Sunday, May 03, 2015

First Severe Thunderstorm In Metro - Summer 2015

There were thunderstorms scattered here and there across much of Arizona yesterday afternoon. Regional radar (0.5 degree tilts) from NCAR RAL (above at ~23 UTC) shows several of the storms. Unfortunately, I did not grab some TUS composite images. The detected CG flashes (below, from Vaisala) is for period through 1:00 am MST this morning, May 3rd.

The storms were high-based and produced mostly virga and downburst winds. MesoWest data indicated a couple of their sites had measurable rain over in Cochise County, but amounts were all less than 1/10 inch. Around 5:00 pm there was an area around Country Club and Broadway where there had been enough rain reach the ground to leave wet pavement and a few puddles.

The airport carried a TSTM in the vicinity with gusts to 38 mph. Just before 23 UTC Davis Monthan AFB reported lightning to the west and a gust to 59 mph (51 kts) - making that the first severe convective event in the metro area of the 2015 summer. A storm up in Pinal County produced some wind damage near Coolidge.

Although the summer-like 500 mb anticyclone has vanished, a weak short wave will cross the state on Tuesday, perhaps bringing another chance for showers.

Edited to add: Nice map below from Weather.Graphics (thanks to a link Jack Diebolt sent) that shows CG flash density for yesterday afternoon (through 0130 UTC) across all of the Southwest.

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