“Sixteen hundredths”, originally a song by a boy group of that day so long ago, The Crests, about a light rain that fell in May in southern California, an event that is quite rare and exciting at that time of the year there. But then practical and marketing considerations caused the song to be revised to one about candles of all things. How odd. I thought you might like to know some reliable history behind that venerable song, one that made us cry, it was so sweet, and think about, as boys, how much we liked girls when WE were sixteen or so.
Yesterday, while Mr. CMP (“cloud maven person”, but using acronym in trying to be as indirect as possible here) was making some fun of students mixing up units in their calculations of pressure at various heights in the atmosphere, he himself was mixing up cloud “units”, by informing his reader that cumuliform clouds, some dropping graupel, would be seen over Catalina yesterday, not stratiform, sky-covering Altocumulus, followed by great masses of Stratocumulus underneath it, combining later with gray, dank, Altostratus, a scene that finally evolved in the mid-day hours into Nimbostratus with light rain, sometimes with light snow mixed in! Briefly, too, it was ALL “surprise” snow!
The total, 0.16 inches, was also about sixteen times more than CMP thought would fall from that perceived marginal weather producer. (Note: the U of AZ local model’s 11 PM run the night before had it predicted perfectly! However, in some kind of bloated self-evaluation of skill levels, CMP did not consult that model until it was “too late.”) Today, I am quite confident, however, that I really don’t need to look at that model…
What is going on here? Fallibility, I calls it, human fallibility. Remember that old saying about pencils with erasers at the end? So simple and yet, profound.
Oh, well. All’s well that ends well, and the “well” ending was one of a nice little rain mixed with snow (will burn your CMJ tee if you refer to rain mixed with snow as “sleet”!) and beautiful snow down on the Catalinas, so pretty yesterday evening as the clouds lifted.
Today a fine day with small Cumulus clouds, very photogenic again as this kind of wintertime day is here. The mountains should be spectacular, too, due to the cold air that remains that will allow them to be white down low for a few hours this morning.
Precip totals from the U of AZ rainlog.org network here and the national CoCoRahs org here for AZ totals. The measrements at rainlog will indicate that they are for yesterday, the 11th, while the CoCoRahs convention, to assign the rain to the date it was reported, will show the totals for our storm using today’s date, the 12th. You’ll have to wait until about 8-10 AM to get most of the loggers’ reports.
The most I saw in the Pima County gage network was 0.43 inches, an amazing amount, down in Avra Valley. Shocking, really.
BTW, the cloud regime that CMP foresaw for Catalinaland was just to the west of us, around Ajo, AZ, not that far away astronomically speaking. And at sunset yesterday, you could see those Cumulonimbus clouds on the horizon coming into view.
To cry-baby about it a bit more about a missed cloud forecast, this “visible” wavelength satellite image:
Some un-Cumulus scenes from yesterday:
The weather ahead into March
Gotta ride the storms, ones already predicted as of yesterday here over the latter half of this month. Never good to “yo-yo” on a forecast, as forecasters will tell you.
However, not getting help again in this longer range musing from the NOAA ensembles of spaghetti; site is still down, so riding bareback here so-to-speak, using a western idiom (or is it “idiot”?) In sum, Arizona to end up with above normal precip when whole state considered. This due to being in the bowl, the trough bowl, though breaks in storms, and nice weather, sometimes for several days at a time, will try to fool you into thinking you’re not.
Going farther out on a limb, twig, really, looks like the active storminess will continue well into March. We seem now to have a wet pattern going, though in a desert, its not THAT wet compared to Washington State or elsewhere. Stand by for occasional updates. Am excited for wildflowers now; there may be some!