Yes, my last post was on May 4. Here we are several weeks, and European trips, later. Since May 4th, I have travelled to Prague, Greece, Italy, Austria and the far south of Germany. Prague was a work trip to see some stunning work presented! Greece was a week long sailing trip that came about because of the 40th birthday parties of a couple friends. Athens is truly striking! Italy was for a long weekend by the Gardasee (Lake Garda). Austria is in between, and with beautiful springtime green meadows against the rocky Alps. Ah! And now the weather!
Of course it’s fire season. I’m surprised by the number of fires and the intensity of the fire near Brian’s Head. It’s been a fairly wet winter and spring for most of the southwest. One of the indicators of this is the meteoric rise in Lake Powell. It is the deepest it has been on this date since 2011. It could be the second deepest summer out of the last decade. The lake hit it’s low point, just shy of 3594 feet in early spring. Currently, it is around the elevation of 3633 and still rising several inches per day. A wet year so far.
Now, the monsoon season. I realize there have been several faux monsoon storms. They were more driven by frontal systems passing to the north of Arizona, than a sustained moist flow from the south. The good news is that the heat has arrive to start the monsoon engine. Joe D’Aleo has written a nice summary of how the heat drives the flow. You can also take a look at my Monsoon Mechanics page.
The less good news is that the current computer forecasts point to the flow starting very much to the east of Flagstaff. It maybe after the 4th of July before the rains start in earnest. Below is a recent GFS model out look for precipitation between now and July 4. You can see only a small amount of precipitation predicted during this time frame.
Back to the better news, the outlook for the development of El Nino is low. El Nino conditions include the development of anomalous winds that can cut across the moisture flow, sending it elsewhere. Hopefully, when the season starts it will be a normal one.
Oh wait, what is a normal monsoon season?