It’s gonna get deep!

 Northern Arizona Weather, Winter Storms  Comments Off on It’s gonna get deep!
Jan 162017
 
Total snowfall through Wednesday morning, January 25, 2017. (Tropical Tidbits)

A significant snow event, or two, is on the way. Month to date, Flagstaff has received more than double the average snowfall. The snowy winter of 2016-2017 will continue until everyone needs new skis for next year.

The timing for this next storm is pretty clear. Snow will start Thursday and continue through Sunday. As you can see below, the accumulation by Sunday could easily be 12 or more inches for Flagstaff. Much more is possible.

Total snowfall from today through Sunday morning, January 22, 2017. Little to no accumulation is from earlier in the week for Northern Arizona.

Total snowfall from today through Sunday morning, January 22, 2017. Little to no accumulation is from earlier in the week for Northern Arizona.

But, that is only chapter 1. By the following Wednesday morning, current models have a second cut-off low moving through Northern Arizona, at least doubling the snow on the ground. There will be little break from cold temperatures during this time. Be ready to figure out where to store the snow!

Total snowfall through Wednesday morning, January 25, 2017. (Tropical Tidbits)

Total snowfall through Wednesday morning, January 25, 2017. (Tropical Tidbits)

 Posted by at 1:29 pm

6-12 inches for Snowbowl. Flagstaff gets mostly rain? Next weekend?

 Monthly Review, Northern Arizona Weather, Winter Storms  Comments Off on 6-12 inches for Snowbowl. Flagstaff gets mostly rain? Next weekend?
Jan 142017
 
24-hour total snowfall ending Saturday night, January 21, 2016. (Tropical Tidbits)

6-12 inches for Snowbowl, Flagstaff gets mostly rain. Next weekend?

Checking the point forecast for Snowbowl at the National Weather Service, it will get 6-12 inches of new snow between Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. Flagstaff will remain mostly warm. Snow levels will be around 7000-7500 feet. So, being careful is important. A slight move in temperature could change the expected rainfall to snow. Driving across Northern Arizona on I-40 could be tricky this weekend.

The bigger news is centered around next weekend. A major winter storm is on the way. Currently, we should expect light snow to start on Thursday, intensify on Friday evening and Saturday, and continue into Sunday. The San Francisco Peaks are clearly in the “green” zone expecting 12-18 inches during this time. As always, it’s difficult to tell how deep in the heavy snow area Flagstaff will be. Also, this is only for the 24-hour period. More snow will fall on either side of this time. The forecast should become clearer on Monday.

24-hour total snowfall ending Saturday night, January 21, 2016. (Tropical Tidbits)

24-hour total snowfall ending Saturday night, January 21, 2016. (Tropical Tidbits)

 Posted by at 1:20 am

Chance for heavy snow on Saturday night.

 Models, Northern Arizona Weather, Winter Storms  Comments Off on Chance for heavy snow on Saturday night.
Jan 122017
 
24 hour snowfall ending Sunday morning, January 15, 2007. (from Tropical Tidbits)

The next few days will bring precipitation now and then to the area, while temperatures remain warm. But, this current version of the 24 hour snowfall computer model shows that heavy snow could fall on Saturday night. Notice the small area of pink, white and green on the image below. Some locations, particularly at higher elevations, may receive over a foot.

The following weekend is still looking very snowy.

24 hour snowfall ending Sunday morning, January 15, 2007. (from Tropical Tidbits)

24 hour snowfall ending Sunday morning, January 15, 2007. (from Tropical Tidbits)

 Posted by at 10:53 pm

Woe betide us! It’s cut-off low season

 Northern Arizona Weather  Comments Off on Woe betide us! It’s cut-off low season
Jan 112017
 

(Woe betide the sailor…)

The forecast for this weekend is…well…probably wet. Actually, probably wet describe the time from now until Monday. But, when, where and how much are up in the air. I’ve discussed cut-off low pressure systems repeatedly over the years. They are notoriously difficult to predict, not just from the when and how much points of view. But, more importantly, whether or not.

Through early next week, expect rain and/or snow. Maybe a little. Maybe a lot. Be ready and enjoy what you end up with. This could be just spill over from the California onslaught, or it could be a big Arizona deal. The low could form to the east and we get scraps. We’ll see.

But (DING, DING, DING), the following weekend, be ready to be slammed! Yes, indeed, another cut-off low. Consistently, the weekend of January 20-22 is consistently showing up in the forecast models as a major event for most of Arizona. Expect a Christmas 2016 type storm. Beautiful!

For the month, January is way ahead on precipitation. It could be one of the wetter ones, but probably not wetter than 2010.

 

(Lt. Commander Philip Francis Queeg: “If I see one more shirttail flapping while I’m captain of this ship – woe betide the sailor; woe betide the OOD; and woe betide the morale officer. I kid you not. “

 Posted by at 6:38 pm

Super Cold in USA! But rain, not snow, for next week?

 Northern Arizona Weather  Comments Off on Super Cold in USA! But rain, not snow, for next week?
Jan 072017
 
Morning Temperatures across North America on Saturday, January 7, 2017.

Credit for a great, quick read o the extent of the cold this morning in North America goes to Doctor Roy Spencer: The Frigid 48: U.S. Average Temperature 11 deg. F. His image below shows the extent of the chill across North America. I wanted to reblog his post directly, but I don’t think he uses WordPress for his blog.

Morning Temperatures across North America on Saturday, January 7, 2017.

Morning Temperatures across North America on Saturday, January 7, 2017.

This morning is colder than any day last winter. Check out his post.

Tuesday is going to be interesting. There may be some snow at higher elevations, but Flagstaff should see mostly rain. You can see above that the extent of the cold is just along the Mogollon Rim.

