Jan 092014
 

The jet stream is very far to the north. The cut-off low didn’t materialize. Shame on all of you driving dirty cars. What we have is what we will have.

There is something way out, 12-14 days. But, that is a far in the future. Seasonable temperatures and mostly sunny with a few cloudy times is our outlook.

 Posted by at 6:59 am
Jan 072014
 

Teams without a clear mission will often become lazy. Bloggers without clear computer models will often become lazy.

I taunted everyone last Friday with a potential storm for the end of this week. Each time I check the computer models that I rely on, I see something different. This morning, we are back in the highly unlikely mode. Last night, things were looking highly likely mode. The outlook just keeps bouncing around.

I think these the occurrence of a cut-off low in our area is causing these changes. These are very difficult to predict. Occurrence, timing and amounts seems to fool the computers. I believe it is one of the last big challenges for our computer models.

So, let’s look at some nonsensical, but often very accurate, reliable indicators.

  • I drove my white car back from Phoenix to Flagstaff yesterday. My white car is rear wheel drive. So, I don’t like it to drive it in the snow. I plan to drive it back to Phoenix on Thursday or Friday. This is an indicator for some snow. A couple of inches at least.
  • My friend Nicky S. from the UK called me yesterday to let me know she will be in town. She will drive to Flagstaff on Thursday. This is normally a strong indicator for snow. Unfortunately, she rented a 4-wheel drive car. This is a detractor. Fortunately, Nicky has a good heart and wants to ski this weekend. In the balance, I figure that is worth  a few inches in town and more on the mountain.
  • I believe I will wash one of my cars tonight or tomorrow. Another great way to make it snow.

If everyone does their part and washes their car, which is still dirty from the last storm, this will have a profound effect. Either you will proudly drive your clean car around town this weekend, or you will watch it get dirty with snow on Thursday and Friday. Either way, it’s a win. I urge everyone to avoid activities like stocking up on wood near your fireplace or wood stove. These activities would cut the chances of snow.

 

 Posted by at 6:56 am
Jan 032014
 

It’s over the horizon for the Navy model and inconsistently showing up in the GFS model, but the end of next week could bring us our first storm of 2014 and the first storm since mid-December. Not much more to say for now.

Make sure you are enjoying the warm weather. The Majority of North America is much colder.

 Posted by at 7:10 am
Dec 192013
 

Tonight through tomorrow, we should receive some snow. The computer models have been all over the place. Often they show the storm missing us and forming to the south and east. Currently, the outlook is for 1-6 inches over the next couple of days. This could make the “get out-of-town” drive rougher.

For now, our pattern seems as small storms forming in or around Arizona, the moving off to the east and clobbering the East Coast and New England.

 Posted by at 6:37 am
Dec 162013
 

In case you haven’t noticed, December has been very cold. Month to date, the average daily temperature is 7 degrees below normal. For a full month, 4 degrees away from normal is rare. This month’s weather data from the Flagstaff Airport is below. As you can see, December 9th was 24 degrees below normal. This is very cold.

However, the next few days our temperatures are forecasted to be well above normal. The outlooks for the rest of the month are a couple of degrees above or below normal. The computer models have a storm brushing by Northern Arizona later in the work week.. The stronger effects will be to the south and east.

000
CXUS56 KFGZ 160900
CF6FLG
PRELIMINARY LOCAL CLIMATOLOGICAL DATA (WS FORM: F-6)

                                          STATION:   FLAGSTAFF AZ AIRPORT
                                          MONTH:     DECEMBER
                                          YEAR:      2013
                                          LATITUDE:   35  7 N
                                          LONGITUDE: 111 40 W

  TEMPERATURE IN F:       :PCPN:    SNOW:  WIND      :SUNSHINE: SKY     :PK WND
================================================================================
1   2   3   4   5  6A  6B    7    8   9   10  11  12  13   14  15   16   17  18
                                     12Z  AVG MX 2MIN
DY MAX MIN AVG DEP HDD CDD  WTR  SNW DPTH SPD SPD DIR MIN PSBL S-S WX    SPD DR
================================================================================

