Saturday, May 30, 2020

Chance Afternoon Thunderstorms Next Several Days

View above from campus at 4:00 pm MST yesterday when thunderstorms and light showers were in the area. Neighbor John Ferner reported thunder here around 3:00 pm, but there were only a few sprinkles.

The TWC sounding from 5:00 pm last evening (above) has only slight CAPE above 600 mb, but combined with afternoon temperatures of 105 to 110 F, thunderstorms developed across much of southeast Arizona. Plot below shows detected CG flashes for 24-hours ending at 2:00 am this early morning (color code indicates hours before 2:00 am that flashes were detected (so storm activity was mostly ended by around 5:00 pm on Friday).

Second below shows 24 hour rainfall amounts through 8:00 am this morning (from MesoWest) - only a few sites had light but measurable rainfall. However, note the 0.91" at Muleshoe Ranch over to east of the San Pedro River.

This morning's 12 UTC 500 mb analysis (above from NCAR RAP) shows that we are on the southeast side of a weak anticyclone centered over Colorado/New Mexico border. The MIMIC analysis of PW (below, for 7:00 am this morning) shows broad area of higher moisture from GoC extends northward across southern half of Arizona (light blues indicate an inch or more, while the yellowish area in central GoC idicates amounts above an inch and a half).

This morning's TWC sounding at bottom is similar to yesterday's, with a sliver of CAPE above 600 mb. NWS forecasts this morning incate chances of afternoon and evening rainfall at airport at around 20 % and current WRF forecasts indicate some afternoon/evening thunderstorms across parts of eastern Pima County. So, a bit of a hint of things to come closes out May.

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