Maybe they sneaked up because I wasn’t looking. After posting yesterday just after 5 AM, went out side and looked at the Catalina Mountains, that is those parts I could see through the thick rain shafts, and said, “WHAT!!!?” I was STUNNED to see them; had not even looked at the radar imagery for a couple of hours. Really was asleep at the keyboard.
And then the hour or so of rain that followed, with no lightning! Rain is so rare here om the morning in the summer, and it was so substantial. If there was a disappointment, a slight one, it was that Cargodera Canyon (NE corner of Cat State Park) with 0.87 inches, and the bridge at Golder Ranch Dr and Lago del Oro (0.71 inches) got so much more than we did here in Sutherland Heights in the past 24 h (0.38 inches). They were hit harder, too, by that late afternoon Cb that drifted off Pusch Ridge, again, a heavy shaft of rain with no lightning–how often have you seen that in a summer afternoon?
For a roundup of Pima County rainfall totals, go here.
It was, with its high concentrations of drops, a rain reminiscent of coastal Washington State in the early fall when offshore waters are still pretty warm, or Hawaii, for that matter, the latter location where most of the rain forms without ice. Our high concentrations of rain drops was also likely due to forming, at least partly, through the “warm rain” process, one that does not require ice, and is VERY rare in Arizona. Requires really warm cloud bases, and we had them yesterday, with bases around 60 F, 15-16 C, not too much cooler than you would find hovering over you in New Orleans or Miami, or Merida, Mexico, etc., places where warm rain develops routinely along with ice in the deeper clouds.
Here are some scenes from our huge, and low based, soft-looking, “soft serve” Cumulonimbus clouds, ones that looked that way because updrafts are weak for such deep clouds. You will see that updraft weakness in these photos.
This will seem strange, but I thought yesterday, with its absence of thunder until around dark to the NE, was one of the most unusual days I have experienced here in the summer, so reminiscent of the clouds in the Marshall Islands near the Equator that we (the U of Washington’s research aircraft) flew into during a ’99 field project down there; low, warm bases, high visibility under them, and clouds with weak updrafts and little lightning (the plane was only struck twice during the program):
Well, that’s about all we have time for, kids, and the hour of the exede.com choke hold, 5 AM approaches, and its too frustrating to be on the Web after that. May dredge up a Kwajalein shot at some later point, for comparison purposes, though.
Dewpoints are still running very high, even several 70s in the state (68 F here in the Heights). And so, with luck and no drying and no appreciable changes evident, we’ll have another day in the Phillipines, or the Marshall Islands, or Puerto Vallarta, New Orleans, Miami, Panama, etc. Enjoy.