Phoenix Chase 2/22

So, despite minimal instability, the shear was strong enough to produce at least one spinner on Tuesday afternoon northwest of Phoenix. After several recent funnels in this area in the last two years, I decided to go for it when I saw two strong cells moving NE from around Buckeye. Here's a link to a small gallery of stills:

http://www.care2.com/c2c/photos/view.html/...tormchase_2_22/

It's not Sacramento-good, but it was still pretty nice.
 
Good show, Joe, and great pics! I saw that cell on radar with a mini-hook and a little couplet. I had a NOW post all ready to start, but pulled it when it blew out on the next scan.

P. S. You may want to have this moved to the Target area....
 
Nice job Joe! Tuesday was a good night. I heard about the West Valley action out your way. There was another warned-on cell NE of Phoenix. I shot it from the Beeline Hwy near the Four Peaks turnoff, then it went tornadic after dark. What a fun night :)
 
Nice shots Joe!
When I was living there a while back, I was chasing a monsoon storm , but it got to a point that it was either try to go thur a wash or stop and not have to pay to get myself out. I didn't have my camera with me and missed getting a shot of it. But actually got to met a TV crew fliming it.

Note for those who don't know: In Arizona, if you get yourself stuck in a wash( a wash is a dry creek/river bed that fills up when you get a lot of rain) the city/state will send you a bill for getting you out.
 
Well, I think the Stupid Motorist Law has only been applied to situations where there are clear, specific barricades and signs set up by emergency ops people, not the generic, "Do not enter when flooded" warning signs. Here in AZ we have multiple levels of motorist stupidity.
 
Sue and David

Originally posted by Susan Strom
Nice job Joe! Tuesday was a good night. I heard about the West Valley action out your way. There was another warned-on cell NE of Phoenix. I shot it from the Beeline Hwy near the Four Peaks turnoff, then it went tornadic after dark. What a fun night :)

Was this the same storm that was over the Salt River rez around 5pm? It had a very nice flat base at that time: I finished my roll on it as I was preparing to drop off my film!

David, re: posting in Target Area, I would've posted it to a NOW thread, but without that, I figured it could go here. How do I move it if I should?
(not that I'm concerned)
 
Hey Joe, the one I was on was warned as severe in Carefree/Cave Creek. The cell made its way over the north end of the McDowell range quickly and came within my view at about 6:15pm as I headed north on the Beeline Hwy toward the Mazatzals. I saw a very low, flat base that started to form a lowering. I talked myself into believing it was just a scud bomb but it looked too good. Shortly thereafter, the cell moved upslope 87 and a tornado warning was issued on it as the sun was going down. I got my pics of that cell back yesterday and they turned out well. I shot two film cameras, but digital cam was at home. Tempe Camera is scanning the image.
 
Arizona action

Greetings to all of you who chase Arizona! I've north of Tucson since '61, and I've always said that we DO get the real deal down here several times each year. Congrats to all of you that bagged on the most recently warned storms.
One "alley" that I have seen some incredible tornadic action around is the "back way" from Tucson to Apache Junction.....via Florence. That north-south highway and surrounding land seems to be an area where storms that do go up and go severe tend to funnel and occasionaly tornado more easily than other places in Arizona. Anybody that would like to correspond with me about this, feel free to email me at [email protected]. I'd love to hear from you. Joel
 
Joe Zemek's Arizona storm pics

Hi Joe, this is Joel in Tucson (no, we've never met). I was looking at the 5 photos you took of the recent Arizona action, and noticed something in pic #4. I'm referring to what appear to be at least one "tube" of sorts..which, as you're looking at the photo....juts out and down to the left from the extreme left side of the storm's base. I wonder if your camera saw something that perhaps you did not see with your naked eye. Lemme know what you think you've got there. Thanks...Joel
 
Re: Arizona action

Originally posted by joel ewing
One \"alley\" that I have seen some incredible tornadic action around is the \"back way\" from Tucson to Apache Junction.....via Florence. That north-south highway and surrounding land seems to be an area where storms that do go up and go severe tend to funnel and occasionaly tornado more easily than other places in Arizona.

