Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Summer Thunderstorm Season Arrives In Tucson Metro

A strong gust front (35 to 40 mph) passed here about 5:30 pm MST last evening, helping storms to develop over much of the metro area. Above view north from campus was from 6:01 pm. The evening storms produced around a quarter of an inch of rainfall in this area. Several MCSs impacted eastern Pima County, with the one that settled south across the City after midnight producing winds, frequent lightning, and heavy rains. Plot of detected CG flashes below is for 24-hours ending at 6:00 am this morning (from Atmo and Vaisala) and shows the activity concentrated over eastern Pima County. The IR image that is second below shows the first MCS at about 8:00 pm.

The composite figure above shows two images for north and south portions of the ALERT network for 24-hours ending at 5:30 am. Areal coverage was 100 %, with 17 sites having over an inch of rain. The heaviest amount was the 3.07" at Park Tank - the RAWS at Rincon site had 2.94". Here at the house total came to 1.21", with most of that after midnight. This was heaviest 24-hour rainfall here since August 9, 2016. The Rillito is running and it's very wet and humid out there. 

The RAWS site at Sells had a severe thunderstorm with gusts to 62 mph and some heavy wind damage in that area - Apache Junction also had severe winds.

There was no sounding available from TWC this morning. The visible image below (from 7:15 am) shows the widespread cloud cover over Mexico and southern Arizona. This will put a serious damper on storm activity today - the 00 UTC WRF-GFS forecast run indicated a totally down day today.

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