Jan 25th-26th storm creates billions in beneficial rains

Oh, yeah,  billions and billions of tons of rain dropped out of the skies over AZ, and much of the SW over the past two days.  It, too, might have saved billions in dollars by deterring crop losses, vegetation and critter stress, and own our stress over the drought, “Will it get worse?”  That watery relief was so great.  Could hardly stay indoors yesterday.  267 photos of clouds and rain, which I think says something about neurotic-compulsive behavior.

(BTW, too many clouds shots “is” WAY down at the bottom after too many rain tables–this is really a horrible blog today.)   Continuing….

Totals?

The 24 h rainfall records that were set are here.

Amounts in Catalina “proper” ranged from 1.03 inches at Our Garden garden, 0.80 inches in Black Horse Ranch, 0.71 inches at the bridge over the CDO wash at Golder Ranch Dr, to 0.72 inches here on “Upper Wilds Rd.”

Check the happy totals from the Pima County ALERT network for the 24 h ending at 4 AM today.  Since its a “rollling archive” you’d better look at it when it partitions the best 24 h storm total or you’ll miss it.  Hence, this pdf:

The great Jan 26th storm total pdf

The U of AZ rainlog network totals are here, but to get the full 24 h storm amount you’ll have to go to the upper right hand corner and select “date range”, then put the 25th to the 26th in that window (the U of AZ assigns the  7 AM total recorded today to the previous day on these maps.  So, that early morning rain before 7 AM yesterday was assigned to the 25th.  That’s why you have to appear to be lumping two days together to get a 24 h storm total.  Sorry its so complicated.

A national organization that has different gauges in some cases is “CoCoRahs”.  Their statewide totals for 7 AM can be found here.  Again, like the U of AZ, you’d have to lump two dates together to get the 24 h total, in this case, the 26th and 27th since CoCoRahs records the rain on the date of the measurment, does not assign it to the day before as Rainlog does.  Confused yet?  The CoCoRahs method corresponds to the NWS methodology.  Confused yet?  The rainlog method works great for summer when the 7 AM measurements almost always correspond to rains the REALLY did fall on the prior day.  Confused yet?

Mind is worn out now, will rest for a minute….  There….moving ahead again.

USGS statewide totals, the greatest in this list, 2.78 inches at Salt River below Steward Dam.  Since this is a rolling archive like the Pima County ALERT system, I’ve made a couple of jpegs of the list for the time of the most precip in 24 h, so you’ll get a better idea of how ridiculous it is to have to go to so many sites to get a comprehensive view of rainfall in ALL of Arizona, all available data.  Kind of remarkable that being concerned with drought and climate change that one has to go to SO MUCH “darn” TROUBLE to get a comprehensive view of rainfall!   (End of rant)

USGS 00018k

USGS 0002Gg

NWS reports as of 5 PM AST, also in jpeg format so that they can be easily read.  These include the regional and statewide reports for the 18 h ending at 5 PM.  (I have no idea at present why these amounts are for the 18 h instead of 24 h):

NWS 0001G0NWS state 00016hNWS state 0002uF

 

 

 

 

Finally, those totals from folks who report to Weather Underground can be found here.

The rain data at WU default to a 24 h midnight to midnight rain day and so to get the storm totals, you’ll have to select yesterday’s date (also, since you’re likely to display weather stations showing just the temperature and wind direction data, you have to go the “weather station” dark blue button and open that window up and select “precipitation.”   Is anybody still out there reading this?  I doubt it. Well, now I just found that it only displays the hourly values for the date I chose!  Forget it.

The vortex that passed just about over Catalina, the very heart of this generous storm is made visible  here in the water vapor imagery from the U of WA.  Watch how a vortex develops from the buckle point over central Baja, and as it approaches, spawns the heavy, heavy rainband that suddenly moved over Oro Valley and Catalina between 10 and 11 AM.  Pretty cool, huh?  There was some thunder in it, but it you didn’t hear it then, you had another chance beginning after 3:10 PM as a thunderstorm develops over the north end of the Oro Valley and tracked across Saddlebrooke.

