Sunday, July 29, 2007

Spectacular wall cloud, heavy rain, and wet downburst move across north Tucson (07-28-07)

Heavy storms with flooding rains and damaging downbursts hit Tucson again early yesterday afternoon (Saturday 07-28-07).

On the north-central side of town, where we live, a storm cell moved southward from the west end of the Catalina Mountains. This cell had a spectacular wall cloud, see:
(NOTE: file size = 91.3 mb)

and Photos 1, 2, and 3. I took the first two from the house looking north at around 12:50 pm MST and tried to get the entire wall cloud/mesocyclone in the view. Photo 3 shows the east side of the wall cloud from the UofA's "Arizona Webcam." (This cam looks due north; the vantage point is a window in the Gould-Simpson building.)

A massive wall of rain developed to the rear and to the east side of the wall cloud. An associated wet downburst took down limbs and entire trees in a region along Ft. Lowell stretching 2 to 4 miles east-southeast from our house. I was out at sunrise taking some photos of the damage. Two large mesquite trees at Ft. Lowell and Dodge fell, taking out the power lines at intersection - police were still directing traffic through that intersection at 5 pm last evening. Photos 4, 5, and 6 show photos of downed trees in the area mentioned above.

Rains of 2 to 3 inches were measured over much of the Tucson metro region causing serious flooding, high water rescues, and the usual problems caused by stupid motorists. The news story at:

has a nice slide show focused on the flooding and water damages, plus a helicopter rescue.

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