Thursday, May 10, 2012

Back From Trip

We have been away for 9 days and returned late last night. Missed an active day associated with the cold, closed low over the Southwest at 500 mb. Above shot at 3 pm MST yesterday shows dust blowing by Tucson in the wake of a haboob generated by high-based thunderstorms. Winds over 50 mph were common during midafternoon (Atmo roof-top anemometer recorded 75 mph), with several severe thunderstorm reports up to the northwest from Queen Creek out west to Gila Bend. We arrived at Sky Harbor in Phoenix at midnight, well after the afternoon storms. Heading south on I-10 (near the Gila river bridge) a large electric highway sign was still cautioning traffic that there were strong winds ahead at 1 am this morning - thus, hurting credibility of several agencies.

Here in the Tucson metro area there was just wind and dust, but 29 ALERT stations reported rain during past 24-hours, mostly light amounts at high elevations. However, three stations in the far southwest reaches of the network had more than half an inch of rain, with Tubac getting 1.10". It appeared to me, from a distance, that the Atmo-WRF produced excellent forecasts of this unusual May event and Mike Leuthold's discussions were quite good.

More on observations during our trip after I recover from jet-lag and our very late arrival back in Tucson.

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