Monday, May 04, 2015

Last 12-Hours Very Interesting

There were buildups and showers around metro Tucson last evening, that are continuing this morning. Smell of moisture and a Trace here at the house. As the showers moved north-northwest during the night they became thunderstorms that produced fairly frequent lightning across Pinal and Maricopa Counties before sunrise. Plot below from Weather.Graphics shows CG flash density for the past 12-hours - quite some display for early May. While second below shows the WRF-NAM forecast from 06 UTC of composite radar echoes valid at 5:00 am MST this early morning. The model had forecast CAPE of >1000 J/Kg in the storm area.

As for a quick look at today - the morning 12 UTC sounding from TWC (above plot from SPC) exhibits considerable CAPE, which goes with current shower activity locally - sprinkles here at house after sunrise. However, the early WRF NAM run forecasts most storm activity today to stay to the north, as indicated by the model's forecast of total precipitation through 11 pm this evening (below). However, the model may again be conservative, since it forecast substantial drying to have arrived by 12 UTC with a PW of only 15 mm. The actual sounding data indicated PW of 23 mm. Current blended PW from CIRA shows a large area of drier air with PWs <13 mm approaching from Mexico. 

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