Nov 292016
 
6-10 day precipitation anomaly outlook from the Climate Prediction Center on November 28, 2016

Computer models need tweaking to adjust to what’s really going on in the world. It looks like quite a bit changed between Sunday and Monday. The real timeline is probably between last Wednesday and Monday. On weekends and holidays, the computer models more or less independently produce the 6-10 and 8-14 day outlooks at the Climate Prediction Center. On normal workdays, they are adjusted by real humans. Like every Monday after Thanksgiving, huge adjustments were required.

I saved the outlooks from Sunday, and they are below.

6-10 day precipitation anomaly outlook from the Climate Prediction Center on November 28, 2016

6-10 day precipitation anomaly outlook from the Climate Prediction Center on November 27, 2016

8-14 day precipitation anomaly outlook from the Climate Prediction Center on November 28, 2016

8-14 day precipitation anomaly outlook from the Climate Prediction Center on November 27, 2016

Wow, Flagstaff was going to pretty much get clobbered with snow according to these maps. But, then Monday comes along and adjustments are made.

6-10 day precipitation anomaly outlook from the Climate Prediction Center on November 28, 2016

6-10 day precipitation anomaly outlook from the Climate Prediction Center on November 28, 2016

8-14 day precipitation anomaly outlook from the Climate Prediction Center on November 29, 2016

8-14 day precipitation anomaly outlook from the Climate Prediction Center on November 28, 2016

Looks like the future storm track will shift well to the north, and oddly to the south. Flagstaff ends up in the dry middle for two weeks.

 Posted by at 5:40 am

Weather is always odd

 Models, Monsoon, Northern Arizona Weather, Outlooks  Comments Off on Weather is always odd
Aug 112016
 

As the most recent batch of moisture, which was left over from a tropical system, starts to leave Arizona, the outlooks have switched. We still have a dry period ahead, but then more moisture will return in about a week. At least, it looks that way today.

Yesterday, NOAA increased it’s outlook for Atlantic hurricane activity for the rest of this season. As if to point out who’s in charge, the computer models and Mother Nature removed any hint of future development in the next two weeks. Still, we are in the season and tropical activity can spin our monsoon season any which way. Hurricanes affect the weather for thousands of miles. With none in the plans, after the upcoming dry spell, thunderstorms should make a comeback.

To date in August, the Flagstaff Airport has received 2.32 inches of rain. an average or above average month is at hand. By comparison, Munich has received nearly 3 inches in August, and close to 11 inches in the last 30 days.

 Posted by at 9:35 pm

Strong precipitation outlook for the next month

 Models, Monsoon, Outlooks  Comments Off on Strong precipitation outlook for the next month
Jul 222016
 

The Climate Prediction Center released new 6-1o day, 8-14 day and 1 month outlooks on Thursday. Even though Flagstaff’s July precipitation is half of normal for this point in the month, the next month of the monsoon season should be above average. Below is an animation of these outlooks.

6-10 day, 8-14 day, and one month precipitation outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center (June 21, 2016)

6-10 day, 8-14 day, and one month precipitation outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center (June 21, 2016)

 Posted by at 8:40 am

Strong start, but now the monsoonal flow will stall

 Hurricane, Monsoon, Northern Arizona Weather, Outlooks  Comments Off on Strong start, but now the monsoonal flow will stall
Jul 022016
 

With over 1.25 inches of rain since June 15, Flagstaff has enjoyed a strong start to the monsoon season. However, that will change. A series of strong, Eastern Pacific tropical storms far to the south are going to distract the moisture flow. These storms are not going to head northward along the coast. The current forecasts have them moving to the west-northwest almost due north of Hawaii before looping back towards Washington State. After today, the changes for rain drop substantially. Isolated thunderstorms will start this week. By next weekend and through July 19, the chances for precipitation drop to nearly zero.

The Climate Prediction Center published a new 1-month outlook on June 30. It shows most of Arizona with better than normal chances for above average July precipitation.

 Posted by at 10:25 pm

Is winter on the way back to Northern Arizona.

 Outlooks  Comments Off on Is winter on the way back to Northern Arizona.
Apr 022016
 

At the end of last week, the outlooks for April shifted. I couldn’t bring myself to post about a change to upcoming wetter conditions on April Fool’s Day. The last 6 month’s we have seen a repeated disappearing act of storms. They would show up in the computer models as strong storms over a week away. Then they would slowly disappear into sunshine and warm conditions. Sigh.

So, here we are again. Two storms are over the horizon. One should arrive towards the end of next week. The second is about a week out. An animation of the 6-10 day, 8-14 day and one month outlooks is below. Each storm looks strong. It only takes a few to fill-in a precipitation deficit. Average April precipitation since 1950 is about 2 inches. The computer models snow just over two inches in the next two weeks.

We will see. This would help delay the fire season.

Animation of 6-10 day, 8-14 day and one month precipitation outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center.

Animation of 6-10 day, 8-14 day and one-month precipitation outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center.

 Posted by at 11:31 pm

It’s always just over the horizon.

 Northern Arizona Weather, Outlooks, Winter Storms  Comments Off on It’s always just over the horizon.
Feb 292016
 

The computer models keep dropping a significant storm into the long-range forecast. If you look at the image from my last post, it shows significant precipitation around March 4, 2016. The forecasts do point to some precipitation this weekend, but not the large amount in that image. The problem is that the big storm is always just over the horizon. Below is the outlook for Monday, March 14. It’s almost identical to the image in my last post.

