Wet Relief on the Way

 Northern Arizona Weather, Outlooks, Winter Storms  Comments Off on Wet Relief on the Way
Jan 082018
 
Total snow precipitation through Wednesday afternoon, January 10, 2018, from the GFS model at TropicalTidbits.com.

Monday night through Wednesday afternoon, the storm door will open and allow both rain and snow into Flagstaff. It will be a very wet storm. It could bring as much as 1.5 inches of water to the Northland. Unfortunately, snow will be limited, and the next storm won’t make it through until about 2 weeks later. California’s and southwestern Colorado’s mountains will get considerable snow accumulations.

Total water precipitation through Wednesday afternoon, January 10, 2018, from the GFS model at TropicalTidbits.com.

Total water precipitation through Wednesday afternoon, January 10, 2018, from the GFS model at TropicalTidbits.com.

 

Total snow precipitation through Wednesday afternoon, January 10, 2018, from the GFS model at TropicalTidbits.com.

Total snow precipitation through Wednesday afternoon, January 10, 2018, from the GFS model at TropicalTidbits.com.

 Posted by at 12:03 pm

Change within a week. I remain doubtful.

 Models, Northern Arizona Weather, Outlooks, Winter Storms  Comments Off on Change within a week. I remain doubtful.
Jan 022018
 
6-10 day precipitation outlook for January 8-12 from the Climate Prediction Center.

Since my last post, the GFS and NAVGEM model have been indicating a change in the storm pattern. They don’t always match on the intensity and timing. One thing that seems to be consistent is mostly rain, not snow, falling. The temperatures will remain elevated for Arizona.

Currently, there is little chance for something this weekend. A considerable chance for something around the middle of next week. The strongest chance is around the following weekend. Of course, it’s the farthest out, which reduces the probability of it becoming a reality. The Climate Prediction Center sums it up nicely in the 6-10 and 8-14 day outlooks. The very dark greens moved into the 6-10 day outlook yesterday. I hope it’s real and it’s snow.

One thought: Since it’s been mostly warm and dry. It might be a good time to recheck your winter readiness. Your clothes, your car, your home…etc.

6-10 day precipitation outlook for January 8-12 from the Climate Prediction Center.

6-10 day precipitation outlook for January 8-12 from the Climate Prediction Center.

 

8-14 day precipitation outlook for January 10-16 from the Climate Prediction Center.

8-14 day precipitation outlook for January 10-16 from the Climate Prediction Center.

 Posted by at 11:17 pm

Just a bit more than a week away…again

 Models, Northern Arizona Weather, Winter Storms  Comments Off on Just a bit more than a week away…again
Dec 292017
 
12 Hour precipitation total for the morning of January 9, 2018. (From the GFS Model at TropicalTidbits.com)

As if to make my point from my last post, the 6-10 and 8-14 day outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center now have a significant shift in the precipitation outlook. In other words, in a bit more than a week, precipitation could fall.

Precipitation outlooks, 6-10 and 8-14 day, from the Climate Prediction Center on December 29, 2017.

Precipitation outlooks, 6-10 and 8-14 day, from the Climate Prediction Center on December 29, 2017.

This could make sense. The recent move of cold air to the eastern US is a big shift in pressure systems. The current outlook also has it staying in place, more or less, during this time frame. This could be the kick in the pants needed. However, this would also keep warm temperatures in Arizona. Which leads to a bit of a problem.

12 Hour precipitation total for the morning of January 9, 2018. (From the GFS Model at TropicalTidbits.com)

12 Hour precipitation total for the morning of January 9, 2018. (From the GFS Model at TropicalTidbits.com)

The GFS model is showing rain, not snow. These outlooks have been very unreliable for the last month. I continue to have a dubious view of long range outlooks during holiday times. On the other hand, the US Navy’s NAVGEM (NoGaps) model also shows the high pressure breaking down at the end of next week, potentially opening the storm door. The alignment of the two models is promising.

I feel like this post is a roller coaster. Kinda like the long-range outlooks.

 Posted by at 10:27 pm

Do Not Read This White Christmas Post!!!

 Northern Arizona Weather, White Christmas, Winter Storms  Comments Off on Do Not Read This White Christmas Post!!!
Dec 122017
 

Hoffnung entspringt der Ewigkeit. (Hope springs eternal)

There continues to be a chance for at least a bit of snow around Christmas time. Although, still two weeks away, the computer models keep putting in a storm the weekend before. And, as a special treat, there is a storm a day or two after, too. Hopefully, this will break down the storm door and change up the winter for a while.

