Climate

A Sunset Cloud Rainbow

About a half hour before sunset this evening, this beautiful prismatic rainbow appeared in the ice crystals of high clouds west of our house. There were a lot of clouds over California and Arizona due to Hurricane Kay, currently making its way up the Baja California Coast.

The weather forecast for us over the next couple of days will be cloudy with possible thundershowers. In California, there are forecasts for flash flooding and high winds that may cross over into Arizona. We’re ready for it, however, having recently gone through our annual monsoon season.

Monsoon Weather

Our usual summer monsoons are upon us. We have been having thundershowers in the area for a couple of weeks and the forecast is for that to continue through this coming weekend and perhaps beyond. Verna took the image above on Monday as we were coming home from picking up our new eyewear from the optometrist – the location is looking west toward the Arizona Outback just before we would be turning right at the signal. There was a large thunderstorm cell dumping a lot of rain in that area. Click on the image to enlarge.

Most of the monsoon cells manage to get around us, but not all of them. We had a magnificent lightning and thundershower event last week during the wee hours that woke us and freaked Cabela and Tucker (our dogs) out for about an hour or so. The storm dumped a lot of rain, but it quickly soaked in or ran off down the wash near our abode.

There has been enough rain near the headwaters of the Hassayampa River that there was some visible water flowing down the usually dry riverbed as we crossed the bridge on US 60 east of town this afternoon.

The image above shows the riverbed looking north. This is just a small amount of runoff since history shows the river during peaks with whitecaps and rapids when the monsoons really get going up toward the headwaters. The “raging” river has been known to overflow the banks and do significant damage to riverfront properties and motorhomes. Fortunately, that has not been the case (so far) this monsoon season. Click on the image (courtesy Verna) to enlarge.

Winter Weather in Arizona


 

We’re lucky here in Arizona that the winters are mild. We went out shopping on two consecutive days when I took the above photos at the end of our road before turning onto the pavement. Both pictures are of a little hill across our roadway where desert vegetation grows; in the top instance, the weather is sort of rainy and drizzly and in the bottom, the weather is sunny with some beautiful puffy clouds floating about.

The day and night temperatures on both days were similar, with the highs in the upper 60s and the lows in the mid-40s Fahrenheit. We thank the Almighty for our home and environment. Click on either image to enlarge.

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.

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.

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.