You are absolutely right about Florence being a storm-magnet, what is it about that town. Oracle to Gold Canyon on Hwy 79 is good hunting ground during the storm season although the 2-lane highway desert road is subject to flooding. Beautiful drive though, and a great alleyway for activity when other places are dry. My other favorites are Hwy 89 NE from Wickenburg through Congress and Yarnell to Peeples Valley...WHAT is it about road, it's like the Bermuda Triangle for storms. For a couple hours drive for me, there is always the SE corner of the State...nothing better for chasing Monsoon than the Willcox Playa and Cochise's old hangouts Dragoon Mountains and Chiricahua area. (Here is the wording on the Lightning Index signage posted by the forest service in the Chiricahua: 1. None 2. Occasional 3. Moderate. 4. Frequent. 5. Constant. Love that 5th setting.) The landscape down there resembles prairie in places rather than desert, gaining more summer rains and different vegetation in the "Lower Sonoran Zone". One can find miles and miles of solitude and beauty, but must remain alert for Border activity closer to Douglas and other Border towns (which I will no longer get near). The Beeline Hwy running NE between Fountain Hills and Payson is great because it is at higher elevation than PHX Valley of the Sun although many v-shaped canyons and ridges can make foregrounds challenging yet interesting. During Monsoon, outflows drop off the Rim and create storm conditions in that area...very nice. So Four Peaks is not just an amethyst mine but a storm-generator as well. Those are just a few of my faves :)
 
I coming back from Sanford,AZ back in 2001. There was a cell(it was spawned by the monsoons) that was warned and CHASED ME!!! all the way back to Phoenix. Even coming over the mountain ranges between Sanford and Phoenix. Was aswesome lighting and lots of rain with that storm.
 
Very nice :D Spring isn't really that far out when you look at those pics!!
 
Beautiful photos! Great storm for Arizona. I grew up in Tucson and all I remember seeing was lightning, lightning, and more lightning! Which was of course, a great show. And then I was out of town when the storm that caused the "100 year flood" occured. I was back in town the day after to see the erosion and stuff being washed away behind my house.

Great shots!

Mel
 
Re: Joe Zemek's Arizona storm pics

Originally posted by joel ewing
Hi Joe, this is Joel in Tucson (no, we've never met). I was looking at the 5 photos you took of the recent Arizona action, and noticed something in pic #4. I'm referring to what appear to be at least one \"tube\" of sorts..which, as you're looking at the photo....juts out and down to the left from the extreme left side of the storm's base. I wonder if your camera saw something that perhaps you did not see with your naked eye. Lemme know what you think you've got there. Thanks...Joel

I think that's really more RFD stretching the precip, tho I don't remember seeing it at the time (being focused on the wallcloud rotation and development). I looked at some other nonposted shots and couldn't find any tubes extending from the wallcloud, though there was evidence of the sort of downdraft-induced horizontal tube that you can sometimes see manifest in scud motion in the RFD area.
 
Re: Arizona action

Susan Strom wrote:
WHAT is it about road, it's like the Bermuda Triangle for storms.

I think it has something to do with how the atmosphere interacts with the local topography. You can get local terrain-induced convergence zones and local enhancement of low-level helicity. I'm not that familiar with Arizona topography in detail, but somebody might like to try a mesoscale analysis though data might be a bit sparse. Time-lapse photography might provide a few clues.
 
Chuck, the atmosphere most definitely interacts with the local topography here, and also on the outflow boundaries that result from earlier storms at higher elevations. The terrain here is shall we say, "tweaked", by Arizona's volcanic track record that created the sharp canyons and dramatic mesas. My guess is that storms fire on that road not only due orographic lift but also proximity away from urban heat islands (there's nothing out there near Congress/Yarnell). However, Arizona is a big place. Why that one highway in particular, a relatively small area, always seems to fire is beyond me. Not that I'm complaining :)
 
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