First thunder

While only a disappointing trace of rain was observed here, it was so stimulating to see that evening lightning flicker beyond the Catalina mountains for the first time this summer.  And then see more lightning, unexpectedly, close enough to produce the first thunder early this morning between 2-4 AM.   A few large, sparse drops fell for about 8 seconds I think.  Here is are the local rain reports for the past 24 h for our region.  Almost an inch fell in parts of “Greater Tucson”!  How nice!

But perhaps the nicest part of yesterday was that little cloud that sprung up toward sunset to the south over Pusch Ridge.  Here is a sequence of shots from that pretty, narrow little thing that climbed high enough to reach the “glaciation level”–where the cloud top converts to ice, and voila, a little precip falls out.  These were taken at about 5 min intervals.    The first shot would be a cloud classified as a Cumulus congestus, the second might be Cumulonimbus calvus (“bald”), the crenelated top in the first shot is disappearing as ice takes over from the former mostly droplet composition,  and the last, Cumulonimbus capillatus (with “hair”).   Note:  Bald grew hair!  This is a common sequence for larger Cumulus clouds.  The frizzy top in the last photo is completely comprised of ice.  What made this so nice was how isolated and “photogenic” the cloud was.   It fizzled out a little later, and I thought we were doomed for a dry overnight.  The weather here can always surprise you!