Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Severe Storm Complexes Two Nights in a Row

I have chased down some photos of damage that occurred in Casa Grande on Monday night. See Photos 1-3.

As for yesterday afternoon (Tuesday Aug. 14) - I was out on east side when storms rolled through around 3:30 to 4 pm. Thought I saw several wall clouds, and there was a spectacular hail shaft out over Oro Valley around 4:30 pm. Of course my camera was back here at house! I see that there was wind damage reported in Oro Valley with the afternoon storm.

I note on the SPC page that there was severe hail NW of Flagstaff yesterdayafternoon and also a damaging microburst in Riverside CA!

I was very surprised by the early storm developments yesterday afternoon. Obviously, I did not properly adjust and then forecast the morning sounding - at least there's now another "out" available, given the bad Sippican sounding data!

MCSs developed again during the night (Tuesday night) and the activity continues this morning in south-central AZ. Tucson, Casa Grande, and Phoenix Skyharbor all reported gusts over 50 mph near or after midnight. Phoenix reported a severe gust to 59 mph,and there was wind damage near the Tucson airport.

The question for today is whether we'll experience similar intense and severe storms for the third afternoon/night in a row? The soundings this morning appear similar to yesterday (TWC again too wet wrt GPS IPW) with at least moderate CAPE available given decent heating, and the low-levels remain cooled by the recent outflows. The steering winds remain relatively strong and there is better directional shear aloft with another inverted trough approaching. I am again thinking that activity should be late and after dark, but the NAM seems to convect early and to move another organized line across southern AZ during the mid-afternoon. We will see, and I'll keep my camera at hand today.

The weekend could be interesting if part of the tropical system over Gulf of Mexico breaks off and comes across Sonora and southern AZ.

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