Sprinkles and gray; not a great day

Thought the overall clearing that occurred at around 8 PM yesterday afternoon was going to be much earlier.  So kind of disappointed there, as all of us weatherfolk are when things don’t go right.    I thought I was going to see some nice small to moderate Cu amid big sunbreaks during the afternoon.   Instead, that incoming Altocu-Stratocu deck from a mostly wasted Pac NW storm had more in it than it looked like on the sat images.  That’s what passed over and occluded the forecast.  Still, there was quite an afternoon clearing at one point, if a brief one…..  So, I guess I was partly right after all.

3:15 PM.  Giant clearing passes over Oro Valley as clouds beging to breakup. (Photo not zoomed or cropped?)
3:15 PM. Giant  clearing passes over Oro Valley and Catalina as clouds begin to breakup. (Photo not zoomed or cropped at all in a cheap attempt to exaggerate a clearing?) ((By putting a question mark, I am not actually lying right out.))

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the other hand, I do get to report a trace of rain in the past 24 h today, which is always good.  Hope you saw it, too, to put a bright spot on an otherwise dismal day.

That incoming deck that piled on top of the residual Stratocu here that was  topping Samaniego Ridge, was cold enough to produce virga, and some it fell into the clouds below which allowed it to reach the ground rather than dry up.

Also, some of those lower clouds built upward into that higher deck and developed ice, one produced quite a shaft briefly on the Catalinas.  That was the surprise of the day, since it appeared to be too stable for  that kind of development.

Mods had no rain around here, too, so they’re a little red-faced, as well.

Here are a few other shots from your cloud day:

8:51 AM.  This is a common cloud scene that we have here when moist air is being lifted up as it approaches the Catalinas and moves upward in the slot between those mountains and the Tortolitas.  The back edge, shown here, is moving toward you, but either never gets here, or takes a lot longer than it should.  The reason is that cloud is forming on the back edge.  Sometimes when this happens and you see a big clearing that you think will get to you and it doesn't, its called a "sucker hole."
8:51 AM. This is a common cloud scene that we have here when moist air is being lifted up as it approaches the Catalinas and moves upward in the slot between those mountains and the Tortolitas. The back edge, shown here, is moving toward you, but either never gets here, or takes a lot longer than it should. The reason is that cloud is forming on the back edge. Sometimes when this happens and you see a big clearing that you think will get to you and it doesn’t, its called a “sucker hole.”

 

10:57 AM.  Here, with Big Blue, I was thinking that the clouds were breaking up, and going to be nice, scattered  Cumulus, and the forecast I made one of the great ones of our time.  Middle level clouds rolled over the top of these and put the kabash of that!
10:57 AM. Here, with Big Blue, I was thinking that the clouds were breaking up, and it was going to be nice, scattered Cumulus, day, and the forecast I made early yesterday morning would turn out to be one of the great ones of our time. Middle level clouds rolled over the top of the lower Cumulus and put the kabosh on that!  In a way, it was like that big meltdown in the last two minutes by the Washington State Cougars in their bowl game against the Colorado State Rams yesterday when the “Cougs” were leading by 15 points at that time and thought they had a bowl win with so little time left.  But no.   Like yesterday’s cloud forecast, the win went into the spin cycle at the drain and then down the tube.  The writer worked in the Washington Huskies Weather Department, the Cougs in-state rival, but during bowl season the proper rooting etiquette for fhose teams in your league, the Pac 12.
1:31 PM.  A real shaft on the Catalinas!  This was the last thing I expected to see.  Such a shaft indicates that the top of this cloud got much higher (likely a few thousand feet) than any other tops yesterday, likely poking up through the higher layer of Stratocumulus clouds.
1:31 PM. Surprise of the day.  A real shaft on the Catalinas! This was the last thing I expected to see yesterday, you, too. I’m sure. Such a shaft indicates that the top of this cloud got higher (likely just a few thousand feet) than any other tops yesterday,  mounding above the tops of the higher layer of Stratocumulus clouds.

 

2:43 PM.  A prototypical shot for pretty much the whole day.
2:43 PM. A prototypical shot for pretty much the whole day, one in a Seattle motif; scattered to broken coverage in lower Cumulus and Stratocumulus, with another layer of Stratocumulus on top of the lower clouds.

Sun was able to sun behind the backedge of that Sc cloud deck and produced some spectacular lighting on Sam Ridge.

5:08 PM.
5:08 PM.
5:21 PM.  "Cow and sunset"; $1200.
5:21 PM. “Cow and sunset”;
$1200.

The weather WAY ahead, that is,  after the long dry spell now starting…

Still looking at storms passing through here as December winds down and during the first week of January, likely with cold, possibly exceptional cold,  in the West.  “Stay tuned”, of course.