norbert passing directly over San Diego with substantial rains there. What made it even more likely to happen was that the Canadian model run from yesterday’s  5 PM AST global data,  ALSO had the remaining little center of Norbert passing over San Diego, Tuesday, September 9th! Amazing since Norbert is such a tiny feature in our models, at least by the time it gets near San Diego.

As reported here, a month or so ago, the newly discovered oscillation in ocean temperatures, called the “California Niño”, is helping to keep Norbert going longer as it trudges to the NNW just off the Baja coast. Water temperatures off Cal are warmer than usual this summer due to weak onshore flow for the past few months. When the flow is normal, it not only sculpts plants and trees along the Cal coast, but also causes upwelling of COLD water, horrible for beach goers.

Below, examples of wind sculpting1:

Wind sculpted at Bodega
Bodega Bay, CA, just north of Frisco, that windy, foggy, “Stratus-ee”, and cold summer city.  Note Stratus in the background hwew.rolling in off the cold offshore waters.  No summer thunderstorms here!  Imagine how awful it would be to live at this spot.  Winters are pretty nice, though, often with frequent rains and wind….to balance things out some.

 

IMG_3313
Also near Bodega Bay.

 The End.

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1When a realtor shows you property with scenes like these around it, you don’t want to buy there, even if its not windy that day.  If you’re a realtor, you’d want to have bushes and trees like this trimmed up real good.  hahaha.

Putting raingauge away now…

A measly 0.01 inches is all we got here yesterday in a Seattle-like rain from an overcast that sputtered drops drown over a couple of hours, one that could barely wet the pavement, if we had any here in Sutherland Heights.  Of course, we surely drooled at the close call that drained Saddlebrooke yesterday afternoon (see below).  Probably washed more golf balls into the CDO wash like that storm did last year…

Also, 0.75 inches fell, too, where Ina crosses the CDO wash yesterday, “so close, and yet so far away”, as the song says.    Oh, well, another missed rain that I have to crybaby about1.  Will get some final pictures of the 2014 summer greening today before it fades away in the many dry days ahead to help make me feel better now that its over.

Here’s your cloud story for yesterday.  It was pretty neat one, full of hope, even if that hope was eventually dissipated unless you lived in Saddlebrooke…   The U of AZ time lapse film for yesterday is great, btw.

6:31 AM.  I am going to say these are Altocumulus castellanus clouds, though they are a little low and large for that genera.
6:31 AM. I am going to say these are Altocumulus castellanus clouds, though they are a little low and large for that genera.

 

6:33 AM.  This was a pretty scene...  Here an isolated Ac cas rises up.  Distant small Cumulonimbus clouds, weak ones, can be seen on the horizon.
6:33 AM. This was a pretty scene… Here an isolated Ac cas rises up. Distant small Cumulonimbus clouds, weak ones, can be seen on the horizon.

 

9:18 AM.  Before long, those pretty Cumulus clouds were springing to life off the Catalina Mountains, the sky so blue behind them.
9:18 AM. Before long, those pretty Cumulus clouds were springing to life off the Catalina Mountains, the sky so blue behind them.

 

9:19 AM.  A rare "High Temperature Contrail" (HTC) slices through some very thin Altocumulus perlucidus.  This aircraft phenomenon has also been called, "APIPs" for Aircraft Produced Ice Particles.)
9:19 AM. A rare “High Temperature Contrail” (HTC) slices through some very thin Altocumulus perlucidus. This aircraft phenomenon has also been called, “APIPs” for Aircraft Produced Ice Particles.)  Recall that Appleman (1953) said that an aircraft couldn’t produce a contrail at temperature above about -35 C.   But,  he was WRONG.  They can do it in a water-saturated environment at much higher temperatures, even as high as -8 C (see Rangno and Hobbs 1983, J. Clim. and Appl. Meteor., available through the Amer. Meteor. Soc. for free, an open journal kind of thing.)
11:48 AM.  Before noon, all thoughts of past glory was gone as the Big Boys arose in a hurry.  What a dump here!  The cloud, since it is not showing an anvil nor obvious fibrous appearance, would be a Cumulonimbus calvus
11:48 AM. Before noon, all thoughts of past glory were gone as the Big Boys arose in a hurry. What a dump here! The cloud, since it is not showing an anvil nor obvious fibrous appearance, still pretty cauliflowery even though the discerning CMJ would not be fooled by its icy composition, it would be a Cumulonimbus calvus (“bald”).
3:40 PM.  Probably THE most hopeful scene of the day.  A large complex of Cumulonimbus clouds was emerging from the Tucson mountains, heading in this direction.  But more importantly, were the cloud bases forming over Oro Valley ahead of it, likely, it seemed to be pushed upward by the outflowing winds ahead of the distant cells.
3:40 PM. Probably THE most hopeful scene of the day. A large complex of Cumulonimbus clouds was emerging from the Tucson mountains, heading in this direction. But more importantly, were the cloud bases forming over Oro Valley ahead of it, likely, it seemed to be pushed upward by the outflowing winds ahead of the distant cells.  Also, that cloud bases were forming and extending westward from the distant cells offered another rain-filled scenario that could happen as they approached from the SW.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4:14 PM.  When the southwest wind arrived, it did in fact cause the clouds overhead to swell up like aphids on a Seattle rose bush, but as bad luck would have it, they were just to the north of us and over Saddlebrooke where they all all those amenities and don't really need a lot of rain.
4:14 PM. When the southwest wind arrived, it did in fact cause the clouds overhead to swell up like aphids on a Seattle rose bush, but as bad luck would have it, they were piling up just to the north of us and over Saddlebrooke where they all all those amenities and don’t really need a lot of rain.

 

4:40 PM.
4:40 PM.  After the first base dropped its load a little beyond Saddlebrooke, another cloud base darkened and expanded over Saddlebrooke, but this time, began to unload there.  Here, like the seldom seen pileus cloud, these strands of the largest drops being to pour out of the collapsing updraft.  You have about two minutes to see this happen because if you look away, the next time you look there will be nothing but the “black shaft.”

 

4:45 PM.  A remarkable transformation.  How can so much water be up there in a cloud?
4:45 PM. A remarkable transformation. How can so much water, you wonder, be up there in a cloud?

 

6:05 PM.  As the threat of any significant rain faded away, there was at least some "lighting" excitement, produced for just seconds as the sun shone on this....Stratus fractus cloud.
6:05 PM. As the threat of any significant rain faded away, there was at least some “lighting” excitement, produced for just seconds as the sun shone on this….Stratus fractus cloud.  Again, you must be watching at all times to catch these little highlights.

 

6:58 PM.  Time to say goodbye to Cumulus and Cumulonimbus clouds like these, until maybe next summer.
6:58 PM. Time to say goodbye to Cumulus and Cumulonimbus clouds like these, until maybe next summer.

 

The End.  Probably will go on a hiatus now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1Its good to remember that there is a little crybaby in all of us, isn’t there?