Jun 222009
 

As we await the start of the monsoon, the water temperatures around us seem to be important. The Pacific is apparently undergoing a signficant shift to an El Nino. Here is the animation of the global sea surface temperatures and anomaly. This could supply plenty of moisture if the monsoon gets started and draws from here. The Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean are near normal temperatures. Not as strong a moisture source. Also, the cooler water temps in the Gulf and Caribbean, and the El Nino should hinder hurricane season in the east.

As we wait, perhaps this article on the North American Monsoon is helpful

Jun 152009
 

Does this June seem cooler than last? Seems cloudier to me. Here is a comparison of the month so far:

Comparison of June 2008 to June 2009 Temperatures

Comparison of June 2008 to June 2009 Temperatures

The average temperature is the average for the given day, not the climatological normal. The low and average tempertures seem a little lower this year, compared to last year. But, the big difference is in the high temperatures. Seems like there has been more cloud cover with the cooler highs.

It looks like we will be heading for “normal” temperatures later this week and through the weekend.

Jun 072009
 

Well, after May being mostly much warmer than normal, June is following the same trend as the end of May. This week’s normal high temperature is 77-78F, but we will be lucky to see temperatures above the mid-60’s.¬†Forecasts and models for Tuesday are calling for precipitation, most likely scattered thunderstorms. ¬†Here is a graph of June weather to date from Wunderground:

Weather to date, 6-7-09

Weather to date, 6-7-09

“Sun Oddly Quiet”

 Climate  Comments Off
May 052009
 

Here is a good laymen’s article from the National Geographic: “Sun Oddly Quiet — Hints at Next Little Ice Age.”

My personal opinion is that National Geographic has been too fast to jump on the Human Caused Global Warming. Here is an article from NG in 2006: “Don’t Blame Sun for Global Warming, Study Says.”

I think the bottom line is that we simply don’t know enough about how the Sun effects the Earth. Solar output is low right now, and has been for a couple years. But, when you consider the full spectrum radiation and the associate effects, we just don’t know enough to predict climate. Solar output during the Maunder and Dalton Minimum’s were probably similar to what we are seeing today.

Oh yeah, sunny, warm and occassionally breezy for Northern Arizona. It’s May.

May 032009
 

May is here. It is one of the dryer months for Northerm Arizona. This May isn’t looking much different. It should be dry and nice for the most part. I don’t see any big drivers for warmer than normal temps.

But, what about sea ice. If you remember a couple years back, there were great expectations of the North Pole being ice-free. Well, that doesn’t seem to be in the cards for now. Here are a couple charts that tell a diffferent story. Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice did recede drastically a few years back. But, it is currently the highest coverage since 2002 at the start of May.

Northern Sea Ice Coverage 5-1-09

Northern Sea Ice Coverage 5-1-09

However, the departure from average for 1979 until now is still negative, but moving in a growth direction:

Northern Sea Ice compared to average 79-09

Northern Sea Ice compared to average 79-09

One more consideration is the Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice, where it is above average and growing:

Southern Sea Ice 5-1-09

Southern Sea Ice 5-1-09

Finally, overall, Global Sea Ice coverage is above average: Granted, recent levels have been below average:

Global Sea Ice 5-1-09

Global Sea Ice 5-1-09

So, shouldn’t the mainstream media give us a general update? If this trend continues, it might snow in London, or Lousiana, or, maybe just maybe we will see two back to back seasons where we can skate on Lake Mary, south of Flagstaff. Oh wait those things already happened.

Apr 302009
 

The Pacific Decadal Oscillation(PDO) is a cousin of El Nino Southern Oscillation(ENSO). It operates on a much longer, decadal, time scale. The temperatures of the Northern Pacific Ocean can be a big effect on Arizona’s Precipitation. It has been negative, or cool, for several years. Recently, it has moved more severely in that direction. Here is a recent article about it: The PDO’s influence on Climate Change: How low will it go? I think there is still a valuable question about how the sun’s current low output and activity will effect our precipitation in Northern Arizona. Could the combination of a cooling climate offset the cool phase PDO?

Well, for this weekend, it looks like we could get a little precip on Saturday and Sunday. Small amounts with a slight cooling trend.

Apr 282009
 
Summer 2009 Prediction

Summer 2009 Prediction

This picture is a summary of previous analog years from Joe D’Aleo at Intellicast. The accompanying article can be found at ENSO Update. This analysis is based on analog years of solar activity and El Nino Southern Oscillation(ENSO).

If this summer is like the analog years, we could be looking at summer being a couple degrees below normal in Northern Arizona.

This outlook contrasts with the Climate Prediction Center‘s outlook below.

Climate Prediction Center Outlook May-July 2009

Climate Prediction Center Outlook May-July 2009

Apr 132009
 

We are going to see strong winds again around Wednesday. Also, it is going to get cold and possibly rain and snow(not much). But, can this really be the end of winter?

