Thursday, July 26, 2007

Heavy rains and damanging winds hit Tucson metro area

Heavy and severe thunderstorms hit Tucson on Monday and Tuesday, the 23rd and 24th of July 2007.

Have returned after 3 days in Boise, Idaho. Saw the indications of serious urban flooding that occurred last couple of days as we drove from airport to house. Quite a few limbs and trees down here and there all the way from airport to our neighborhood. Neighbors seemed to think that winds were worse with the Tuesday storm. Monday storm led to 4 severe wind reports and Tuesday's storm produced 3 severe reports at SPC - including a gust to 63 mphat DM AFB.

When I walked this morning, I noted many limbs and a couple of trees down - but of course, I don't know if the damage occurred Monday or Tuesday. Workers were sawing up large sycamore limbs that were downed at Campbell and River (my guess would be on Tuesday).

Newspaper stories indicate that there was fairly widespread damage acrossparts of the metro area on both days - but the severity seems to have beengreatest on Tuesday. Stories for anyone interested are at:


The second story has a nice slide show of storm events from both Monday and Tuesday. A good amount of rain accumulated in our gauge while we were gone - 1.94" Guess I should leave more often, or perhaps it's the combined effect of Mullen and Maddox both out of town? I took a quick look at the soundings from Sunday morning (the 22nd) through this morning (the 26th). Given that the atmosphere has been very moist and that winds have been very light through most of period, I find it distressing that the evening soundings continue to exhibit a drybias, see:

With the moist atmosphere, there have been numerous sounding problems due to wetting of the Sippican thermistors. I note bad layers in the following: 22/12Z; 23/12Z; 24/00Z; 24/12Z; and 25/12Z; with 25/00Z suspect. It's hard to have a very high degree of confidence in these "new and improved" upper-air data!

Today's morning sounding continues to show light and variable winds in much of troposphere, except that upper-levels have some flow and also indicate substantial difluence over SE AZ - so large-scale upward motion may help things along a bit today.

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