I’m still not sure I buy it. But, Hopefully, it will be a very snowy week!

I told you not to read this post.

Predicted snow/rain for the morning of Saturday, September 23, 2017 from the GFS Model. (at Tropicaltidbits.com)

Forecasted snow and rain for the morning of Saturday, September 23, 2017 from the GFS Model. at Tropicaltidbits.com.

 

Forecasted rain and snow on Tuesday Evening, December 26, 2017 from the GFS model at TropicalTidbits.com.

Forecasted rain and snow on Tuesday Evening, December 26, 2017 from the GFS model at TropicalTidbits.com.

 Posted by at 12:58 pm

Another Ridiculously Resilient Ridge, or just La Nina

 El Nino/La Nina, White Christmas, Winter Storms  Comments Off on Another Ridiculously Resilient Ridge, or just La Nina
Dec 052017
 

JJ challenged me to comment on Facebook about a post from WeatherWest.com about the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge from a few years back. This was the weather system that gave California a long drought, and robbed Arizona of a good El Nino winter. The blob of warm water disappeared and the ridge went with it. I still think it is not clear which came first the ridge or the blob. Yada, yada, yada…Here is what the global sea surface temperatures looked like back then.

Global sea surface temperature anomaly animation, August 5, 2015. From Climate Prediction Center.

Global sea surface temperature anomaly animation, August 5, 2015. From Climate Prediction Center.

This winter, things look different.

Global sea surface temperatures and anomalies, November 29, 2017. (From the Climate Prediction Center.)

Global sea surface temperatures and anomalies, November 29, 2017. (From the Climate Prediction Center.)

First, look at the cold blue water off the Pacific coast of South America. A significant La Nina is underway this year. Typically, La Ninas make Arizona warmer and drier than average, where as El Ninos make it warmer and wetter. (Notice how everything makes it warmer? hmm.)

Now, look at the difference in off the Pacific coast North America. The blob is the more northern of the two red zones. Today, it is replaced by a cold patch. Off the SoCal coast is a diffuse warm region.

In short, now looks nothing like back then.

This winter is probably going to continue mostly dry. After 7-8 years of repeatedly above average precipitation for Northern Arizona, we are sadly due for a dry spell. Still a single break in the action can turn that frown, upside down. That break is not in sight. The likelihood of a White Christmas is very low.

The East Coast is in for a very cold December.

 Posted by at 12:00 pm

Little pink dot means?

 Northern Arizona Weather, Winter Storms  Comments Off on Little pink dot means?
Mar 202017
 
Total precipitation outlook for the rest of March 2017,from the GFS Model. (Tropicaltidbits.com)

Check out the image below. The little pink dot over the Flagstaff means that there is still a chance for March to have normal, or even a bit above normal precipitation. Even with the warm temperatures over the weekend, there is a change coming. The storm track will be crossing Arizona for the rest of the month. Temperatures will drop slowly during the rest of the month. This means the first storm will start as rain on Wednesday. Any snow will probably be wet. Future storms should be colder and snowier.

Total precipitation outlook for the rest of March 2017,from the GFS Model. (Tropicaltidbits.com)

Total precipitation outlook for the rest of March 2017,from the GFS Model. (Tropicaltidbits.com)

 Posted by at 11:40 am

Wetter ab dem Wochenende: Die Wettermodelle sind sich überhaupt nicht einig

 Models, Northern Arizona Weather, Winter Storms  Comments Off on Wetter ab dem Wochenende: Die Wettermodelle sind sich überhaupt nicht einig
Feb 152017
 

Reader: Stu, that title is in German.

Stu: I know, but it will make sense later on.

Bis Freitag scheinen sich die Wettermodelle noch sehr einig zu sein, was am Wetterhimmel passiert. Aber schon am Wochenende sind sie sich schon nicht mehr einig, die Temperaturspanne wird breiter. Und in der nächsten Woche liegen die Prognosen derzeit sogar 20 Grad auseinander. Das Wetter weiß noch nicht, wohin die Reise geht. Winter oder Frühling? Beides ist noch möglich. (wetter.de)

The computer models have been crazy with changes lately. As I read this brief story yesterday on wetter.de, it appeared very relevant to me. The computer models for the Southwestern US have been subjects to wild swings when predicting precipitation for the rest of the month, let alone this weekend.  According to this brief article, there is a 20 degree C difference between computer model runs. That means it could be sunny and 68 degree F on Saturday, or it could be freezing. I’m hoping for warm, and we are heading to Bamberg to test drive smoked beer.

