Sunday, June 17, 2012

Slightly Better Than A Tease!

The above image was sent by Jack Hales, who caught it in the loop from the Computer Sciences web cam. Nice lightning strike to the Catalina Mountains at 4:35 pm MST. Many thanks Jack.

The Arizona Daily Star headlines its weather story this morning: "Surprise rain, wind, hail usher in an early monsoon." Several problems with this statement. First it wasn't a surprise that there were storms yesterday - the NWS Tucson office had forecast storms and a chance of rainfall for yesterday, starting Thursday or Friday. The coverage ended up a bit higher than forecast, but the Star shouldn't be calling it a surprise. Second, this is not the start of the monsoon (aka summer thunderstorm season), rather it was a nice transition event that is taking us toward the summer storms.

The storms were the result of interactions among a closed, cool, middle-tropospheric cyclone that eased in from the Pacific in the westerlies; moisture being advected northward from Mexico in the lower half of the troposphere; and the hot boundary layer temperatures. Several of these transition events occur each year in both spring and fall - before and after the main summer event.

Brief summary - here at house some wind and dust, some thunder, some spits of rain, and then a bit later a nice period of light, anvil rain - added up to 0.05" after I estimated how much the dead bugs affected the reading. First rain here at house since April 14th - nice clean air with a slight smell of rain at sunrise today .Airport had 0.29"; Davis-Monthan 0.03"; and Atmo 0.07" with winds hitting about 64 mph on the roof there. Across the Pima County Alert network 50% of the 93 sites had measurable rainfall. There were 12 sites with more than 0.25" and the heaviest amount was in the Catalinas with 1.54" at CDO & Coronado Camp.

How very nice it all was - but now the NWS is calling for 106F and a return to dry conditions today.

Finally, a great Father's Day to all - note that University of Arizona grad, Jim Furyk, is tied for the lead as the US Open goes into its final round today. However, there are 10 players within four shots of each other, so an interesting day on tap (note in case of a tie, I think that another round is played tomorrow).

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