As we move away from a very warm and dry February, we have to wonder if March will fulfill its historic reputation for the wettest time of year. The computer models keep pointing to a change in the storm track that will push storms over Arizona. We will see. Not much to blog about when it’s sunny and warm.

12-hour average precipitation rate (mm/hr) for Monday, March 14, 2016 from Tropical Tidbits.

12-hour average precipitation rate (mm/hr) for Monday, March 14, 2016 from Tropical Tidbits.

 Posted by at 8:48 pm
Feb 192016
 

Warm and dry has become the February story. The wet cold start has faded into sun and occasional high winds. There have be a few times the outlook was positive for wet conditions. It hasn’t happened.

Is it unusual for February to be dry during an El Niño winter. I think the data are pretty messy and there really isn’t enough to be very meaningful. Since 1950, the average for February precipitation in Flagstaff is about 2 inches. There are very wet and fairly dry Februaries during El Niño years.

Most of the areas that normally benefit from El Niños are benefiting this year. We continue to be way ahead on 12 and 24 month total precipitation.

The GFS model shows a possible weak storm at the end of the month, and a stronger storm at the start of March.

12-hour precipiation outlook ending noon, March 4, 2016. (Tropical Tidbits website.)

12-hour precipiation outlook ending noon, March 4, 2016. (Tropical Tidbits website.)

The 3 month outlook from the Climate Prediction Center continues to look positive from a precipitation point of view.

3-month precipitation outlook from the Climate Prediction Center.

3-month precipitation outlook from the Climate Prediction Center.

There is still time left this winter for more snow. March is typically the wettest month of the year. I think more is on the way.

 Posted by at 4:50 pm

Dry period in an El Niño Winter

 Outlooks  Comments Off on Dry period in an El Niño Winter
Nov 272015
 

Thanks to an Eastern Pacific hurricane and very strong northerly storm track, the next couple weeks will be very dry in Arizona.

6-10 and 8-14 day precipitation outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center (26 November 2015).

6-10 and 8-14 day precipitation outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center (26 November 2015).

 Posted by at 12:25 am

Is the GFS model struggling with El Nino and the Blob?

 Northern Arizona Weather, Outlooks  Comments Off on Is the GFS model struggling with El Nino and the Blob?
Nov 222015
 

I keep looking at the longer range forecasts, the GFS computer model and the Climate Prediction Center outlooks. It seems like the 6-10 day outlooks have a huge amount of variability. Last weeks snow was never clearly in any of them. One day the 6-10 would be dry. The next day it would be wet. Nothing solid. Yesterday everything had next weekend looking very wet. Today, Thanksgiving weekend looks dry.

I bet it is harder to run the models with the current conditions. There isn’t a great analog available between the Blob, El Nino and the very cold North Atlantic. So, hang on, it could be a rough ride with unexpected storms and dry periods.

The 3-month outlook from the Climate Prediction Center seems to have Flagstaff in the greater than 50% chance of above average precipitation. Southern Arizona could be even wetter.

 

Three month precipitation from the Climate Prediction Center for December, 2015 - February, 2016.

Three month precipitation from the Climate Prediction Center for December, 2015 – February, 2016.

And now, news from Munich, DE. We had our first snow on Saturday night. No real accumulation. We had an early dinner, then we went to an organ concert at Saint Peter’s Church near Marienplatz. When we came outside, huge flakes were falling. We walked across Marienplatz and went up to the Café Glockenspiel and watched the snow fall as we had dessert. It was beautiful.

The Christbaum on Marienplatz isn’t very healthy. It had a very dry summer that weakened it. It will be hard for it to make it through Christmas. The needles are falling off.

 

 Posted by at 2:15 am

If you liked last week, you’re going to like the rest of the month.

 Climate, Models, Northern Arizona Weather, Outlooks  Comments Off on If you liked last week, you’re going to like the rest of the month.
Oct 102015
 

It’s been a while since my last post. This is all thanks to Apple. I bought a new laptop because using my big MAC in Germany isn’t practical anymore. We just don’t have the room for it. After a week of using the new laptop, the arrow keys broke. The first chance I had, I took it to the Apple Store to have it replaced or fixed. They wanted to fix it, but the part would take some time. I could still use the computer, but not easily. Then I took it back when the part came in. They said I would receive a message in 3-5 days. After a week I called. They told me it would be another week before they got to it. Sheesh. I feel like just gave Apple a loan of over a thousand bucks for a month! This is not Steve Jobs’ Apple!

Deep cleansing breath in…and out.

So, I missed blogging about the rain last week. With the airport receiving 1.27 inches of rain, Flagstaff is well on its way to an above average rainfall month. The average October precipitation in Flagstaff since 1950 is 1.54 inches. With the outlooks for the next few weeks, we should easily surpass the average.

I’ve taken the current 6-10 day, 8-14 day, 3-4 week, 1 month and 3 month outlooks and made an animated gif. This is below.Most of Arizona is comfortably inside the above normal chances for above average rainfall for all time periods.  El Nino and the disappearance of the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge are driving this. I wonder when the first big snow will show up. It could be this month.

Also, the North Atlantic is colder than normal. This can also mean a wetter than normal winter. I plan to do some more on this topic when I get my laptop back. The spreadsheets are on the laptop.

Animated gif of 6-10 day, 8-14 day, 3-4 week, 1 month and 3 month precipitation outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center.

Animated gif of 6-10 day, 8-14 day, 3-4 week, 1 month and 3 month precipitation outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center.

 Posted by at 12:29 am
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