Mar 042014
 

Last weeks storm provided some needed relief to many parts of Arizona. We didn’t get as much as expected. There is a chance for another bit of rain on Friday or Saturday. It isn’t steady in the computer models. But, the Climate Prediction Center posted a new one-month outlook.

One-month precipitation outlook from the Climate Prediction Center.

One-month precipitation outlook from the Climate Prediction Center.

Unfortunately, the Climate Prediction Center based this chart on the last storm being a bigger hit. So, we shouldn’t expect much more. From the discussion notes:

THE AREA OF FAVORED BELOW-MEDIAN PRECIPITATION HAS BEEN REMOVED AND THE FAVORED
ABOVE-MEDIAN PRECIPITATION AREA IS SHIFTED CONSIDERABLY SOUTH ACROSS THE
SOUTHWEST. THIS CHANGE REFLECTS IMPACTS VERY EARLY IN MARCH RATHER THAN ANY
CONFIDENCE IN A LONGER TERM PATTERN CHANGE OF WHAT HAS BEEN SO FAR A DRY WINTER
IN THESE AREAS.

 Posted by at 6:33 am
Mar 022014
 

The radar summary below from Intellicast tells the story. As band of rain and thunderstorms moved across the state, they were too far south. I don’t know about how you feel, but I don’t like being stuck in the middle between storm paths. There isn’t much more in the next week or so. Sorry.

Daily radar precipitation summary from Intellicast.com

Daily radar precipitation summary from Intellicast.com

 Posted by at 7:08 am
Feb 282014
 

As expected, temperatures around Flagstaff are warm this morning; in the upper 30s and low 40s. The outlook for snow is pretty weak because of the high temperatures. However, Arizona Snowbowl could receive 2-3 feet of new snow with this storm. The National Weather Service hasn’t posted any alerts, yet. If temperatures drop, our outlook could change.

HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FLAGSTAFF AZ
418 AM MST FRI FEB 28 2014

AZZ004>018-037>040-010900-
KAIBAB PLATEAU-MARBLE AND GLEN CANYONS-GRAND CANYON COUNTRY-
COCONINO PLATEAU-YAVAPAI COUNTY MOUNTAINS-
NORTHEAST PLATEAUS AND MESAS HWY 264 NORTHWARD-CHINLE VALLEY-
CHUSKA MOUNTAINS AND DEFIANCE PLATEAU-
LITTLE COLORADO RIVER VALLEY IN COCONINO COUNTY-
LITTLE COLORADO RIVER VALLEY IN NAVAJO COUNTY-
LITTLE COLORADO RIVER VALLEY IN APACHE COUNTY-
WESTERN MOGOLLON RIM-EASTERN MOGOLLON RIM-WHITE MOUNTAINS-
NORTHERN GILA COUNTY-YAVAPAI COUNTY VALLEYS AND BASINS-
OAK CREEK AND SYCAMORE CANYONS-BLACK MESA AREA-
NORTHEAST PLATEAUS AND MESAS SOUTH OF HWY 264-
418 AM MST FRI FEB 28 2014

THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR APACHE...COCONINO...
NORTHERN GILA...NAVAJO...AND YAVAPAI COUNTIES IN NORTHERN
ARIZONA.

.DAY ONE...TODAY AND TONIGHT

SHOWERS WILL SPREAD INTO COCONINO AND YAVAPAI COUNTIES BY THIS
AFTERNOON AS A STORM SYSTEM APPROACHES. STEADY PRECIPITATION WILL
THEN DEVELOP OVERNIGHT...WITH THE HEAVIEST AMOUNTS FROM THE
MOGOLLON RIM SOUTHWARD INTO YAVAPAI AND GILA COUNTIES. A FEW
THUNDERSTORMS ARE POSSIBLE OVERNIGHT. SOUTHWEST WINDS OF 15 TO 30
MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 40 MPH WILL ALSO CONTINUE THIS AFTERNOON
THROUGH TONIGHT. SNOW LEVELS REMAIN ABOVE 8000 TO 9000 FEET.

.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...SATURDAY THROUGH THURSDAY

SATURDAY AND SATURDAY NIGHT...MODERATE TO LOCALLY HEAVY
PRECIPITATION WILL CONTINUE WITH RAIN AND HIGH ELEVATION SNOW. A
FEW THUNDERSTORMS ARE ALSO EXPECTED SATURDAY.

STORM TOTAL PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS OF 1 TO 2 INCHES ARE EXPECTED
ALONG AND SOUTH OF THE MOGOLLON RIM...WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS.
WHILE WIDESPREAD FLOODING IS NOT EXPECTED...LOCALIZED MINOR
FLOODING OF POORLY DRAINED AREAS IS POSSIBLE...AS WELL AS RISES ON
CREEKS AND WASHES.

SNOW LEVELS ARE FORECAST TO REMAIN ABOVE 8000 FEET EARLY SATURDAY
MORNING...THEN FALL TO 6500 TO 7500 FEET BY SATURDAY AFTERNOON.
SNOW ACCUMULATIONS FROM SATURDAY TO SUNDAY MORNING BETWEEN 6000 TO
8000 FOOT ELEVATION WILL RANGE FROM 2 TO 6 INCHES...WITH MUCH
HEAVIER SNOW AMOUNTS EXPECTED OVER THE HIGHEST MOUNTAINS PEAKS.

