Sunday, November 19, 2017

Very Cool This Morning

Low here at house was 40 F this morning - lowest minimum temperature so far this Fall. Lows during past 5 days have ranged 45 to 40 F. Previous coolest this Fall was 43 F on the 15th. Maybe into 30s tomorrow, but variable winds may lead to strong differences in am temperatures across the metro area.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Any Rain Here Last Half November?

For a change - sunset on 15 November - above.

Operational GFS (from 06 UTC last night) forecasts almost no precipitation during next 10 days from west Texas westward to southern California. The GEFS plumes from same time remain flat-lined for TUS. Looks like we'll have to pin our hopes for a bit more rain on final days of the month.

Finally, two ski area webcams for this morning. Squaw Valley, California, (above) looks very sloppy, while Taos Ski Valley (below) looks very skiffy.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Webcams Galore

Tony Haffer sent the following link -
which goes to an NWS webcam site that has a tremendous number of cameras available. Below is a zoom to the SLC area, but user can shift around across entire country. It is quite an amazing site - warning: can be addictive. It appears the Bloomsky cameras provide all sky views, but I can only find summertime views, so that net may not be active currently. Below are three images I grabbed in the Northwest a bit ago. 

A ski area in Idaho above; two views along the west coast - one just north of San Francisco and the other at LaPush, Washington.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

ECMWF Versus GFS At 168 Hours

The operational versions of the ECMWF and GFS are HUGE at 168-hours (VT 00 UTC 21 November), over both eastern North America and the east Pacific. Top graphics are the 500 mb forecasts and the bottom two are the surface forecasts. Note the surface pressure difference south of Anchorage - ~964 mb in ECMWF and ~ 991 mb in the GFS - quite something. The little bowling ball short wave that ECMWF forecasts rolling toward Arizona could also be interesting.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Some Photos From Nearby Grasslands

We were at Santa Rita Abbey Friday afternoon and Saturday - no rain out there either. Two photos here of yesterday's sunrise.

Mt. Wrightson through the cottonwoods (above) - which have not completed changed over to golden yellow yet. But after the heavy July rains brought amazing greens, the grasses on the hills are now fully brown (below).

It is the time of the walking sticks out there - they migrate to window screens that face the sun from late October to early December, and then vanish for rest of winter. I assume that they are green during the summer, and then gradually change to gray/brown along with the grasses.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Looking Around

With little to look at locally, I've been browsing the Cam Wall that's available on Jack Hales web page - link to the right. I pulled these four images yesterday morning:

Above the Grand Tetons and below south fork of Snake River.

Reno with turbulent clouds and mammatus overhead above. Below is from Mauna Loa looking toward the sun. Mauna Kea is to the left and  I think that part of Orion is visible top center with Sirius trailing lower left.

This morning I pulled four more images:

Above is Reno again with another chaotic sky. Below is Half Dome in Yosemite with it's dome in cloud.

Dreary morning at LAX with some fog above.  Below a look way to the south.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Looking Out To Ten Days

Purple sunrise today over the Rincons, with some nice ice crystal streamers. Snowy weather today confined mostly to far northern parts of CONUS. Webcam photo below from Michigan Tech in Houghton (Upper Michigan).

In desperation, I examined the long range forecasts out to ten days (that's of course very far out and we'll hope that models are way off by then), which is November 19th. The ECMWF operational spins up a tremendous blizzard for the Great Lakes region on day ten. In contrast, the GEFS ensembles have a huge spread for the Great Lakes at day ten. Big blizzard in member to the right above but fairly tranquil in member at left.

I also looked at total precipitation forecast for the next ten days by the GFS operational - dismal rsults below. So it mostly goes since mid-August.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Light Rains Over Southeastern Arizona

Clear, cool, and rain-washed air made for perfect walking conditions at sunrise today - 7:00 am MST view of Catalinas from campus above.

Models had locked onto this event by the weekend, and it evolved pretty much as forecast - the WRF model was too wet for some reason yesterday.  Amounts ranged from a Trace up to around a quarter of an inch - with heavier amounts south and east of us. The metro area got generally less than a tenth of an inch - above ALERT rainfall through 6:00 am. We had 0.05", which is first rain here since September 7th. Barely enough to dampen the ground along my walk, and definitely not enough to make a dent in what seems to me a fairly significant drought that has continued since mid-August.

Below, from NWS web page, is a broader map of rain reports from southeast Arizona. Presumably the colored underlay is radar estimated rainfall - but there is no legend or color bar. The radar's terrain blockage problems are clear, as are the problems of radar-only rain estimation. Note that many stations under the heavier yellow colors appear to have had no rainfall. This is due to the base/hybrid radar scan getting into the ice layers in the clouds, i,e., combined problems due to blockage, range, and the precipitation algorithm.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Heavy Clouds And Chance Of Showers

Heavy middle and upper-level clouds cover the entire state this morning, and models continue to forecast light showers this evening and tonight. From SPC (below) is their short range ensemble forecast for the airport (almost a quarter of the members forecast a tenth of an inch or more at the airport).

Above is current NWS QPF forecast and below is same from 06 UTC WRf-GFS run at Atmo, which is most aggressive of the various model forecasts. Hopefully we'll have some rain in gauge for first time in many weeks.

Monday, November 06, 2017

Models Continue With Some Chance of Showers

Another nice sunrise, taken from Racquet Club parking lot - broader view at bottom with lines and poles included.

Models continue to forecast some chance of light showers or sprinkles tomorrow afternoon. Forecasts from Atmo's 06 UTC WRF-GFS shown here. Above forecast is for composite radar echoes valid at 5:00 pm MST Tuesday (6 November), while below is forecast accumulated precipitation through 11:00 pm tomorrow.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Dry Continues But Some Chance Showers Tuesday

Photo from a bit before sunrise, looking east across Shooters Steakhouse - one of the strangest restaurant buildings in funky Tucson. Many years ago this was a Middle Eastern restaurant, thus the architecture.

The GEFS plumes for QPF at airport (above from 06 UTC runs) with about half the members indicating a chance of measurable rainfall there. Note that the operational GFS (blue) is very dry wrt many of the members. The chance for showers occurs as a weak 500 mb short-wave drags by in the west-southwest flow from the Pacific.

The 00 UTC WRF-GFS (on the 5.4 km grid - below) forecasts only a very slight chance for light showers through 5:00 pm MST next Sunday (note - that the MST time zone is whole again now that DST has ended!). However, this forecast is being driven by the dry, operational GFS - so something to watch next couple of days.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Heavy Clouds And Some Sprinkles

Big weather day today, at least wrt weeks past. Heavy clouds cover southeastern Arizona this morning, as well as most of state. View above to north of Kitt peak from a bit after 8:00 am MST, while the three visible satellite images below are all for 7:30 am this morning.

The larger views for the Southwest (above) and for the tropical latitudes (below) show that the moisture and clouds have come north-northeastward around the large anticyclone over Mexico. Clouds here are based around 600 mb, with some virga around. There are actually light showers affecting parts of Cochise County this morning. So, a bit of a surprise has sneaked in from about 20 degrees north.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

October Summary

Nice cool morning for walking - great sunrise.

Summing up what happened here in October is pretty simple: very warm afternoons; no rain; no thunderstorms; some wind; some smoke from distant fires; no morning temperatures in 30s F, and several days with diurnal temperature range of 50 F or a bit more. Hoping that there'll be more to report at end of this new month.