Arizona Flooding Is All Wet


People are inquiring how we are doing here with all the news about flooding and cactus floating downstream.


We had several days of flood watches here at my location. Two days our small county was singled out as being of special concern for heavy rain events.

My weather info site is the Weather Underground, which I heard was acquired by The Weather Channel a while ago. The Weather Underground started putting actual rain amounts expected per day on its daily weather graph. Suffice it to say we were “expecting” 3 inches or more here over this 5 day or so period. One day six tenths plus expected, actual: 0.00. The biggest amount predicted was 8+ tenths of an inch; actual; 0.03.

I have since heard from those on The Weather Channel that they hope Arizona will not get another bout of weather like that last one. Others are worried how we are doing under that deluge that actually totaled about 0.67 for the entire tropical event. Two outflow boundaries crossed here one afternoon saving what looked like another blank rain day with 0.37″, the largest amount of the event. We are still below normal at my location this monsoon season. Plants are already drying out and wilting.

The moral to this story is; Do not believe all the hype that gets attached as being a universal truth while the rest of the story is not reported at all.

The scenes of flooding are somewhat common given locally heavy rains as well as rain draining off from higher elevation. Why the weather experts were so wrong regarding my location, especially since they were signaling us out for even more than expected?–Not that uncommon here at all. Subsidence, dry air advection, outflows of “spent” air descending from the tops of storms along fixed mountain ranges, the “rain shadow” from southern winds that can cause storms to regularly not form well until north of here; these things are routine from my observations but not seemingly in generalized weather prediction ascribed to us.

We, like most of the drought stricken southwest, need all the rain we can get. It’s not the lands fault that people drive through flooded washes or build on floodplains.

Don’t blame the messenger–rain.

Basics of the Arizona Monsoon & Desert Meteorology | School Of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning | Arizona State University

Basics of the Arizona Monsoon & Desert Meteorology | School Of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning | Arizona State University.

This is a good review of our “Season  Season” here in AZ.  Very hot days and increasing humidity to make the next few days here more uncomfortable outside.   At 4,000 ‘ where I am it is generally much more comfortable , relatively speaking, than Tucson and especially Phoenix lower deserts.


I have outside things to do everyday, the elevation and mountain effects here make heat more palatable. It becomes a nearly everyday event here to have rain nearby, cooling and clouds most afternoons during the heart of the monsoon.  It can be 110 in Phoenix and in the 60s here with the wonderful wet smells of the “dry-lands” getting their wet on.

Flirting With Summer or Whatever Happened With Spring?

Torii gate variation

Image via Wikipedia

Flirting With Summer; or, Whatever Happened With Spring?

I say this,  for this year we plunged into a record low single digit, then in a few weeks were trespassing onto 90.  The record low was the coldest day I have had in 24 years in Arizona. This was preceded by a day that refused to go above freezing. This, also for the first time in my life here.

Many plants still show no signs of life as the weather continues to warm into the 90’s this week (post begun a couple weeks ago). Very little rain here this “La Niña” season;  less than an inch in several months. Some plants seem to be 2 months behind schedule this year, which may be not so good, since the famous dry heat of Arizona will tend to fry my many wildflowers with thin petals.

Our Redbud tree has blossomed incredibly this year, and someday I will put photo’s on this post to show what I mean.  I put up a Japanese “Torii Gate” a few days before the earthquake and related disasters i Japan.  Today I finished, well almost, a rock wall to one side of it.

continuation from two weeks ago

April 8 and flirting with winter

Today is yet another odd one; the mesquite’s have begun to leaf and blossom. An old adage is that they only do this after the threat of frost has passed.  We will see, being that the weather service is predicting low Saturday night to be in the mid twenty’s! I’ll take a photo of before and after to see how the old saying goes.  We may also see snow here at 4,000 feet. This intense system is expected to generate severe weather into the weekend in the Midwest.

I will put up an independent post about the Torii Gate, for anyone interested in the way I built it.

Chicago Blizard Of 2011 vs Big Snow of 1967

Looking Back at Chicago’s Past With Snow in my eyes

Weather Memories

This coming snowstorm will likely dwarf the impacts of the Big Snow of 1967 in the Chicago Area. 100,000,000 people may be impacted by the various dimensions of this storm nationally. For me, being from the Chicago area, the local impact will have to meet a different criterion.

The forecast for this expected snowstorm in Chicago has it potentially topping the “Big Snow” of 1967.  I lived in a nearby Southwest suburb that was actually near the heaviest band of that storm. We had 34 inches, with much more dramatic effects. I remember how surprised we were when we heard that so much of Chicago only had 23 inches from that one. The only folks getting anywhere quickly were on skis.

This next storm may not have those kind of localized differences. But this new storm will have to top 34-36 inches in my mind, and my mind has its own kind of measuring stick, or dip-stick.

That year of 1967, my town had the “Chicago” tornado of 1967, a small earthquake; 4.-something I believe, and my last remaining parent committed suicide, there was that.  Quite a year for me there.  But during the Big Snow I did deliver newspapers.  Folks were shocked that I arrived at the door over the snowdrifts, some even gave $1 and $5 dollar tips which were huge back then.

So Chicago.  I’ll just be waiting to see that yardstick disappear into the open field, with just your hand holding the tip. But for the rest of the Chicagoland Area, I suppose hitting 24 inches will do the record breaking job.

Now I have to prepare for the deep freeze coming here for the next few nights

Weather Events: The Great Chicago Snow of 1967

– 9:31am

Jan 19, 2007 One of the many weather events I missed in old stomping grounds happened forty years ago this month: the Great Chicago Snow of 1967.

Warm Arctic/Cold Continent Paradox

The Arctic Paradox – how warming makes for cold winters | Climatide

Dec 15, 2010 The Arctic Paradox – how warming makes for cold winters cold U.S. and Europe as the “Warm Arctic/Cold Continents Pattern,” which is the

Just Another Monsoon Evening

{August 5 Photo’s –Benafia}


We humans may be overcome by our own social, political and economic/cultural weather, but in the real world, wonders never cease.