Windy, windier, windiest

Pretty much like that title will be the scene for Catalina for the next three days, particularly during the afternoons as temperatures moderate slightly to more normal values in the mid-upper 90s today, while the series of “Tonopah low” pressure centers that will form in Nevada and then move away, are stronger and stronger.  The strongest one one is expected to form on Friday.  Of course, “as always”, there was a low over Tonopah, NV, earlier today; now its down around Blythe, with cooler air following behind it.

Check our NWS excitement here where you’ll see maps and warnings galore.  Also, here, where you can see the 24 h temperature change, a good tool for where cold fronts have passed.  At this point, the major invasion of cold air stays to the north.  Its later on the weekend it barges down thisaway.

Here are the current satellite and surface pressure map, and the “jet stream” maps (for 500 mb), both from the U of WA.  What’s pretty unusual in our domain at 500 mb is how “warm” it is south of the jet stream (where the contours are bunched the most) over central California and Arizona.  Its only -5 C at Tucson right now, hardly below freezing, up around 20,000 feet!  This suggests that the racing around and outside the jet core on the south side has been subsiding like mad, and in doing that, compressing and heating up.

So what you might say?

Well, thinking of others here, normally, gobs of precip break out in the central and southern Plains States when these big troughs settle into the SW and Great Basin, but this one, on the models for the next few days, hardly produces ANY precip!  Its pretty upsetting, really, because this could have been a real soaker out there in those droughty regions; instead the rain is mainly in Montana, the Dakotas and Canada.

And the likely reason is that the air is too hot above all warm and humid air from the Gulf of Mexico that is racing northward in the southern Plains right now to allow deep convection except in isolated areas.  So, as warm as the Gulf air is, there will be an inversion that just won’t break down as they often do when they are not so strong as this one will be.

Nice sunset yesterday due to some passing Cirrus spissatus.  Today will likely see more examples of those, along with Altocumulus or Cirrocumulus lenticulars, probably more off to the north of us because I see some over there to the north now (6 AM AST).