Thursday, September 03, 2015

Metro Area Skunked Again

First - I'll be posting a meteorological summer (June, July, and August) summary tomorrow and will use rainfall amounts for those months from anyone who wants to share their location and observations.

The metro area's see-saw pattern of up/down days ended yesterday, with the second down day in a row. The negatives mentioned yesterday beat down a favorable large-scale pattern and kept storms to the east and also south of the Tucson metro area, mostly in Cochise and Santa Cruz Counties. The plot of detected CG flashes (above from Vaisala and Atmo) for the 24-hours ending at 11:00 pm MST last night shows the dismal storm situation that prevailed yesterday for most of southern Arizona. I also snipped the color bar which shows the age of the flashes (violet most recent to dark blue oldest).

Today is starting out similar to yesterday, with considerable cloudiness from south Baja and Sinaloa into southern Arizona (high temperatures yesterday struggled to reach the mid-90s as morning clouds gave way to thick anvils). Visible satellite image above is from 7:00 am, as is radar composite below. There is an east-west band of light to moderate showers moving northeastward toward portions of eastern Pima County. I suspect that these are high-based showers feeding on some elevated instability present in this morning's sounding - I see a couple of CG flashes have been detected, so there is a bit of thunder embedded. The evolution of these showers will be critical to how the rest of the day goes, The models forecast significant thunderstorms activity for eastern Pima County this afternoon, but that may be optimistic again.

Tropical Storm Kevin is far southwest of Baja (the morning forecast from NHC is below) and not forecast to intensify much, while moving northward and then turning west. Kevin itself won't be a direct player wrt the Southwest, however the continuing northward flux of clouds and moisture to the northeast of Kevin will keep things interesting over southeastern Arizona for the Labor Day weekend.

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