Light rain to fall in Catalina tonight

Don’t take my word for it; take this, from the University of Arizona’s Beowulf Cluster (BC) mass of computations:ann cum precip 2-8-14 0001tA

Total precipitation predicted for Catalina (0.01 to 0.10 inches) ending at 5 AM tomorrow morning. Some to the north fell yesterday afternoon, but it wasn’t that much.  Sure, its yesterday’s model crunch based on data that’s almost 24 h old, but its got some rain in it, and glimpsing the incoming cloud mass, now located in western AZ and southern Cal, this looks a little reasonable to even a little low now.  thinking now that it will be more than 0.10 inches; might get 0.11 inches here in Catalina.  Have dip stick (rain gauge one) ready.  A new set of computations is not yet ready, but by the time you crawl out of bed and while I’ve been working, the link above will have new information that might be a little different than what I am looking at here at 4:10 AM AST.  But I have to move on now!

So, look for lots of middle clouds (Altocumulus/Altostratus) again today, but likely bases lowering during the day and looking pretty threatening by evening. Check this sounding sequence from the BC and how the dewpoint and temperature lines come together at lower heights during the day today.  So lots of clouds to write about in your weather diary today, pretty much like yesterday1.

No rain and lots of warming ahead after this.

Yesterday’s clouds

Perhaps first, before moving on to something as ephemeral as clouds, we should start with something contemplative; an aphorism written by a man who compared humans and their lives to the activities of arachnids.  Pretty effective I thought.

Chief Seattle, too, by his very namesake, reminds us of the recent big Superbowl victory, after which 700,000 Chief Seattleites gathered in the streets yesterday to see the parade of players and other festivities, weaving their own distinctive strands of life.

Sanctuary Cove Park, Marana, maybe. Then again, it might be in Tucson. Nobody really knows where these towns start and end.

Day started with an overcast of Altostratus with mammatus/testicularis (which I showed yesterday) that devolved into an Altocumulus overcast most of the rest of the day, example below:

12:45 PM.
12:45 PM. Altocumulus opacus.  No virga evident.


2:52 PM.  VIrga and light snow top Mt. Lemmon.  Hope you logged it.  I did and I was about 15 friggin' miles away.
2:52 PM. Thin wisp of vIrga and light snow top Mt. Lemmon (center peak). Hope you logged it. I did and I was about 15 friggin’ miles away.  But don’t feel bad.  I sometimes miss things myself.  You just have to bear down, as we say around here,  and be fanatical about it.  That’s the strand I want you to weave in this life.
3:46 PM. Altocumulus lenticulars form under an Altocumulus perlucidus layer. View from Sanctuary Cove Park, very nice little loop walk there.


4:14 PM. More isolated examples of Altocumulus lenticularis near the Tucson Mountains.



Inappropriately blooming wildflower.  Global warming hitting hard in AZ this winter so far.
Seen in Sanctuary Cover Park,  inappropriately blooming wildflowers.   This MIGHT be a purple “brown-plumed wire lettuce”, best match I could find in Wildflowers of Arizona by Rick and Nora Bowers. Message sent:  global warming hitting hard in AZ this winter so far.

























































On the other hand, to be fair to the earth, global warming’s on the run in the Great Lakes area. Check this “find” out, courtesy of that big troublemaker and former WA State Climatologist, Mark Albright who enjoys finding discrepancies in fashionable postulations, causing people to think, maybe explain things they weren’t expecting:


The green line is the median ice coverage for the Great Lakes. Good grief, has it been cold around there or what? I guess it all evens out, and for some folks, that’s a problem these days.



The End.


1I did notice that the big clearing didn’t get here yesterday as early as was thought, that clearing between yesterday’s trough and clouds those in this incoming one today and thought I would hide the discussion of that forecasting error in a footnote.   But, maybe the whole point of life is learning from your mistakes, taking them head on.  Then at the end, when you’ve finally think you’ve got it all right, you die.  Doesn’t seem right.


















































































































































































































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.