Thundering and thundering but no raining and raining

Not here, anyway…

We live in interesting times.   As with so many days since June 30th, thunder almost rules the day, going on intermittently for hours, as it did yesterday.  And yet, only a little rain, just a few drops from an anvil overhang just after 2 PM, can find its way here to my house here in Sutherland Heights, Catalina.  I know areas down toward Golder Ranch Drive and just south of there have gotten brief hard rains this July, but not here.   What is going on?

Or what is NOT going on?  Not enough heating I guess, only the very highest terrain participated in Cumulus and Cumulonimbus production yesterday; those cloud bottoms just could not work their way off the mountain tops, and so only the middle and higher dissipating portions dribbled over Catalina land.  No disturbances to group them either, regardless of temperature, like two mornings ago when the line-cluster of thunderstorms came through.

Lets just hope that upper low that used to be over Virginia a coupla days ago can get here and be that needed “disturbance.”  You probably didn’t know that weather moves from Virginia, or even Ohio, to Arizona…..well, its happened, and no doubt due to climate change where weather is backward from what it usually is, this low is , now over MO, continues moving west and south, reaching AZ by Wednesday the 17th.

It is a little unusual to see that and here’s what real convective-severe storm weather guru Bob (lives in Tucson, BTW)  is saying to a weather folk group in Albany, NY:

“Ed and Greg – the current forecasts looked familiar to me. Check out the 500 mb analysis
series from 00Z 9 August 2003 through 12z 16 August 2003. Short wave in westerlies
over Ohio morphs into an inverted trough in the easterlies. The IT moves SW across the
southern Plains and ends up near the Four Corners on the 16th. It was associated with
a widespread thunderstorm outbreak across Arizona on the 14th.  Bob Maddox”

“On 7/12/2013 11:25 AM, Edward Szoke – NOAA Affiliate wrote:
Greg – we remarked about this up at the CIRA weather briefing yesterday in Fort Collins.  We see westward moving systems in the sub-tropics, but this far north and heading so far west does seem rather unusual.  It looks like quite an outbreak of convection in OK come Sunday presumably as the cold pocket aloft moves over that area.  Maybe it will keep moving west, close off and deepen over the 4- corners and bring us the seldom-seen but often talked about July snow!  (OK – heat has made me  go goofy – hope all is well at the Wx Channel).  ed”

End of filler material from experts to get you a little excited, as we all will be if this comes to fruition as now foretold in models.

Yesterday’s pretty castellanus:

5:57 AM.  Altocumulus castellanus spire under a higher layer of Altocumulus.
5:57 AM. Altocumulus castellanus spire under a higher layer of Altocumulus perlucidus.

 

5:57 AM.  Looking west toward the Tortolita Mountains at a large grouping of those lower castellanus clouds.  This, I thought, was one of the best shots I've taken of those clouds.
5:57 AM. Looking west toward the Tortolita Mountains at a large grouping of those lower castellanus clouds. This, I thought, was one of the best shots I’ve taken of those clouds.
6:28 AM.  As sometimes happens with these clouds, they can group together and morph into true Cumulonimbus clouds based at high levels, and not caused by heating at the ground.  This is a common situation in the Plains States during winter when moist Gulf of Mexico air overrides cool winter air masses.
6:28 AM. As sometimes happens with these clouds, they can group together and morph into true Cumulonimbus clouds based at high levels capable, as yesterday, producing lightning and brief heavy rain; they’re  not caused by heating at the ground like our afternoon and evening storms. This is a common situation in the Plains States during winter when moist Gulf of Mexico air overrides cool winter air masses at the ground.

Our afternoon clouds, ones springing off the heating slopes of the Catalinas, dribbling overhang with sprinkles on Catalina once or twice:

1:30 PM.  Cumulonimbus over Ms. Lemmon, middle and upper portions hanging out over Catalina.
1:30 PM. Cumulonimbus over Ms. Lemmon, middle and upper portions hanging out over Catalina.
4:06 PM.  Got pretty excited when this behemoth sprung out over the Cats.  But, faded quickly after a lot thunder.
4:06 PM. Got pretty excited when this behemoth sprung out over the Cats. But, faded quickly after a lot thunder.

Oh, well. Day ended up with a nice multi-cloud layer sunset, always the best ones:

7:38 PM.  Why we love the summer rain season.
7:38 PM. Why we love the summer rain season and would never go to places like Michigan to avoid it.

Today is supposed to be about like yesterday, but hopeful that more rain can dribble off the Cat Mountains.

The End.