More like it; 0.43 inches in The Heights, 3.07 inches on Ms. Mt. Lemmon!

Thank you,  second burst of rain after about 8:15 PM.   And what a great total on The Lemmon!  Fantastic, unless some roads were washed out.  1.93 inches fell in only an hour up there.  1.85 inches fell in an hour at White Tail over there by the highway.

Below, cribbed from the Pima County ALERT gauge line up, these 24 h totals, ending at 4 AM AST:

Catalina Area
    1010     0.00       0.00       0.00        0.00         0.28      Golder Ranch                 Horseshoe Bend Rd in Saddlebrooke
    1020     0.00       0.00       0.00        0.00         0.28      Oracle Ranger Stati          approximately 0.5 mi SW of Oracle
    1040     0.00       0.00       0.00        0.00         0.43      Dodge Tank                   Edwin Rd 1.3 mi E of Lago Del Oro Parkway
    1050     0.00       0.00       0.00        0.00         0.43      Cherry Spring                approximately 1.5 mi W of Charouleau Gap
    1060     0.00       0.00       0.00        0.00         0.55      Pig Spring                   approximately 1.1 mi NE of Charouleau Gap
    1070     0.00       0.00       0.00        0.04         0.87      Cargodera Canyon             NE corner of Catalina State Park
    1080     0.00       0.00       0.00        0.00         0.24      CDO @ Rancho Solano          Cañada Del Oro Wash NE of Saddlebrooke
    1100     0.00       0.00       0.00        0.00         0.51      CDO @ Golder Rd              Cañada Del Oro Wash at Golder Ranch Rd

Santa Catalina Mountains
    1030     0.00       0.00       0.00        0.00         0.75      Oracle Ridge                 Oracle Ridge, approximately 1.5 mi N of Rice Peak
    1090     0.00       0.00       0.00        0.04         3.07      Mt. Lemmon                   Mount Lemmon
    1110     0.00       0.00       0.00        0.00         0.63      CDO @ Coronado Camp          Cañada Del Oro Wash 0.3 mi S of Coronado Camp
    1130     0.00       0.00       0.00        0.00         1.69      Samaniego Peak               Samaniego Peak on Samaniego Ridge
    1140     0.00       0.00       0.00        0.00         0.94      Dan Saddle                   Dan Saddle on Oracle Ridge
    2150     0.00       0.00       0.00        0.04         2.72      White Tail                   Catalina Hwy 0.8 mi W of Palisade Ranger Station
    2280     0.00       0.00       0.00        0.00         0.59      Green Mountain               Green Mountain
    2290     0.00       0.00       0.00        0.00         1.18      Marshall Gulch               Sabino Creek 0.6 mi SSE of Marshall Gulch

Looks like scattered showers today;  a typical sequence after something major happens, like last night, is for the atmosphere to compensate with some drier air.  So, today should be GORGEOUS in Cumulus clouds that pile up here and there on the mountains, but don’t expect to get shafted unless you’re real lucky.  Wider spread rains expected tomorrow….

Yesterday’s clouds, if you care

Of course, you can the whole day in a hurry here, courtesy of the U of Arizona Wildcats Weather Department, in case you’d like to avoid all the cloud blather below….

6:20 AM. I/m calling this Altocumulus. Don’t see any ice falling out here, but some did off to the SW. Being an all water droplet cloud, I hope you were telling anyone that you were with,  that, “Hell, this layer will burn off fast” since you know that water droplet clouds are more vulnerable to evaporating in sunlight than ice clouds like Altostratus, or Cirrus. And when this layer burns off fast, the Cumulus will arise in a hurry.  Its great that you might have said that.
9:13 AM. That layer is mostly gone, and there come the Cu!
1:03 PM. The inevitable Cumulonimbus capillatus incus has arisen over there by  Kitt Peak.
But this photo is special for you because if you look closely, as I know you will, there is also a big dust devil near the Tucson Mountains (center of photo). I’ve noticed a LOT of dust devils form in nearly that same spot where this one is. Must be exciting to live down there!
1:30 PM. Another daily benchmark, “First Ice”  on the Catalinas. The ragged turret remains on the left have some ice underneath them if you look closely again, as I know you probably will. If you had an aircraft with cloud physics instrumentation and you were looking for the amount ice that formed in those ragged turrets, ones that once looked like the one in the center, nice and puffy, you would best fly toward the bottom of the rags, not at the top since as the droplets in the cloud shrink due to evaporation, the ice-forming stops. Thus sometimes the coldest part of the cloud in those rags has the fewest ice crystals, and more are found lower down, ones that formed by the freezing of those once larger drops, as would be starting to take place in the puffy parts.
3:56 PM. The rarely seen pileus cap which I seem to photograph everyday on a Catalina mountain Cumulus congestus cloud top. Very pretty, and SO DELICATE!
Things had kind of stagnated as far as Cumulus development went at this point over the Catalinas. Lots of small Cbs, but nothing really shot up, as it was beginning to do to the southwest and west.
4:15 PM. Another rarely seen pileus top on a Cumulus congestus converting into a Cumulonimbus calvus; ice in a fading, glaciated turret is visible on the left (that smooth portion).  Still, these tops ain’t much in height.
5:57 PM. Now the big boys to the SW are approaching with huge “plumes” of Altostratus cumulonimbogenitus–you knew that, though in fading versions it appeared. Note dust plume on the right obscuring part of the Tortolita Mountains. And with their approach, and with the dust plume over there, you could easily figure that the wind was gonna blow pretty hard.
6:00 PM. Only four minutes later, the dust was moving in and the wind was blowing from the SW at 25 to 35 mph. When the wind starts up, look up! That wind will be pushing the air over you up, and often existing darken as their tops rise, or new clouds form. Here, and in the next shot, that SW wind is pushing the air up on the slopes of the Catalina Mountains. Was hoping to see the strands start to fall from these bases near us, maybe feel some “rain plops” as we call them, those giant drops first out the bottom, but that didn’t happen here, but over there on Ms. Lemmon and Samaniego Ridge after that. Oh, well.
6:06 PM. Another example of the clouds that piled up on the Catalinas as that SW wind was blowing. Wasn’t long after this that Ms. Lemmon was obscured in rain.


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.