Sunday, August 24, 2014

Hurricane Marie Will Push Significant Moisture Northward

Satellite IR image above is from 5:30 am MST this morning. Hurricane Marie has strengthened into a Category 4 storm and is moving west-northwestward well off the coast of Mexico. Marie is a very large storm and convection associated with a push north of mT air is already reaching well into the GoC and Sonora. Karina is now a tropical storm and may be absorbed into Marie in a couple of days. Lowell is now a remnant low west of Baja.

CG lightning flashes have been widespread through the night and reach into Sonora with active storms at sunrise. Plot above is for 12-hours ending at 0330 UTC last evening. Plot below, also for 12-hours, is for period ending at 1300 UTC (6:00 am MST) this morning.

Various forecast models are indicating that Marie will have a significant impact on the Southwest and southern California. I have looked at the early runs of the WRF models from Atmo - some of the loops available are very impressive. Graphic above is the WRF-NAM forecast of PW, on the 5.4 km grid, valid at 6 pm MST on Tuesday the 26th of August, indicating PW over 2 inches into the lower Colorado River Basin.

The WRF-NAM forecasts an active day for southern Arizona tomorrow (with just isolated convection over southeast corner of Arizona today). Forecast of composite radar echoes below is valid at 2 pm. The GFS version of the model forecasts most widespread thunderstorm activity for Tuesday the 26th.

The model's forecasts of rainfall are impressive. Above is WRF-NAM forecast of accumulated rain through midnight tomorrow. Forecast below is from the WRF-GFS for rainfall through 11 pm on Tuesday night the 26th. The NWS NAM model forecasts from both 00 UTC and 06 UTC forecast a significant precipitation event for most of Arizona. So, the new week will be off to a much different start and we will have to wait to see how the details of the potential weather event evolve.

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