Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Pacific Storm Still Well Off Coast

Here in the southeast of Arizona this week's weather event has been one of chaotically cloudy skies and no precipitation. The first plume of Pacific moisture came by with no weather, other than the cloud layers, and this morning there is a line of light showers off to the northwest of Tucson.
The serious rainfall continues to cover much of California. The 1345z composite radar from San Diego is shown in top image. Heavy rains, flooding, and numerous landslides have led to a disaster emergency in most of the southern California Counties this morning. The extreme rainfalls extend into southern Nevada. The middle image is the 1330z IR image for the Southwest US. The cloud swirl to the west-southwest of San Diego indicates the position of the 500 mb cutoff this morning.
The models continue to forecast the cutoff to move across central Arizona during the next 24 hours. The bulk of the rainfall/snowfall is indicated for central and northern portions of the state, with a brush-by for southeastern Arizona. The WRF-GFS run from midnight indicates only light rains for lower elevations down here, and a better event for some of the mountains. The WRF-GFS forecast of composite radar echoes for midnight tonight (Wednesday December 22nd) is shown in the bottom image.
Continuing to watch and wait!

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