Generous storm dumps more than half an inch of rain on Catalina

Sutherland Heights, Catalina:  0.65 inches!  Desert’s real happy now, greening up.  Happy here, too. December will now end, with no precip seen before the end of the month,  with a “not bad” 1.14 inches (normal is 1.86 inches).

A partial list of our generous rains, when they could have been so much less, from the Pima County ALERT gauges:

    Gauge    15         1           3          6            24         Name                        Location
    ID#      minutes    hour        hours      hours        hours
    —-     —-       —-        —-       —-         —-       —————–            ———————
Catalina Area
    1010     0.00       0.00       0.04        0.04         0.63      Golder Ranch                 Horseshoe Bend Road in Saddlebrooke
    1020     0.00       0.00       0.04        0.08         0.43      Oracle Ranger Stati          approximately 0.5 mile southwest of Oracle
    1040     0.00       0.00       0.00        0.00         0.59      Dodge Tank                   Edwin Road 1.3 miles east of Lago Del Oro Parkway
    1050     0.00       0.00       0.00        0.00         0.47      Cherry Spring                approximately 1.5 miles west of Charouleau Gap
    1060     0.00       0.00       0.08        0.12         0.79      Pig Spring                   approximately 1.1 miles northeast of Charouleau Gap
    1070     0.00       0.00       0.00        0.00         0.75      Cargodera Canyon             northeast corner of Catalina State Park
    1080     0.00       0.00       0.04        0.04         0.59      CDO @ Rancho Solano          Cañada Del Oro Wash northeast of Saddlebrooke
    1100     0.00       0.00       0.04        0.04         0.63      CDO @ Golder Rd              Cañada Del Oro Wash at Golder Ranch Road

Santa Catalina Mountains*
    1030     0.00       0.00       0.00        0.00         0.31      Oracle Ridge                 Oracle Ridge, approximately 1.5 miles north of Rice Peak
    1090     0.00       0.00       0.00        0.00         0.31      Mt. Lemmon                   Mount Lemmon
    1110     0.00       0.00       0.04        0.08         0.71      CDO @ Coronado Camp          Cañada Del Oro Wash 0.3 miles south of Coronado Camp
    1130     0.00       0.00       0.00        0.00         0.20      Samaniego Peak               Samaniego Peak on Samaniego Ridge
    1140     0.00       0.00       0.00        0.00         0.20      Dan Saddle                   Dan Saddle on Oracle Ridge
    2150     0.00       0.00       0.00        0.00         0.28      White Tail                   Catalina Highway 0.8 miles west of Palisade Ranger Station
    2280     0.00       0.00       0.00        0.00         0.08      Green Mountain               Green Mountain
    2290     0.00       0.00       0.00        0.00         0.00      Marshall Gulch               Sabino Creek 0.6 miles south southeast of Marshall Gulch

*Totals in the Catalina Mountains often compromised by piles of snow in the recording gauges that don’t register the correct amount until it melts.

Check here (U of AZ) and here, too,  best after 7 AM AST.  (Still dreaming about ONE site for all of these data…but this is a dream like the one Germans had in the 1960s, 1970s, and onward, about the Berlin Wall coming down and people being free.  Its likely that one site for all AZ rain will take decades to accomplish at the current rate of progress which is none.  Anybody listening out there?  Of course not.

Yesterday’s cloud saga

Fast version here from the U of AZ.  Too many pics and blurbage below.

The day begins with overcast Nimbostratus and light to briefly moderate rain (the latter, which likely you would already know, my apologies for telling you again and making this blog longer than it already is for no good reason, which happens often anyway, 0.10 to 0.30 inches per hour).

9:35 AM.  Nimbostratus layer begins to lift off the Catalina Mountains.
9:35 AM. Nimbostratus layer begins to lift off the Catalina Mountains.
DSC_0739
10:13 AM. “Creepy cloud”, Stratus fractus. Keep an eye on it.
DSC_0740
10:30 AM. “Creepy” Stratus fractus has spurted north, while adding cloud material. Seems to glow from within.
DSC_0744
10:35 AM. Begins reaching upward toward Samaniego Peak! Then it was gone.
DSC_0758
12:02 PM. Nice example, one of the best, of Altostratus opacus mammatus (aka, testicularis).   Downward hanging pouches released virga and snow flurries on the mountains a few minutes later.

 

1:09 PM.  As skies clear, Cumulus begin to arise over the mountains.  View toward Charouleau Gap, a name I have misspelled in prior blogs.  Egad!
1:09 PM. As skies clear, Cumulus begin to arise over the mountains. View toward Charouleau Gap, a name I have misspelled by leaving out the first “u” in prior blogs a time or two. Egad!

 

2:04 PM.
2:01 PM.  Before long, with very cold air on top and a little warmth (52 F) at the ground, “soft-serve” (weak updraft) Cumulonimbus clouds arose over the Catalinas. (Top visible when clicked on.)
2:04 PM.  Sad sight.  Dry air moving in seen here as the "wolves of entrainment" literally ripping apart a Cumulus congestus turret.  Entrainment is the enemy of all clouds.
2:04 PM. Sad sight. Dry air moving in seen here as the “wolves of entrainment” literally ripping apart a Cumulus congestus turret. Entrainment is the enemy of all clouds.
2:17 PM.  Fortunately, the dry air was held at bay for subsequent turrets, and this Cumulonimbus calvus arose.
2:17 PM. Fortunately, the dry air was held at bay for subsequent turrets, and this Cumulonimbus calvus arose as did others.

3:34 PM. Dog and me were both surprised by the overspreading Stratocumulus deck later in the afternoon, with tops in places cold enough for light showers. Was expecting sky to stay “partly cloudy” with scattered Cbs.

 

4:35 PM.  Day pretty much ended as it began with Nimbostratus, this version really deep Stratocumulus that had reached the ice-forming level, not the much deeper version of Ns that caused the morning rain.  Occasional light rain continued well into the night with the temperature declining to the low 40s.
4:35 PM. Day pretty much ended as it began with Nimbostratus, this version really deep Stratocumulus that had reached the ice-forming level, not the much deeper version of Ns that caused the morning rain. Occasional light rain continued well into the night with the temperature declining to the low 40s.  The lack of shafts indicates that the cloud tops are fairly uniform.

Today

Stratocu overcast gradually devolving to Cumulus and sunbreaks in the afternoon. Isolated sprinkles possible before noon, unlikely to be measurable;  tops at marginal temp for natural ice formation now, required for precip here in AZ at -10 C, 14 F).  Tops will subside to lower levels and warm up as day progresses.  A few Altocumulus cloud remains from a dissipating storm that hit the Pac NW should also float over.  Could provide interesting patterns.  See this morning’s TUS sounding below,  from the Cowboys:

The Tucson rawinsonde for 5 AM AST (launched about an hour and a half earlier, rises at about 1,000 feet a minute.)
The Tucson rawinsonde for 5 AM AST today.   Launched about an hour and a half earlier, rises at about 1,000 feet a minute.)

The weather ahead and WAY ahead

Quiet times. Next rain/snow chance still end of Dec early Jan. Nuttin’ before then. Pity the Flatlanders east of the Rockies. Extreme cold, coming in surges, projected in models for eastern half of US over the next ten days.  But then, my friend, its out turn!

The End.