Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Rain Event Still On Track

Partly cloudy with some color at 8:00 am MST this morning. 

Today we will see increasing clouds and also some gusty winds from the east to southeast. Forecast above from the 06 UTC run of the WRF-GFS at Atmo shows 10-m winds at noon today. Forecast for temperature at the airport from the 06 UTC GEFS ensemble system (below) indicates this is our last really mild day, and we'll see cooling for rest of week

At 500 mb this morning a strong, closed low is centered over Nevada (above), with very strong winds over 100 kt on northwest side of the low. The 250 mb chart for same time (below) shows strong north-northeast jet from Montana to central California coast. This jet will pull the low southwestward to be off of Baja tomorrow. The low is forecast to go far enough west to allow it to pick up subtropical moisture and bring it into Arizona, setting the stage for a significant precipitation event.

Forecast above (also from 06 UTC WRF-GFS) is for composite radar echoes valid at 9:00 pm tomorrow night - large area of rain indicated for Pima County and also strong echoes, perhaps thunderstorms, out around Yuma. Forecast totals for precipitation through midnight on Thursday night (below) are impressive, as are the QPF plumes from the 06 UTC GEFS (bottom). Many to most of the model runs are forecasting over an inch of rain at the airport. If all this is reasonably accurate, we're looking at the best rains here at low elevations in many months!

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