Jan 132012
 

The Weather Story image from the National Weather Service this morning tells an interesting story. With our earlier storm in the fall, we saw much the same pattern as depicted below. The key was always where the systems came together. Lately, this has been farther to the east.

Weather Story from the National Weather Service - 1-13-2012

Weather Story from the National Weather Service - 1-13-2012

I think we will see a few inches of snow from this system on Sunday night or Monday. While this is a small storm, it could mark a change in the pattern.

On a new front, I noticed a change on my Storm Glass. It has crystals floating on top of the liquid. According to the guide, this indicates thunderstorms. At least it is a change. My Shark Oil Barometer has been cloudy ever since I removed it from the sun. You can check both instruments out on my Shark Oil Barometer page.

Shark Oil Baromter, Admiral Fitzroy's Storm Glass and my weather station console.

Shark Oil Barometer, Admiral Fitzroy's Storm Glass and my weather station console.

 

 Posted by at 6:54 am
Mar 162011
 

Sadly, it looks like it’s going to happen. We’ve had a very mild March, so far. For the first half of the month temperatures are running 3.6 degrees above normal. A nice change from the very cold Februry. But, we are also 1.26 inches below normal on precipitation. But, don’t worry. Colder temperatures, winds, clouds and snow are all on the way.

For Thursday, many forecasts are including a chance of rain. I think we will get clouds, at best, and wind. Temperatures will be slightly cooler, but still above average. The weather will degrade from Saturday through early next week. Cooler temperatures will lead us to Monday when snow will be on tap. It should be only a few inches, but it’s a long way in the future still. Beyond that, it looks like there is a chance at a few storms moving through the area during the rest of the month.

 Posted by at 5:23 am
Sep 302010
 

And what about the moisture flow from the Tropics? It looks like we aren’t quite done. Here is a picture of the Hurricane season to date, compared to 1998. They are remarkably similar.

1998-2010 Hurricane Season

1998-2010 Hurricane Season

Most forecasters say there is more to come in the next few weeks. For Arizona, there is an increasing chance of rain for the weekend and through next week. It looks like precipitation amounts will be light. There could be some general area coverage, though. Also, expect temperatures to start to decrease over the next few days.

The shark oil barometer has become cloudy as well. It doesn’t seem to predict monsoonal storms, but we are leaving that pattern behind. The rain, if any, we see in the next few days will be less monsoonal in nature.

Shark Oil Barometer

Shark Oil Barometer

 Posted by at 6:48 am
Jan 272010
 

A little delayed, but we will probably see 3-8 inches from today’s storm. There is another dry system to move through over the weekend.  Then again in the early to middle of next week. The next big system is looking to be around 9-10 February. The Climate Prediction Center shows this for the outlook at that time:

8-14 Day Precipitation Outlook - Climate Prediction Center

8-14 Day Precipitation Outlook - Climate Prediction Center

Computer models beyond 14 days show a fairly strong system capable of producing double digit (in inches)  snowfalls.

 Posted by at 6:41 am
Jan 222010
 

While it continues to snows, here is an update from the National Weather Service. The radar estimate that I had hoped to publish was so inaccurate, it isn’t worth it. Reports of chest deep snow abound. Still, another 10-20 inches is predicted for Flagstaff today. And, there is another storm, albeit nothing by comparison, due on Tuesday night…and next weekend. The storm door may be open for a while.

Month to date, Flagstaff has had over 4 and a half inches of precipitation, nearly 3 times normal, roughly 38 inches of snow, nearly 3 times normal. Yesterday was a record breaking 19.6 official inches of snow, for another record breaking 3.39 inches of water.

NOUS45 KFGZ 221629
 PNSFGZ
 
 PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
 NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FLAGSTAFF AZ
 925 AM MST FRI JAN 22 2010
 
 ...A MASSIVE STORM SYSTEM BROUGHT NEAR RECORD RAIN...SNOW...AND 
 FLOODING TO MUCH OF NORTHERN ARIZONA WEDNESDAY NIGHT THROUGH 
 FRIDAY...
 
 A VERY SEVERE WINTER STORM MOVED INTO NORTHERN ARIZONA 
 WEDNESDAY NIGHT AND CONTINUED THROUGH FRIDAY. THIS STORM FOLLOWED 
 DIRECTLY AFTER TWO OTHER STRONG WINTER STORMS EARLIER IN THE WORK 
 WEEK.
 
 HEAVY SNOW BEGAN WEDNESDAY EVENING OVER THE MOGOLLON RIM AND AT 
 UNUSUALLY LOW ELEVATIONS SOUTH OF THE MOGOLLON RIM IN YAVAPAI AND 
 GILA COUNTIES.
 