 Posted by at 7:29 am

Rain, snow, and no more one-two punches

 Northern Arizona Weather  Comments Off on Rain, snow, and no more one-two punches
Jan 052017
 
Total precipitation for the next week, January 5-12, 2017. (from Tropical Tidbits)

I think the computer modelers are still struggling with the sea surface temperature inputs from the Pacific. It looks like things have settled down in the models.

The storm pattern from Christmas and New Year’s seems to have stopped. The storm track is more northerly. Northern Arizona will miss the larger storm centers and only be brushed with the edges. This means lighter amounts of rain and/or snow from each storm over the next few weeks. This should keep things occasionally white, and on track for a normal precipitation month.

On the other hand, Northern California will be hammered by significant precipitation. The Sierra Nevada could receive over 20 inches of water, not snow, over the next week. That could be over 15 feet of snow!

Total precipitation for the next week, January 5-12, 2017. (from Tropical Tidbits)

Total precipitation for the next week, January 5-12, 2017. (from Tropical Tidbits)

 Posted by at 8:40 am

Will Flagstaff escape the next round of severe cold?

 Models, Northern Arizona Weather  Comments Off on Will Flagstaff escape the next round of severe cold?
Dec 302016
 
6-10 day temperature anomaly outlook from the Climate Prediction Center.

Snow is still on the way for the weekend, but the new question is how cold will Flagstaff be with next punishing cold wave. Current forecasts don’t look too bad. Temperatures in the low 30s for highs, and single digits for lows. But look at the outlook for the rest of the country!

6-10 day temperature anomaly outlook from the Climate Prediction Center.

6-10 day temperature anomaly outlook from the Climate Prediction Center.

The deeper shades of blue are not directly linked to lower temperatures, but the likelihood of below average temperatures. Most of Arizona will be 4-10 degrees below normal a week from today. Other parts of the West will be more than 20 degrees below normal.

Temperature anomaly for Friday night, January 6, 2017, from the GFS model at Tropical Tidbits.

Temperature anomaly for Friday night, January 6, 2017, from the GFS model at Tropical Tidbits.

 Posted by at 6:14 am

Full Circle – One-two punch back for weekend.

 Northern Arizona Weather  Comments Off on Full Circle – One-two punch back for weekend.
Dec 292016
 
Total snowfall through Sunday evening, January 1, 2017. From the GFS model at Tropical Tidbits.

Good Grief! Scattered light snow showers, maybe rain, with the chance of occasional heavy snow!

This morning the Navy model has flipped back to the one-two punch. The GFS model isn’t far behind. This winter continues to be one of the toughest to forecast.

Friday night into Saturday is the first round. Sunday is the second round. The Navy model has the second storm hitting the Flagstaff area harder than the GFS model does. Total accumulations shouldn’t be as great as last weekend, but could hamper travel.

For contrast, I have the total precipitation and snowfall model outputs through Sunday evening. You can see that a small shift in timing, direction and temperatures could make a big difference in accumulations. Travel through many parts of Arizona could be problematic.

Total precipitation through Sunday evening, January 1, 2017. From the GFS model at Tropical Tidbits.

Total precipitation through Sunday evening, January 1, 2017. From the GFS model at Tropical Tidbits.

Total snowfall through Sunday evening, January 1, 2017. From the GFS model at Tropical Tidbits.

Total snowfall through Sunday evening, January 1, 2017. From the GFS model at Tropical Tidbits.

 Posted by at 6:33 am

New Year’s Weekend outlook changes again

 Northern Arizona Weather, Winter Storms  Comments Off on New Year’s Weekend outlook changes again
Dec 282016
 
24-hour precipitation probability for Saturday from the Climate Prediction Center.

It looks like the computer models are focusing on a weaker version of last weekend. Just a few inches of snow are possible. Most likely, it will be on Saturday, with lighter precipitation on either side. In any case, I would be ready for winter weather this weekend, particularly if you are traveling. Here is the 24-hour precipitation probability for Saturday from the Climate Prediction Center.

24-hour precipitation probability for Saturday from the Climate Prediction Center.

24-hour precipitation probability for Saturday from the Climate Prediction Center.

The 6-10 and 8-14 day outlooks continue to look wetter than average. When I look at the long range computer models, I don’t see that trend. We’ll see what actually happens.

6-10 and 8-14 day precipiation outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center. (Dec. 27, 2016)

6-10 and 8-14 day precipiation outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center. (Dec. 27, 2016)

 Posted by at 7:07 am

Another complex forecast – New Year’s?

 Models, Northern Arizona Weather, Winter Storms  Comments Off on Another complex forecast – New Year’s?
Dec 272016
 
6-10 day precipitation anomaly outlook from the Climate Prediction Center, December 26, 2016.

The Navy NoGaps or NAVGEM model isn’t matching the GFS model again. But this time, it’s the other way around. The Navy model from this morning so a dry spell ahead with no repeat of last weekend. The GFS model shows a pair of major storms hitting Arizona again. The one-two punch of last week could still be repeated this weekend.

Rain and/or snow are in the forecast for Thursday through Monday. Travel could be difficult for the entire holiday weekend. The GFS model shows heavy snow hitting Sunday. Currently, the Climate Prediction Center outlooks call for above average precipitation for the next two weeks. The 6-10 day precipitation outlook is below.

Since Tuesday is the first day of this work week, we will see how things change by the end of the day today. December is already way above average for precipitation.

6-10 day precipitation anomaly outlook from the Climate Prediction Center, December 26, 2016.

6-10 day precipitation anomaly outlook from the Climate Prediction Center, December 26, 2016.

 Posted by at 6:33 am
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