Saturday, December 03, 2011

Snow Level Crashing Down To Edge Of Metro Tucson

The next 500 mb cutoff is rapidly approaching and will be centered over southern Arizona at 5 am MST tomorrow morning (above is GFS forecast valid 5 am on Sunday). Below is the same period GFS forecast but for 1000 - 500 mb thickness, showing that this will be a quite cold system. The GFS takes thickness values down below 5400 m across all of southern Arizona. The NAM takes them below 5340 m over southeast Arizona. So snow levels will be quite low by morning around the northern and eastern fringes of town.

The 1200z WRF-GFS forecast from Atmo indicates a nice precipitation event through noon tomorrow (above is total precipitation forecast through noon Sunday). The same forecast, but for total snowfall, is shown below. The snow level does not come into Tucson proper, but is close enough to bear careful watching. The model also forecasts snow along Highway 83 between I-10 and Sonoita. Snow accumulation makes that winding road very treacherous. Take caution if you're out that way early tomorrow.

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