Monday, August 10, 2020

Heat Continues/TS Elida South Of Baja

Clear skies this morning looking south from Kitt Peak - above. Yesterday remained very suppressed, as per plot of detected CG flashes for 24-hours ending at 2:00 am MST this morning (below). Looks like there was one isolated thunderstorm in Cochise County - Ft. Huachuca reported thunder with gusts to 44 mph, but only a Trace of rain.

Here in Tucson area the heat continues. High temperatures at the airport were 105 F and higher every day for the past week, except for last Friday, which was the "cool" day at 104 F. Yesterday was the hottest of the week at 108 F.

Yet another in a string of miserable TWC soundings with virtually no CAPE and PW at 0.83 inches. West winds dominate, as the 500 mb anticyclone is centered over northern Mexico, southeast of here. 

The 500 mb forecast below (from the 06 UTC GFS) indicates that the high shifts northward toward the Lake Mead during coming week - forecast valid at 12 UTC on the 17th of August. The strong east winds south of the high may help move convective systems from the Mexican mountains out over the GoC, which would be good to help move higher PW northward.

Tropical Storm Elida (above, currently south of Baja) is forecast to become a hurricane as it moves toward the west-northwest. North of the storm PW values are very high over the central GoC (analysis below valid at 7:00 am this morning). Current values of PW from this morning's soundings are: 2.48" at Empalme; 0.34" at Yuma; and 0.83" here - so there are very large moisture gradients that may impact parts of Arizona over next several days.

At bottom is forecast of PW at midnight on the 13th, from the 12 UTC WRF-RR forecast this morning. That model brings PW amounts well over an inch northward into western Arizona and southern California, but leaves Tucson on the eastern edge of the higher values. However, this is several days out and definitely something to watch as Elida moves westward and the 500 mb high shifts northward.

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