Friday, February 20, 2015

Cloudy Morning - February 20th

The day has dawned with fairly heavy middle clouds hanging over much of eastern Pima County (view of Catalinas above was from 8:14 am MST). The visible satellite image below (from 8:00 am) shows widespread cloudiness from Arizona and southern California southward into low latitudes, so limited sunshine at best today.

Water vapor satellite image from 6:00 am MST (above) indicates an upper-tropospheric cyclone at about 130W and 20N this morning. Widespread cloudiness has been associated with this feature for past several days and loops indicate that it is moving toward the northeast  currently. The CIRA blended total PW analysis (below) for the same time indicates values of PW of an inch or more creeping northward toward San Diego. It appears that the models have not captured the northward push of PW very well through the latest NAM forecasts. The forecast shown in bottom panel is from the 12 UTC NAM this morning and is for total precipitation through  5 pm MST next Monday, the 23rd. I suspect that the forecast underplays the potential for at least light showers across northern Sonora and parts of southern Arizona, especially higher elevations.

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