This weekend will be wet, and the rain and possible snow will continue through Tuesday. Snow levels will start high, but drop through this time. Snowbowl should get a nice recharge. Somewhere between 1 and 2 inches of precipitation will probably fall between now and the middle of next week.

If you go to Google translate, you can copy and past the German text above and get a rough translation.

 Posted by at 11:17 pm

Two wet weekends ahead

 Northern Arizona Weather, Winter Storms  Comments Off on Two wet weekends ahead
Feb 082017
 
US Navy NAVGEM model for precipitation rates, Saturday evening, February 12, 2017. (from Tropical Tidbits)

The pattern for the rest of February is looking similar to the holidays. Very unstable and hard to predict, but with a few chances for significant rain and snow.

The first serious round is shaping up for this weekend. The timing, length and intensity keep shifting. This is due to a cut-off low forming after the first storm line moves across Flagstaff. If the cut-off low forms mostly over Arizona, the rain will become snow and stick around longer. If it forms east of Arizona, then Flagstaff will get it’s scraps. The current GFS model run shows mostly rain falling on Saturday afternoon and evening, and then we get table scraps. A GFS run earlier today had a strong impact from Saturday evening through Tuesday morning with snow after Sunday morning. The Navy NAVGEM model predicts a stronger and longer storm.

The next, and probably stronger storm, is focusing on the following weekend. If the outlook continues as it is now, it will bring many forms of precipitation.

Details with both storms are likely to change.

US Navy NAVGEM model for precipitation rates, Saturday evening, February 12, 2017. (from Tropical Tidbits)

US Navy NAVGEM model for precipitation rates, Saturday evening, February 12, 2017. (from Tropical Tidbits)

 Posted by at 10:34 am

Wet end to February?

 Northern Arizona Weather, Outlooks, Winter Storms  Comments Off on Wet end to February?
Feb 052017
 
Experimental precipitation outlook for weeks 3-4 in the future. (Climate Prediction Center, 3 Feb. 2017)

With nearly 9 inches of precipitation between December and January, Things have been mostly dry since January 25. Next week, there is an occasional chance for flurries or light rain. It has been quite a change as the main storm track has been to the north. The current longer range outlooks for the second half of February are looking wetter.

Last Thursday, the Climate Prediction Center published their experimental 3 and 4 week outlook. It shows the potential for another round of wet weather.

Experimental precipitation outlook for weeks 3-4 in the future. (Climate Prediction Center, 3 Feb. 2017)

Experimental precipitation outlook for weeks 3-4 in the future. (Climate Prediction Center, 3 Feb. 2017)

This outlook is for February 18-March 3. Today, a run of the GFS model shows the potential for a significant storm around February 19. This is still a long way in the future. There are a few weaker storms in the computer model in the meantime. Stay tuned.

GFS model precipitation outlook for the morning of Sunday, February 19, 2017. (Image from Tropical Tidbits).

GFS model precipitation outlook for the morning of Sunday, February 19, 2017. (Image from Tropical Tidbits).

 

 Posted by at 10:47 am

Friday was a record, will it show up in the record books? And, where will the next 12-18 inches of snow go.

 Northern Arizona Weather, Record, Winter Storms  Comments Off on Friday was a record, will it show up in the record books? And, where will the next 12-18 inches of snow go.
Jan 212017
 
GFS and NAM models total snowfall forecasts through Tuesday Morning. (From Tropical Tidbits)

UPDATED (9:52AM, January 22): Winter Storm Warning in effect. See below

Answers: I don’t know. And, on the ground, of course.

The National Weather Service provides two great products for looking at Flagstaffs weather. The Daily Climate Report and the Preliminary Monthly Climate Data Report. Yesterday, both reports were showing MM, or missing data for snowfall on both days. This has been repaired in the Monthly, but the Daily for January 20 still shows MM. The total snow fall was 12.6 inches. In the January 20 report, the record snowfall for the date was 7.1 inches in 1954. I wonder if it is still a record. Also, a Record Event Report archive is available. There is no report for January 20 or 21. I hope we don’t lose the data. This was a significant event.

