Category Archives: Weather

An Extraordinary End to Monsoon 2016

Today is the last day of Monsoon 2016.  The best Monsoon I’ve experienced in my 11 years here.  I’ve neglected the blog so the entries of our microburst  in Oro Valley last month, varies rainbows, lightning shots, downpours, and other sundry Monsoon 2016 occurrences are missing from  Perhaps I will go through my pictures and catch some of those things up.  Perhaps.

Before I get into my story about last evening’s drive home, here’s how the day started yesterday:

092916ppsunriseYeah.  Not bad!  I love the view from my deck here in Oro Valley.  I’m happy to say that sunrises like that happen pretty frequently here and I have a front row seat.

Now.  On to yesterday’s drive home from the radio station.  Extraordinary indeed!  Every direction of sky brought joy and wonder (too much?).  It was a cool night.

It was raining pretty good when I left the station with a bright rainbow forming but nowhere to pull aside and grab a shot.  As I raced toward downtown I mostly drove out of the rain only to have it catch me again as I navigated down Congress.  I drove out of the rain again as I headed north on Granada which turns into Main which turns into Oracle.  As I approached River I could see a bright rainbow against the Catalina Mountains contrasted by dark menacing storm clouds.  I found an apartment complex off River Road and grabbed this shot:

092916rainbowToo bad I can’t include the rumbling thunder in the jpg, but it was cool.  I then continued on my trek north on Oracle and noticed the sunset was starting to pop.  I made it to Family Life Radio near Ina and Oracle just in time.  I pulled into their back parking lot.  Parked.  Walked to the eastern fence of Tohono Chul Park, and facing west (often the best direction for capturing sunsets), I got this shot:

092916sunsetI needed some supplies, so I doubled back a block to the Safeway and did some shopping.  By the time I got through the line and back to my car I could see lightning to the northeast.  As I neared my apartment it was apparent that the lightning was frequent and, as lightning tends to be, rather bright.  I parked in my spot.  Gathered my things and climbed to my third story apartment.  I efficiently put away my groceries, grabbed a cigar and my phone, and went out on the deck.  What a great light show!  I tried to get some shots with my iPhone 6S Plus in burst mode and they came out surprisingly good!  Grainy, yes.  Still not bad.  Here’s the best one:

092916lightningLast day of Monsoon 2016 is today.  There is a slight chance of storms in our forecast.  Will this evening equal yesterday’s in amazingness?  Not likely, but I’ll share if it does!

Here’s an animated gif of the storm just in case that works:


Tortolita Mountains Morning Clouds Time Lapse, July 25, 2016

Another beautiful morning in southern Oro Valley!  First, we started with this sunrise:


Then I set up my phone to capture a time lapse of the clouds overlooking Oro Valley north to the Tortolita Mountains.  Here is the result:

Hopefully clearing skies will lead to scattered afternoon and evening storms.  I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube videos on how to capture lightning with my Sony a5100.  Maybe I’ll get a chance to try it tonight!

Happy Monday! Not an oxymoron. Not around here :-)

2015 is Going to be Amazing!

Tortolita Snow
Tortolita Snow

It has been a long time since I blogged here.  One of the things I plan on changing in 2015.  This year is off to an AMAZING start and the signs are unmistakable.

It snowed overnight!  A rare and exciting event in these parts.  I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the year.  Then, I am driving in my car to see the snow and take a few pictures, and Mix FM is playing an old American Top 40.  The top 100 songs of 1984!  Another unmistakable sign for the new year.  1984 is the year that I took my last pay check and bought a one way bus ticket for Roswell, NM in hopes of landing a radio (and eventually TV) job.  What an adventure as I arrived in Roswell in late Spring.  I hit the pavement looking for that radio gig I had always dreamed of.  I stopped by KBIM AM/FM and talked to one of the owners, Betty King.  They didn’t have any openings, but she was running for state senate.  She talked my ear off!  I guess my fro didn’t scare her off :-)

A couple of months later I was busing tables at Chew Den, a local Chinese restaurant, and the King’s sat in my section.  Betty recognized me despite my haircut.  She told me they had a part time opening and to talk to Harry Deirks.  So, the next morning I did.  He told me that since I had no radio experience he wasn’t interested.  I wasn’t going to take no for an answer.  This is what I was here for!  Next morning I was waiting for Harry when he arrived for work.  the answer was still no.  Next morning I was there waiting for Harry when he arrived for work.  Still no.  The next morning I was there again.  I think he knew I wasn’t going to leave him alone unless he gave me a chance.  He had me read some wire copy.  Not bad, he said, except that I should change my inflection between stories.  At least I didn’t have a west Texas accent like the applicant’s cassettes he had on his desk, he said.  He hired me for weekends!  My first radio gig!  I worked at Chew Den and part time at the radio station until Harry moved me up to full time overnights.  I was there two years and finished my stint at KBIM AM/FM as Music Director.

