Tag Archives: Thunderstorm

Snow in Tucson?

December 28, 2006
How low will it go?

It could happen by tomorrow morning.  The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch above 4,000 feet for this evening through 11am tomorrow.  Here’s what’s happening.

A cold front blew through last night with some moderate to heavy rainfall lasting through the night.  We are now on the cold, unsettled side of the storm.  Today’s forecast is for much cooler with the rain showery in nature.  Cold air has moved in aloft, so especially this afternoon when we get a little bit of heating (yes, we get some heating even on a cloudy day) the atmosphere will be pretty unstable.  That means the possibility of some thunderstorms forming.  With such cold temperatures above our heads, it won’t take much for some of those storms to drop small hail.  The winds aren’t as strong as yesterday, and they aren’t as warm.  Yesterday it was south winds gusting to 60+.  Today it’s southwesterly winds gusting to 30ish.

Then there’s tonight.  Another weaker storm is on the heals of the one exiting right now.  It is coming straight down from the Gulf of Alaska.  It’s a cold system that will drop snow levels to 3,500 feet by morning and probably lower at times.  The storm is moving through at night and in the morning hours, so that increases the chances of very low snow levels.  The National Weather Service isn’t putting snow depths on it yet, but there is a chance of some good snows in towns south and east of Tucson such as Tombstone, Sierra Vista, Benson, Wilcox and of course Oracle.

Here’s the fun part.  This storm could also bring some convective activity with it.  In other words, some thunder is possible.  Any thunder activity would drag colder air aloft down to lower elevations causing snow levels to drop.  Even without thundersnow, it will be possible to see snow falling in the Tucson Metro area and possibly sticking in places like Catalina,  Oro Valley, Vail and the Foothills.

We will know more by tomorrow morning.

Camping!!!

082308 Camping 450

What a great time!  I went camping yesterday until this morning.  A couple of friends invited me up to Mt. Lemmon, Mt. Bigelow to be more specific.  It’s a little above 8,000 feet so it was quite a bit cooler than the desert floor here in Tucson.

We had a camp fire.  Got rained on a bit from the edge of a thunderstorm.  Had smores and hot dogs and bratworst.  I slept outside next to the fire and the stars were amazing!  I saw three shooting stars, one of which was a slow burner.  The ground wasn’t that hard, although I did wake up quite a few times because it wasn’t exactly as soft as my bed (which is too hard too, but that’s another story).  I was surprised how much the thin pad helped.

Since I slept outside I was the first one up.  The coals were still hot enough from the fire from the night before I just gathered up some pine needles and twigs and blew on the coals to get the fires started again.  It was a cool start to the day.  In the 50’s up there as opposed to nearly 80 down here.  Nothing like a couple of marshmellows, a hot dog and a couple of cookies for breakfast!

It’s the first time I’ve camped in a couple of years and the first time I slept outside in a couple of decades!  (I’m pretty sure)  I left this morning in time to get to church this morning.

I had such a good time.  I was dirty and smelled like smoke.   Now, I know a new place to camp.  It’s only 45 miles from the apartment, 15 degrees cooler, and it’s a pine forest.   Hopefully I can get back up there soon!

Watching 4 Tornadoes

Tornado Lightning

Tornado Watch in effect yesterday afternoon and evening.  Thankfully, no bad weather.  Natalea had a softball game at 6:00 and the light rain earlier wasn’t enough to cancel the game.  Good thing.  They won 14-0 and Natalea struck out the first 6 batters she faced!

Last night there was some good rain with thunder.  I guess it was about 9 or 10.  It was coming down hard enough for awhile that it sounded like it might be hailing, but looking out the back door I didn’t see any hail bouncing in the grass.  It’s funny, because when it hails it can look like hundreds of little white Mexican Jumping Beans!

The best, most rockin’, storms were early this morning.  About 5am.  The lightning was nearly constant and close!  Power went out briefly.  VERY cool way to wake up!  I love that rumbling sound with the ocassional crackle of a close strike.  It sounds like the air is being ripped apart, because really, it is!

I was tempted to take the video camera on the front porch to capture some of the flashes and especially the constant rumbling.  I would LOVE to get some good thunderstorm audio!  I chickened out though.  Some of the strikes were really close and I didn’t want to risk it.  I figure I can get some of that audio from the comfort (and safety) of the apartment in Tucson later tis Summer when the Monsoon starts!

I got up and had coffee and all that, but I’ve had less that 6 hours sleep.  It’s about 10am now and the rain has stopped (for now).  I think I’ll take a nap!