West Coast Wind Blog: Major convection in AZ and Southern California deserts

Convection threatens Southern

California coast winds by weakeningpressure gradient to deserts.

by Mike Godsey, mike AT iwindsurf.com

July 18 a massive fast developing convective system in Arizona was moving towards the Southern California deserts.

Issued a warning that the associated clouds could spoil the pressure gradient needed to help the coastal winds. It turned out that most of the clouds did not cover the deserts so the winds ramped up nicely.

Look at the video carefully over the Southern California bight and you can see “gravity wave” cloud action.

The second satellite animation shows the strong winds radiating out from the center of the storm.

In the last animation shows the fate of the storm. Note how the storm’s moisture generates secondary thunderstorms as its winds sweep up the Sierra Nevada.