Archive for Climate

Clear Skies Over Arizona

Clear Skies Over Arizona

Last week (10/22/2019), I captured this image from one of the GOES weather satellites in geosynchronous orbit above the western hemisphere. GOES East showed this area of the southwestern US which I cropped to highlight Arizona which is centered, more or less, in the image. The image showed the area mostly clear of clouds at that time.

October in our part of Arizona has the in-between hot summer and cooler winter temperatures which are still warm (80-90 degree highs) and we call “Second Spring” because of the flowers we have open this time of year. As I write this post, the late October temperatures have started to drop and soon we will be back in flannel and long pants.

Anyhow, back to the satellite image; you can clearly see the Mogollon Rim which is defined by the darker forested area at its southern side that extends from the New Mexico border on the east and arcs toward the north across the northeastern part of the state and ends in northern Yavapai county in north central Arizona. The two darker forested areas continuing north are the Kaibab National Forest. The gap between the southern dark area and the northern dark area is where the Grand Canyon is located.

Other interesting features visible in the image can also be seen; over in New Mexico toward the right lower side of the image you can see the White Sands area where WW2 Atomic Bombs were tested. On the left side, in California, you can see the Salton Sea. Finally, at the bottom left corner, the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California) in Mexico is visible.

I look at the satellite images on a regular basis to help me identify our weather patterns. I use them in addition to radar and other tools to get an insight on our weather. You may click on the image to enlarge.

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Nice Arizona Sunset Colors

Nice Arizona Sunset Colors

We finally got some decent rain yesterday when a monsoon emptied its thunderstorms in the area. We went all summer without a monsoon and finally, on the first day of autumn, we got a couple of inches of precipitation. In the aftermath today, we had some winds and a few clouds, some of which gathered to our west just as the sun was setting. I took the photo above from the courtyard with our front yard mesquite tree silhouetted against the colorful sky. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Grillin’ in the Rain

Rain or Shine the Grill Must Be Tended

When we arrived at camp today, we hooked up our utilities and immediately started getting the grill ready to fix our dinner. When I went out to grill the ribs, a thunderstorm started dumping some rain. Well, what had to be done was to get dinner on the table, so Verna got out my rain jacket and I finished the job.

The meal was delicious. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Radiant Beams From Heaven Above

Radiant Beams

Arizona monsoons have several redeeming qualities:

  1. They provide much needed rainfall over the desert
  2. They cool the summer heat down, albeit briefly
  3. Their clouds can produce some pretty spectacular skyscapes

Verna’s camera caught this array of clouds and crepuscular solar rays a couple of days ago. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Early Spring Flowers Opening

Purple and Yellow Freesias White Freesias
Yellow Freesias Gardenia

Some of my flowers in the courtyard are opening this week. Purple and Yellow Freesias, White Freesias, Yellow Freesias and a Gardenia.

Other than those shown above, we have daffodils and paperwhites that have opened. Also in the courtyard are several Cherry Red cacti which we separated from each other last fall which all seem to have flower buds coming.

Outside of the courtyard, there are numerous buds on the cacti around the yard. There are beavertail and hedgehog cacti with buds about to open soon and other prickly pear cacti with buds just starting to show.

It will be a colorful spring around the house this year. More pictures coming! Click on any image above to enlarge.

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Local Mountains Snow

Local Mountains Snow

Since last Wednesday, we have had colder temperatures in our area. Just five years ago on this date, we were wearing shorts, but not this year. Both of us got new winter jackets just to keep warm here in “Dry Heat” Arizona. LOL

I took this photo today of to Weaver mountain range just fifteen miles north of town. The mountains have a nice coat of snow, but it won’t last very long since this is Arizona and the weather will undoubtedly become more spring like over the next few days.

As I said, we have had some unusually cold (even for winter) days. Our neighbor, who teaches school in nearby Congress came home early a couple of days ago and reported a foot of snow had closed her school for the day. Her car was caked with still fresh snow when she drove into the area.

Click on the image to enlarge.

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Tiny Pink Cactus Flowers and an Arizona Sunset

Tiny Pink Flowers

This little barrel cactus is in the xeriscape area in front of the garage wall east of the courtyard. I think it must be happy here since it has this ring of tiny pink flowers around its top.

Sundown

Today was mostly cloudy, but still pretty warm. Our high temperature was nowhere near record for this date, but we’ll take 74° anytime in January. I photographed the clouds as lighted up by the setting sun.

Click on either image to enlarge.

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