Thunder and virga

Clouds got more enthusiastic than expected here yesterday, reaching sizes big enough to produce light rainshowers to the NE of Catalina, and THUNDER just after 6 PM up toward Oracle town! Nice. Looks like a small Cumulus, postcard day today in Catalina. Cloud tops marginal for ice, holding around -10 C, capped by subsiding, dry air. (Except for the light showers this morning between 7 and 9 AM; this note added at 7:32 AM when I saw a shower developing to the west over Oro Valley!) This, from the U of AZ model. Since the air is colder aloft to the N today, ice will likely be seen in some clouds up thataway.

7:26 AM, looking toward Samaniego Ridge.
7:26 AM, looking toward Samaniego Ridge.  Water still flows down from the upper reaches of Samaniego Ridge from the winter rains.  You’ll have to click on the image to really see this water.
1:22 PM. Small Cumulus get underway.


2:25 PM.
2:25 PM.  While Cumulus occasionally filled in, they weren’t getting any deeper.  No ice visible at this time.
4:11 PM. There was plenty of ice around at this time, but most of it, as shown here above and to the left of the right most light standard, ejected out the downstream end of the clouds. This meant that the ice crystals had no chance to grow inside a cloud, but were thrown out into dry air and evaporated. Wider and taller clouds were needed for even decent virga to happen.
5:38 PM. Those deeper and wider clouds began to develop. Here a sprinkle or light rain shower reaches the ground toward the town of Oracle. Fifteen minutes later, thunder was even heard coming from this complex.
6:45 PM. The thunderstorm that occurred near or over the town of Oracle weakens and recedes. For a time it appeared building Cu overhead of Catalina might produce a sprinkle, but no.
6:50 PM.  The day ends quietly.
6:50 PM. The day ends quietly.


The End.