Sunday, June 28, 2015

Wind And Dust As Per The NWS Alert Yesterday

Phoenix area did experience its first haboob of the summer yesterday afternoon. Above photo from Gilbert suburb shows traffic moving along in the dust (by David Kadlubowski). There were quite a few severe reports in the Southwest yesterday, with most clustered near Phoenix (below shows reports from SPC). Given the low level of population in most areas of Southwest, I suspect that actual severe storms numbered at least an order of magnitude more than were reported. 

There were too many wind gusts over 40 mph in the NWS and RAWS networks yesterday to list. Observing sites that reported over 50 mph included PHX, Casa Grande, Tonto Basin RAWS and Guthrie RAWS. Here at house I estimated 50 mph from an abrupt thunderstorm downburst that caused several power surges.

The plot of detected CG flashes through midnight last night (above, from Atmo and Vaisala) shows widespread thunderstorm activity- easily the most widespread event of the summer so far. The severe winds in Phoenix area were produced by outflows that ran far away from the active thunderstorms that produced them. 

Storms across the Tucson metro area were somewhat isolated and didn't produce much in the way of rainfall. A small cell hit here at the house but left behind only 0.03" - airport had 0.05" and DM measured only a trace. Across the ALERT network 36 of 92 sites measured 0.04" or more, but most amounts were less than 2/10s of an inch. Only three ALERT sites had a quarter inch or more, with max amount being 0.51" on far east-northeast side of town. The metro west sector of the ALERT network shown below (24-hour rain ending at 6:00 am MST this morning) illustrates the very spotty character of rain on the ground yesterday.

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