Saturday, April 19, 2014

Smell Of Moisture In The Air

There were quite a few showers, as well as some thunderstorms, over southeast Arizona yesterday afternoon, with some activity continuing through the night. Above is composite radar image from TUS a bit after 3 pm MST (Friday April 18th). Graphic below shows CG flashes detected from noon to 4 pm.

Rainfall was confined mostly to higher elevations, with many low elevation sites, including here at house, reporting Traces. Above 5,000 ft MSL almost all of the RAWS stations reported measurable rainfall yesterday but amounts were light. Only 3 RAWS stations had 2/10" or more, with Columbine (Mt. Graham) reporting the most at 0.28"

A time series of GPS PW for the last 14 days at Atmo (above) shows values values for past few hours that are nearly double the maximum value during the last 2 weeks. There was a distinct smell of rain in the air this morning, which was quite pleasant after days of very low RHs. The graphic below shows CG lightning flashes detected from midnight to 6 am - most thunderstorm activity at sunrise was in eastern Cochise county and southwest New Mexico. However, there were storms moving northward from Sonora into central Pima County.

The early run of the WRF-NAM at Atmo forecasts activity today to remain mostly to the south and east of the Tucson metro area; however, the early morning storms have developed further west than was forecast by the model. So, still some chance for storms across the metro area today. Graphic below is WRF-NAM forecast of rainfall through midnight tonight (Saturday, April 19th). The WRF-GFS forecasts appear considerably too dry for today, with hardly any activity over southeast Arizona.

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