I moved to TV at KOBR as Master Control Operator.  I learned how to edit, direct news breaks, run audio, graphics, and most importantly use a TV camera.

That eventually led to a news photographer job at KBIM TV.  That led to a reporter job and eventually weather anchor!  Ever since Jr. High I wanted to be a DJ and a Weatherman.  It took almost 8 years, but I made it happen in Roswell.

So this morning when I woke up to snow (I LOVE snow!) and then the top 100 of 1984, I knew.  The signs are clear.  This year will be special.  As I listen right now to the songs that I played as a new DJ, the songs that were the soundtrack of my life as I boldly moved to realizing my dreams, I feel the same excitement.

God has already opened the door to me doing news talk radio.  I know He is with me as I move in to 2015!  I will get in shape.  I will learn Spanish.  And maybe, just maybe… well, I’ll leave that dream to myself for now.

Dare to dream.  Step out in faith.  It is the road less chosen and it will make all the difference.


Icy Cold Week 14 for the NFL

Seattle SnowA significant arctic outbreak has invaded much of the nation and will stick around for some very interesting, and in many cases cold, NFL games this week.  Keep in mind these forecasts are subject to change as we get closer to game time, but this will give you some idea.  Here is the current forecast for all the games and my predictions:

THURSDAY NIGHTTexans at Jacksonville:
After a high today in the upper 70s temperatures will fall into the 60s during the game with mostly cloudy skies and a light south breeze.

Texans in a close one


Colts at Cincinnati:
Snow and freezing rain likely before 2pm, then rain and snow likely. Cloudy, with a high near 34. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

Bengals at home in the cold mess

Browns at New England:
Partly sunny, with a high near 35.

Patriots are playing really well right now.  They’ll win at home.

Raiders at NY Jets:
Mostly cloudy, with a high near 40.

The Jets Defense gets it done

Chiefs at Washington:
Snow, freezing rain, and sleet likely. Cloudy, with a high near 34. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

The Redskins are not good and the weather will hurt them even more against the KC D.  Chiefs.

Vikings at Baltimore:
Snow, freezing rain, and sleet likely before noon, then rain, freezing rain, and sleet likely. Cloudy, with a high near 34. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Another messy game.  Vikings can run, but not as well against the Ravens at home.  Ravens win.

Falcons at Green Bay:
A 30 percent chance of snow. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 20.

The frozen tundra!  Gotta go with the Packers.

Bills at Tampa Bay:
Mostly sunny, with a high near 82. South southeast wind 5 to 11 mph.

This is a toss up game.  I’ll take the Bills despite them not knowing what warm sun is like this time of year.

Dolphins at Pittsburgh:
A chance of snow before noon, then a chance of rain and snow. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 38. Chance of precipitation is 50%.

It’s hard enough to play at Pittsburgh, but this weather favors the home team even though the Steelers don’t run or play defense like the old days.  Steelers.

Lions at Eagles:
A chance of snow before 9am, then rain and snow likely. Cloudy, with a high near 41. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Both teams are fighting for the playoffs.  Should be a great game with miserable conditions.  Both teams like to pass.  Eagles will win if Foles can keep from throwing interceptions like he has been.  Eagles at home.


Titans at Denver (4:05 pm EST):
A 40 percent chance of snow. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 16.

Brrrrr.  Temps falling during the game and maybe snow falling too.  Denver is too good at home even in these conditions.  Broncos win.

Rams at Arizona (4:25 pm EST):
In the dome in Glendale.  Toss up game between two good defenses.  Cardinals at home.

Seahawks at San Francisco (4:25 pm EST):
Sunny, with a high near 53.

Perfect conditions.  This 49er team is much better than the one the Seahawks annihilated in week 2.  Seahawks find a way in a close one.  Seahawks.

Giants at San Diego (4:25 pm EST):
Mostly sunny, with a high near 59.

Great weather and two teams that are good when they want to be.  Could be a scoring fest that the Chargers win at home.  Chargers.