 SNOW LEVELS ROSE RAPIDLY THURSDAY AFTERNOON TO ABOVE 7000 FEET. 
 DURING THIS TIME PERIOD...WIDESPREAD RAIN DEVELOPED FROM THE 
 MOGOLLON RIM SOUTHWARD AND PRODUCED SEVERE FLOODING A FEW LOCATIONS.
 
 A POWERFUL COLD FRONT SWEPT ACROSS THE STATE THURSDAY 
 NIGHT...LOWERING SNOW LEVELS BACK DOWN TO 4000 TO 4500 FEET. VERY 
 STRONG WINDS OCCURRED WITH THE COLD FRONT CAUSING CONSIDERABLE 
 BLOWING AND DRIFTING OF SNOW...AND COMPLICATING THE DIRECT 
 MEASUREMENT OF SNOWFALL.
 
 BELOW ARE SOME RAIN...SNOW...AND WIND REPORTS FROM THIS STORM.
 
 WE ARE CONTINUING TO COLLECT SNOW AND RAIN TOTALS...AN UPDATED LIST 
 WILL BE SENT SHORTLY. OVER MUCH OF THE HIGHER TERRAIN OF THE 
 MOGOLLON RIM...CONSIDERABLE SNOW FELL ON THURSDAY FOLLOWED BY A 
 PERIOD OF MODERATE RAIN DURING THE AFTERNOON. RAIN CHANGED BACK TO 
 SNOW LATE IN THE EVENING WITH CONSIDERABLE BLOWING AND DRIFTING.
 
 FLAGSTAFF AREA SNOW REPORTS...SINCE WEDNESDAY NIGHT:
 
 DONEY PARK (EAST FLAG)    30 TO 35 INCHES (9 AM MST)
 BELLEMONT NWS OFFICE      27 INCHES (5 AM MST)
 FLAGSTAFF AIRPORT         28 INCHES (5 AM MST)
 FLAGSTAFF AREA SPOTTERS   25 TO 35 INCHES (9 AM MST)
 12 MILES N. PARKS         28 INCHES (7 AM MST)
 
 REPORTS FROM THURSDAY EVENING THROUGH FRIDAY MORNING:
 
 MCNARY 2N                 17 INCHES (7 AM MST)
 JACOB LAKE                12 TO 16 INCHES (9 AM MST)
 SHOW LOW                  15 INCHES (7 AM MST)
 HEBER                     12 TO 13 INCHES (9 AM MST)
 FLAGSTAFF AREA            10 TO 12 INCHES (8 AM MST) 
 MUNDS PARK                9 INCHES (7 AM MST)
 CHINO VALLEY              6.5 INCHES (7 AM MST)
 CONCHO                    6 INCHES (7 AM MST)
 PAYSON                    3.0 TO 5.5 INCHES (7 AM MST)
 WEST PRESCOTT             4 INCHES (9 AM MST)
 BLACK MESA (WHITEGRASS)   3 INCHES (9 AM MST)
 
 STORM SYSTEM TOTALS SINCE MONDAY EVENING ON THE WESTERN MOGOLLON RIM 
 CURRENTLY RANGE FROM 40 TO 60 INCHES. 
 
 STORM PRECIPITATION (RAIN OR MELTED SNOW) SINCE WEDNESDAY TOTALS:
 
 WET BOTTOM CREEK NEAR CHILDS 10.03 INCHES (500 AM MST)
 CHERRY CREEK NEAR GLOBE       8.06 INCHES (500 AM MST)
 CROWN KING                    7.63 INCHES (500 AM MST)
 SUNSET POINT                  7.61 INCHES (500 AM MST)
 TONTO CREEK FISH HATCHERY     6.01 INCHES (500 AM MST)
 OAK CREEK CANYON              5.62 INCHES (500 AM MST)
 PLEASANT VALLEY               4.17 INCHES (500 AM MST)
 SEDONA AIRPORT                4.11 INCHES (500 AM MST)
 PAYSON                        4.03 TO 5.3 INCHES (500 AM MST)
 MUNDS PARK                    3.70 INCHES (900 AM MST)
 BAGDAD                        3.50 INCHES (500 AM MST) 
 HAPPY JACK                    3.59 TO 4.1 INCHES (500 AM MST) 
 IRON SPRINGS                  3.31 INCHES (500 AM MST) 
 FLAGSTAFF AIRPORT             2.89 INCHES (500 AM MST) 
 MORMON LAKE                   2.41 INCHES (500 AM MST) 
 SKULL VALLEY                  2.35 INCHES (500 AM MST) 
 PRESCOTT                      2.27 INCHES (500 AM MST) 
 WINDOW ROCK                   1.98 INCHES (500 AM MST) 
 WINSLOW                       1.34 INCHES (500 AM MST)  
 PAGE                          0.88 INCHES (500 AM MST)
 Posted by at 10:40 am
Jan 222010
 

The assumptions have to change. At this point, yesterday’s trivia question is invalid. The flight was cancelled and replaced. The current assumption is that the driver will leave at 5pm from Phoenix, Sky Harbor Airport.