The long range forecast from the Climate Prediction Center is pointing toward warmer weather ahead. I think we will see another snow episode or two before June. We will see.

8-14 Day Outlook April 13, 2009

8-14 Day Outlook April 13, 2009

Apr 122009
 

I blew it yesterday. We didn’t even make a quarter of an inch of water. But, everyone pretty much blew it. 4-8 inches of snow was the consensus for yesterday. The official report was 4 inches of snow, 0.21 inches of water. Oh well. I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise. The whole winter season has been below normal for precip and slightly above normal on temperatures.

Way down below at the end of this post (it’s a long post) are some charts for the nation. One of the things you don’t see on this chart is that Hawaii has been quite cold. They logged their coldest March ever. Parts of the Northwest were 5-6 degrees below normal.

Arizona had its 11th warmest and 12th driest march on record. This is in contrast to the whole country being fairly mixed or more moderate. When taken as a whole, of the 115 March records, it was the 65th coolest and the 74th wettest. Both in the middle of the spectrum. For Arizona, this will hopefully change as La Nina weakens. Here is the summary for Flagstaff, warm and dry:

AVERAGE MAXIMUM FOR MONTH.................... 54.2 (NORMAL 50.3)
AVERAGE MINIMUM FOR MONTH.................... 23.7 (NORMAL 22.8)
MONTHLY MEAN................................. 39.0 (NORMAL 36.6)
DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL...................................... +2.4
HIGHEST 30 YEAR MEAN FOR THE MONTH................. 41.8 IN 1989
LOWEST 30 YEAR MEAN FOR THE MONTH.................. 26.8 IN 1973
HIGHEST TEMPERATURE THIS MONTH....................... 67 ON  1ST
LOWEST TEMPERATURE THIS MONTH........................ 12 ON 31ST
RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE FOR THE MONTH....... 73 ON 26TH IN 1988*
RECORD LOW TEMPERATURE FOR THE MONTH........ -16 ON  4TH IN 1966
DAYS MAX TEMP 32 OR BELOW......................... 0 (NORMAL  4)
DAYS MAX TEMP 90 OR HIGHER........................ 0 (NORMAL  0)
DAYS MIN TEMP 32 OR BELOW........................ 29 (NORMAL 30)
DAYS MIN TEMP 0 OR BELOW.......................... 0 (NORMAL  2) *
ALSO OCCURRED ON OTHER DATES

            HEATING AND COOLING DEGREE DAYS DATA

HEATING DEGREE DAYS FOR THE MONTH............. 800 (NORMAL  880)
HEATING DEGREE DAYS FOR THE SEASON........... 5203 (NORMAL 5711)
COOLING DEGREE DAYS FOR THE MONTH.............. 00 (NORMAL    0)
COOLING DEGREE DAYS FOR THE SEASON............. 00 (NORMAL    0)

                      PRECIPITATION DATA

TOTAL FOR THE MONTH................................. 0.22 INCHES
NORMAL FOR THE MONTH................................ 2.62 INCHES
DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL FOR THE MONTH................ -2.30 INCHES
TOTAL FOR THE YEAR ................................. 2.43 INCHES
NORMAL FOR THE YEAR................................. 7.36 INCHES
DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL FOR THE YEAR................. -4.93 INCHES
GREATEST IN 24 HOURS............................... 0.17 ON 12TH
GREATEST FOR THE MONTH...................... 6.75 INCHES IN 1970
LEAST FOR THE MONTH.........................TRACE INCHES IN 1972
DAYS WITH 0.01 INCH OR MORE....................... 3  (NORMAL 9)
DAYS WITH 0.10 INCH OR MORE....................... 1  (NORMAL 6)
DAYS WITH 0.50 INCH OR MORE....................... 0  (NORMAL 2)
DAYS WITH 1.00 INCH OR MORE....................... 0  (NORMAL 0)

                          SNOW DATA

TOTAL FOR THE MONTH.................................. 0.3 INCHES
NORMAL FOR THE MONTH...............................  23.9 INCHES
TOTAL FOR THE SEASON...............................  81.0 INCHES
NORMAL FOR THE SEASON..............................  96.4 INCHES
RECORD SNOWFALL FOR THE MONTH.................. 79.4 INCHES 1991
MOST DAILY SNOWFALL FOR THE MONTH............ 0.3 INCHES ON 12TH

March 2009 Temperature Rank

March 2009 Temperature Rank

March 2009 Precipitation Rank

March 2009 Precipitation Rank

Mar 312009
 

Most forecasts are trending toward a breakdown of the high pressure along the California Coast and the storm door to open up for next week. This has been the repetitive story this winter. So, we know there is a chance nothing will come of it. But, more and more forecasts are lining up for a first round on Friday evening and more the following week. Keep your fingers crossed.

On another note, here is a great summary of Surface Temperature Measurement Issues for Joe D’Aleo at Intellicast.

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