Friday, June 24, 2011

Precipitable Water (PW) Gradually Increasing

PW and surface dewpoints have been gradually increasing, even with winds through the troposphere being westerly. Shown above is the TWC 1200 UTC sounding this morning (24 June 2011) with the Univ. of Wyoming analysis indicating 8.08 mm of PW - Not much. But, remember these data are from the unreliable NWS RRS sonde. Contrast with the morning sounding taken at Phoenix (below).

The Phoenix data are from a Vaisala sonde and indicate that PW up there is more than double the amount here at Tucson.

A comparison of GPS PW with the TWC raob values (from ERSL) is shown above for past 5 days. The soundings at TWC have mostly been too dry recently, both morning and evening flights. As we start worrying about whether or not there is CAPE present (hopefully not too far in the future now) over southeastern Arizona the problems with the RRS data will again start impacting the short-term forecasting process. Hopefully, the bad RRS RH sensor will be replaced within a year or so!

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