Thursday, June 25, 2015

Brief Summary Of Yesterday

First, photo above from Art Douglas was taken Tuesday afternoon the 23rd. He was near Coronado National Monument looking south into Mexico at a heavily raining thunderstorm.

Yesterday was Dia de San Juan - a day traditionally celebrated as the start of the summer thunderstorm season - the storm season has definitely begun over higher elevations and also the grasslands to our south and east, but we still are waiting in the lower desert elevations.

Across the ALERT network rain fell at 11 sites which were at high and mid-elevations. Two sites in the Catalinas received about an inch and a third of rain; Manning Camp in the Rincons had 0.51"; and the Carr RAWS site down in the Huachuca Mountains had 1.33". Areal coverage across the ALERT network was a bit more than 10% and affected mostly the nearby, high-elevation NWS forecast zones.

Safford and also Show Low each had a severe thunderstorm with gusts to 61 mph and Ft. Huachuca had thunder with gusts to 51 mph. All-in-all a pretty active day except down here in the desert.

Here at the house there were about 5 rumbles of thunder from the large thunderstorm that erupted over the Catalinas in the early afternoon. But the storm sat on the mountain and eventually dissipated, producing only a dry outflow that moved south across the metro area.

The time-series of GPS PW (from NOAA ERSL GPS page) below shows that PW at the campus GPS site plunged by nearly a half an inch during the afternoon, before recovering some during the night back to around 30 mm.

The 00 UTC sounding at TWC on campus (from Univ. of Wyoming - above) shows that light steering winds prevailed - radar loops indicated storms propagating in varied directions yesterday afternoon. Frankly, we ended up with a poor wind profile and virtually no CAPE over the low elevations, explaining the dearth of storms at low elevations. The graphic below shows CG flash densities for past 24-hours (from Weather.Graphics and Vaisala) - storms stayed over higher elevations to east and south of the metro area. So, close enough for thunder but skunked on the rains.

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