Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Severe Thunderstorms And Heavy Rains Parts Of Metro Yesterday

Yesterday afternoon produced the most active thunderstorm day so far during the summer. Photos here are from house - top, looking south at 5:29 pm MST and below at very bottom, looking north at 5:45 pm.

The composite radar chart above is from 4:20 pm and shows numerous heavy thunderstorm cells. The storms (as indicated by a number of radar loops) were slowly propagating in a wide variety of directions, building into most unstable, nearby air. Thus, there were a number of heavy rainfalls reported. The surface observations below from TUS show several gust front passages and a wet microburst (or downburst) that produced gusts to 64 mph (also reported were poles down just to the northwest of the NWS observation station). The time series of T and Td from Atmo (second below) seems to indicate three distinct outflows moved across the campus - Atmo had just over 0.40" of rain, while the airport measured over an inch during a very short period, with a storm total of 1.36".

The plot of CG flashes for 24-hours ending at 11:00 pm MST last night (above from Vaisala and Atmo) shows the clusters of heavy storms over parts of metro area, and also indicates the lackadaisical movement of the cores. There were some CGs very close to here and I shut down the electronics for about half an hour. Rainfall mostly stayed south, with only 0.08" during the thunderstorm and then a period of debris cloud rain after dark produced another 0.10" - there was just enough rain yesterday at house to keep this from being driest ever July since I began the records here.

Plot for the Metro-west sector of the ALERT network below illustrates the hit-and-miss nature of the storms. Across the entire network only 9 stations did not measure rainfall, making yesterday very high POPs day.

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