Wednesday, March 04, 2015

500 mb Trough Moving Across Eastern Arizona This Morning

Significant cloudiness covers southeast Arizona this morning, as shown by 0715 am MST visible satellite image above. The 500 mb S/W is moving across eastern Arizona this morning (below is 12 UTC 500 mb analysis from NCAR), and there are light showers along and ahead of the trough.

The morning sounding from NWS TWC is plotted below (from SPC). Middle-level temperatures are colder than -20 C and moisture extends upward to above 500 mb. There is little resistance to vertical motion in the moist air and showers will continue until lower layers dry out during the afternoon. There may be a sliver of CAPE present in the sounding and surface heating, especially over the mountains, could lead to some thunderstorms during mid-day. After this system passes by the synoptic pattern over the Southwest becomes somewhat chopped up and ill-defined as we head into meteorological spring.

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