Friday, June 10, 2016

WRF Forecasts Yesterday Very Good

The storm activity stayed mostly in Cochise and Santa Cruz Counties yesterday and last night - pretty much as forecast by the 06 UTC WRF high-resolution runs at Atmo. Above is IR image from 8:00 pm MST last evening, when heavy activity was over the Chiricahua Mountains. The CG flash density plot below (from and Vaisala) is for 24-hours ending 6:30 am this morning.

The 06 UTC GEFS plumes, and the NWS, were too optimistic re chances of measurable rain at TUS yesterday afternoon and last night, and I was way too optimistic about thunderstorms over our local Sky Islands. Very hard to improve on the models at times! Of course each variant was different and the best WRF forecast was a merged version of both the NAM and GFS forecasts.

As for rainfall amounts for 24 hours through 7:00 am MST this morning - the ALERT network had no rainfall recorded of 0.04" or more and the only rain report I could find in Pima County was 0.04" at the Sasbe RAWS site. The Borderland areas actually had two periods of rain and storms - one during late afternoon and evening and then another during the early morning hours. I grabbed a 24-rainfall map from MesoWest (University of Utah) but it's hard to read. Amounts of note: in Cochise County Headquarters at the Ciricahua NM had 1.53" and Rucker had 1.44", while Nogales Airport in Santa Cruz County had 0.74". I note that Mt. Hopkins RAWS (a notorously windy site when winds are from the east) reported a gust to 64 mph - this may have been a severe thunderstorm event but would require a careful look at the radar data vs timing of the strong gusts. 

Needless-to-say we continue our long run of rainless days here at the house. I did not mention it at the end of last month, but May 2016 was the first time since I started keeping weather notes in a logbook that I had NO entries for an entire month.

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