Things have calmed down this morning, but there is an on-going chance for more snow. Hopefully, just a few inches will fall so people can catch up. I’ll try to post a picture of radar estimated precipitation later this morning.

 Posted by at 6:06 am
Jan 212010
 

I seriously doubt it. One set of model runs on Thursday made it appear that all the precipitation was going to be to the south of Flagstaff. Not this morning.

48 hour precipitation total - NAM Model - Climate Prediction Center

48 hour precipitation total - NAM Model - Climate Prediction Center

I still think those deeper yellows and oranges are to the south, but, maybe not. Here are some numbers from various sources:

Accuweather.com            32.9 inches
Intellicast.com            13-20 inches
Wunderground.com           28-48 inches (with more hevy snow overnight Friday night - Saturday morning)
NOAA Graphical            ~31.6 inches
National Weather Service   25-41 inches

There is a chance for a break from snow to rain this afternoon or evening.

No matter how you slice it, there is going to be a lot of snow. It could be very heavy and wet. Please, take care and be safe.

Here is a trivia question. If someone leaves the Phoenix airport at 2pm on Friday, January 22, 2010 at 2pm, how long will it be until the arrive at the Pulliam Airport exit in Flagstaff? Assume the driver have 15 years experience driving in Arizona and is driving a red Jeep Wrangler.

Here is the WINTER STORM WARNING from the National Weather Service. Keep in mind they have been as close to perfect on their forecasts this winter

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FLAGSTAFF AZ
433 AM MST THU JAN 21 2010

AZZ015-211945-
/O.EXT.KFGZ.WS.W.0002.000000T0000Z-100123T1900Z/
WESTERN MOGOLLON RIM-
INCLUDING THE CITY OF...FLAGSTAFF
433 AM MST THU JAN 21 2010

...WINTER STORM WARNING NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON MST SATURDAY
ABOVE 6500 FEET...

THE WINTER STORM WARNING IS NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON MST
SATURDAY.

* TIMING: SNOW WILL CONTINUE...HEAVY AT TIMES...THROUGH AT LEAST
  FRIDAY EVENING. PRECIPITATION WILL BECOME MORE SHOWERY BY
  SATURDAY.

* SNOW LEVELS: SNOW LEVELS WILL SLOWLY RISE TO AROUND 7000 FEET BY
  LATE THIS AFTERNOON. RAIN MAY MIX WITH SNOW BELOW 7500 FEET IN
  THE EVENING...SNOW LEVELS WILL THEN FALL RAPIDLY BY LATE
  THURSDAY EVENING.

* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS: EXPECT 2 TO 4 FEET OF SNOW BY SATURDAY ABOVE
  6500 FEET...WITH 3 TO 5 FEET ABOVE 7000 FEET.

* OTHER IMPACTS: STRONG WINDS TONIGHT WILL BRING NEAR BLIZZARD
  CONDITIONS WITH WHITE-OUT VISIBILITIES AND DAMAGING WINDS
  POSSIBLE.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WINTER STORM WARNING MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE
EXPECTED OR OCCURRING...DUE TO SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW AND
STRONG WINDS PRODUCING LIMITED VISIBILITIES.

DRIVING WILL BE EXTREMELY DANGEROUS DURING THIS STORM. IF
POSSIBLE...POSTPONE TRAVELING IN THE WARNING AREA UNTIL THIS
STORM PASSES.

IF YOU MUST TRAVEL TAKE EMERGENCY SUPPLIES THAT INCLUDE WINTER
CLOTHING...FOOD...WATER AND A FLASHLIGHT. FOR THE LATEST ROAD
CONDITIONS AND CLOSURES...CALL THE ADOT FREEWAY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
AT 1 888 411 7623 OR VISIT THEIR WEB SITE AT WWW.AZ511.COM.
ADDITIONAL WEATHER INFORMATION IS ON THE WEB AT
WWW.WEATHER.GOV/FLAGSTAFF.
 Posted by at 4:55 am
Jan 202010
 

Where to begin today? I will probably make a couple posts today.

The Main Event is still on track for tomorrow. The biggest worry seems to be around the possibility of some rain in the middle of the heavy snow.