Some clouds to go with those numbers:

8:06 AM.  First rainband has moved through producing 0.40 inches. Looking SW at Stratocumulus during slight break in rain.
8:06 AM. First rainband has moved through producing 0.40 inches. Looking SW at Stratocumulus during slight break in rain.
8:47 AM.  Skies remain dark, low hanging and dramatic, then evidence of cells, Cumulonimbus towers probably five to ten times higher than the Stratocumulus clouds emerge to the SW.
8:47 AM. Skies remained dark, low hanging and dramatic, then evidence of cells, Cumulonimbus towers probably having tops five to ten times higher than the Stratocumulus clouds emerge to the SW.  It was going to be a rest of the good day.
9:48 AM.  During a momentary sunbreak, this trapped cloud below  the Samaniego ridge.  The wind is blowing from right to left, but the cloud is recirculating in the lee of this ridge.  On a mountain peak, such a cloud in the lee of the peak is termed a "banner cloud."
9:48 AM. During a momentary sunbreak, this trapped cloud was seen below the Samaniego ridge (just above the Los Cerros Water Co tank that needs repainting badly; looks kind of shabby though the water company itself is pretty good). The wind is blowing from right to left, but the cloud is recirculating in the lee of this ridge. On a mountain peak, such a cloud in the lee of the peak is termed a “banner cloud.” It was neat to see it here.
9:59 AM.  Here comes that wild, torrential rainband, just having been spawned by the little vortex whose center passed so close to us yesterday.  This was so great to see because the rain totals were going to be jacked up significantly.  0.31 inches fell as it went by Upper WIlds Road", but places nearby got twice that!  Some thunder occurred here--showed up on the LTG network. Clouds?  Line of Cumulonimbus.
9:59 AM. Here comes that wild, torrential rainband, just having been spawned by the little vortex whose center passed so close to us yesterday. This was so great to see because the rain totals were going to be jacked up significantly. 0.31 inches fell as it went by Upper WIlds Road”, but places nearby got twice that! Some thunder occurred here–showed up on the LTG network. Clouds? Line of Cumulonimbus.
10:12 AM.  The rain pouring out of that Cumulonimbus iine shoved the air out of the way and this arcus cloud raced ahead of the line, akin to our summer storms.  The wind shift and gustiness flowing out from the storms are a little ahead of the cloud's position.
10:12 AM. The rain pouring out of that Cumulonimbus iine shoved the air out of the way and this arcus cloud raced ahead of the line, akin to our summer storms. The wind shift and gustiness flowing out from the storms are a little ahead of the cloud’s position.
11:19 AM.  Post-rainband evidence of a substantial amount.
11:19 AM. Post-rainband evidence of a substantial amount.
12:12 PM.  Some of the prettiest cloud shots come right after a rain.  Here, in the tops of Cumulus over the Catalinas shearing toward the right, the apparent curvature in the whole scene including the low Stratus fractus along the mountains, hints at the curvature seen in the eye of a hurricane.
12:12 PM. Some of the prettiest cloud shots come right after a rain. Here, in the tops of Cumulus over the Catalinas shearing toward the right, the apparent curvature in the whole scene including the low Stratus fractus along the mountains, hints at the curvature seen in the eye of a hurricane, and may well have reflected that little vortex that went by yesterday.
2:21 PM.  Dramatic skies develop again(!).  These clouds developed strong showers that marched across Oro Valley.
2:21 PM. Dramatic skies develop again(!). These clouds developed strong showers that marched across Oro Valley and across Saddlebrooke.
2:30 PM.  Same clouds just 9 min later.  Just like summer, ice forms up top, out the bottom comes the precip!
2:30 PM. Same clouds just 9 min later. Just like summer, ice forms up top, out the bottom comes the precip!
3:17 PM.  Even more like summer, this thundery shaft. Four in-cloud discharges occurred.
3:17 PM. Even more like summer, this thundery shaft.
Four unusual-for-January in-cloud discharges occurred.
4:55 PM.  So appropriate for near the end of such a fine rain day, a rainbow.
4:55 PM. So appropriate for near the end of such a fine rain day, a rainbow.

Clouds today?

Some great scenes of wash fog, such as in the CDO just now. But after that scattered to broken moderate Cumulus, probably grouping into clumps more like Stratocumulus, filling the sky some this afternoon.

While the U of AZ model has showers developing today, cloud tops now, and in the model forecast appear to be to warm for ice development. So, for today, it seems that only clouds and not showers are going to happen.

We’re on the edge of precip when the cold blast hits tomorrow just after dawn. It seems that the range for that would be a miss (0) to a tenth of an inch at tops is about all we can must of that event early tomorrow morning.