Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Start Of February Brings Next Weather Event For Southeastern Arizona

The last rainfall here at the house was on the 7th and 8th of January, so it has been a long dry spell, as El Nino impacts seem to have stayed mostly north and west of our area.

Have taken a look at the GEFS plumes for the next weather event that will affect the Tucson metro area. The QPF plumes from 06 UTC last night now all forecast measurable precipitation for the airport (above), with the average being around 2/10 of an inch or so. The timing in the model forecasts indicates the precipitation occurring during Sunday night into Monday morning.

The plumes for wind speed (below) show gusty winds picking up late on Sunday afternoon and peaking during the day on Monday. The ensemble forecasts for temperature (second below) indicate a strong cold front coming by late on Sunday.

Shown above is the operational GFS forecast (from 06 UTC last night) for total precipitation amounts through 5:00 am MST on next Tuesday morning. In contrast, the WRF-GFS forecast (from 00 UTC last evening) is shown below. The finer terrain resolution within the WRF shifts the focus of the event into the mountains, which will undoubtedly be the case. The WRF-GFS forecast for wind speeds indicates gusty winds on Sunday afternoon, that become quite strong at the airport around sunrise on Monday.

Remember that the WRF forecasts have tended to be too dry during the last couple of months, and the event is still quite a bit in the future, so we'll watch to see how the model forecasts evolve as the weekend approaches.

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