Friday, June 15, 2012

Moisture Increase Into Southeast Arizona

There has been a nice jump in total Precipitable Water (PW - see time series comparison of sounding and GPS PW above) during the night, as the low-level flow has become southeasterly. Given the high temperatures, PW values from the soundings are remarkably similar to GPS values for past 5 days. The increase in moisture has been accompanied by some smoke (see view of Catalinas below) from the fires in northern Sonora. - Edited to add: The smoke may have had a local source, as there was a small wildfire on the east side of town yesterday afternoon. - Moisture will be highest toward the New Mexico and Arizona border and it remains to be seen if there will be enough instability to support high-based thunderstorms. Obviously, it would be best if there are no storms with lightning.

In the long-term, the global models predict that a large, 500 mb anticyclone will cover the southern 2/3rds of the US by 240-hours (00Z 25 June 2012). Operational member forecasts from GFS (above) and ECMWF (below) certainly indicate a summer pattern by then. So, a hot second half of June for much of the country.

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