DETAILS REGARDING SNOW LEVELS AND SNOW AMOUNTS ARE STILL SOMEWHAT
UNCERTAIN...PLEASE STAY TUNED FOR THE LATEST UPDATES AT
WWW.WEATHER.GOV/FLAGSTAFF
 Posted by at 4:38 am
Feb 252014
 

Thursday will usher in a wetter pattern. With the “polar vortex” moving into the Midwest and Eastern United States, our temperatures are going to stay warm until the weekend. We probably won’t see significant precipitation until Friday night. While the precipitation will continue until Monday, the intensity will drop during the day on Sunday. Since temperatures will be warm, I don’t know how much of the precipitation will fall as snow.

There will be a significant amount of moisture with this system. Here is the 5-day precipitation outlook from the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center. Notice the 2.5 inch peak precipitation amount. This won’t make up our 4 inch precipitation deficit to average since September, but it could nearly cut it in half. On another note, this storm will proceed to the east. It could be come a major spring storm.

5-day precipitation outlook, ending Sunday morning, 3-2-2014. From the National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center

5-day precipitation outlook, ending Sunday morning, 3-2-2014. From the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center

 Posted by at 4:22 am
Feb 222014
 

As we closer to the start of March, the storm track shifts to the south. A couple of storms had faded in and out of the models. Currently, the GFS and NoGAPs models for Saturday, March 1, align and show moderate storm moving quickly across Arizona.

Below is an image for the GFS model run by the National Center for Atmospheric Research. It shows up to half an inch of water falling around the Flagstaff area next Saturday.

GFS model for 6-hour precipitation outlook on Saturday, March 1, 2014.

GFS model for 6-hour precipitation outlook on Saturday, March 1, 2014.

We still have a week, so the outlook could change.

 Posted by at 6:47 am
Feb 112014
 

As most of the world seems buried in snow, Flagstaff and Sochi are basking in the sun. The East Coast is getting beat-up again today by another major winter storm. We shouldn’t see any snow for a while. We will see lost of sun courtesy of our friendly local high pressure system. Over the next few days, our high temperatures will climb from about 50 degrees today to the mid-60s for the weekend. Most of the records for this time frame are in this range. Wednesday’s is a bit lower at only 58. It could be close or we could easily blow past a couple.

Wednesday, February 12     58F
Thursday, February 13      68F
Friday, February 14        64F
Saturday, February 15      65F
Sunday, February 16        70F

Below is the temperature anomaly outlook for the next 3-7 days. New England suffers while the Southwest has an early taste of spring. Arizona is comfortably in the 15 degree F above average region. This could change at the end of next week.

3-7 day maximum temperature anomaly outlook from the National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center

3-7 day maximum temperature anomaly outlook from the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center

 Posted by at 6:43 am
Feb 052014
 

UPDATED: 5:45pm AZ time – See below

The Weather service is being clear about their expectations for the end of the week. On their forecast, they have Thursday night as the period with the heaviest precipitation. This is their Weather Story for today.

Snowfall outlook for the rest of the week, from the National Weather Service in Flagstaff

Snowfall outlook for the rest of the week, from the National Weather Service in Flagstaff

But the North American Mesoscale(NAM) model has us drawing a blank for the next few days. The lower resolution GFS model shows a situation similar to the Weather Story above. Aaarrrggghhh!

2-5 Inches is probably a good guess. At this point, 4-8 seems like a stretch. The computer models are often and by large amounts. We’ll see. It’s possible the next few days could be just like the last few.

UPDATE - So, just to make the point…. The NAM model has shifted tonight. We are back in the 3-8 inch range for snowfall amounts between now and midday Friday. All I can say is “Be ready.” It will probably snow. We may receive a decent amount.

North American Mesoscale Model forecast for precipitation between Wendesday evening and midday Friday. NOAA's Climate Prediction Center

North American Mesoscale Model forecast for precipitation between Wendesday evening and midday Friday. NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center

 Posted by at 7:04 am
Feb 032014
 

We continue to have a chance for snow over the next couple days. We should only get light accumulations. Temperatures will remain cooler than what we had experienced in January. A stronger storm remains in the forecast for Friday and Saturday. It won’t be a drought buster, but should bring us several inches of snow.

 Posted by at 6:23 am
Jan 312014
 

Finally, I real break in the storm pattern appears to be at the other end of next week. In the current GFS model run, the precipitation starts Thursday night and lingers into Saturday afternoon. On the map below, there is a very nice dark blue area over Flagstaff. This represents 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch of water, or roughly 6-8 inches of snow. Welcome back winter!

20140201-072928.jpg

 Posted by at 5:29 pm
Jan 312014
 

The slow-moving system that will affect us for the next few days isn’t packing a huge punch. But, it should break our dry run. Today and tomorrow, we should get an inch or two each day. On Monday, it could happen again.  It looks like the long-awaited break in the pattern is happening.

 Posted by at 6:51 am
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