The first t yesterday, from growing clouds topping Mt; Lemmon was at 9:30 AM, the earliest such event of the summer. Cumulus that grew immediately into Cumulonimbus clouds, then one cell after another in a continuous stream came off Mt Lemmon with no breaks in the dark bases above the spawning area. Had never seen that before. Usually there are breaks between cells, a brief clearing on even the most active days. And those cells really must have sprouted upward around 11:10 AM when, finally, a second blast of thunder occurred. After that grew much more frequent, and by early afternoon, it was almost continuous. Very exciting, as steady rain fell here.
Here in Catalina Sutherland Heights, we were the beneficiaries of the more stratiform (flat, dissipating) part of those Cumulonimbus that stayed rooted on the mountains. Those flat portions provided a more or less gentle rain amounting to 0.18 inches here. However, more than an inch fell in the Mt. Lemmon and Samaniego ALERT gauges. You can see more rain data here from the U of AZ rainlog. org home page. It is a certainty that some mountain sites got considerably more yesterday if you saw the repeated dense shafts of rain S of Samaniego Peak, where 1.10 inches fell. Guessing the peak (but non-measured total) was more like an 1.5 inches. This should recharge many of the normally dry creeks and streams on the Catalinas, and keep the green coming.
Another aspect, making yesterday one of the best visually pleasing days was the absence of haze and smoke. The sunlit Cumulus clouds that were forming away from the mountains and over Oro Valley were especially, pristinely white and gorgeous; took your breath away to see them piling up so high, and so purely, brilliantly white, so clean looking.
Here are some shots from yesterday, beginning with some “morning castellanus”, which were nice to see, too:
Today is supposed to be another early starter as well with rain on The Lemmon before noon, the model runs at the U of AZ from last night say. However, the longer term model runs indicate a break in the summer rain season for a few days after today. I guess that’s when our weather can be that bit unbearable here in July. Phooey.