Southwest Monsoon 2018 Discussion

Discussion in 'Advanced weather & chasing' started by Warren Faidley, Jun 4, 2018.

  1. Warren Faidley

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    Starting a thread for the 2018 monsoon.

    GFS has shown a moisture surge for the last few runs starting around the 11th. This is early (the average is about July 7th), but given the overall relaxed upper air pattern right now, it's quite possible it could start early. New Mexico had a surge yesterday and severe weather.

    I would expect the usual dry lightning storms at first, followed by some very high end dust storms this year.

    monsoon.jpg
     
  2. John Moore

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    Warren, I have noticed the same thing, and in fact just wrote an email to some friends right before discovering this thread.

    The GEFS shows our monsoon high forming next week, and the GFS agrees. So it may be real. And, given how weird the plains chase season has been, it wouldn't be a surprise to see an anomalous monsoon season, or at least the start to it.

    Sitting in PHX, hoping this comes to pass!
     
  3. Warren Faidley

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    First severe thunderstorm warning for the 2018 season was issued today for Douglas, AZ.

    Everything still looks positive for next week. Should have storms in or near Tucson by next Wednesday or Thursday if the models hold up.
     
  4. Jeff House

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    ECMWF is on board with encroaching dews. Might as well start early and often! For lurkers, the Pac NW ridge is more evidence for the Southwest Monsoon under what I call the soft underbelly of the ridge. Enjoy!
     
  5. John Farley

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    Hope you guys are right - we definitely need the moisture and some nice monsoon storms would be fun to see. FWIW, both the Albuquerque and Pueblo offices have been fairly bullish about signs of the monsoon starting next week, though it may take a while once it does to get the lower levels of the atmosphere moistened up enough for decent precipitation.
     
  6. Warren Faidley

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    This unusual pattern is similar to the one that produced an EF3 tornado that slammed Eloy, AZ on June 23, 1972 and another event in the 90's that produced a large cone tornado near Sierra Vista, AZ. If the core of Hurricane Bud remains even slightly intact and moves into the SW, it's game on. Regardless, it's going to be jungle weather and the desert toads will be partying.

    Interesting note, according to the NWS:

    GEFS ENSEMBLE PLUMES SHOW A MEAN OF 1.4 INCHES PRECIPITABLE WATER FRIDAY, WITH OPERATIONAL OUTPUT AT 1.65 INCHES
    FRIDAY NIGHT. NAEFS MEANS (TAKING INTO ACCOUNT CANADIAN) SHOW THE POTENTIAL FOR PRECIPITABLE WATER AT THE 99TH PERCENTILE FOR MID JUNE. THE RECORD PW FOR JUNE IS 1.7 INCHES.
     
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  7. Warren Faidley

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    This Bud's for you!



    aep03_2018061112_track_gfs.jpg
     
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  8. Dave C

    Dave C EF1

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    This will be my third year chasing Monsoon and I have a question for the veterans. If you only had a week or so to chase Monsoon, which week would you pick as statistically the best chances? Obviously it varies every year but is somewhat typical as well. I've heard last week of July before...analogous to last week of May for plains chasing.

    2016 I came down 8/1-8/6 and did quite ok the first and last day.
    2017 was in Tucson from 7/24-8/1 and it was not great at all, barely anything all week within several hours of me.
    2018? Suggestions on best chance dates? I will have 9 consecutive days for a trip.

    Appreciate any tips.
     
  9. Warren Faidley

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    I would target the third week in July. Once you get later into the season and the RH establishes a foothold, you get a lot of cloud debris moving in from PM storms in Sonora and it stabilizes large areas of Arizona so you don't get a lot of cape and lightning -- just rain. You really need to travel to get the best shots, targeting areas when peak heating occurs in the late afternoon and you get the best isolated storms. There are also isolated storm possibilities along pseudo dry lines, as moisture moves towards the north / west or retreats east / south. I say "pseudo" because monsoon dry lines are not (usually) like Plains drylines were dynamic boundaries can create convergence. Keep a look out for easterly waves in the SE flow as that creates the best giggy weather, especially if the timing is late afternoon. I'm sure you know this, but be very careful around dust storms, especially along 1-8 and 1-10. Since the drought (and more abandoned fields), there are increasing dust storms as we've all seen slamming Phoenix. Good luck!
     
  10. Dave C

    Dave C EF1

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    Thank you Warren, that is all very useful information!
     
  11. Warren Faidley

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    Looks like the monsoon will get going this coming Friday onward, given the general model agreement... finally.
     
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  12. Warren Faidley

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    Tomorrow (7-8) has the potential for a high-end dust storm event in central Arizona including the Phoenix area. It's always a red light when there is E / NE flow >25kts and PW's values in the 1.5" range. With no expected cloud cover to limit surface heating, storms should explode NE though SE of Phoenix in the late afternoon. In addition, the desert is still bone dry with lots of dust just waiting to be picked up by strong to severe consolidated outflows. The SPC is noting "potential downdrafts capable of 45-60 kt gusts." Game on -- dust mask and goggles ready.
     
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  13. John Farley

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    I have posted a Web page with pictures and discussions of this month's monsoon storms in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. Although rainfall has been spotty - not much in some places and way too much in others (like some of the burn scars) - there have been some very photogenic storms. You can access the page at:

    http://www.johnefarley.com/monsoonJuly 18.htm
     
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  14. John Farley

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    The monsoon was fairly quiet in much of northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado in the first half of August, but things picked up a little during the week of August 12-18, with photogenic storms on several days and even a few severe thunderstorm warnings near Santa Fe. I was out several times, and have written up a short report with photos or video from several days during this week. You can access it at:

    http://www.johnefarley.com/August2018monsoon.htm
     
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