Jeckyll-Hyde models have future AZ rain once more after Big Miss today

Trying to feel better today about the huge miss, that “gutter ball” low that is slipping down the Baja coast toward MMZT (“Mazatlan” in weather identifier jargon) right now as I write, and trying to forget about what it could have been.  Reminds me, too, of that critical dropped pass in the Superbowl by some guy in the last 40 seconds that could have changed the game, or that girlfriend who found out I was older than she thought and I went off the relationship possibility radar after that, etc.   From the University of Washington, to sigh about,  this map series for 500 millibars .  Its good to sigh about things, shows you’re alive inside, have feelings that get crushed every so often.  Hahahaha, sort of.

You will see that the winds at 500 millibars (18,000 feet ASL or so) around the Baja low are stronger on the back side (the green lines are closer together on the west side compared to the east side).  Therefore, to paraphrase, “Don’t need no model” to know that this low going to head SE and away from us.  Maybe it’ll reach the Galapagos Islands….dammitall.

As the low moves farther and farther away, the gradual ascent of air that produces all those clouds you see drifting up toward us from the south, weakens.  The rain lessens, too, the clouds begin to thin and lift above the ground as they move into AZ.  That’s what happens in these situations.  That upper low needs to stay close for the clouds to remain thick be rain producers here.

So, even though the clouds look great on the satellite images, and are producing rain to the south of us here in Catalina, and are heading this way, they end up thinning and weakening as they do.  Expect to see a lot of virga today from heavy Altostratus opacus clouds (mostly deep ice clouds), and that’s about it.   But even a sprinkle would be nice, just to remind us again that it can still rain here.

Rain in the future?

Here is is, THREE chances the mods now say after having nothing just yesterday at this time.  Two minimal events have shown up; one on the Sunday the 12th and again on the 14th, THEN this behemoth of a storm on the 23-24th, shown below!  I am beside myself with excitement dreaming about how important I might be to my friends a couple of days before it hits!  Though we know, by now, that what is shown below is as likely to be realized as an ice crystal forming in HELL, nevertheless, it is HOPE.  Check it this out from IPS Meteorstar’s rendering of our US WRF-GOOFUS (“goofus” after about a week in advance) model and be happy!  “Totally awesome!”

 “In case you missed it” department; yesterday’s aircraft effects on Altocumulus clouds

The temperature of those “supercooled” clouds was around -20 C, perfect for aircraft to make holes and ice canals in them, a kind of inadvertent cloud seeding. Here are a couple of shots, the first, a hole with an ice patch in the middle, 2) and ice canal, and three strange optics caused by aircraft-produced ice crystals.

Enjoy, or be upset by artifact ice.





Hawaiian Storm and Big Wave Alert

Continuing the theme about meteorologists and the excitement we get over bad storms, a weather student at the University of Washington was beside himself and sent an e-mail to all of us on the weather list, in case the rest of us missed it, this NWS bad storm news for the Hawaiian Islands and giant surf.  Seemed kind of funny, this extra effort to bring to our attention a really bad situation there.  I do have to admit wanting to go see the waves crashing on the rocks and world class surfers who will come in their droves to surf’em.  I had to smile reading this:

“Check out the front page of right now – the unusual front Greg Hakim mentioned at the end of weather discussion today is the top story, above the map.  If it’s changed by the time you’re reading this, here’s the message:

…Threat of Coastal Inundation for the Hawaiian Islands and the Marshall Islands…
Published: Tue, 07 Feb 2012 19:27:29 EST
High Surf Warnings are in effect for Hawaii, where the 10 to 20 foot waves observed today are expected to rise to 18-35 feet tonight. High tides and strong winds are expected to impact the Hawaiian Islands as a cold front moves across the area. This will increase the potential for coastal inundation, with potential impacts including road over-wash, sand or rocks on the roadways, and water approaching exposed property areas. The Marshall Islands have the potential to be similarly impacted. Details…

By Art Rangno

Retiree from a group specializing in airborne measurements of clouds and aerosols at the University of Washington (Cloud and Aerosol Research Group). The projects in which I participated were in many countries; from the Arctic to Brazil, from the Marshall Islands to South Africa.