Tornadoes are a natural phenomenon. There’s no knowing what type of danger they can bring you. The reason why is because tornadoes are very rare. So to see them in the desert is even more surprising. The state of Arizona is typically arid, but there had been an occurrence of wet noise that would just beckon the tornadoes over in a scary sort of manner. It’s all just a thunderclap of danger that most people want to avoid. But in this case, there’s nothing but observation in the vacant desert.
Plenty of the desert Southwest Texas tends to average less than 10 inches of precipitation per year. But then, when it goes into a downpour, it gets heavy. Besides Nevada and Utah, much of Arizona had a lot more rain than they were expecting on Sunday. Sunday was a wet day. a real slosher. This is because the afternoon downpours are distracting the local yokels. This was with several tornadoes in close proximity.
What’s the story with these tornadoes?
Tornadoes are rare in the southwestern United States. Multiple twisters hit the ground all at once for a short amount of time Sunday evening. There was something ominous. According to the Storm Prediction Center’s early morning forecasts, much of Southern Arizona was in a level 1 out of 5 marginal risk for severe thunderstorms.The chance of tornadoes was not even predicted. Some high schoolers were there, and ironically enough, they were planning on attending the local college to study atmospheric sciences or meteorology. So you can imagine their surprise when they saw the severe thunderstorms that were possible.
Visitors were able to see a pendant funnel cloud stuck to the underside of a faraway storm. Then there was a second funnel that people immediately spotted to the right of the first. After looking west at that funnel, onlookers noticed how the funnel would snake down to the ground, making a very snake-like dance. Each tornado lasted for only several minutes.
Meanwhile, a tornado warning for a different rotating thunderstorm near Littlefield, Arizona, had occurred. The Weather Service had noted that the public saw this tornado from a far distance away. Even part of Interstate 15 was involved in the warning. If you do the math, two twisters touched down on the Arizona ground at once. It’s not yet verified, but a public report says so. Even a funnel cloud was around, yet it was totally unclear if it touched down or not.
Why are there not more thunderstorms like usual?
Thinking about the aridity of the Southwest, cloud bases don’t really have the height to let tornadoes touch down. Tornadoes show off a very typical pattern in the Midwest, being that many of the thunderstorms have been received during monsoon season. They tend to get small and very non-supercellular.
Thunderstorms like these had been surfing the backside of narrow strips of low pressure, which is to say they were riding in from the north. The cold air had also allowed large hail to join the event, but much of it had been the size of golf balls in sparsely populated areas.