Sunday, July 05, 2009

Dry Out and Heat Up

The period of active storms and significant rains ended in the greater Tucson area about 3 am yesterday morning and the rest of the 4th was quite suppressed – at least wrt thunderstorms although there was a great fireworks display at one of the foothills resorts early last night. The stormy period began here Monday afternoon, so there were five straight days with storms somewhere in the greater metro area. Now the question is: how long before storms return to the local area?

The morning Tucson and Phoenix soundings today indicate that there’s no CAPE available at low elevations and convection will probably be limited to higher elevations in the east and the borderlands. The Phoenix sounding indicates that drier low level air will be spreading southeastward from the deserts.

The models continue to keep very light winds over southern Arizona in middle levels as the west to east extended ridge continues almost overhead. The anticyclone builds back over the Southwest after a couple of days but the models indicate a much drier atmosphere when this happens. As the desert heats ups, surface pressures will continue to fall (they’re down about 2-3 mb over the state in past 24 hours) which will be something to watch. The models also continue to indicate a tropical storm tracking southwest of Baja, so the exact path of this feature will be of interest. Regardless, the first full week of July will apparently be a lot less interesting, meteorologically, than was the spectacular end of June/start of July.

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