Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Closed 500 mb Low To Move By Later Today

The Catalinas were draped with clouds early this morning (top), after mostly mountain rains yesterday and last night. Plot just above of ALERT rainfall for 24-hours ending at 06:30 am MST - rain amounts of 0.04" were very spotty over lower elevations - we had 0.03" here and airport had 0.02". Amounts of a quarter inch and more held mostly to the Catalinas and Redington Pass. The CG flash density plot (below - from weather.graphics and Vaisala) indicates some thunderstorm activity over southeast Arizona. Those storms occurred mostly in the late afternoon with nothing nearby during the night. Severe hailstorms over eastern Colorado and new Mexico were prolific lightning producers.

The 500 mb plot above for 12 UTC this morning indicates the closed low is somewhere to our west-southwest. Models forecast the circulation to move nearly overhead late today and tonight. The TWC sounding has the coldest observed 500 mb temperature in the Southwest, but there may be a bit of colder air to our west.

The morning sounding (below) has very limited CAPE, and the WRF forecasts keep it low during the day today, due to warmer air above 600 mb capping the low-levels. I suspect that there will be enough heating for showers to develop in our area, even though models forecast little in the way of additional precipitation.

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