Monday, July 26, 2010

Another So-So Day in Southern Arizona

Yesterday - Moderate shower here at house during mid-afternoon dropped 0.20" - only the second day this summer with measurable rain. No lightning or thunder here. Gauges in southeastern Arizona measured generally light rainfall amounts, although there were very heavy storms to the east near Wilcox. The ALERT network observations indicate light rain at 28 of 97 sites during past 24-hours with a maximum amount of 0.28".
Today and Beyond - the key words for the synoptic setting are stagnant and amorphous. The visible satellite image (top) shows heavy cloud cover over the region with light showers continuing - so many regions will not get a lot of heating during the day. There will be slight CAPE at low elvations that heat up and much better CAPE at mountain locations, especially those that get some sunshine. The wind profile remains very chopped-up, with a small layer near 400 mb having north-northeast winds around 20 kts and light/variable winds rest of troposphere. What a mess! The weak inverted trough over northern Mexico and southeastern Arizona is hardly moving, and thus is not really a significant player. The 500 mb pattern (bottom image) is very amorphous, with no well-defined anticyclone center, or significant winds, except along the southeast coast of the US. There is a well-defined, upper-tropospheric cyclone over west-central Texas; however, it is forecast to drift very slowly westward during the week. So, it looks like more of the same for next several days, with slow-moving, locally forced storms and some threat of intense rains with stronger cells.

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