Today: Apr 04 , 2020

Will It Storm This Week?

16 September 2014   Dr. Curtis James

It's been an active hurricane season.

The figure above indicates the forecasted high in orange (with error bar denoting the range of ensemble forecast members), average high for this time of year in orange (dashed line), forecasted low in blue (with error bar), average low this time of year in blue (dashed line), and forecasted wind speed in purple. Note that the wind speed forecast is sustained wind (not gusts), and it is based on only one model (not an ensemble).

Weather Discussion:

Wow, this has been an active hurricane season for the Eastern Pacific! Hurricane Odile is currently located over the Baja of California and is moving north-northwestward along the Baja. The storm is packing maximum sustained winds of up to 90 mph, but because the storm will remain at least partially centered over land, it will dissipate rapidly. The predictions are for the storm to drop below tropical depression strength by Friday as it recurves off to the north or northeast and moves towards Arizona.

There is a lot of uncertainty as to how the moist air from this hurricane will impact Arizona. Some of the forecast models are indicating a more northward path, which would bring weak low pressure toward southwestern Arizona and would help to usher a deep tropical airmass across the western half of Arizona tomorrow afternoon through Thursday or Friday. Other models are predicting that the decaying cyclone will move more northeastward and mainly affect southeastern Arizona. Somewhere in Arizona will likely be affected by heavy rains, but there is not yet any consensus as to where the heaviest rains will occur.

For now, we do know that there will be moist air in northern Arizona, and that there will be at least isolated thunderstorms each day this week. I think that the greatest possibility for heavy precipitation in the Prescott Area will be between Tuesday night and Thursday. There is also an approaching upper-level trough from the Pacific Ocean that is expected to move across the Southwest this weekend, and it could interact with any remnant moist air from the hurricane to create additional rains this weekend.

Stay tuned for updates!

C. James


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Further Information:

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