National Weather Service Issues Weekend Flash Flood Watch Featured

Flash Flood Watch for tomorrow through Sunday morning.

Big Idea

  • A moisture surge is expected to move into the area
  • Expected moisture starting Saturday afternoon
  • Look for scattered showers and thunderstorms, to start, possible heavy rain
  • Hail could be as large as 1” in diameter

Look for rain this weekend!

Weather Update: National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch valid from Saturday noon – Sunday 5 am. This is due to the fact that a decent moisture surge is expected to move into the areas south of the Mogollon Rim, combined with favorable lifting and shearing setting up in the upper atmosphere due to a subtropical jet core centered over northeastern Arizona. The moisture surge is anticipated due to surface high pressure over northern Mexico rotating moist subtropical air clockwise into Arizona (some of the moisture could originate from dissipating tropical storms Hernan and Iselle hanging out near the southern tip of the Baja of California). 

The moisture surge will arrive during the morning hours tomorrow, and the atmosphere will become very moist, with decent wind shear in the upper atmosphere. If we can get a lot of sunshine on Saturday, then Saturday afternoon will be quite unstable as well. Scattered showers and thunderstorms will be likely in the afternoon hours on Saturday through Sunday, some of which could approach severe levels with hail up to 1” in diameter. A few storms could exhibit weak rotation, but tornado formation is fairly unlikely because of the lack of strong turning of the wind with height (a.k.a. directional shear). Storms will be heavy rain producers and propagate towards the east generally at about 20 mph, but some areas could see echo training (where multiple cells track over the same areas), hence the flash flood watch.  

Monday into possibly Tuesday, we will have a lingering but decreasing chance of mainly afternoon and evening thunderstorms as winds aloft become more northwesterly behind the subtropical jet and high pressure builds along the West Coast. Wed-Friday of next week could be mostly sunny, but this weekend and next week won’t be as hot as the past several weeks (thank goodness!)

Curtis James

Met Mail is an unofficial weather discussion and forecast transmitted once or twice a week via e-mail by the Embry-Riddle Department of Meteorology (http://meteo.pr.erau.edu/). Embry-Riddle offers an undergraduate bachelor-of-science degree program in Applied Meteorology. Please spread the word to all potential qualified candidates!

Further Information:

ERAU Applied Meteorology degree program

Official National Weather Service forecast

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University: Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

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Last modified on Saturday, 29 August 2020 21:08
Published in Prescott.news
Dr. Curtis N. James, Ph.D.

Curtis N. James, Ph. D. Is a Professor of Meteorology at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in the Department of Applied Aviation Sciences.

He has taught courses in beginning meteorology, aviation weather, thunderstorms, satellite and radar imagery interpretation, atmospheric physics, mountain meteorology, tropical meteorology and weather forecasting techniques for over 16 years. He participates in ERAU’s Study Abroad program, offering alternating summer programs each year in Switzerland and Brazil.

He earned a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Washington (2004) and participated in the Mesoscale Alpine Programme (MAP; 1999), an international field research project in the European Alps. His research specialties include radar, mesoscale, and mountain meteorology. He earned his B.S. in Atmospheric Science from the University of Arizona (1995), during which time he gained two years of operational experience as a student intern with the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Tucson, Arizona (1993-1995).

Dr. James is a native of Arizona where he currently resides with his wife and five children. He is active in his community, having served on the Prescott SciTechFest Advisory Committee and as a Board Member for the Children's Museum Alliance, Inc. On his spare time, he enjoys weather watching, backpacking, camping, fishing, caving, mountain biking, acting, and music. He is an Eagle Scout and serves as the scoutmaster for a local scout troop.


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