Tuesday, August 12, 2014

NWS Flash Flood Watch Today

Yesterday saw a significant increase in thunderstorm activity for all of Arizona, except for here in the southwest part of the state. There were a couple of isolated thunderstorms in the Tucson metro area, with an area around and west of Speedway and swan receiving nearly an inch of rain in a brief period during early afternoon. Here at the house we had a couple of crashes of thunder but only 0.02" of rain. Only 17 stations in the ALERT network measured rainfall.

This morning storms are occurring at sunrise over much of southwest Arizona and also in northern Mexico (image above is IR satellite data at 4:30 am MST). The early runs of the WRF model did not forecast this early storm activity and I have not examined the forecasts in detail. The NWS has issued Flash Flood Watches today for much of the Southwest and West - dark green in figure below. Here at Tucson PW has steadily increased for past few days and now is approaching 2 inches (see figure at bottom), which is similar for the other low-elevation stations in southern Arizona. NWS forecasts for the airport indicate 60% POPs for both today and tonight.

I have jury duty today and will definitely be carrying an umbrella with me downtown.

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