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
Jan 292014
 

Just, exactly far enough south to give us a break.I must’ve told half a dozen people over the next week that it looked like it would be weeks before we saw any wet weather. Looks like that did the trick. Please, if you could, do something to help it snow. Wash your car, put away your snow shovels and blowers.

It looks like this week’s storm will have two parts to it. The first part will hit on Friday. The second part will hit Saturday night into Sunday. Scattered light precipitation could fall in between and linger in the area afterwards. There isn’t much water in either part. At best, it looks like either storm could produce a few inches of snow. Any precipitation will occur only the higher elevations of Northern Arizona. The San Francisco Peaks could see more.

Hopefully, this will represent a longer term shift. Currently, when the storms leave, we return to high pressure and warm, sunny conditions. The very long-range output of the GFS model has wetter conditions.

 Posted by at 6:34 am
Jan 162014
 

Just as the long-range models started to look positive, the National Weather Service posts these three images on their Flagstaff webpage. If that doesn’t lock us into some precipitation in the next 7-14 days, nothing will. (Except maybe everyone washing their cars!)

Dry Spell Stats from National Weather Service - Flagstaff

Dry Spell Stats from National Weather Service – Flagstaff (1-16-14)

Late January Outlook from National Weather Service - Flagstaff

Late January Outlook from National Weather Service – Flagstaff

Dry Weather Pattern from National Weather Service Flagstaff

Dry Weather Pattern from National Weather Service Flagstaff

 Posted by at 7:36 pm
Jan 132014
 

The short, medium and long-term outlooks for Arizona have a fairly common theme, sunny and warmer than normal. This mornings 16-day outlook on the GFS model paints a distinctive picture. This model forecasts high pressure to rule the rest of the month. This is always subject to change. But the jet stream is very far to the north. As a result, the storm track is nowhere near Arizona. We shouldn’t expect snow anytime soon.

384-hour (16-day) precipitation outlook. GFS model at the Climate Prediction Center.

384-hour (16-day) precipitation outlook. GFS model at the Climate Prediction Center.

 Posted by at 6:41 am
Jan 092014
 

The jet stream is very far to the north. The cut-off low didn’t materialize. Shame on all of you driving dirty cars. What we have is what we will have.

There is something way out, 12-14 days. But, that is a far in the future. Seasonable temperatures and mostly sunny with a few cloudy times is our outlook.

 Posted by at 6:59 am
Jan 072014
 

Teams without a clear mission will often become lazy. Bloggers without clear computer models will often become lazy.

I taunted everyone last Friday with a potential storm for the end of this week. Each time I check the computer models that I rely on, I see something different. This morning, we are back in the highly unlikely mode. Last night, things were looking highly likely mode. The outlook just keeps bouncing around.

I think these the occurrence of a cut-off low in our area is causing these changes. These are very difficult to predict. Occurrence, timing and amounts seems to fool the computers. I believe it is one of the last big challenges for our computer models.

So, let’s look at some nonsensical, but often very accurate, reliable indicators.

  • I drove my white car back from Phoenix to Flagstaff yesterday. My white car is rear wheel drive. So, I don’t like it to drive it in the snow. I plan to drive it back to Phoenix on Thursday or Friday. This is an indicator for some snow. A couple of inches at least.
  • My friend Nicky S. from the UK called me yesterday to let me know she will be in town. She will drive to Flagstaff on Thursday. This is normally a strong indicator for snow. Unfortunately, she rented a 4-wheel drive car. This is a detractor. Fortunately, Nicky has a good heart and wants to ski this weekend. In the balance, I figure that is worth¬† a few inches in town and more on the mountain.
  • I believe I will wash one of my cars tonight or tomorrow. Another great way to make it snow.

If everyone does their part and washes their car, which is still dirty from the last storm, this will have a profound effect. Either you will proudly drive your clean car around town this weekend, or you will watch it get dirty with snow on Thursday and Friday. Either way, it’s a win. I urge everyone to avoid activities like stocking up on wood near your fireplace or wood stove. These activities would cut the chances of snow.

 

 Posted by at 6:56 am
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