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Weather is always odd

 Models, Monsoon, Northern Arizona Weather, Outlooks  Comments Off on Weather is always odd
Aug 112016
 

As the most recent batch of moisture, which was left over from a tropical system, starts to leave Arizona, the outlooks have switched. We still have a dry period ahead, but then more moisture will return in about a week. At least, it looks that way today.

Yesterday, NOAA increased it’s outlook for Atlantic hurricane activity for the rest of this season. As if to point out who’s in charge, the computer models and Mother Nature removed any hint of future development in the next two weeks. Still, we are in the season and tropical activity can spin our monsoon season any which way. Hurricanes affect the weather for thousands of miles. With none in the plans, after the upcoming dry spell, thunderstorms should make a comeback.

To date in August, the Flagstaff Airport has received 2.32 inches of rain. an average or above average month is at hand. By comparison, Munich has received nearly 3 inches in August, and close to 11 inches in the last 30 days.

 Posted by at 9:35 pm

Don’t get too used to being dry

 Monsoon, Northern Arizona Weather  Comments Off on Don’t get too used to being dry
Aug 062016
 

With July finishing nearly on average for precipitation and over two inches falling already in August, the next few days should be mostly drier. But, don’t get used to it.

I think the current break in the action is due to a couple of tropical systems moving around Southern and Central Mexico. These have shutdown the flow of new moisture into Arizona. One Wednesday through Friday, some of their moisture and storm energy will move into Arizona. From the computer models, storms could double the current precipitation amount for August. The has been a consistent forecast for a couple of days now. We will see.

Beyond that, the monsoon flow looks shaky. For the calendar year and for the water  year, Flagstaff is well above average. This is interesting given how dry last winter was.

For those of you wondering, we have also had over 2 inches of rain in Munich this month. That’s on top of the nearly 7 inches of rain in July. Supposed to clear up today.

 Posted by at 9:52 pm

Strong precipitation outlook for the next month

 Models, Monsoon, Outlooks  Comments Off on Strong precipitation outlook for the next month
Jul 222016
 

The Climate Prediction Center released new 6-1o day, 8-14 day and 1 month outlooks on Thursday. Even though Flagstaff’s July precipitation is half of normal for this point in the month, the next month of the monsoon season should be above average. Below is an animation of these outlooks.

6-10 day, 8-14 day, and one month precipitation outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center (June 21, 2016)

6-10 day, 8-14 day, and one month precipitation outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center (June 21, 2016)

 Posted by at 8:40 am

After a long sigh, the monsoonal flow will return

 Monsoon  Comments Off on After a long sigh, the monsoonal flow will return
Jul 162016
 

It’s been chilly an draining in most of Europe for the last few weeks. It’s been warm and dry for a couple of weeks in Northern Arizona. Thunderstorm activity will increase over the next few days and hopefully continue for most of the rest of the month. I think I mentioned July 19th in my last post. This should be right on time. It’s going to change for Northern Arizona, but I don’t think it will change for Europe.

The southwesterly flow on the monsoon season is returning to Arizona. It looks like a return to normal, but I’m not sure it will be enough. Currently, July is 0.58 inches below average for the month to date. It looks like Flagstaff will receive over an inch by the end of the month. This would leave us short of the normal roughly 2.5 inches.

10 day total precipitation forecast from the Climate Prediction Center's GFS model.

10 day total precipitation forecast from the Climate Prediction Center’s GFS model.

 Posted by at 12:04 pm

Strong start, but now the monsoonal flow will stall

 Hurricane, Monsoon, Northern Arizona Weather, Outlooks  Comments Off on Strong start, but now the monsoonal flow will stall
Jul 022016
 

With over 1.25 inches of rain since June 15, Flagstaff has enjoyed a strong start to the monsoon season. However, that will change. A series of strong, Eastern Pacific tropical storms far to the south are going to distract the moisture flow. These storms are not going to head northward along the coast. The current forecasts have them moving to the west-northwest almost due north of Hawaii before looping back towards Washington State. After today, the changes for rain drop substantially. Isolated thunderstorms will start this week. By next weekend and through July 19, the chances for precipitation drop to nearly zero.

The Climate Prediction Center published a new 1-month outlook on June 30. It shows most of Arizona with better than normal chances for above average July precipitation.

