Saturday, August 15, 2020

Very Suppressed Yesterday

Beautiful clear skies over Bisbee, Arizona, this morning.

Thunderstorm activity yesterday was confined mostly to the Borderlands of southeast Arizona (CG flashes above detected for 24-hours ending at 1:00 am MST this early morning - from Atmo and Vaisala). There were no reports of rainfall across the Alert network. However, to our south, Tumacacori reported 0.32" of rain, and Nogales had a severe thunderstorm with wind gusts to 59 mph, but only 0.05" of rain. It was a very suppressed day over most of eastern Pima County. We're now about half way through August with only a Trace of rain here at house, back on the 3rd.

Skies are very clear across almost all of Arizona this morning - visible image above from 7:40 am. Definitely will be plenty of sunshine and heating today - high temperatures at the airport have hit 111 F on both Thursday and Friday.

The center of the large anticyclone over the Southwest is shifting westward and northward. The heights reported at Chihuahua and Phoenix remain too low - I've redrawn the 5940 m contour on the Univ. of Wyoming analysis (above) after scratching out the bad heights - shows how substantially the bad obs are impacting the automated analyses.

The morning sounding plot for TWC is shown below (also from Univ. of Wyoming weather page). Sounding continues to be a mess with with light and variable winds from surface to 100 mb. If the BL were able to heat out to about 550 mb, and remain well mixed in moisture (note the strange moisture profile aloft), there is a bit of potential CAPE.

Forecast at bottom (from 06 UTC WRF-GFS) is for composite radar echoes at 9:00 pm this evening. Models again try to keep storms mostly to south and east of the metro area today. However, forecasts for Sunday are considerably more active than those for today - so we'll watch to see how the situation evolves for tomorrow.

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