Record Lows

 Climate, Monsoon, Northern Arizona Weather, Record  Comments Off on Record Lows
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

Regional Dewpoints

 Climate, Northern Arizona Weather, Shark Oil Barometer  Comments Off on Regional Dewpoints
Jul 112009

Not a particularly wet July, so far. The shark oil barometer has been crystal clear for quite sometime. It looks like today could bring some rain, but we will taper back to dry conditions, again.

Dewpoints across parts the region have fallen and remained low over the last week or so. Check out the dewpoints for Phoenix, Tucson, El Paso, Yuma and Flagstaff.  Flagstaff is still near average, where the others have dropped significantly. For the month, with the rains before the 4th of July, we are still right about average for precipitation. That may not apply everywhere in the area due to the large variations possible in the monsoon season.

Flagstaff Dewpoint Tracker

Flagstaff Dewpoint Tracker

On the Edge

 Climate, Northern Arizona Weather  Comments Off on On the Edge
Jun 242009

Looks like Flagstaff will be on the moisture edge for the next few days. There is very  dry air to the west, very wet air to the east. Some days it may cause storms in Flag. Most storms will be to the east and southeast. It does appear the thermal low is starting to build over Baja and Southwestern Arizona.

BUT!!! Check out this new graphical forecast page from the National Weather Service: Graphical Forecast for Flagstaff

Warming Pacific

 Climate, Northern Arizona Weather  Comments Off on Warming Pacific
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

Monsoon to Start This Week?

 Climate, Northern Arizona Weather  Comments Off on Monsoon to Start This Week?
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?

Cool June?

 Climate, Northern Arizona Weather  Comments Off on Cool June?
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.

Cooler and Wetter, Again?

 Climate, Northern Arizona Weather  Comments Off on Cooler and Wetter, Again?
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

Rain? Again?

 Northern Arizona Weather  Comments Off on Rain? Again?
Jun 042009

Well, most of the forecasts are showing slight chances for isolated thunderstorms for the next few days. Go figure. It doesn’t match the computer models that I typically watch.  I think the dewpoint is higher than we might normally expect to see in June. If more moisture and a low pressure system come through, we could see some rain. We should see wind.

Yesterday was an average day, temperature wise. It wil probably be cooler than that thhrough the weekend.

Summer Outlook

 Climate, Northern Arizona Weather  Comments Off on Summer Outlook
Jun 012009

There are a number of parts to looking at this summer. First we have a new tool available from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). This tool provides a local 3-month outlook by individual NWS weather station. This particular tool, which I have linked to from my main website, is showing an better chance at the summer being warm. This isn’t an unusual forecast for NOAA. They tend to be on the “everything is getting warmer” band wagon. However, their Climate Prediction Center is showing a chance for a wetter than average summer:

Summer 2009 - Precip Forecast

Summer 2009 - Precip Forecast

However, keep in mind my post from April 28, 2009 and the associated Intellicast article on the summer outlook. The Intellicast article takes into account several factors in analog years to predict the summer. Their prediction is towards a cooler summer. Unfortunately they level out a prediction for precipitation.

Usually, I like to look at the sea surface temperature anomaly in the waters that affect our precipitation. These would be the waters off the Baja Coast and the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf of Mexico is fairly mild this year, so far. There is a body of warmer than normal water off the Baja, but there also appears to be a boundary of cooler water between us and there. In all, a wash for warm water driving more moisture to us.

So, in my mind, I think if we have cooler this summer, it could be wetter. If it is hotter, we could be drier.

I’ll be doing more about the Monsoon in the near future.

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