Hazy thunder and rain day

0.17 inches at Sutherland Heights, 0.39 inches at the Golder Bridge, 1-1.5 inches in some spots in Oro Valley.  Coulda done better here, but HECK, it rained, and that’s always good.  Desert greening up real fast.

Thunder started around noon in a strangely hazy, murky-looking sky, more reminiscent of a back-East, warm,  humid, pre-storm day where the only blue is a tiny hole above the observer; clouds and rainshafts virtually invisible. OK, I’m exaggerating a little, wasn’t really THAT bad here, but it was noticeable to all CMJs I’m sure.

Since the flow was from the east and southeast here, we have to blame the smoky, dusty and hazy skies on New Mexico, Texas, or Mexico.  But, let us check before throwing out unsupported accusations of hazy, possibly bad air sources.  From NOAA, this:Ann2 smoky thunder day jpeg

Problem solved.  Was mostly dust from the El Paso area.

———————-factual filler material—————-

Recall, humid days need NOT be hazy.  We get some gloriously high visibility days here on some of the most humid ones in the summer because the air is so clean.


Now for clouds….as a short cut, since I take and post too many photos due to an obsessive-compulsion with documenting them along with captions occasional captions containing immature “humor” (as below1), I recommend you go to the movies as a way of bypassing a lot of cloud blather:

Cloud Movie  ( Remember that in this movie, what’s above us is on the left hand side of the frame, past Pusch Ridge.)

Below, your cloud day in still photography, beginning with the day’s highlight shot.


2:59 PM. Your Catalina/Sutherland Heights highlight of the day. Why is this cloud base especially dark? Not only is it because its a deep Cumulus congestus cloud piled high above you, one that is about to transform into a Cumulonimbus cloud (having a strong rainshaft), but also because clouds impacted by smog (those sulfates, in this case) have, overall, smaller cloud droplets, and those smaller droplets reflect more of the incoming sunlight off their tops.  This makes the bases darker than for “clean clouds”, ones that don’t reflect as much sunlight off their tops.
11:59 AM. Turkey vulture circles in hazy skies, the whitish appearance between clouds evidence of high aerosol “loading” in  yesterday.
2:08 PM.  Turret phase detection test.
2:08 PM. Turret phase detection snap quiz.
2:08 PM.  Annotated close up of snap quiz turret.
2:08 PM. Annotated close up of snap quiz turret.  (Ans:  its mostly ice, technically a Cumulonimbus calvus cloud top.  See movie for more visual details.  Hope you got it, since the main reason why I am doing this is to learn you up on these kinds of assessments….)
2:33 PM. The oddly gray whole sky view at this time, and, along with moderate temperatures that made one wonder if any more of these clouds could sprout into thunderstorms. But, they did. See below.
3:23 PM. Another in a series of ominously dark cloud bases that poured forth heavy rainshafts sits over Oro Valley.
3:29 PM. Probably the best dump of the day, the one that fell out of the cloud above. Produced something in the way of a ‘boob, if you were watching. (Editor’s note: be sure to include the apostrophe when using the short version of “haboob”, otherwise people might wonder what you were really thinking about.
3:33 PM. Something in the way of a ‘boob produced by the extremely heavy rain that fell out of the cloud above, likely an inch or more in the core. One private weather station in Oro Valley reported 1.44 inches.
5:33 PM. These delicate, low-based Cumulus clouds shooting little spires upward so late in the day under a higher overcast illustrate the strong instability that we had yesterday.





Looks like today might be the last thunder day here in the Heights for awhile, as an unusual mid-July dry spell sets in.  Still looks wet late in the month.

The End.