Another interesting aspect, the snowfall amount broke the record, but the total precipitation amount did not. Must have been a warmer storm in 1954.

The bigger question is how deep will the next chunk of snow be? The GFS model caps it at a foot. The NAM model shows more, around 18 inches. You can see the difference in the image below. The Navy’s NoGaps model doesn’t run a snowfall calculation. But adding up the individual precipitation amounts and going with a rough 10 inches of snow for 1 inch of water, it looks like it is on the 18 inch side of the discussion. In any of these cases, it looks like the snow starts in earnest again on Sunday evening and goes through Tuesday. Current a Winter Winter Storm Watch is in effect. I would expect a that to change to a warning.

GFS and NAM models total snowfall forecasts through Tuesday Morning. (From Tropical Tidbits)

GFS and NAM models total snowfall forecasts through Tuesday Morning. (From Tropical Tidbits)

**********************

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FLAGSTAFF AZ
945 AM MST SUN JAN 22 2017

...THE THIRD AND FINAL STORM IS EXPECTED TODAY INTO LATE MONDAY
NIGHT...

.THE NEXT STORM HAS ALREADY BEGUN TO AFFECT THE WESTERN HALF OF ARIZONA
THIS MORNING...AND WILL SPREAD EASTWARD LATER THIS EVENING THROUGH
MONDAY NIGHT. THERE IS A THREAT OF HEAVY SNOW ACCUMULATION FOR
AREAS ABOVE 6000 FEET ELEVATION...WITH LIGHTER ACCUMULATIONS DOWN
TO NEAR THE 5000 FOOT LEVEL.

AZZ004-006>008-015-230300-
/O.EXT.KFGZ.WS.W.0002.170122T1645Z-170124T1200Z/
KAIBAB PLATEAU-GRAND CANYON COUNTRY-COCONINO PLATEAU-
YAVAPAI COUNTY MOUNTAINS-WESTERN MOGOLLON RIM-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...JACOB LAKE...GRAND CANYON VILLAGE...
VALLE...FLAGSTAFF
945 AM MST SUN JAN 22 2017

...WINTER STORM WARNING NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 5 AM MST TUESDAY
ABOVE 6000 FEET...

* TIMING...LIGHT TO MODERATE SNOW WILL CONTINUE THROUGH LATE THIS
  AFTERNOON...INCREASING IN INTENSITY AND CONTINUING THROUGH EARLY
  TUESDAY MORNING. SNOW WILL SPREAD FROM WEST TO EAST SUNDAY
  AFTERNOON AND EVENING...CONTINUING THROUGH TUESDAY MORNING.

* GENERAL EVENT TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS...8 TO 15 INCHES FOR
  AREAS ABOVE 6000 FEET ELEVATION. HIGHER AMOUNTS POSSIBLE ALONG
  SOUTHWEST FACING SLOPES OF THE MOGOLLON RIM AND THE KAIBAB
  PLATEAU. CONSULT POINT SPECIFIC FORECAST AT:
  WEATHER.GOV/FLAGSTAFF.

* SNOWFALL FORECAST FROM 9 AM MST TODAY UNTIL 5 AM MST TUESDAY...

     DONEY PARK  5 TO 9  INCHES       FLAGSTAFF  9 TO 15 INCHES
   GRAND CANYON  9 TO 15 INCHES      JACOB LAKE 11 TO 17 INCHES
      NORTH RIM 20 TO 26 INCHES           VALLE  4 TO 8  INCHES
       WILLIAMS  6 TO 10 INCHES

* WINDS...GUSTY WINDS ARE EXPECTED THROUGHOUT THE EVENT...WITH THE
  STRONGEST WINDS LATE TONIGHT THROUGH MONDAY AFTERNOON. SUSTAINED
  WINDS OVER 20 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 45 WILL SEVERELY REDUCE
  VISIBILITIES IN BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW.

* OTHER IMPACTS...DANGEROUS TRAVEL CONDITIONS ARE LIKELY DUE TO
  SNOW PACKED AND SLICK ROADS. VISIBILITY COULD ALSO BE SEVERELY
  REDUCED DUE TO BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW.

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. 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 11:49 pm
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