First, earlier this week, I asked the Kachina Peaks Avalanche Center if they could provide a comment on avalanche concerns after such a heavy snow this week. They have some great education materials on their site. They put me in touch with the Search and Rescue Unit at the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office. Here is a link to their statement about avalanche hazards that they released on Tuesday:

Avalanche Hazard January 19, 2010

If you go into the back country, or if you are just curious, take look.

3-4 Inches of water is on tap for Flagstaff for Thursday and Friday. How is comes is tricky. A band of warm air is going to try to move through on Thursday afternoon-evening. Still, I think we are looking at 3-4 feet of snow for Friday. More on this tonight and tomorrow morning.

Hopefully, the weekend will allow for a good dig-out. I’ve got my snow rake ready to go for my roof. Again, please let me know about your snow reports.

 Posted by at 6:05 am
Jan 172010
 

In case you missed it: WINTER STORM WATCH from the National Weather Service. It will probably be upgraded to a warning.

SEE UPDATE AT BOTTOM OF POST:

Here is a look at the GFS precipitation model through midday Tuesday.

Precipitation through midday Tuesday - GFS Model

Precipitation through midday Tuesday - GFS Model

Flagstaff looks to be in the 1 – 1.5 inch range here. Using the rough estimate of 1 inch of water equals 10 inches of snow, this would be 10-15 inches.

Here is the same graph for the NAM Model.

Precipitation through midday Tuesday - NAM Model

Precipitation through midday Tuesday - NAM Model

This seems to have Flagstaff in the 0.75-1.0 inch range, or 8-10 inches of snow. Keep in mind that heavy wet snow and light dry snow will have different volumes. In either case, this is a fairly good sized storm.

The real story is that it doesn’t stop there. Tuesday night and Wednesday night are going to be similar to Monday night. Thursday holds a little shift to the game. The storm that hits then will be warmer when it starts. We could see rain up to 8000 feet for the start of the storm before snow levels drop. This last storm could bring several inches of water. What a mess that will be.

The Shark Oil Barometer was still clear at noon today. Bet it won’t be tomorrow at noon.

The National Weather Service in Flagstaff needs your snow reports. Here is a pdf that tells you how to report:

snowreports.pdf (mirrored on my site)

snowreports.pdf (on the NWS site)

UPDATE Monday, January 18 from the National Weather Service:

FOR THE MOUNTAIN LOCATIONS (ON THURSDAY AND FRIDAY)
YAVAPAI COUNTY MOUNTAINS...MOGOLLON RIM AND WHITE MOUNTAINS...IF
SCENARIO ONE (WARM AND WET)...THEN THERE WOULD BE THE POSSIBILITY OF
1 TO 3 FEET OF WET HEAVY SNOW...SCENARIO TWO (COLDER AND WET) THEN
THERE WOULD BE THE POSSIBILITY OF 2 TO 5 FEET OF SNOW.
 Posted by at 8:01 pm
Jan 042010
 

Two reviews are here. First, an update on changes to the blog. Second, a review of December.

While fighting a cold through-out the Christmas vacation period, I was able to bring a new look to the blog pages. Here are the big changes:

  1. Changed to the new Suffusion Theme for WordPress. This is a much cleaner look with greater functionality. Navigation should be easier. From an administration point of view, it is much easier to set up and have it look the way I want.
  2. Wrote a program for a widget that is providing the Shark Oil Barometer pic in the upper right corner. This is a much cleaner way to get it into the page. I am working on publishing the “widget” or “plugin” on WordPress.org.
  3. Added more mobile support for devices other than iPhones and iTouches. Blackberries and other mobile devices should be better viewers for the blog at this point.

Ah, December. Bone chilling cold comes to mind. There were 5 days in December when the average daily temperature was above historic average. On the other extreme, there were 8 days when the average daily temperature was 10 or more degrees below the historic average. For the month overall,

Average Daily High Temperature:      37.3F
Average Daily Low Temperature:       11.2F
Average Daily Mean Temperature:      24.9F
Departure from Normal Mean:          -5.9F

That’s nearly 6F below normal. We will have to wait to see how it stacks up for Flagstaff from a long term view. But, December 2009 was colder than the 5 previous Decembers. The snowfall on December 7th was a record for that day, and the 8th largest single day snowfall Flagstaff has recorded. Overall for the month, we recieved 31 inches of snow, or 2.85 inches of water. That is more than an inch over average.

Will it continue into the New Year? At least not  at the start. Clear and seasonable are the words for the next week.

One last look at Decmber 2009

One last look at Decmber 2009 - Wunderground.com

 Posted by at 4:56 am
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