 1  40  22  31  -1  34   0 0.00  0.0    0  4.5 12  60   M    M   7 12     15  40
 2  60  20  40   9  25   0 0.00  0.0    0  4.1 14 240   M    M   0        20 250
 3  45  30  38   7  27   0 0.00  0.0    0 18.2 33 210   M    M   0        43 210
 4  38  14  26  -5  39   0 0.31  3.0    0 13.2 36 210   M    M   7 12     50 210
 5  26  11  19 -12  46   0 0.00  0.0    3  6.8 23 210   M    M   4        27 210
 6  27   3  15 -15  50   0 0.00  0.0    2  5.8 16 220   M    M   0        21 210
 7  26   5  16 -14  49   0 0.25  4.9    2 16.9 33 220   M    M   6 12     43 200
 8  27  18  23  -7  42   0 0.09  1.8   10 11.1 31 230   M    M   9 18     39 220
 9  21  -9   6 -24  59   0 0.00  0.0    8  9.9 22  50   M    M   0        28  40
10  35 -10  13 -17  52   0 0.00  0.0    7  4.1 12  60   M    M   0        14  70
11  33  -6  14 -16  51   0 0.00  0.0    7  6.1 15  50   M    M   0        19  70
12  40   6  23  -7  42   0 0.00  0.0    7  3.2 14  50   M    M   0        18  40
13  45  15  30   0  35   0 0.00  0.0    7  4.6 17 260   M    M   1 1      25 250
14  36  13  25  -4  40   0 0.00  0.0    7  9.5 30  50   M    M   0        35  50
15  47  19  33   4  32   0 0.00  0.0    6 12.7 22  70   M    M   0        28  50
================================================================================
SM  546  151       623   0  0.65     9.7 130.7          M       34
================================================================================
AV 36.4 10.1                               8.7 FASTST   M    M   2    MAX(MPH)
                                 MISC ---->  # 36 210               # 50  210
================================================================================
NOTES:
# LAST OF SEVERAL OCCURRENCES

COLUMN 17 PEAK WIND IN M.P.H.

PRELIMINARY LOCAL CLIMATOLOGICAL DATA (WS FORM: F-6) , PAGE 2

                                          STATION:  FLAGSTAFF AZ AIRPORT
                                          MONTH:    DECEMBER
                                          YEAR:     2013
                                          LATITUDE:   35  7 N
                                          LONGITUDE: 111 40 W

[TEMPERATURE DATA]      [PRECIPITATION DATA]       SYMBOLS USED IN COLUMN 16

AVERAGE MONTHLY: 23.2   TOTAL FOR MONTH:   0.65    1 = FOG OR MIST
DPTR FM NORMAL:  -7.0   DPTR FM NORMAL:   -0.21    2 = FOG REDUCING VISIBILITY
HIGHEST:    60 ON  2    GRTST 24HR  0.34 ON  7- 8      TO 1/4 MILE OR LESS
LOWEST:    -10 ON 10                               3 = THUNDER
                        SNOW, ICE PELLETS, HAIL    4 = ICE PELLETS
                        TOTAL MONTH:   9.7 INCHES  5 = HAIL
                        GRTST 24HR   4.9 ON   M    6 = FREEZING RAIN OR DRIZZLE
                        GRTST DEPTH:  10 ON  8     7 = DUSTSTORM OR SANDSTORM:
                                                       VSBY 1/2 MILE OR LESS
                                                   8 = SMOKE OR HAZE
[NO. OF DAYS WITH]      [WEATHER - DAYS WITH]      9 = BLOWING SNOW
                                                   X = TORNADO
MAX 32 OR BELOW:   5    0.01 INCH OR MORE:   3
MAX 90 OR ABOVE:   0    0.10 INCH OR MORE:   2
MIN 32 OR BELOW:  15    0.50 INCH OR MORE:   0
MIN  0 OR BELOW:   3    1.00 INCH OR MORE:   0
 Posted by at 6:35 am
Dec 102013
 

The average temperature for yesterday was 24 degrees F below normal. The low of -9 degrees F a the airport edged out the previous low of -8F. This morning it looks like we blew through the previous record of -5F and hit rock bottom at -9 again. I think both previous records were from 1951. Wow, that’s cold, especially for early December.

But, some parts of the world get much colder. Antarctica, which is moving into summer, is unbelievably cold. A review of the satellite temperature data shows that the world’s lowest temperature was set in August of 2010 at -135.8F. In July of this year, it came very close to a new record at 135.3 degrees F below zero.

So far this month, Flagstaff is just more that 7 degrees below average. It should warm up for the next week or so. There is a small chance of rain or snow on Thursday. I think the storm will effect eastern and southeastern parts of the state. Hopefully, we will be above freezing.

 Posted by at 6:31 am
Dec 072013
 

The National Weather Service(NWS) forecasts 3-6 inches for the Flagstaff area between today and tomorrow. This is with fairly aggressive winds. The North American Mesoscale model has only a very small area of quarter to half-inch water precipitation,which would be 3-6 inches of snow, in Northern Arizona. That with the winds have me thinking that we won’t get that much. Or, maybe we get that much snow, but the wind carries it away.

Here is the NWS Weather Story and Winter Weather Advisory from this morning.

