Cold weather, Painted Desert thunderstorms yesterday in Arizona! Getting a surface-based thunderstorm when temperatures are in the low-mid 40s and dewpoints in the upper 20s is really difficult and requires a special blend of ingredients. You often hear about ‘elevated storms’ in cool to cold weather, where storms are rooted and based above the surface in a warm and moist layer of air well above the surface. But getting a true surface-based storm with cold temperatures is a real feat for the atmosphere.

In the case of yesterday’s storms, a low-pressure center was just to our east, and extremely cold temperatures were present aloft, way more than usual. Because of this and the lift on the back side of the low, we got scattered thunderstorms across NE Arizona yesterday over cool landscapes like the Painted Desert! #thunderstorm #weather #science #painteddesert #arizona #petrifiedforest #storm