The October chill continues

TUCSON – Today marked the 12th consecutive day the City of Tucson has seen below average temperatures. Out of the 17 days so far this month, 14 have been below average.

If you compare the first 17 days of October this year to last year, well there is simply no comparison. This year’s average October temperature is more than 10 degrees cooler.

We’re off to the coldest start to October since 1982 – when through the first 17 days the average temperature was 67.4 degrees.

Many years we talk about the latest 100 degree day occurring in October: well forget about that. The highest temperature we’ve recorded this month has been a “cool” 89 degrees.

Don’t look now but warmer weather is in the forecast, but even highs on the warmest days look to only be a degree or two above average.

With two weeks still remaining of the month, it would take a major heat wave to put the entire month of October above average…and that isn’t in the forecast. This means October 2018 will be the first below average month we’ve seen since September of 2016.

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What month is it? More cold, rain and snow is here.

TUCSON – Rain overspread much of metro Tucson – AGAIN – tonight and more rain is in the forecast tonight through Tuesday. And oh, don’t look now, but more rain is possible this weekend and even into next week if we can tap into Tropical Storm Tara.

Okay back to the big chill: the first 15 days of October have been colder than the first 15 days of November last year. (How is that even possible?)

So halfway through the month, we now rank as the 19th coldest October since records have been kept (1894). What’s more staggering is if you take out most of the colder October’s which occurred at the beginning of the 20th century, this October ranks as the 4th coldest since 1959! Only the first 15 days of October in 1966, 1970, and 1982 were colder!

 

And by the way, it’s currently snowing on top of Mt. Graham. See the image below.

Recent rain puts Tucson in a monsoon surplus for the fifth straight year

TUCSON – Record rain (0.76″) on Wednesday put the monsoon total in Tucson at 7.01″. This is the fifth year in-a-row that the City of Tucson has exceeded its monsoon average of 6.08″.

In addition, for the first time since the early 1980s, Tucson has picked up over 7.00″ of rain in three consecutive years.

Drought conditions remain across much of the State of Arizona and according to chief Meteorologist Matt Brode, this is in part due to fewer Winter storms over the past several years.

Abundant monsoon rain has the City of Tucson in a small yearly surplus, but we’ll need to pick up about another 3″ of rain through the end of the year to match our annual average of almost 12″ of rain.

A Monsoon Lull

The final flood advisory for Central Pima county has expired leaving all of Southern Arizona advisory/watch/warning free for the first time in a long time.

So now that I have some down time let’s discuss monsoon 2013 and where we stand.

There are plenty of superlatives we can claim already.

Douglas, for example, has received over 8.00″ of rain during the first two weeks of July.

It is now the all-time wettest month for Douglas – and we are only halfway through. Portions of Cochise and Santa Cruz Counties have literally been washed away in the past two weeks.

Take a look at where some of SE Arizona cities sit for monsoon 2013 as compared to average. (Courtesy of the NWS) seazrain

As you can see, Hereford and Douglas really stand out while the remainder of the region is near average for rain.

One thing I find curious is that TIA, too, is above its rain average – while many ‘midtowners’ have noticed the lack of a good soaker.

So often is the case that,  TIA (where rain records for Tucson are officially kept) seems to receive much less rain than other portions of Tucson.

Perhaps this is just a misnomer, but we can accurately claim that as of today, Tucson is above average for monsoon rain.

Okay, just when you thought it was safe to work on the blog a new flood advisory pops-up.

I’ll see you soon!

Monsoon Madness ‘A Tale of Two Cities’

Have you been a bit disappointed lately with the lack of rain in midtown Tucson?

Would you belive me if I told you that this monsoon has been epic so far? Well it has, and I’ve got the proof.

As of today, Tucson (at the airport where records are kept) is way above average for July rain. Monsoon City Column

In fact we are at double in the rain department.

 

 

 

 

Monsoon City Column 2And if this wasn’t enough to wash away any doubt – check out the July rain in Douglas:

Nearly 700% of average for July.

So despite what you may consider a slow start to the monsoon, we are actually faring quite well.

 

 

 

I expect a bit of a downturn in rain chances from Friday through the weekend, but some signs are indicating another uptick as we head into the middle of next week.

Hopefully the daily round of storms works its way a bit farther to the north.

From the Heat to the Rain

It’s now in the record books: for the first time ever, all 30 days in June were greater than 100 degrees in Tucson. 

So if you thought it was unusually hot, you were correct.

Chapter II: The monsoon 

Thanks to the position of high pressure, which also brought us the heat, moisture has already begun moving into the region.

Dew point’s at TIA are now near 50 degrees and forecasted to increase over the next few days.

You may recall that the dew point is the absolute measurement of how much moisture is in the lower levels of the atmosphere.

The following images are high-resolution depictions of projected rainfall across the region for the next 72 hours.

72 HR RPM
72 HR RPM

This image is our 72 hour RPM model indicating a noticeable uptick in our monsoon.

We like to look at other model runs to make sure that there is consistency among our forecasting tools.

WRF UA

This image is from the WRF Hi-Res Model from the UA

Bottom line: The first week of July looks to be at least the beginning of what I hope is a great monsoon.

A White Christmas? Portland’s Chances Are Better Than Some

Twas the night before Christmas,IMG_2968
And all through the air,

Conditions were dry,

And the weather was fair,

Kids were hoping for snow,
Well into the night,

With the hope of some snow,
Christmas would be white.

Dreams do come true and many parts of the region will see snow on Christmas day – but probably only rain in the lowest terrain.

A strong winter weather storm is moving toward the region and will bring plenty of rain to the region on Christmas day. If you live near the Gorge or in the highest hills, you may see some snowflakes mixing in with rain very early Christmas morning. Otherwise, it’s a wet Christmas for the valley with highs in the mid 40s.

The coast will be wet and breezy, the Coast Range will pick-up 2-6″ of snow before changing back over to rain. The Cascades will pick-up another foot or more of snow and the Gorge east of Multnomah Falls should pick-up plenty of snow.

Here’s a factoid that may make you feel better about our white Christmas chances: The city of Miami has a 1-in-20,000 chance of having a white Christmas. It has never happened and it has been 35 years since Miami has even seen snow.