Sunday, March 12, 2006

Snow on the mountains, rain in the desert

Endment said...
Guess one reason people talk about the weather is
that they are surprised by it...


It did rain last night for quite a while, after periods of brilliant blue sky alternating with dark foreboding clouds. No thunderstorms - although the lights flickered several times around midnight - not sure why.

This was the first measurable precipitation in Tucson in 88 days: official total 0.02" at the airport at midnight, but it hadn't stopped raining at that point. The winds were up to 44 mph. This rain ended Tucson's fourteenth longest drought on record. The record was set in 1950, when Tucson went 114 days without rain.

Mount Lemmon Highway remained closed Saturday with about 5 inches of snow. The prediction is that through tonight 8 to 14 inches of snow will fall in the Santa Catalina Mountains. With luck, there will be more rain for us, although the sky this morning is brilliant blue, sunny, with white fluffy clouds. (University of Arizona webcam of the mountains.)

I took some photos of the snowy mountains - a beautiful sight to wake up to this morning. [As always, click on the photos for enlargements.]

Taken from the front yard - you can only see the front range

Taken from the the top of the road - you can see the back range of the Santa Catalinas:
Mount Lemmon (9157 ft. elev.) - Mount Bigelow with the communication towers;
that's Thimble Peak in the right foreground
with Sabino Canyon to the right of the hill and Bear Canyon to the left

And just for a little spring brightness, a Northern Cardinal, Cardinalis cardinalis, that I heard right behind me as I was walking back. A quick, blurred shot just before it took off, but cheery nonetheless.



10 comments:

chiefbiscuit said...

That cardinal looks so perky! As if it knows darn well it looks good with its red hat on. Do you get blue jays round where you live? Just this morning my father in law and I were talking birds. Earlier we'd heard our local bellbird here to hang out over the winter. Soon after my in laws had left for home I heard the shy grey warbler - another sure sign of autumn for us in our particular neck of the woods.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL Photographs...
Sonia, from Brazil, gave me your blog address, I'm sure because she knows I love nature and because I have a Cactus Garden...Not like Arizona exactly because I'm in L.A.and I can have many more succulant type plants, weatherwise....And also, because she knows I love Beautiful Pictures! It is a joy to visit your site. I wish I knew more about what one can do with The Digital Camera and all these different Photo Programs...(I have Adobe Photoshop, but really have not learned practically anything, yet! lol)
Lovely to meet you, Pam

Cynthia E. Bagley said...

Oh wow, these pics are your best yet. These would be print sellable...

Pam in Tucson said...

chiefbiscuit - [I'll have to remember it's autumn for you :)] I've been looking up birds of New Zealand. What sweet birds - the Bellbird and the Grey Warbler. pohanginapete posted a photo of the titipounamu, the rifleman on his 2 March blog and another of piwauwau, the rock wren on 25 Feb - I fell in love! (If you haven't seen his 25 Feb post, you must check it out: http://pohanginapete.blogspot.com/.)

We do have blue jays in Arizona, but not down in the desert. The Steller's jay and pinyon jay frequent the mountain areas - Steller's is quite a dramatic bird and fearless.

OOL - I just checked out your blog and will return during my "blog reading" evening hours - most interesting reading and great photography! We're dry, dry, dry here now, despite some rain on Saturday, so I'm not taking cactus photos - they're too depressing. Thanks so much for visiting.

Rexroth's Daughter said...

Pam-- for some reason my computer was loading old pages over the weekend. I didn't get to see any of your weather posts until today. (*About my computer, I've noticed that it loads old posts for a few blogs, even if I go to that blog and refresh the page. Very strange.)

I'm glad to see that you finally got some rain. The weather has been wild in California, too. And we are having balmy spring weather. Isn't that crazy?

Pam in Tucson said...

cynthia - Thank you! Not quite there yet with the photography, but I do appreciate the encouragement.

RD - Occasionally when refreshing doesn't work, I clear the cache and that seems to work better. Bloglines often shows me something I've seen before, even though the blogname is bolded.

The rain came and went. We had clear blue sky on Sunday (despite a prediction of 80% rain and storms) and nary another drop. The mountains ended up getting about 18 inches of snow but the valley's rainfall of 0.22 inch total won't get us nearly enough groundwater to help the vegetation. Hopefully there will be some runoff from the mountains at snowmelt to feed the canyon streams.

thor said...

hey pam,

well, after a weekend of 50 degree weather, we headed right back into winter with a heavy snowstorm that actually closed my office today! (my first snow day ever!) basically unheard of in minnesota. greta loved it - she literally sank in drifts up to her nose. it's currenty 23 degrees - not so bad for us at this time of year. we're expecting more snow. but i think we have to go back to work tomorrow.

Pam in Tucson said...

Wish I could see Greta maneuvering in the snow. I sent you the URL of a blog I just discovered: http://www.birdchick.com/blog.html. She lives in the Twin Cities and has now done three posts about your snowfall, including digging out her Saturn. It looks very grey and chilly up there. I hope you have a safe trip to work tomorrow.

Jean said...

magnifiques couleurs de cet oiseau rouge !
Toutes vos photos sont très belles !

Pam in Tucson said...

Merci beaucoup, Jean. J'aime beaucoup vos photos, aussi. Ils sont magnifiques!