Panthers at New Orleans:
In the dome in New Orleans.  Should be an awesome game.  Two great teams fighting for the playoffs.  I’ll take the Saints at home.  Maybe.


Cowboys at Chicago:
Snow likely. Cloudy, with a low around 24.

Can the Cowboys play in snow?  We’ll find out Monday Night unless the forecast changes.  I’ll take the Cowboys.


NFL Games Get Cold

Seattle SnowI LOVE Winter weather and I LOVE NFL Football.  The two will combine tomorrow and Monday Night for some great entertainment who feel the same way I do.  The state of Arizona wimped out yesterday and postponed ALL of their high school semi-final games because of RAIN, but the professionals play unless there is lightning, tornadoes, hurricanes or so much snow folks can’t get to the game.  I disagree with the last reason, but putting that aside, most of tomorrow’s and Monday Night’s games will be played in cold and one with snow showers.  Here is the forecast for all of the NFL games and my predicted winners:

EARLY GAMES – 1:00 pm EST Start:

NY Jets at Baltimore:
Partly sunny, with a high near 39. Breezy, with a northwest wind around 21 mph.
Ravens win

Pittsburgh at Cleveland:
A chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 27. Blustery, with a northwest wind 20 to 23 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.
Toss up game.  I’ll take the Browns at home.

Tampa Bay at Detroit:
In the dome. Who cares.

Minnesota at Green Bay:
Increasing clouds, with a high near 21. West northwest wind 7 to 11 mph becoming southwest in the afternoon.

Jacksonville at Houston:
A 40 percent chance of rain, mainly after noon. Cloudy, with a high near 45. Northeast wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.
Texans finally win against an improving Jaguars

San Diego at Kansas City:
Sunny, with a high near 34. South winds 10-20 mph.
The Chiefs

Carolina at Miami:
A 40 percent chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 80. Windy, with a north wind 18 to 23 mph. Winds could gust as high as 30 mph.
Panthers are for real

Chicago at St. Louis:
In a dome.
Rams D gets it done in the dome

LATE GAMES – 4:05 EST Start:

Indianapolis at Arizona:
Another dome game
Colts are too good

Tennessee at Oakland:
Sunny, with a high near 66. West northwest wind around 6 mph.
The Raiders in front of Raider Nation

LATE GAME – 4:25 EST Start:

Dallas at NY Giants:
Mostly sunny, with a high near 32. Breezy, with a northwest wind 18 to 23 mph, with gusts as high as 34 mph.
Toss up game.  Flip a coin.  I’ll take the Giants


Denver at New England:
Mostly sunny, with a high near 26. Blustery, with a northwest wind 17 to 24 mph, with gusts as high as 44 mph.  Which means temperatures are likely to be in the low 20s and game time and falling with wind chills below zero.
Another toss up game.  Patriots in the cold


San Francisco at Washington:
Sunny, with a high near 39.  Increasing clouds at game time with temperatures in the 30s and a light south breeze.


There I was.  Minding my own business cruising westbound on Interstate 8 on my way to Yuma to visit my Dad and nephews.  I had just past the Casa Grande exits and there it was looming.  A Haboob!  It was racing north toward the freeway as I raced west toward the ocean.  (well, if you go far enough)  I shouldn’t have done it, but I couldn’t resist.  I got out my iPhone and managed to record the following video:

Dreaming of a White Christmas? It Could Happen

Well, not for Tucson, but even though less than 10% of the nation is starting December with snow on the ground, all indications are that that will change in a hurry starting next week.  The weather pattern that has kept record cold in Alaska and western Canada is fixin’ ta change and that means a White Christmas where you would expect one and maybe for a few places that you normally wouldn’t.

WeatherNation posted this video on their Facebook page yesterday and I shared it on my Tucson Weather FB page and it sparked a bit of a discussion.  Take a look and see what you think.

One of my weather friends says that it is too early to predict how much snow will be on the ground across the country Christmas morning. He has promised to send me $1 if I can name exactly all the states that will have a White Christmas this year.  Since I have nothing to lose I’ll be taking a stab at it here in a day or two and you can make fun of me later.

Bottom line is the warm start to December will be a distant memory by mid next week for a lot of folks.  Even here in Tucson our forecast high for Monday is just 60 (although it’s not likely to stay that cold for long).

Snow Kids!
The kids and I made a snowman in Roswell, NM in the early ’90s