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
Dec 272017
 
Global Tropical Sea Surface Temperature Animation from the Climate Prediction Center.

It’s a bummer, but dry periods happen. The falls of 1999 and 2005 were dry, but followed by wetter periods. Sigh!

There continues to be a always present chance of something maybe after a week from now. It comes and goes. It’s in one model run, gone from the next. It’s heavy in one, weak in the next. So, hope continues to spring eternal.

 

ENSO (El Niño, La Nina) Meter from Watts Up With That.

ENSO (El Niño, La Nina) Meter from Watts Up With That.

This is normal for a La Nina year. And this year, the Pacific, from the equatorial region to the south, is fairly blue. The warm water off the coast of California appears to be dissipating. Possibly that will allow something to break through the high pressure and bring some snow…the week after next.

Global Tropical Sea Surface Temperature Animation from the Climate Prediction Center.

Global Tropical Sea Surface Temperature Animation from the Climate Prediction Center.

 

 Posted by at 3:43 am

Monsoon season to start in earnest next weekend

 Climate, El Nino/La Nina, Models, Monsoon, Northern Arizona Weather, Outlooks  Comments Off on Monsoon season to start in earnest next weekend
Jul 022017
 
Dew point temperature outlook for Saturday afternoon, July 8, 2017, from the GFS model at TropicalTidbits.com.

In June, there have already been several thunderstorms and rain showers. But, a sustained monsoonal flow has been mostly absent. Dew point temperatures will rise throughout the week, with most Arizona being in the mid-40s by next weekend.

Dew point temperature outlook for Saturday afternoon, July 8, 2017, from the GFS model at TropicalTidbits.com.

Dew point temperature outlook for Saturday afternoon, July 8, 2017, from the GFS model at TropicalTidbits.com.

While isolated thunderstorms would be come more frequent this week, next saturday is the first day that seems to have pretty good areal coverage.

24-hour total rainfall forecast for next Saturday, July 8, 2017, from the GFS model at TropicalTidbits.com.

24-hour total rainfall forecast for next Saturday, July 8, 2017, from the GFS model at TropicalTidbits.com.

One last note, the start of the season should be strong. The 6-10 and 8-14 day outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center show above average precipitation. The longer range 1 and 3 month outlooks only show normal precipitation chances. I think these may change the next time they are run since the El Niño outlook has a decreased likelihood of it occurring this year.

6-10 day precipitation outlook from the Climate Prediction Center.

6-10 day precipitation outlook from the Climate Prediction Center.

 

8-14 day precipitation outlook from the Climate Predication Center.

8-14 day precipitation outlook from the Climate Predication Center.

 Posted by at 9:13 am

Another long break and a long delay to monsoonal flow to Flagstaff

 El Nino/La Nina, Lake Powell, Models, Monsoon, Northern Arizona Weather, Outlooks  Comments Off on Another long break and a long delay to monsoonal flow to Flagstaff
Jun 242017
 
The Partheonon at night, May 2017.

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!

The Partheonon at night, May 2017.

The Parthenon at night, May 2017.

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.

Lake Powell water level from water-data.com

Lake Powell water level from water-data.com. Notice it’s more like the last 5 years.

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.

Precipitation outlook between now and July 4, 2017 from the GFS model on TropicalTidbits.com

Precipitation outlook between now and July 4, 2017 from the GFS model on TropicalTidbits.com

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?

 Posted by at 4:21 am

Here’s an animation that makes the point.

 Climate, Models, Northern Arizona Weather, Outlooks  Comments Off on Here’s an animation that makes the point.
Feb 162017
 
Animation of total precipiation from 4 different computer models runs for the same storm. (From Tropical Tidbits)

The computer GFS computer model is all over the place. Here is an animation of 4 images. All 4 images report total project precipitation through next Tuesday evening. Notice, it hasn’t started to rain or snow at this time, so that the start time doesn’t matter. The precipitation amounts are widely different. It looks like Flagstaff is in the 0.5 to 3 inches range, depending on which run you like.

