Thursday, July 15, 2010

How Ironic - Summer Storms in Southern California Before Tucson Has Had Measurable Rain!

An IR image this afternoon shows larger and colder anvils to the east, south and west of Arizona. Was another dud day here at the house, although storms on Catalinas and Rincons were actual thunderstorms and much closer than any others to date. Ironically, thunderstorms and rain have come to the southern california mountains and high desert before they've come to Tucson. Jim Means writes from Alpine, California, east of San Diego:

Well, good call on the active convection today in Southern California. There were numerous thunderstorms, mostly over the Peninsular Range and adjacent foothills. I drove out about 15 miles east of my house and got into some very heavy rain, a bit of hail and some minor road flooding in mid-afternoon. Finally about 5pm a thunderstorm made it to my house and I got to experience the closest lightning I have ever seen/heard. I don't think I've ever heard the "ripping" electrical discharge sound that comes before the visible lightning and thunder, but I did today. It must have struck somewhere on my block. My dog and I both jumped a couple inches off the couch when the flash and real thunder came. We only got 0.04 inches of rain, but that's enough to make it pretty steamy (dewpoint of 73F). The most rain I've seen from any of the alert gauges was just under and inch, for a station just east of Palomar Mountain.

My email to you back in June (see earlier post) turned out to be pretty lucky about forecasting the monsoon onset here. There were a few weak storms in the mountains yesterday, and some big ones south of the border, but today is definitely the main event.

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