Models warming up to rain; some cloud shots from yesterday

Been kind of sitting around waiting for the billions/trillions of numerical model calculations to get it “right”, that is, to come back with some decent rain SOMEWHERE in Arizona after some pretty sad  dry model results over the past couple of days.

Today,  the great USA WRF-GFS model (rendered by IPS Meteostar) finally got it “right” by showing rain over Arizona on at least three days during the next 15 when it examined global data from this morning balloon, satellite, surface, aircraft, personal weather stations, rumors, TEEVEE weather presenters’ data, etc.   Here are the days on which rain is shown in our great state, a state that ranks 21st in objective measures of subjective happiness by US State.  The first rain is just this Sunday afternoon and evening, the 15th.  Be ready.   This is from the cutoff that got lost off the coast of Baja, one that was a week ago the models foretold that it was supposed to be over Catalina today!  Unbelievable.  It was only off by a 1000 miles.

The second AZ rain day is Saturday night into Sunday, the 21st-22nd.  This rain is only supposed to stay north of about Phoenix.  That’s OK.  That’s followed by a much heavier burst of precip on the night of the 23-24th, again mostly north of us (3rd panel).  That’s OK#2.  We benefit when the rain and snow falls in the north, too.

Lots to look forward to!

BTW, when that Pac jet slams the West Coast from the central Pacific, starting next Tuesday afternoon, it will cause a lot of excitement for weatherfolk and plain folk as floods develop over the following few days in northern California and Oregon.  In some places in northern California it has been as dry as the Great Drought of 1976-77, which was dang dry along the whole Pac coast.  They’ll soon be “exulting-complaining” about all the rain filling up the reservoirs and washing things away, respectively.  Watch your local newspapers.

 Yesterday’s clouds (see below)

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What a great, if a cool day it was, to watch Altocumulus and Altostratus pass by. There were a number of places where it looked like an aircraft may have created some virga in supercooled Altocumulus clouds, but lots of natural mammatus type virga, too. You can see the whole day go by from the U of A campus time lapse camera, pointed at the Catalina Mountains, here.  That small hole in  the middle shot was likely caused by an aircraft, the ice from that passage, long gone.  And, of course, there was the superb sunset!  How nice it is to be here.

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.