The opening of observing campaign 99, the final campaign for Fermi Cycle 9, at the Kuiper Telescope on Mt. Bigelow finds Arizona deep in the grip of the monsoon weather pattern. The good news is that the substantial amount of rain that has fallen over the past week has greatly decreased the wild fire risk and has put out many fires, including the Burro fire that came within two miles of the observatory last week. The bad news is that this robust wet weather pattern will make astronomy difficult throughout the coming week. In fact, the daily chances of rainfall predicted for the entire week are about twice the probabilities typical for the monsoon.
Today, Mt. Bigelow was hit with a major thunderstorm a few hours before
sunset and storms continued in the vicinity until after midnight. The sky
never cleared and no observations were made.