Storm Postmortem: Late September saguaro soaker

Courtesy: Bryan Snider
Courtesy: Bryan Snider

Tropical depression 16-E and a shortwave trough combined to produce Monsoon 2015’s final act across Arizona. Storm chaser Bryan Snider captured one of the storms that developed Monday south of Phoenix. While the valley didn’t see the widespread rainfall materialize, southeastern Arizona was drenched.

The mountains were crushed by 3-6″ rain, while metro valley floors ranged from near a half inch in Marana to almost 2″ in Sahuarita. Officially, Tucson International Airport received 1.51″ of rain. It should be noted, however, that a rain gauge malfunction occurred Monday which skews the number a bit. More on that in a later post today.

Courtesy: Mike Sparky P
Courtesy: Mike Sparky P

The 1-2″ prediction came to fruition for Nogales, Sierra Vista, Safford and Douglas, thanks in part to the secondary low pressure system that swung through Tuesday. A few of these storms did show signs of rotation and may have produced this potential funnel cloud on Tucson’s southeast side late Tuesday afternoon.

My final call on Monday was for the heaviest rains (1-2″) to occur along & east of a Nogales-Benson-Safford line, with most of Metro Tucson seeing 0.50-1.50″ rain. I’d fully admit that I probably should have raised storm chances yesterday from 30%. Given the level of difficulty tracking tropical impacts in southern Arizona, I’d give my forecast a B+. A far cry from last September & the debacle with Odile!


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