Christmas Weather


Superior they said never gives up her dead

I am reposting this blog from a few years ago as today is the anniversary of an epic disaster and a storm rarely unrivaled in the Great Lakes.

As a child of Michigan growing up in the 70s, this ballad not only resonated with me through my love of music but also sparked within me my first interests of weather.

When the Gales of November come early

Of course these words were made famous by the Canadian folk singer Gordon Lightfoot in his ballad “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”

On a balmy November day, in 1975,  the “unsinkable” 729 foot freighter was docked at Superior, Wisconsin loading up taconite and headed for the lower lakes. As any laker or captain will tell you, November is the worst month to sail the lakes as the “witches of November” begin to stir their cauldrons. Ship owners try to get in a couple last runs before the Great Lake ice sets-in to maximize profits.

The SS Edmund Fitzgerald set sail on the 9th and never made it out of Superior. To this day there is great controversy as to her final cause of peril. Faulty hatch-covers, shoaling in shallow water – as she followed an unorthodox path to avoid high waves, and finally the “three sisters” theory – a theory that 3 monster waves sank the mighty Fitz. The only thing we know for sure is that Captain Ernest McSorely was in communication just minutes before she disappeared from radar with the SS Arthur Anderson. McSorely’s final words…

“We’re holding our own”

The Coast Guard’s official report concluded that ineffective hatch closures were the primary reason for the Fitz demise – but this was a controversial finding. The ship was discovered the following year at the bottom of the lake in two large pieces. All 29 men died in the wreck.

For more information:

Meteorological Summer Ends

Even though summer doesn’t officially end for a few more weeks, meteorological summer (June, July and August) is now in the record books.

While parts of Cochise County remain in a major surplus of summer rain – even despite a dry August – Tucson will go into the books hot and dry.

Here is a synopsis of summer 2013 at Tucson International Airport where records are kept.

Matt Climo

We’re on Perseid Patrol and watching the ‘nonsoon.’

A few afternoon storms fired-up across Southern Arizona on Monday but they were all East of Tucson.

After a blockbuster start to our monsoon, things have quieted down noticeably.

Your work week ahead will be characterized by hot temperatures, above the century mark, and limited storm activity.

More monsoon moisture tries to creep back into the region late Wednesday and into Thursday for a slightly better chance of afternoon storms.

Meanwhile, the Perseid Meteor shower is in its peak so if you’re a night owl be sure to check them out from 10 p.m. – 4 a.m. You could see up to 75 per hour!


Monsoon Midterm Report

Today marks the exact mid-point of the monsoon- as defined by its calendar start and stop dates.

With a lull in monsoon storms today, it’s a perfect time to assess how areas in Southern Arizona stand when it comes to summer rain.

With the exception of the Tucson International Airport, all reporting cities and towns have recorded above average rainfall.

Tucson is less than 0.10″ below average while places like Douglas have received over 13.00″ of rain since the start of the monsoon.

In fact, Douglas has seen the second wettest monsoon ever; with half of the season still remaining.

The monsoon should shutdown for the rest of the week with slight storm chances returning later in the weekend.

Meanwhile, the drier air will warm up more efficiently as temperatures begin to climb back into the upper 90s to near 100.

Here are some rainfall amounts courtesy of the NWS in Tucson. seazrain