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Purplish Picture Present Promising Precipitation

 Models, Northern Arizona Weather, Winter Storms  Comments Off on Purplish Picture Present Promising Precipitation
Jan 292016
 

I’ve looked at a new site for computer model data. I think the pictures are prettier than the US Government site. No surprise there. The snow fall pictures are purple and orange for this weekend. It looks like the Flagstaff groundhogs will have a bit of digging to do to get to above the snow on Groundhog Day. In the image below, Flagstaff has a big 12 printed on it.

Three day total snow accumulation, ending midnight Monday night, February 1, 2016. (From TropicalTidbits.com)

Three day total snow accumulation, ending midnight Monday night, February 1, 2016. (From TropicalTidbits.com)

The colors are definitely more dramatic. The reaction to this storm from the National Weather Service hasn’t been until tonight. This storm is going to be big. It has shown up in the computer models as a big storm for a while. Just on Friday evening did they get excited.

There could be local effects causing the total to be more or less than the forecast. This is especially true with the windy start to the storm.

 Posted by at 10:11 pm

Pre-Groundhog’s Day storm coming

 Winter Storms  Comments Off on Pre-Groundhog’s Day storm coming
Jan 242016
 

I don’t know if a groundhog living in Flagstaff will see his shadow on February 2. But, it will see some fresh snow. Next Sunday and Monday should be snowy. For the last few days the GFS model has repeatedly shown snow for these days. The amounts have varied. Some model runs have over 1.5 inches of water. Some have only 3/4 inch of water.It’s simply too early to tell what the accumulation will be, but Flagstaff should get at least a few inches, it maybe be more than a foot.

El Nino years are often like this year. The storm track is split to the north and the south, but the southern track has often been below Arizona. When Flagstaff gets a storm, the storm amounts will be heavier than in other years. January has not been very snowy. But, the big storm earlier in the month covered the average amount, making any more snow above average. This next storm could be a big boost.

48-hour total precipitation forecast from the GFS Model ending Monday evening February 1, 2016.(from the Climate Prediction Center)

48-hour total precipitation forecast from the GFS Model ending Monday evening February 1, 2016.(from the Climate Prediction Center)

 

 Posted by at 2:13 am

I’m confused, or not…

 Northern Arizona Weather, Winter Storms  Comments Off on I’m confused, or not…
Jan 052016
 

I’m looking at Wunderground‘s, the National Weather Services and Accuweather‘s precipitation forecasts. (The National Weather Service updated theirs while I wrote this post, it was roughly half of what it is now) Here’s how precipitation through Friday Morning looks:

National Weather Service 9-23 inches
Accuweather 8-20 inches
Wunderground 16-25 inches

The Wunderground forecast has been on the high-end. Maybe there isn’t a big difference. Does 8 inches feel much different from 16 inches? Does 25 inches look more wintry than 20 inches? The biggest forecast difference is probably tonight through Wednesday. Basically, plenty of snow is on the way.

One more note, Wunderground calls for rain on Friday.

 Posted by at 6:15 am

Easily 1 foot, possibly more…

 Northern Arizona Weather  Comments Off on Easily 1 foot, possibly more…
Jan 042016
 

I think Flagstaff is easily going to receive a foot of snow this week. I’m not sure I buy the NWS’s forecast for the majority of it showing up at the end of the week. I think there will be two serious rounds of precipitation. First between today and Wednesday. Second, at the opposite end of the week. Depending on temperatures, we could get over two feet this week.

 Posted by at 11:49 am

Month’s precipitation in one week

 Northern Arizona Weather  Comments Off on Month’s precipitation in one week
Jan 022016
 
GFS model precipitation forecast for January 2-9, 2016. (Climate PRediction Center)

After a drier than normal December, El Niño will get 2016 off to a wet start. The average monthly precipitation for Flagstaff in January is about 2 inches. Next week’s outlook from the GFS model at the Climate Prediction Center forecasts that amount to arrive between today and next Saturday. Multiple storm systems will move through the area over the next week.

GFS model precipitation forecast for January 2-9, 2016. (Climate PRediction Center)

GFS model precipitation forecast for January 2-9, 2016. (Climate Prediction Center)

In the 7-day total precipitation image above, Flagstaff is in the 2-3 inches of water range. After warmer temperatures this weekend, it will cool off and the precipitation will show up as snow. It could be heavy, wet snow at times. This is just the first week of the month.

