The End is at hand…

…of the superbly pleasant days, that is.  Sure today and tomorrow, and Friday, with the except of afternoon breeziness that last day, will be quite nice.  Probably some Cirrus or Altocumulus clouds at times to make the sky look interesting.  You will still be able to brag to your friends elsewhere during these days about how nice it is in Arizona in the wintertime.

Below, an example of the kinds of clouds that might float by, yesterday’s Altocumulus clouds that appeared at sunset.  I’m sure you saw them, and recorded the event in your weather journal.  After all, it might indicate something and then later, you would be able to tell your friends that you knew that something was coming because you saw that cloud. Now, if you really have good eyes, you will see in this photo, a veil of ice that formed in the little sliver cloud that is farther away and to the left.  You really need to know about ice if you are going to be a good cloud person.

But by Sunday, you may want to go to Buffalo, NY, or Ottawa, Canada, to get warm after the cold front goes by.   It’ll be raining, maybe even snowing at some point.  Ski Catalina!  Its THAT cold in this mammmmmmmoth system approaching Catland that we are probably going to at least see some flakes in the rain Sunday or Monday.  (That my friend, is NOT sleet, dammitall!  Don’t let some silly weather presenter convince you that its “sleet” when rain and snow are mixed together.  Sleet bounces off the pavement; its frozen raindrops, ones that fell into a sub-freezing layer near the ground–takes about 2,000 feet  or more of sub-freezing air for there to be enough time for those drops to freeze, and typically, temperatures below about 28 F.)  Now, where was I?

Right.  Expectations are supremely high for this storm at this keyboard.  May set some storm precip records here in Catalina for the amount in 1-2 days.  I am expecting an inch of precip by Wednesday mid-day, but it COULD be 2 inches (water equivalent), that’s how much potential this storm has.  Almost certainly some of the rain will be accompanied by electrical displays.

Why so much confidence and take the chance that you will look very foolish if you are wrong in these extreme weather pronouncements?

This storm is, and has been, well-progged.   Remember that discussion about “spaghetti” a few days ago?  Now, only a few days away, this mammmmmmmmoth storm is “in the bag”; don’t even think about it missing us, even though its still more than 72 h before rain even begins to fall (likely sometime overnight Saturday).  You’ll have to deal with it.  Get used to it,.  You’ve seen it before:  the dust , the strong winds (at some point, probably more than 50 mph in a brief puff) Saturday or Sunday night and then the cold air and rain/snow.

Here is a sample from one of the best models, from our friends to the north, for Sunday afternoon when the storm is well under way in AZ:

Then,  once here, it moves VERY slowly, so that the duration of rain and snow will be extended.  Hey, we’re due for a break in getting a great, drenching storm. Poor desert spring weeds looking pretty sad these days around Catalina, which makes me sad.  Why can’t it rain more in the desert?

And with a trough of this magnitude (upper left panel of prog map) bringing such cold air down here, ahead of it,  east of the Rockies, extremely warm air will rush northward.  While low temperature records are likely to be set in the West by early next week, high temperature records are likely to be set in the East and probably in eastern Canada as well.

The folks at the NWS, Tucson, will be, and are, very, very excited, stimulated, really, by this situation.  So many advisories to be issued, so little time, when its upon you.  This is what we weatherfolk live for!

May hunker down for a couple of days, daydreaming about how great it will be.

The End.