 Posted by at 10:25 pm

Thunderstorm season to start early and with a boom

 Models, Monsoon, Northern Arizona Weather  Comments Off on Thunderstorm season to start early and with a boom
Jun 252016
 

We all know that the 4th of July is the typical “start” of monsoon season in Northern Arizona. So, anything earlier in my mind is early. As I sit in Munich and enjoy an even thunderstorm and a cool (not cold) weißbier, the computer models are telling me it is going to start very wet.

From the Climate Prediction Center, Friday’s 6-10 and 8-14 day outlook are strongly on the side of a very wet start to the season. Personally, I don’t believe they have the best record on monsoon forecasts, but I hope they are correct. And that they are correct because they have improved their modeling capability.

6-10 and 8-14 day precipitation outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center.

6-10 and 8-14 day precipitation outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center.

Here is the total precipitation forecast from their GFS model for the next 10 days. Notice some areas are to receive as much as 2-3 inches of rain.

I still worry that a strong start will result in a quick season.

gfs_namer_240_precip_ptot

 Posted by at 9:32 am

Wet Outlook for Monsoon Season Start

 Northern Arizona Weather  Comments Off on Wet Outlook for Monsoon Season Start
Jun 222016
 

With the already wetter than normal June (over half an inch above average), the start of the monsoon season should be wetter and earlier than average. Yesterday’s rain in the Flagstaff area is just a taste. It should dry out one more time before next week. While the 1-4 week outlooks all call for above average precipitation, I’m not sure how long it will last with the on-coming La Nina.

Below are  the outlooks for 6-10 days, 8-14 days and 3-4 weeks. They all show above average expectations of above average precipitation. After last winter’s dry conditions, this should help the Northland. As La Nina emerges, I am afraid that the season will start strong, but finish quickly and lead to a long dry phase.

6-10 day precipitation outlook from the Climate Prediction Center.

6-10 day precipitation outlook from the Climate Prediction Center.

 

8-14 day precipitation outlook from the Climate Prediction Center.

8-14 day precipitation outlook from the Climate Prediction Center.

3-4 week precipitation outlook from the Climate Prediction Center.

3-4 week precipitation outlook from the Climate Prediction Center.

 Posted by at 6:31 pm

One More False Start

 Northern Arizona Weather  Comments Off on One More False Start
Jun 182016
 

I mentioned to a few people I saw in Flagstaff yesterday that I thought there was a chance the monsoon season would start in earnest next week. The warm/hot temperatures we will experience over the next few days will drive formation of the thermal low pressure system in southwestern Arizona. (Visit my Monsoon Mechanics website for more detail)

Watching the computer models, the monsoon flow from Mexico has come in and out of the outlooks. Yesterday, I thought that Wednesday or Thursday would kick of the season with some level of regular storms. Today, it doesn’t look so certain. In most years, the computer models poorly predict of the thunderstorm activity during monsoon season. I still think it will be a bit early. In any case, the typical 4th of July start looks certain.

UPDATE:

Here is the newest 8-14 day precipitation outlook. Since it comes on a weekend day, I have doubts about its accuracy. But, it does point to an pre-4th of July start of monsoonal storms.

8-14 day precipitation outlook from the Climate Prediction Center. (18 June 2016)

8-14 day precipitation outlook from the Climate Prediction Center. (18 June 2016)

 

 Posted by at 6:33 am

Partly cool, with a chance of an early monsoon season?

 Monsoon, Northern Arizona Weather  Comments Off on Partly cool, with a chance of an early monsoon season?
Jun 072016
 

I’m still not sure I believe what is showing up in the computer models and forecasts. Although, it makes sense. It looks like a burst of monsoonal moisture is one its way for this weekend and next week. One week out, the forecast is calling for cooler, possibly below normal temperatures, and thunderstorms.

The current heat wave can generate the thermal low needed to kick-off the season. We’ll see.

 Posted by at 8:59 am

Spring and summer finally emerge

 Northern Arizona Weather  Comments Off on Spring and summer finally emerge
May 282016
 

To date, May has been chilly and wet. Flagstaff is ahead of average on precipitation by over an inch, and on temperature by 3.7 degrees. The average daily high has only by 62.2 degrees, which is 6 degrees below normal. I look at the month and maybe a bit deeper in this El Nino compared to others in the future.

The big news is that this week should not only bring normal, but beautiful sunshine and above average temperatures. These should be the warmest temperatures of the year so far. I think, the storm track has finally moved off to the north in the first step to the summer weather pattern. Now, the heat should start to build so that the monsoon low can develop later in June. This means strong winds should be less frequent, too.

 Posted by at 9:59 pm
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