Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Very Moist This Morning But Almost No Winds Aloft

Yesterday ended up mostly suppressed at low elevations, and the 60% POPs were not realized across the metro area. The plot of CG flashes (above ending at 1 am MST this morning) shows doughnut holes over metro Tucson and much of metro Phoenix. There were severe thunderstorms around Sierra Vista (Art Douglas reported 1 inch hail at his place) and also out west around Kingman. Rainfall went right back to zeroes across much of the Pima County ALERT network (again, the most common situation the day following widespread storms). Across the entire network there were 26 sites with rainfall yesterday. The metro west sector rainfall ending at 7 am is just below and same for east sector second below. Third below is same but from MesoWest array produced at University of Utah. Heaviest storms hit across Redington Pass area.

Now thundering here at the house. The morning sounding from Tucson (skewT above from SPC) is very moist, although there was a cool and dry surface layer. There is substantial CAPE present in the moist layer that is just below 700 mb. There are almost no winds aloft, all the way up to near 200 mb - so the storms this morning are just drifting around and raining heavily.

The impending dry-out is well captured in recent model runs. Below is the early WRF-GFS forecast of PW from Atmo - forecast is on the 5.4 km grid and is valid at 5 pm MST on Thursday the 17th. The dry intrusion comes in on westerly low-level winds from off the Pacific. So, I hope the nearby storm this morning drifts over the house.

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