..like the continuing puddles of water we see on a hot day in the distance on the road. So, in the model outputs of late, there have been a couple of rainy “puddles” for southern Arizona on the horizon, 10 days out and more. Still too far out to be reliable; they might “dry up”, as our highway puddles appear to do.
But, I would have slept in if I hadn’t been “provoked” into a blogulent life this morning by CONTINUING RAIN in the model forecasts for southern AZ. Here are the key elements from last evening’s new results: It still rains on February 12th, though the amounts have been scaled back; not the deluge suggested yesterday. However, a soaking rain is now indicated for February 6th, a week earlier from an entirely different system (!), previously shown as a near miss or a mere wisp of rain.
Its all good, because a pattern change is taking place, and while the details and timing of rain will be erratic for awhile, its likely that the pattern change to one that provides rain here is more likely, not “in the bag”, of course, by any means.
What would be great about a February wet spell is not only the effect it will have on our spring growth and sustaining the road to a good wildflower bloom, but also just to see decent rain in the heart of the La Nina rain deflector period. As you likely know, the power of a La Nina to deflect storms from the Southwest is greatest in late winter and spring. Rooting for rain now into spring is definitely like rooting for a 20 point underdog in fubball.
Here are some images from last night’s model output, rendered by IPS Meteostar, my favorite for these. The first for Monday, February 6th, “bulls eye”, and the second for the February 12th storm. Contrast the flow shown on the jet stream maps (panels 3 and 4) with what we have today (last panel) to see why we weather folk call it a pattern change. Look where the jet stream crosses the coast these days and where it is on the rainy forecast days ahead.
As you can see, by the 12th, Cal will also feel the impact of another round of furious weather after the January lashings that brought 10-20 inches of rain to extreme northern portions of the State and in southern Oregon. The largest total I have found from the later January deluges was….33.56 inches in just NINE days at Red M0und, Oregon, just north of Brookings! Time to start thinking about another trip to Shelter Cove, CA, and the King Range. Hmmm. Just kidding! I would not willingly miss a drop of rain that falls here, just too beautiful a site to see rain fall in the desert. We love rain here!
Factoid: If you are a snow birder from Prospect Creek, Alaska, about 180 miles north of Fairbanks, I am quite sure you are happy to be here and not there; the temperature yesterday morning at Prospect Creek was -77 F! The US record low temperature is -80 F set at Prospect Creek in 1971. Must be like living in liquid nitrogen there in the winter.