Thursday, July 20, 2006

The storms of Tuesday July 18, 2006

The storms that occurred on the afternoon of July 18th were probably the most severe that have affected southeastern Arizona so far in July. There were no severe storm outlooks or watches issued for southeast Arizona on this day, although the local NWS Office was very busy issuing warnings for dust, severe storms and then flash flooding.

We were in Phoenix most of the day and during our drive back we saw and experienced some very wild weather. Car thermometer was registering 114F as we left Phoenix. As we were approaching Picacho Peak, a strong tstm cell off the north end of the Picacho Mountains threw out a macro burst/haboob that moved from northeast toward the southwest. When we got to this duster the visby was only down to 1 to 2 miles across the interstate. However, a very intense storm somewhere to south of Marana, over the Avra Valley, produced a huge haboob - CLICK HERE to see two photos we took as the dust cloud approached, also shown is a web cam photo of one of the storm cells over north Tucson at 5 pm MST. The haboob photos were taken at about 4:20 pm near Red Rock, Arizona, from the shoulder of I-10. Visby went to zero for a short period; wind gusts from the south were in the range 40 to 60 mph; there was chaos on the interstate; and there was a five car pile-up just down the way from us. During trip back to Tucson temperature ranged from 114F on south side of Phoenix to 76F just north of Tucson. Only 0.10" in the rain gauge here at house. But, I guess that I should leave town more often, since my presence seems to be a strong suppressant!

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