Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Severe Thunderstorm Hits Sky Harbor

Severe thunderstorm hit portions of the Phoenix metro area yesterday afternoon, with Sky Harbor measuring low visibility and gusts to 63 mph. Photo above is by Bruce Haffner - posted to Twitter (see either Mike Olbinski's or Bryan Snyder's Twitter links). Looks to be a fairly large downburst from a high-based storm.

Meanwhile, from far to the southeast, Mike Leuthold posted the photo below from Paradise in the Chiricahua Mountains.

There was a bit more storm activity over eastern Pima County yesterday - the CG FD for 24-hours ending at 6:00 am MST this morning (above from weather.graphics and Vaisala) shows high flash density on north side of the Catalinas. Also there is a bit of a donut hole over the metro Tucson area. The Catalinas sector of the ALERT network (below) shows heavy rain amounts on the north side of the mountains. We had a light shower here at the house after 5:00 pm that left 0.02" in the gauge. Most of the metro area had only light sprinkles yesterday.

This morning's sounding from TWC continues with about an inch and a half of PW and moderate CAPE. Steering winds are from the southeast at 10 to 20 kt, while upper winds are light. This looks to be a fairly decent sounding for more heavy storms this afternoon and evening. Mountain locations favored, but decent chance for outflow triggered storms in the metro area. 

The WRF-NAM forecast from 06 UTC for rainfall through midnight tonight is shown below. The GFS version is once again more active for eastern Pima County.

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