Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Beautiful Morning/More Wind Tomorrow

Another beautiful morning in Tucson, with clear skies and cool to cold temperatures. Low here at house reached 26F, about 10 degrees colder than at the airport.

The 500 mb analysis this morning (above from SPC) shows a large low over the central Rockies and western Plains, with circulation centers over the Oklahoma Panhandle and northwestern Colorado. The 06 UTC GFS forecast for 12 UTC tomorrow (below) indicates that the Colorado center elongates into a sharp trough that swings south-southwestward across Arizona tonight and tomorrow morning.

This evolution brings us another period of gusty east winds, as the associated low-level front moves westward across our area. The 06 UTC WRF-GFS forecast of 10-m winds (above) is valid at 10:00 am MST tomorrow morning. The forecast for the noon sounding at Tucson (below, from same model run) shows very strong east to east-northeast winds extending from the surface to above 700 mb. Forecasts for soundings at Nogales and San Simon (Sonoita not available) are similar, and it appears that the RAWS site at Mt. Hopkins will experience strong easterly winds gusting over 60 mph late tonight and tomorrow morning. Winds here in the metro area will likely gust 35 to 45 mph - similar to what we experienced on Monday.

Longer range forecasts continue to indicate a pattern change next week, as a strong short-wave digs south-southwestward across the far West, ending up off of Baja and pulling some better moisture northward across Arizona. Forecast below (from 06 UTC GFS run) is for precipitation through 06 UTC on Decmber 11th, indicating a widespread event for Arizona that occurs mostly during the early morning and day next Wednesday. This would be most welcome, given our extreme dryness of past three months.

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