Monday, June 20, 2016

Moisture Increasing Some from The East

Yesterday's record highs (115 F here at the airport) resulted in several deaths - hikers and bikers apparently. Some MesoWest observations indicated highs of 120 F at spots in southern Arizona - but most of these are not validated observations. Regardless - extreme and dangerous heat continues.

There was again considerable smoke aloft at sunrise today, but NWS stations are apparently not reporting smoke aloft - would only happen with FAA enhanced observations or at sites with a human observer. Perhaps this also relates to the metar code for smoke - FU - you might ask where did that come from? Apparently from the French. Regardless, accurate surface observations at many locations this morning should have included - FULYR - meaning smoke layer, or layers, aloft.

The 12 UTC blended PW analysis from CIRA at Colorado State University (above)  indicates amounts of half to an inch over most of southern Arizona - some of this from the GoC and some from the east (GoM). Amounts of 30 mm and more appear distressingly far away.

The SPC 12 UTC morning sounding plot from on campus (TWC) above is equally distressing - no CAPE and several elevated mixed layers (EMLs) aloft, with the highest one extending well above 500 mb.

Both the WRF versions from 06 UTC forecast a smidgen of mid-level CAPE at 5:00 pm MST this afternoon, along with slightly higher PWs of just below an inch. Interestingly, the NAM version (below) brings the BL "moisture" in from the west, while the GFS version has easterly winds in low-levels. Regardless, perhaps enough moisture for there to be very high-based cumulus this afternoon, but chances for thunderstorms remain well to our north and south.

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