Sunday, June 25, 2017

Complicated Situation Today

Yesterday's WRF-GFS forecast of significant thunderstorms over southwest New Mexico proved quite good - above is El Paso composite radar at about 07:00 pm MST yesterday evening. These storms produced quite a few severe reports. The plot of detected CG flashes below (from Atmo and Vaisala) shows that thunderstorms impacted parts of Cochise County, but generally remained well away from Tucson Metro.

The forecasted increase in moisture from the east also verified, with a shift of winds to the east and Td jump at the airport a bit after 10:00 pm last night. The moisture increase, as well as abundant debris clouds, kept the temperatures hot through the night - temperature here at house at 06:00 am this morning was 90 F.

The morning TWC sounding plot (above) indicates several substantial problems that need to moderate during the day, if thunderstorms are to occur in the local area. The wind profile is very weak and chopped up below 500 mb. The near surface moist layer extends up to only 850 mb, with a very hostile residual BL above to 500 mb. Little chance for surface parcels to break through that, unless deeper moisture moves in from the east.

The 06 UTC run of the WRF-GFS keeps storm activity off to the east and south today, and its forecasted soundings at TWC remain unfavorable. Below is the model's forecast of precipitation through midnight tonight.

And far off to our south, TS Dora has formed (above) and is forecast to become at least a storm while heading toward the south end of Baja (below). Dora has the potential to be the feature that triggers the first significant GoC moisture surge of the summer. Depends of course on actual track and intensity of the system. But the WRF-GFS, on 5.4 km grid, forecast of PW (valid at 11:00 am on the 28th) - bottom - indicates some potential for a surge by Wednesday morning.

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