Sunday, November 02, 2014

Pacific Front Moving Across Arizona Today

Heavy low clouds were hanging on the Catalinas at sunrise (above is view at 7:00 am MST) this morning as a cold front approaches from west-central Arizona. The early WRF-NAM continues to forecast most shower activity to remain east and north of the Tucson area (total precipitation forecast shown below is through midnight tonight (November 2nd). Morning sounding is moist below about 650 mb with only touch of possible CAPE. Front will be past Tucson area by mid-to-late afternoon, bringing in markedly cooler temperatures, especially in contrast to our warmth of last few days.

Winds have been gusty over south east Arizona past 24-hours with some sites hitting 35 to 45 mph. Art Douglas reports that a new weather station above him in the Huachucas has been gusting as high as 48 mph this morning, with 35 mph down at his location near the mouth of Ash canyon.

The longer term forecasts for mid-to-late week continue to markedly different in the GFS versus the ECMWF (operational members). The ECMWF forecasts a cutoff to form over northern Mexico and linger through the week, while the GFS forecasts a ridge to dominate at 500 mb. The ECMWF actually wraps moisture back into southeastern Arizona in a few days - so something to watch.

Far to the south Vance has been upgraded to a hurricane this morning and may continue intensifying during the next day or so. Visible satellite image above shows Vance at 7:30 am this morning. The morning forecast for Vance from NHC is shown below. The NHC anticipates Vance to eventually shear apart south of Baja as the storm tries to move north encountering the Southwest  trough or closed low in middle-levels. This lets a remnant low drift around at low-levels while middle-level circulation and moisture moves into north central Mexico and parts of Texas. I can not help wonder if Vance marks the end of the eastern Pacific season?

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