Monday, March 07, 2016

Active Morning For Southern California

As the models have been forecasting, a strong short wave at 500 mb is digging south-southeastward just off the California coast - above is the NAM model's 500 mb analysis for 12 UTC this morning. Rain and some thunderstorms are occurring with and ahead of this feature. Regional radar below (from NCAR RAL for a bit after 7:00 am MST) indicates storms in the LA area and the LAX airport was reporting a thunderstorm at that time.

Plot above is of CG flash density from Weather.Graphics and Vaisala - blues are 10 or less, while green to yellow area over ocean indicates 10 to 50+ flashes during past 6-hours. Today's outlook from SPC indicates marginal risks for severe thunderstorms along the southern California coastal areas - situations similar to today's often produce weak tornadoes, as well as severe wind gusts and some hail. Note that SPC indicates some chance for thunderstorms by tomorrow morning all the way across southern Arizona and into New Mexico.

Models continue to close this system off over northern Sonora by tomorrow morning, with best chances for precipitation remaining south and east of metro Tucson. the forecast below is from the 06 UTC WRF-GFS run at Atmo and indicates best chances for measurable precipitation through 11 pm tomorrow evening remaining at higher elevations. It is a tricky forecast situation, with small changes in position and track of the closed low causing shifts in the eventual distribution of the precipitation. The 12 UTC WRF forecasts should be interesting later this morning.

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