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

Pattern Change

 Northern Arizona Weather  Comments Off on Pattern Change
Apr 022009

Maybe it is obvious that the recent sporadically windy conditions are related to fronts moving through Northern Arizona. Although these fronts have provided little to no precipitation, the dominant high pressure has moved farther West, away from Arizona and the California Coast. Now, most models and long range forecasts seem to be pointing toward more moisture making it through to us.

Since I need to drive on the Mogollon Rim tomorrow, I am hoping this first wet wave hitting on Friday will not be too much trouble. The next storm should roll through Northern Arizona on Tuesday or Wednesday. It looks to be a bit wetter. Longer term, there is a chance for another storm or two in the follow 7-10 days. Also, temperatures are going to trend below normal. Each storm will probably continue to bring some wind, as well.

Flip-Flop of Persistent Systems

 Climate, Northern Arizona Weather  Comments Off on Flip-Flop of Persistent Systems
Feb 182009

If you remember this post, the early winter was strongly governed by a persistent high pressure system floating off the California Coast. Now, the situation has reversed. There seems to be a persistent low pressure system floating off the California Coast.

This change should keep the storm door open, to an extent. We should be seeing a “normal” precipitation pattern for the next couple weeks. Doesn’t seem like there will be any big dumpers, though.

Falling Apart

 Northern Arizona Weather  Comments Off on Falling Apart
Jan 252009

Looks like the low pressure moisture link is falling apart for Monday’s storm.  Also, it appears that the storm door will slam shut towards the end of the week with the high pressure returning. Might be two weeks before it opens again.

But, Mondays always bring forecast changes. We’ll see.

Update – Monday am:  Looks like only a few inches will fall and be quickly replaced by warmer, drier conditions by the end of the work week. Next chance is about 2 weeks out.

If You Washed Your Car Last Weekend…

 Northern Arizona Weather, Shark Oil Barometer  Comments Off on If You Washed Your Car Last Weekend…
Jan 222009

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I am a big believer that people like you help bring the storms.

While it is looking like we won’t get a ton of precip from today’s storm, about a quarter of an inch, today’s storm has broken through the persistent high pressure sytem and opened the storm door. Looks like the next storm will arrive Mondayish. Like this storm though, the models and website forecast seem to waver on timing and moisture content.

This morning the Shark Oil Barometer was filled to the top with a chunky cloudiness. I will try to post a photo tonight. It’s not as cloudy as it has been in previous storms this winter, though.

Jan 122009

There maybe a change over the horizon, beyond 7 days. The high pressure has moved and doesn’t look as large or organized. Hopefully, it will breakdown. The Shark Oil Barometer is bright and clear.

In the meantime, here are some interesting links:

Enjoy! Please, check out the Shark Oil Barometer.

(edited Tuesday, January 13 to include following) So, I think it’s important to note that Accuweather has been forecasting snow or ice for next Tuesday-Wednesday, January 20-21, since about the 5th or 6th of January. As that time frame creeps into the other forecasts, it will be interesting to see what they all say. If memory serves, they were right on the money for the December storms, even in their very long 15-day look.

Not seeing it.

 Climate, Northern Arizona Weather  Comments Off on Not seeing it.
Jan 072009


We have another on-again, off-again storm forecasted for Friday-Saturday. Personally, I’m not seeing it happen. The High pressure system off the California Coast is making forecasts quite difficult. The models seem to struggle with it. There is the ability for lows to wrap around it from the north and moisture to be drawn up from the southwest, or not. It comes down to the intersection point of these two things. Last weekend, the line of intersection was from Flagstaff to the southwest.

However, the persistent California Coastal High looks to be breaking down to some extent. A change appears to be in the offing for next week or later. While the Friday-Saturday system may not produce precip, it may help with opening the storm door once again.

Last Storm Summary

The last storm(s) seemed to drop about 6+ inches in my backyard. The weather service reports 5.5 inches of snowfall for the month, which is above the “normal'” 3.6 inches. Conversely, they report the precipation(water) amount as 0.27″, which is under the 0.36″ “normal. This means the snow was very light and fluffy.

Just cracks me up

 Northern Arizona Weather  Comments Off on Just cracks me up
Jan 032009

Well, nothing seems to be stable on this up coming storm. One thing seems clear, if the high pressure system wasn’t around, we would be looking at a real mess. Apparently, it is a timing issue:

  1. Low pressure arrival time and strength
  2. Moisture arrival time, apparently plentiful

The models keep bouncing between little to no accumulation to larger amounts.  Here is a summary:


Low (in)

High (in)

Nat’l Wx Service












Navy GFS






Some interpolation and interpretation of the forecasting information was necessary to get those numbers. The NOGAPS forecast has completely flip-flopped since yesterday. The Accuweather forecast had dropped any significant accumulation on Thursday and Friday morning. I guess this will be a watch and wait.

My daughter has a birthday on Monday and would like to not have school. So, I think she deserves that and think the weather will answer with enough snow to at least delay school.

Just a Dusting in Flagstaff

 Northern Arizona Weather  Comments Off on Just a Dusting in Flagstaff
Jan 012009

The high pressure off the coast is still blocking the storm flow. Although a system will move through, it will basically leapfrog the northland. The San Francisco Peaks may get heavier amounts. Think snow for Snowbowl.

Once again, NOGAPS has been showing this for a few days.

Thanks to everyone that has visited recently.  Here is the hit stats for the lsat few months.

Past 3 months

Past 3 months


 Northern Arizona Weather  Comments Off on Quandry
Dec 282008

There are mixed indications for the next storm.  The NOGAPS forecast is showing a return to the persistent high pressure off the California coast.  This is what shutdown precipitation in October and November.  This forecast has been very accurate in the long range 5-7 day time.

Also, this year, Accuweather has been very robust. They are showing a reopening of the storm door next weekend.  Their long range forecasts often float around on the actual storm arrival date.

The Climate Prediction Center has been inaccurate, until everyone else predicts moisture.  They are forecasting exceptionally dry for the next two weeks. Their weekend predictions are only computer generated, without any human adjustments.

Monday will tell.

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