Saturday, September 08, 2012

Back-Door Front In Play Today

The early morning storms yesterday stabilized much of southeast Arizona for the rest of the day and played havoc with all the forecasts. There were many high water rescues during the early morning, west of the Tucson Mountains, and unfortunately there was one fatality when a car was swept away in Brawley Wash. I have to be away this morning, so this is an abbreviated post.

The backdoor cold front from New Mexico appears to have perhaps jumped across most of southern Arizona, with strong east winds just above the surface. While PW decreases some during the day, values remain relatively high - note the huge area of clouds (above is 7:30 am MST visible image) associated with both the front and also a piece of the central U.S. 500 mb trough that is moving southward across the Southwest. So many features in play today. The models are all over the place,

The early WRF-GFS (top, above is rainfall through midnight tonight) forecasts a substantial hole in the rainfall coverage over southeast Arizona. In contrast this morning's NAM (immediately above) forecasts a huge maximum in rainfall for southwest New Mexico and southeast Arizona. Take your pick. Both models over-predict rainfall between now and noon - so neither one is off to a good start.

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