The current Navy model, which doesn’t automatically calculate totals from more than 6 hours, appears to forecast a couple inches of precipitation. Currently, the GFS model has predicted more snowfall than earlier this week.

Animation of total precipiation from 4 different computer models runs for the same storm. (From Tropical Tidbits)

Animation of total precipiation from 4 different computer models runs for the same storm. (From Tropical Tidbits)

 Posted by at 11:33 am

Rest of February looks wetter than on Friday

 Models, Northern Arizona Weather, Outlooks  Comments Off on Rest of February looks wetter than on Friday
Feb 122017
 
Total precipitation forecast from the GFS model through Sunday afternoon, February 26. (from TropicalTidbits.com on Sunday February 12, 2017))

The computer GFS computer model has been changing the precipitation outlook for the rest of the month quite a bit between runs. On Friday, the rest of the month, through Sunday evening, February 26, looked fairly wet. This image is reposted below.Flagstaff was in the 1.5 to 2 inch range.

Total precipitation forecast through Sunday evening February 26, 2017 from the GFS model. (from TropicalTidbits.com on February 10, 2017)

Total precipitation forecast through Sunday evening February 26, 2017 from the GFS model. (from TropicalTidbits.com on February 10, 2017)

This Sunday morning, everything looks remarkably wetter!!! Flagstaff is in the 3-4 inch, if not more, range. The series of storms for the rest of the month, including the current one, are proving very tricky for the model. Similar effects are showing up in the navy model. Still, the snow levels are projected to remain high for a while. A little snow could fall on Wednesday, and next weekend.

Total precipitation forecast from the GFS model through Sunday afternoon, February 26. (from TropicalTidbits.com on Sunday February 12, 2017))

Total precipitation forecast from the GFS model through Sunday afternoon, February 26. (from TropicalTidbits.com on Sunday February 12, 2017))

 Posted by at 8:22 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

Is snow season over?

 Northern Arizona Weather, Outlooks  Comments Off on Is snow season over?
Jan 252017
 
8-14 day precipitation outlook from the Climate Prediction Center.

With 43 inches of snow and 4.5 inches of water for the month to date, the next two weeks are looking remarkably dry. The question is how long will the dry trend last? The latest 8-14 day outlook from the Climate Prediction Center sums it up. Flagstaff ends up on the thin border between above and below normal precipitation. Will another snow storm hit after February 7?

8-14 day precipitation outlook from the Climate Prediction Center.

8-14 day precipitation outlook from the Climate Prediction Center.

 Posted by at 11:28 am

Navy says we may have a very White Christmas

 Northern Arizona Weather, Outlooks, Winter Storms  Comments Off on Navy says we may have a very White Christmas
Dec 182016
 
6-hour precipitation outlook from the U.S. Navy's NoGaps computer model for Friday evening, December 23, 2016.

I was feeling under the weather. Both because I have a cold, and the GFS computer model was not predicting any precipitation. Below is the 24 hour precipitation GFS model forecast for Friday, December 23, 2016. You’ll notice that the Arizona is covered in white, meaning no rain or snow. The rest of the intervening time has no snowfall predicted for Flagstaff.

24 hour total precipitation late Friday night, Dec. 23, 2016 forecast from the GFS computer model, via TropicalTidbits.com.

24 hour total precipitation late Friday night, Dec. 23, 2016 forecast from the GFS computer model, via TropicalTidbits.com.

So, I decided to check with the Navy to see if they thought the previously forecasted storm had vanished. They have a much different outlook for a similar time period. Their forecast below is for 6 hours, ending late Friday evening.

6-hour precipitation outlook from the U.S. Navy's NoGaps computer model for Friday evening, December 23, 2016.

6-hour precipitation outlook from the U.S. Navy’s NoGaps computer model for Friday evening, December 23, 2016.

This is a much different picture. The Navy has the precipitation starting on Friday morning and continuing through Saturday morning. If the Navy is correct, there could be significant snowfall during this time.

 Posted by at 6:29 am
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