Weather Story on 12-7-2013 from National Weather Service Flagstaff

Weather Story on 12-7-2013 from National Weather Service Flagstaff

WEATHER MESSAGE…CORRECTED
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FLAGSTAFF AZ
605 AM MST SAT DEC 7 2013

AZZ007-008-015-038-072130-
/O.CON.KFGZ.WW.Y.0011.131208T0000Z-131208T1800Z/
COCONINO PLATEAU-YAVAPAI COUNTY MOUNTAINS-WESTERN MOGOLLON RIM-
OAK CREEK AND SYCAMORE CANYONS-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF…PRESCOTT…FLAGSTAFF…SEDONA
605 AM MST SAT DEC 7 2013

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 5 PM THIS
AFTERNOON TO 11 AM MST SUNDAY…

* TIMING…SNOW SHOWERS ARE EXPECTED TO BEGIN ACROSS THE COCONINO
PLATEAU…YAVAPAI COUNTY MOUNTAINS…AND THE WESTERN MOGOLLON
RIM BY LATE AFTERNOON. SNOWFALL INTENSITY SHOULD INCREASE
TONIGHT AND THEN END SUNDAY MORNING.

* AMOUNTS…GENERAL STORM TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS…3 TO 6
INCHES WITH THE LARGEST AMOUNTS OVER THE HIGHER PEAKS.

* OTHER IMPACTS…SNOW PACKED ROADS AND LOW VISIBILITIES ALONG
WITH BLOWING SNOW. BELOW ZERO WIND CHILLS ARE POSSIBLE DURING
THE OVERNIGHT HOURS.

* SNOWFALL FORECAST FROM 5 PM MST TODAY UNTIL 11 AM MST SUNDAY…

DONEY PARK 2 TO 4 INCHES FLAGSTAFF 3 TO 5 INCHES
PRESCOTT VALLEY 2 TO 4 INCHES PRESCOTT 2 TO 4 INCHES
SEDONA 2 TO 4 INCHES SELIGMAN 1 TO 3 INCHES
VALLE 2 TO 4 INCHES WILLIAMS 4 TO 6 INCHES

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW MEANS PERIODS OF FALLING SNOW
WILL CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SLIPPERY ROADS
AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES. TAKE EMERGENCY TRAVEL SUPPLIES. FOR THE
LATEST ROAD CONDITIONS AND OR 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 6:56 am
Dec 042013
 

Neither of the storms on the horizon are packing a lot of moisture for Flagstaff. A few inches will fall today through tomorrow. Then, a few inches will fall over the weekend. The real news is the very cold temperatures on the way. With highs in the twenties and lows in the single digits, we will be 5-10 degrees below normal on several days over the next few days.

The image below isn’t a pretty as it could be. It does tell the temperature story. This image shows the average maximum temperature anomaly for the next 5 days. Brrrr. Flagstaff is in the -12 to -15 degree band. The snow probably won’t be melting very fast.

5-day average maximum temperature anomaly. National Weather Service

5-day average maximum temperature anomaly. National Weather Service

 Posted by at 5:24 am
Dec 022013
 

I kept wondering what was going to happen to the storm that rolled up to the West Coast and then disappeared. Apparently, it brought the fog and freezing fog.

The next few storms (that’s right, the next few) will bring more significant precipitation and colder temperatures. Starting Tuesday, temperatures will drop. By Friday morning, we will see single digit temperatures in the Flagstaff area. Many lower elevations will experience freezing conditions. None of the storms over the next week or two seem will break records. But, a few inches here and a few inches there can add up with the low temperatures.

This afternoon will probably give the best set of outlooks since the Thanksgiving break. We’ll see if the outlooks hold.

 Posted by at 7:16 am
Nov 262013
 

I don’t think the right question to ask now is if it will snow this weekend, or next week? I don’t think the right question to ask is whether or not the next storm will break precipitation records like the last one? I think the right question to ask is whether Switzer Canyon Drive will be drivable after the next storm or two.

The goofy work pattern on the road has made it a complete mess. The temporary (At least, I hope they are temporary.) patches are already falling apart. They weren’t smooth before the last storm. But now they are developing potholes and little piles of rubble. Seriously, this can’t be right.

This weekend, there are a couple of small chances for precipitation. I’m not hopeful. But, we could receive a good-sized storm middle to late next week. This weekend, we may see the remnants of a Pacific storm that is going to slam into our high pressure system and more or less dissolve. But, the storm track is tending in our direction. The models are not consistent yet. It is a long way out. But the next storm could be significant.

Climate Prediction Center's 8-14 day precipitation outlook for December 3-9, 2013.

Climate Prediction Center’s 8-14 day precipitation outlook for December 3-9, 2013.

If we really are in for another big storm, Switzer Canyon will be toast!

 Posted by at 7:08 am
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