Saturday, December 21, 2013

Brief Summary Of Latest Storm

Photo of Catalinas taken a bit after 7 am MST yesterday morning (Friday, December 20th) just as the first and most significant precipitation period was ending here at house. It looks like the snow level had dropped down to about 5500 ft MSL, or a bit lower (elevation of Finger Rock is 6475 ft at left side of photo).

View from Computer Sciences webcam at 8 am - shows the lower elevation snow was melting quickly.

Again from Computer Sciences - dramatic storm clouds over the Catalinas at 5 pm with snow streamers and even some ragged mammatus.

I took a look at the ALERT rainfall for the 30-hours ending at 6 am MST this morning - above is the metro east sector. The heaviest rainfall during this event maximized over Redington Pass region between the Catalinas and Rincons. Don't know about what the total was at highest elevations because of the mixed character of the event. Amounts across low elevations of the metro area (west sector shown below) ranged generally 1/10 to 4/10s of an inch. the QPFs shown in an earlier post appear to indicate (from a quick, subjective appraisal) that the WRF-GFS was closest to forecasting observed amounts, while NAM version was too light and NWS QPF was too heavy at lower elevations.

Here at the house we had 0.34" in the first and only significant period of rain; followed by some light showers before noon that added 0.03"; with some more showers after dark adding another 0.03" - so a total through 6 am on the 21st of 0.40". Cloudy skies and more sprinkles during the night kept temperatures across the metro area mostly up in the 40s F (morning low at airport only dropped to 45 F, although here at house it's currently 38 F).

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