Strong start to Monsoon Season on the way

 Climate, Monsoon, Northern Arizona Weather  Comments Off on Strong start to Monsoon Season on the way
Jun 252015
 

Recently, I noticed that the Wikipedia page on Monsoons wasn’t fond of referring to the North American Monsoon in the southwestern U.S. as a true monsoon.

Whether it is true or not, it looks like Flagstaff and most of Arizona will get a nice wet start to the season over the next week or so. Below is the 10-day precipitation outlook.

Ten day precipitation outlook from the GFS Model at the  Climate Prediction Center.

Ten day precipitation outlook from the GFS Model at the Climate Prediction Center.

 Posted by at 3:25 am

Model predicts typical start to Monsoon Season

 El Nino/La Nina, Models, Monsoon, Outlooks  Comments Off on Model predicts typical start to Monsoon Season
Jun 212015
 

I think I mentioned several times last summer NOAA’s GFS model predictions of the monsoon season impressed me.They seemed remarkable accurate. I say seemed, because I don’t think I ever did or saw any statistical analysis to prove it. We will see how they do this year.

For now, the model has the season walking slowly up to the season. If you remember last summer it started in earnest. This year, I think we will start to some thunderstorm action at the end of this week, but probably not the real start until closer to the 4th of July. This is normal.

The current El Nino conditions and the warm blob off the coast of California continue to cause me some concern. The image below is the most recent global sea surface anomaly picture from NOAA. There is plenty of warm water to generate the moisture needed for a strong monsoon season. I still worry that jet stream winds might not cooperate One of the reasons there are few strong Atlantic hurricanes in El Nino conditions is due to the high level winds that shear the tops of the clouds off as storms develop in the Atlantic or the Gulf of Mexico. Could these winds impede our monsoon season?

I don’t know. Also, I don’t think there is any clear data on any effect from El Ninos on monsoon precipitation. We will have to wait and see. For now, enjoy summer. The warm temperatures may not last long.

Global sea surfce temperature anomaly, June 18, 2015. (NOAA)

Global sea surfce temperature anomaly, June 18, 2015. (NOAA)

 Posted by at 5:47 am

Closer to normal June weather on the way

 Climate, El Nino/La Nina, Monsoon, Northern Arizona Weather, Outlooks  Comments Off on Closer to normal June weather on the way
Jun 142015
 

Through Sunday morning, we have received 1.14 inches of rainfall in June. This is a whopping inch over normal. While that is large rainfall for June, 1955 and 1956 are still well in the lead at 2.92 and 2.79. This is for the record since 1950. We could still beat these amounts depending on how the end of the month goes.

The next week or so isn’t going to help. Get ready for typical June weather. Sunny, warm days dominate the model outlook for the next week to 10 days. In Weather Underground’s outlook does not predict the dew point to drop much below 20. or fire conditions.

After 10 days, it’s hard to tell exactly what will happen. It looks like the annual moisture surge from the south will begin. There is plenty of warm water for drawing moisture. The Western Pacific Blob is remaining in place off the California Coast. El Nino conditions continue to strength around the Equator. If we can obtain and maintain the monsoon pattern we could have a wet season.

 Posted by at 9:47 pm

Severe weather marks end of monsoon season

 Monsoon, Northern Arizona Weather, Winter Storms  Comments Off on Severe weather marks end of monsoon season
Sep 272014
 

A strong cold front is crossing Arizona from west to east today. While the moisture is coming from the south, the cold front is a winter weather phenomenon for Arizona. We are expecting fast-moving thunderstorms with heavy rain and other severe weather. This is reminiscent of the storms on October 6, 2010.

The National Weather Service isn’t taking any chances. They have posted severe weather watches and warnings. Check their website for updates.

 

Weather Story from the National Weather Service (Septemer 27, 2014)

Weather Story from the National Weather Service (Septemer 27, 2014)

 Posted by at 7:02 am

There still seems to be a line, or two.

 Models, Monsoon, Northern Arizona Weather, Outlooks  Comments Off on There still seems to be a line, or two.
Sep 162014
 

I have zoomed in and cropped the image below. There is still a pronounced boundary to the heavy precipitation area. The precipitation scale is the same as in the earlier image in my last post. This is from a shorter range, high-resolution model. I think Flagstaff ends up in the 3/4 to 1 inch range. Notice that another boundary is forming along I-40 to the east. Stay tuned! There will be areas of Arizona receiving large amounts of precipitation over the next few days.

