Sunday, June 10, 2018

First Summer Thunder (For Me)

Quick update - Sister Pam from Santa Rita Abbey reports that another round of storms came by Saturday late afternoon and evening - when all was over they had 0.04" in their gauge!

We went out to Santa Rita Abbey (5 miles NNW of Sonoita) on Friday afternoon and returned yesterday afternoon. Clouds and weather were a real bonanza for early June. Photo above (taken at 3:15 pm MST yesterday) is looking west at a thunderstorm just east of the Santa Ritas, with rumbles of thunder reaching me on back porch of guest house. A bit later an outflow of 35 to 45 mph from the west brought cooling and perhaps a hundredth or two of rain. Very nice. Temperature out there was in upper 70s when we left a bit after 4:00 pm but was a nasty 102 F when we drove north up Kolb Road in Tucson.

Radar below is base-scan from KEMX (grabbed from NCAR RAP) at a bit before 4:00 pm. The strongest echo is a bit southeast of where I was. Second below shows detected CG flashes for 12-hour period ending at 04 UTC on 10 June (from Atmo and Vaisala). I only observed a single cloud-to-ground flash, but there were apparently many more around.

Finally, the WRF model runs the last two days have done a good job of forecasting the difference between potential for storms in Tucson versus to the east and southeast. Sounding forecast above is from the 18 UTC WRF-NAM run yesterday (the 12 UTC WRF-GFS forecasts were similar, as were the forecasts from Friday am for Friday afternoon) valid at Tucson at 6:00 pm. Sounding forecast below is for Sonoita valid at 3:00 pm yesterday - no potential at TUS but conditions favorable for high-base/low-top thunderstorms in Sonoita area. Impressive forecasts!

So much to post about that I'll have to return later today.

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