| A mesoscale convective complex type storm over the desert southwest - :14459 | National Weather Service (NWS)
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A mesoscale convective complex type storm over the desert southwest
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    United States, National Weather Service., Western Region,
  • Description:
    On 10 August 1981 a mesoscale convective complex CMCC) developed over extreme east-central Nevada and moved south-southeastward into northwestern Arizona. This storm affected a total area of nearly 200,000 km2 , traveled approximately 500 km, and lasted nearly 15 hr. Strong surface winds, hall, heavy rain, and dense blowing dust and sand were reported on the right flank of the MCC. Estimated ralnfalI rates of 3 to 4 in/hr produced total rainfalI amounts of 3 to 6 in over a large area to the northeast of Las Vegas, Nevada. Integration of the isohyetal analysis showed that approximately 10 m3 (8 X 10 5 acre ft) of water was available before infiltration. Interms of the voIume of rain water produced, this storm was 30 times larger than the one that struck Las Vegas, Nevada, on 3 July, 1975. Severe flooding occurred, causing much property damage and loss of Iivestock in the Logandale/Glendale, Nevada, area. The MCC developed ahead of a southward moving short wave trough as the trough moved into an area of unstable moist air. MCC generation may have been enhanced by the presence of a developing east-west moisture gradient and by intense surface heating. The heavy weather produced by the MCC was closely related to very cold (-65°C) cloud-top temperatures and to strong surface convergence.

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