Cropped 72-hour total precipitation forecast from the North American Mesoscale computer model by the National Centers for Environmental Prediction. 16 September, 2014.

Cropped 72-hour total precipitation forecast from the North American Mesoscale computer model by the National Centers for Environmental Prediction. 16 September, 2014.

 Posted by at 6:49 am

Which side of the line will we be on?

 Models, Monsoon, Northern Arizona Weather  Comments Off on Which side of the line will we be on?
Sep 152014
 

Watching the GFS animation for the next 7 days this morning, I noticed a curious flow in the precipitation pattern. This flow reminded me of our last interaction with the remnants of a hurricane. Hurricane Norbert’s moisture missed us by traveling barely south of us. Next up for us are the remnants of Hurricane Odile. Currently, Odile is hitting Baja Mexico. Model predictions call for Odile’s moisture to move across most of Arizona. But, this morning’s GFS model for NOAA shows that a thin line might separate seriously wet areas from damp areas. We will have to keep watching to see where the water goes.

In the image below, I have added a yellow arrow to show the movement of precipitation. There is a large difference in the amounts to the southeast of the line and to the northwest of the line.

5-day total precipitation from the GFS model. Yellow arrow added for emphasis.

5-day total precipitation from the GFS model. Yellow arrow added for emphasis.

 Posted by at 6:34 am

Monsoon season isn’t over, yet.

 Hurricane, Monsoon, Northern Arizona Weather  Comments Off on Monsoon season isn’t over, yet.
Sep 112014
 

The newest 6-10 and 8-14 day precipitation outlooks show wet conditions continuing. We should be dry today and Friday. There is a chance for showers over the weekend and into early next week. Sometime in the second half of next week, tropical storm, soon hurricane, Odile will deliver more moisture to Arizona.

8-14 day precipitation outlook form the Climate Prediction Center, September 10, 2014.

8-14 day precipitation outlook from the Climate Prediction Center, September 10, 2014.

5-day outlook for Tropical Storm Odile. From wunderground.com, September 11, 2014.

5-day outlook for Tropical Storm Odile. From wunderground.com, September 11, 2014.

 Posted by at 6:28 am

That was disappointing?

 Monsoon, Northern Arizona Weather  Comments Off on That was disappointing?
Sep 092014
 

Mother nature decided to blow the forecast away. There was a ton of moisture in Arizona’s atmosphere. Below is an image from Intellicast.com that shows an estimate of daily precipitation based on radar imagery. If you compare this image to from the National Weather Service, you can see that things didn’t turn out to forecast. The bulk of the moisture hit to the south of Flagstaff. The dry area shifted much farther to the west from the forecast in that image. Still for the summer we are way ahead on precipitation. Also, it doesn’t look like the monsoon season is quite finished, yet.

Estimated daily precipitation based on radar. From Intellicast.com.

Estimated daily precipitation based on radar. From Intellicast.com.

Weather Story from the National Weather Service in Flagstaff

Weather Story from the National Weather Service in Flagstaff

 Posted by at 6:51 am

What do you do when Norbert comes to town?

 Hurricane, Models, Monsoon, Northern Arizona Weather  Comments Off on What do you do when Norbert comes to town?
Sep 052014
 

We will be entering another wet period this weekend. It will last through the first half of next week. The moisture is a result of an Eastern Pacific hurricane named Norbert. Norbert is tracking up the west coast of Baja Mexico. This morning, Norbert is west of the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula. Below is an animated GIF of the GFS Model for the next 4 days. It shows 24-hour predicted precipitation in daily intervals. You can see Norbert in the animation. He’s bringing plenty of moisture to Arizona.

Animation of 24-hour total precipitation, September 5-9, 2014. (GFS Model, NCEP Central Operations)

Animation of 24-hour total precipitation, September 5-9, 2014. (GFS Model, NCEP Central Operations)

 Posted by at 6:46 am

New September Outlook

 Monsoon, Northern Arizona Weather  Comments Off on New September Outlook
Sep 032014
 

Reinforcing my post from yesterday. The Climate Prediction Center released their new September outlook. We are looking at above average precipitation. Add to this the 6-10 and 8-14 day precipitation outlooks, and they have painted a very wet picture for us this month. Moisture is already flowing our way. Look for thunderstorms to start tomorrow and go through the middle of next week. We may have dry days mixed with the wet days.

September 2014 precipitation outlook from the Clilmate Prediction Center.

September 2014 precipitation outlook from the Climate Prediction Center.

 Posted by at 6:20 am
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