Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Summary of This Week's Record (and Not-So-Record) Rainfall Totals for Selected Spots and WMO Findings on Global CO2 Increase for 2013

**Updated 12:53AM 9/18/2014 for corrected KPHX rainfall total.**

A bicycle along the Potomac River on the Capital Crescent Trail, Washington, D.C., 2:10PM September 7, 2014.

The bicycle belonged to a fellow taking a picture of the river and the rock formations with a far superior camera than my little cellphone one.

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The weather the past two days has been for the most part mostly cloudy (it's partly cloudy tonight) with an east/northeasterly maritime flow and high temperatures in the mid-to-upper 70s Fahrenheit.

Yesterday (that is, September 8th), a low pressure system moved up the Southeastern coastal plain along a frontal boundary and it dropped anywhere from 2 inches to as much as 8 inches of rain across the immediate Tidewater / Hampton Roads area. However, none of the precipitation made it as far north as the Baltimore / Washington area (resulting in busted QPF forecasts).

The Wakefield (AKQ) NWS radar in base reflectivity mode, 4:45PM EDT September 8, 2014.

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Thus, Norfolk (KORF) had 3.05 inches of rain on Sept. 8th (that was NOT enough to surpass the daily record set in 2009 of 3.54 inches). To be fair, though, it was concentrated over the Tidewater / Newport News area. Richmond (KRIC) only had 0.32 inches and Salisbury, Md. (KSBY) had just 0.06 inches. Wallops Island (KWAL) had 0.48 inches of rain.

By contrast, there was zilch (or the usual "TRACE") at KDCA, that useless spot for a climate station (and also "TRACE" at KIAD and KBWI). You see, GOD looks after and protects the D.C. Bubble and its Washington Consensus Crowd, keeping them all nice and dry to and from this or that Brookings panel discussion on why it's necessary to bomb or invade this or that country and why "bipartisan" cooperation means shredding the social safety net for the working poor.

One day radar-estimated precipitation totals for Virginia, Maryland, and portions of North Carolina and adjoining states for September 8, 2014. The highest rainfall totals in the magenta, purple, and white portions are 6 to 10 inches.

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Phoenix Rainfall Record ...

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport climate station (KPHX) observations from 0300AM - 1200PM MST* September 8, 2014 showing the 7-hour deluge that produced a record-breaking daily total of 3.29 inches of rain (see below for more information). Click on image and look under "6hr" column for total.

*Of note, Arizona stays on Mountain Standard Time (MST) -- so during the (never-ending) period of daylight savings time, Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) "equals" MST.

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Weather advisories in effect for Arizona and Southern California as shown on the Phoenix NWS Forecast Office (PSR) county warning area (CWA) map, 9:07AM MST September 8, 2014.

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However, the big weather story on Sept. 8th, 2014 was the monsoonal season deluge in the Phoenix area with an all-time record calendar day rainfall total of 3.29 inches at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport climate station (KPHX).

Graphical summary by the NWS of the record rainfall for Phoenix (KPHX) for September 8, 2014 compared with other extreme events.

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This 3.29 inches (as indicated in the graphical summary directly above) was an all-time daily record for the full Phoenix climate record back to 1895. It was the second greatest 24-hour rainfall total behind 4.98 inches way back on July 2, 1911. Oh, and needless to say, it blew away the previous daily record for Sept. 8th of 1.33 inches set in 1933.

UPDATED 12:53AM 9/18/2014: I discovered on Wednesday (Sept. 17th) that the Phoenix official total at KPHX had been adjusted UPWARD by 0.01 inches to a daily all-time record of 3.30 inches. This includes an updated information graphic (see below) in the Phoenix NWS write up (linked below) as well as the preliminary monthly climate data (CF6) summary. (The daily climate report (CLI) for Sept. 8th is unchanged, though, at 3.29".)

REVISED NWG graphical summary of the record rainfall for KPHX for September 8, 2014 compared with other extreme events.

End of Update.

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Flooding along I-10 east at 43rd Avenue in Phoenix, Ariz., September 8, 2014.

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For reference, the current 30-year annual average precipitation is Phoenix (subject to much interannual variability) is 8.03 inches.

Other rainfall totals in the Phoenix area ranged as high at 6 inches -- and there were the expected muddy flash floods and vehicles stranded on flooded roadways. The Phoenix NWS forecast office created this web-based write up on the event. The Capital Weather Gang (CWG) also had an informative write-up with pictures.

Maricopa County / Phoenix area 24-hour rainfall totals for September 8, 2014. Click on the map for larger version.

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Of note, it again rained in the L.A Basin with 0.02 inches falling at LAX Airport (KLAX). To be clear, while it has rained a number of times in isolated places in Southern California this summer and including a freak thunderstorm with deadly lightning, it has been variable in terms of which places were above or below the miniscule average August amounts.

The San Diego NWS Forecast Office (SGX) county warning area (CWA) forecast advisories as of 9:27AM PDT September 8, 2014.

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Another hurricane (Odile?) might form along the southern Baja peninsula in a few days and its remnant moisture will flux into the Desert Southwest. But one of these days, we're going to get on a full-scale in-tact tropical system to strike Southern California. It has happened before in recorded history, though far more common are just the remnants to reach there.

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Global CO2 Trends for 2013 ...

Global annual average surface temperatures and CO2 concentrations, 1880 - 2013.

On another topic, the World Meteorology Organization (WMO) reports that 2013 atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels jumped 2.9 parts per million (ppm) to 396 ppm, the biggest annual jump in a 30-year window of careful and dedicated records. (It was 278 ppm in 1750. CO2 levels are now at their highest levels in at least 800,000 years.)

The CWG has a good entry on it as well as an exploration of the global warming "pause" or "hiatus" -- though you have to be careful when you say that because the Teabaggers and internet trolls go nuts as they do the bidding of GOP operatives, who in turn are the Fifth Column of the oligarchical overclass

Left: Charts showing (top) CO2 mole fraction (i.e., the ppm measurement) and (bottom) its percent growth rate, 1984 - 2013.

OK, that's all for now. I had intended to include political commentary and my Sunday bike ride pictures but I'm just going to go to bed now.

--Regulus

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