Although December was dry, the total precipitation for 2015 was over 27 inches. This was 5 inches above average.

 

 Posted by at 8:13 am

Winter hits hard next week.

 Northern Arizona Weather, Winter Storms  Comments Off on Winter hits hard next week.
Dec 282015
 

December has been low on moisture compared to normal, and near normal for the average temperature. Low precipitation in an El Niño December probably is not very unusual. I’ll have to look. But, it all changes in the start of January. A series of storms is due next week. Arizona will get plenty of moisture with seasonal normal temperatures. Enjoy this week’s sun while it’s here.

6-10 and 8-14 day precipitation outlooks from the Climate Prediciton Center. (12-28-2015)

6-10 and 8-14 day precipitation outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center. (12-28-2015)

 Posted by at 3:32 pm

Will Bing’s dream come true?

 Northern Arizona Weather  Comments Off on Will Bing’s dream come true?
Dec 192015
 
Bing Crosby, White Christmas
Bing Crosby, White Christmas

Bing Crosby, White Christmas

I haven’t seen any forecasts that without a high likelihood of a white Christmas for Flagstaff. As it is often the case, the exact timing and total snowfall amounts are changing in the forecast, but several inches in or around Christmas Day are very likely. The 6-10 precipitation outlook is below. I don’t see a huge storm coming to Northern Arizona. Precipitation will be strong to the north and east. Travel across the Southwest could be difficult.

Precipitation outlook for December 24-28, 2015, from the Climate Prediction Center.

Precipitation outlook for December 24-28, 2015, from the Climate Prediction Center.

 Posted by at 5:26 am

Wetterkerze

 Winter Storms  Comments Off on Wetterkerze
Dec 142015
 

Since moving to Germany last summer, I kept hearing stories about a man in Bavaria that could forecast the long-range winter weather with high accuracy. Over lunch last week, I got more of the details. Details that leave me wondering if his forecast method could work in Northern Arizona. I can’t remember anyone mentioning it to me in Arizona, but we have the necessary supplies to try it. Check out the picture below.

Sepp Haslinger inspects a Wetterkerze to predict the winter weather. (From the  Merkur Newspaper)

Sepp Haslinger inspects a Wetterkerze to predict the winter weather. (From the Merkur Newspaper)

Does the plant in the photo look familiar?In North America, it is known as the Great Mullein. Some call it the Woolly Mullein because of its very fuzzy leaves. It’s native to Europe, but some consider it a noxious weed in Arizona.

Sepp Haslinger lives in or near a town call Bad Tolz which is at the base of the German Alps. He calls the plant a Wetterkerze, or weather candle. Bad Tolz is not far from Munich. The photo is from an article about him in the Merkur newspaper. Much like Flagstaff, the region depends on revenue from skiers and snowboarders. Therefore, a strong winter is important to the local economy. Herr Haslinger inspects the blooms on the candle-like Great Mullein to forecast the weather for the local region. He stresses it is only locally applicable. He claims a 90% historic accuracy. Like many mountain areas, the weather can very greatly over fairly short distances.  Currently, he believes a white Christmas is unlikely in the region, but a long, hard, snowy winter is to follow after the New Year. I may have to try to connect with him sometime.

I am wondering if anyone has heard of this being done in Arizona? Please, drop me a note if you have.

I’m back in AZ for the next month. I’m comfortably in Phoenix for today’s expected snow. Those of you who have felt like it has been too warm and dry since mid-November, should hold on tight. It all ends. Temperatures are going to plummet. Snow is going to fall. A very large storm is possible before or during Christmas.

 Posted by at 4:13 am

Cold temperatures, wet weather…oh yeah, it’s winter time

 Northern Arizona Weather  Comments Off on Cold temperatures, wet weather…oh yeah, it’s winter time
Dec 072015
 

2 or 3 storms are on their way to Arizona. The next two weeks will be mostly, seriously, cold with occasional snow. It looks like the storm track is shifting to the south and splitting, as we expect for an El Niño winter.

More later…

 Posted by at 2:48 pm

Dry period in an El Niño Winter

 Outlooks  Comments Off on Dry period in an El Niño Winter
Nov 272015
 

Thanks to an Eastern Pacific hurricane and very strong northerly storm track, the next couple weeks will be very dry in Arizona.

6-10 and 8-14 day precipitation outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center (26 November 2015).

6-10 and 8-14 day precipitation outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center (26 November 2015).

 Posted by at 12:25 am
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