Saturday, January 05, 2013

Saturday January 5th - Miscellany

Ron Holle reports that at his location in Oro Valley (elevation about 2700 ft MSL) he had only two morning lows of 32F or colder during 2012 - far different than here at the house. He's clearly in what is sometimes called the Catalina's banana belt. Any other reports from Tucson?

On the 31st of December we drove out to Santa Rita Abbey, northwest of Sonoita, about 3 pm. There were cold-air snow showers over most of the mountains. The heavy shower above is just off the southeast flanks of the Rincons. Photo below is of building showers over Mt. Fagan, to the west of Highway 83. Mt. Fagan is the northern-most peak of the Santa Rita Mountains (elevation 6189 ft MSL). The NWS Tucson radar was sited so that Mt. Fagan would "protect" Kitt Peak from its lowest elevation tilts. Unfortunately, this selection of the site to put Mt. Fagan between the radar and Kitt peak also resulted in a very large sector of significant blockage (by a feature of the Empire Mountains) to the southwest of the radar (which eliminates any low-level radar coverage of storms over Nogales and the International Border Crossing). It is fairly rare to see Mt. Fagan totally snow-covered.

Snow scene in northern Mexico posted by Paul Caiano to the MAPS list. He reports: "Southwestern storm making for a snowy scene in MEXICO! This is northern Chihuahua and a picture posted by webcamsdemexico. The train is the Chihuahua-Pacific railway (El Chepe) but no specific location was given. The peak elevation of that rail line is more than 8,000'."

 An earthquake of 7.5 magnitude occurred off the coast of extreme southeastern Alaska this morning.

The GFS and ECMWF are now fairly well in sync for the next short wave and closed low at 500 mb. The forecasts shown are from 00 UTC last evening and are valid at 5 pm tomorrow afternoon.

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