Aug 082009
 

Looks like several areas might turn in record lows for this date. The Flagstaff record low for this date is 39F. This morning the airport is reporting 36F, and still dropping. Bellemont is showing 24F. Here are some other numbers

Location Record Low(F) Today’s Low(F)
Grand Canyon 40 30
Page 63 59
Prescott 48 48
Flagstaff 39 36

These temperatures are still dropping at 6am. It’s 39F at my station. Today and tonight will be much below normal for most of Northern Arizona.

For the week ahead, the monsoonal high should return and adopt a favorable position for providing moisture flow and seasonable temperatures for the Flagstaff Area.

For the first time since probably June, the Shark Oil Barometer is cloudy this morning.

Shark Oil Barometer Morning -  8-8-9

Shark Oil Barometer Morning - 8-8-9

Jun 222009
 

Dewpoints have remained fairly high all month. We broached 50F for the dewpoint on Saturday. The average dewpoint (from Tucson NWS Tracking site) for the day was in the low 40’s. The moisture is trying to stream up from the Gulf of Mexico and is saturating Northern Mexico. It hasn’t quite made it to Arizona in full force, yet. One of the components of the monsoon is the formation of a thermal low pressure system. We are probably missing some heat to cause the lifting of the are to form the low pressure system.

Dones’t it have to get hot before the monsoon starts?

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

Jun 032009
 

There are three(3) things below that bear reading. First is the NWS May summary for Flagstaff. It was quite warm…until the end. In the end we had record breaking rain and cold.   Quite an interesting month… a quandry!

Below are temperature graphs for the month. They are self-explanatory.

It appears the trend will continue into June. Maybe not as wet, but probably more clouds than usual. Phantom Ranch had a record low temperature, yesterday.

NOUS45 KFGZ 011742
PNSFGZ

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FLAGSTAFF AZ
1042 AM MST MON JUN 1 2009

…A MAY THAT STARTED AS ONE OF THE WARMEST MAYS ON RECORD ALSO
TURNED INTO ONE OF THE WETTEST…

THE FIRST 15 DAYS OF MAY SET A PACE FOR THE MONTH TO BE ONE OF THE
WARMEST ON RECORD WITH AN AVERAGE TEMPERATURE OF 56.8 DEGREES. A
LARGE PLUME OF MOISTURE THEN MOVED OVER THE AREA AND THE RECORD
SETTING PACE WAS SLOWED DUE TO THE PASSAGE OF SEVERAL WEAK LOW
PRESSURE SYSTEMS AND INCREASED CLOUD COVER. STARTING ON THE
18TH…THE FLAGSTAFF AIRPORT RECORDED PRECIPITATION ON 12 OF THE 15
REMAINING DAYS OF THE MONTH. AT LEAST A TRACE OF RAIN FELL AT THE
FLAGSTAFF AIRPORT FROM THE 20TH THROUGH 30TH. THIS 11 DAY RUN RANKS
2ND IN MOST CONSECUTIVE DAYS OF PRECIPITATION IN THE MONTH OF
MAY…AND 40TH FOR MOST CONSECUTIVE DAYS OF PRECIPITATION OVERALL.
THE RESULT WAS AN UNUSUALLY WET MAY…WITH 2.08 INCHES OF
PRECIPITATION BEING RECORDED. MAY 2009 ENDED AS THE 5TH WETTEST ON
RECORD…1.28 INCHES ABOVE THE NORMAL 0.80 INCHES OF PRECIPITATION
FLAGSTAFF NORMALLY RECEIVES IN MAY.

THE ABNORMAL PRECIPITATION STILL WAS NOT THE ONLY STORY OF
MONTH…ABNORMALLY HIGH TEMPERATURES ALSO WORKED THEIR WAY INTO THE
MIX. MAY 2009 WAS THE FIRST MAY EVER…TO NOT RECORD A LOW
TEMPERATURE OF 32 DEGREES OR BELOW. THE MONTH ENDED AS THE 2ND
WARMEST MAY ON RECORD WITH A MONTHLY AVERAGE TEMPERATURE OF 56.0
DEGREES. BREAKING THAT DOWN INTO THE HIGHS AND LOWS…THE AVERAGE
MINIMUM TEMPERATURE WAS 39.6 DEGREES…THE WARMEST AVERAGE MAY
MINIMUM TEMPERATURE EVER RECORDED. THE AVERAGE MAY MAXIMUM
TEMPERATURE CAME IN AS THE 8TH WARMEST MAY MAXIMUM WITH A VALUE OF
72.3 DEGREES.

CLARK

May Temperatures

May Temperatures

may-2009-ave-temp

“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

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