Sunday, July 06, 2014

Quick Summary Re Yesterday's Storms

Numerous storms around Arizona yesterday afternoon, and eastern Pima County was especially active. The plot of CG flashes above is for the afternoon of 5 July through 4 am MST on the 6th. There were quite a few severe reports in Arizona and also one up in Bishop, California (see plot from SPC below). In the Tucson metro most of the reports were produced by a very intense storm cell that moved westward along the southern flanks of the Catalinas - reflectivities exceeded 70 dBZ with this cell before the TUS radar went down. There were power poles down and wind damage along Sunrise, continuing out toward the Tucson Mall area. Other poles were down south of Davis Monthan.

The storms did not evolve in the way I'd anticipated. Storms built over the Catalinas in the early afternoon directly north of the house. I had thought that these might propagate southward into town on outflows, since this sometimes happens with a L/V wind profile as per yesterday. But these early storms dissipated up on the mountains. Several hours later, heavy storms built northward from the north end of the Santa Ritas into the east side of town. The outflow from these cells led to a new, severe, and visually impressive storm along the foothills of the Catalinas. All the activity then propagated westward. We were driving toward the east side about this time, and I couldn't get a photo because we were in rain and strong outflow winds from the south.

When we returned home there was about a third of an inch in the gauge and light anvil rain brought the total for the event up to 0.38" here. Across the ALERT network 64 of 92 sites had measurable rain for past 24 hours. This event produced virtually 100% coverage across the low elevations of the Tucson metro area as shown on the two sector plots - above and below. There were 18 sites with over 1/2" and 5 of these had over 1". White Tail in the Catalinas and Keystone Peak west of Green Valley both reported over 2". Quite an even,t and the first time the ground has been wetted to any degree here at the house in many months!

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