Monday, July 28, 2014

Hurricane Hernan and various Weather Miscellany

Photo of storm and lightning near Wilcox, Arizona, on Saturday night, by Mike Olbinski of Phoenix. See his web page at link below.

Quite a different afternoon and evening yesterday, with southern Arizona storms mostly in Cochise County and White Mountains - above shows CG flashes for 24 hours ending at 6 am this morning (July 28th).
Graphic below is from MesoWest (University of Utah) and shows rainfall reports for 24 hours ending at 9 am MST this morning. Note some embedded heavy amounts among the generally lighter reports. Storms were especially heavy from Douglas to Sierra Vista area.

Across the ALERT network 45 of 92 sites measured rainfall - amounts mostly light and over the eastern portions of the network. Although storms produced strong easterly outflow gusts across the metro area of 30 to 40 mph, there was little new development at lower elevations. Quite a bit of lightning visible here at house but only a Trace of rain.

The NHC upgraded Hernan to a hurricane briefly last evening, but this morning the storm has weakened and has a very disorganized appearance on the 13 UTC IR satellite image above. Hernan appears to have come just close enough to south end of Baja to keep the feed of low-latitude, moist air continuing northward into Southwest and West. This morning there is widespread debris cloudiness drifting over much of West and also Mexico.

Finally, the morning skewT plot of latest Tucson sounding is shown below (from University of Wyoming upper-air page). Sounding continues moist, but with strong cooling from last evening stabilizing low-levels. note also the very chopped-up and strange vertical profile of winds. A weak, west-to-east, shortwave in middle-levels has established itself with the broader scale anticyclone and winds at steering levels are westerly. It appears that this will persist a couple of days, as the anticyclone develops distinct centers far to the north and also over northern Mexico. Certainly not a good pattern for storms here in north part of town - so big question becomes one of whether we'll get another decent rain here at house before the month draws to a close.

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