“Great Unexpectations” (0.38 inches fell when almost none was expected)

Of course, the title refers to Dickens’ little known sequel (and frankly, a lightly regarded one)  to his popular, “Great Expectations”.  Dickens fully expected that by rushing out another novel similar to “Expectations” that a financial success similar to the one that  “Expectations” had garnered for him would be easily acheived.

However, like most sequels, his effort was weak and appeared to be thrown together to merely take advantage of a gullible public.  However, and much later, his sequel came to be regarded as a semi-clever, though lightly disguised, slam on the early English weather forecasting system, which was, of course in those days, was map-less, model-less, and mainly consisted of limericks and folk sayings:

“Birds flying low; beware the Low1.”

Forecasts were quite bad in those days in which Dickens lived, naturally, ships went down regularly due to unforecast storms, and Dickens wanted to dramatize this to his readers in his sequel; the various twists and turns in the plot of that sequel now thought represent ever changing, unreliable forecasts.  He had hoped, with his satirical sequel,  to provoke advances in weather forecasting, which he did.  Isaac Newton, joined by Leibnitz, took wind of the Dickens sequel, and together they invented calculus, a tool which which allowed the calculation of the movement of air using the laws of fluid dynamics.

—-End of historical antedote2——————————

A surprising overnight rain

Well, even C-M and associated models like the Beowulf Cluster as of the 5 AM AST run on the 8th, did NOT see 0.38 inches from “Joe Cold Front”, who was supposed to pass by as  a dry front, not a wet one.  Still, it was fantastic surprise, one that could have only been made better by having forecasted it from this keyboard;   going against the models big time.  And THEN to hear Joe’s rains pounding on the roof as he went by between 10 PM and midnight.  Oh, my, euphoria.  BTW, the temperature dropped from 60 F to 43 F, too.  Whatafront!  Thank YOU, Joe.

You can see some rainfall totals from the Pima County ALERT gages (April 8th-9th rainfall).  We “northenders” pretty much got the bulk of it, with Pig Spring, 1.1 miles northeast of Charoleau Gap leading the way with  great 0.71 inches.  Ms. Lemmon was not reporting at this time because it fell as snow.  So look for a frosty Lemmon this morning.  BTW, Sutherland Heights picked up 0.42 inches, and had “pre-rain” gusts to 58 mph!  Whatastorm!

Continuing now at 7:21 AM after a “godaddy.com”/Wordpress meltdown an hour ago.

BTW, all the haze out there is dust under the clouds, not fog.  Its pretty unusual to see something like this, especially after a good rain, so you’ll want to document it with photos and a little paragraph or two about it, and how it makes you feel.  There was so much dust raised behind Joe throughout AZ and Cal that its rainband could only do away with that dust within it. This overcast situation should gradually breakup as the day goes on into more cumuliform clouds, ones with large breaks between them, the dust probably hanging on most of the day. With the -10 C level, the usual ice-forming level here at just around 11,000 feet above sea level. So it should be easy for the taller Cu to reach that and spit out some isolated precip later in the day.

Signs that the forecasts were going bad in a major way was when lines of clouds and some with precip formed in southwest Arizona late yesterday afternoon.  Here’s a nice map of that development, one in which caused the tiny brain of C-M to think that it might rain, probably you, too, and anyone else that looked.

5:30 PM AST visible satellite image from the U of WA.
5:30 PM AST visible satellite image from the U of WA.
5 PM AST 500 millibar map.  You can just see that little line of clouds, and you can also see how the jet, wrapping around San Diego and headed this way, partitions the clouds.  I think this is called a "teachable moment."
5 PM AST 500 millibar map. You can just see that little line of clouds, and you can also see how the jet, wrapping around San Diego and headed this way, partitions the clouds. I think this is called a “teachable moment.”

Some scenes from yesterday’s dust, from the beginning. Save these for posterity:

8:21 AM.  No sign of dust.
8:21 AM. No sign of dust.
1:47 PM.  Dust haze becoming increasingly noticeable.
1:47 PM. Dust haze becoming increasingly noticeable.
2:00 PM sharp.  Mr. Cloud Maven person's hat blows off about 40 yards down the road in spite of having warned others about having this happen.
2:00 PM sharp. Mr. Cloud Maven person’s cap blows off about 40 yards down the road in spite of having warned others about having this happen.
2:04 PM.  Dust increasing rapidly, wind peaking at 55-60 mph.
2:04 PM. Dust increasing rapidly, wind peaking at 55-60 mph in the Sutherland Heights district.  Twin Peaks no longer visible.
3:02 PM.  Small Cumulus (humilis and fractus) increase in coverage as dust limits visibility to around 10 miles.
3:02 PM. Small Cumulus (humilis and fractus) increase in coverage as dust limits visibility to around 10 miles.
6:38 PM.  The yellow sunset, indicative of large aerosol particles associated with dust.
6:38 PM. The yellow sunset, indicative of large aerosol particles associated with dust.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Feeling good about rain here, feeling good about rain there

Not only can we exult over a surprise rain of some substance, but look what has been happening in the droughty central Plains States.  Below, from WSI Intellicast’s 24 h radar-derived rainfall amounts for the US (april 8th, then April 9th at 5 AM AST.  Especially take stock of the amounts over the past two days in those worst drought areas of Kansas and Nebraska.  So great!  And this is only the beginning of a huge rain/snow event in those drought areas!

24 h rainfall ending at 5 AM AST April 8th.
24 h rainfall ending at 5 AM AST April 8th.

2013040912 USpcpThe End

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1Hygroscopic insects adsorb water molecules and are weighed down in conditions of excess humidity, the kind that often precedes a storm.   Birds then fly lower, too, to grab lower flying insects, or so the saying goes.  (I am quite pleased by the kind of information I provide for you almost everyday.)

2To facts