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

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.

Jan 012009
 

Here is a great link about the current solar minimum and some of the potential effects of the sun on climate. In 2008, the sun produced it’s second lowest number of sunspots in a given year since 1900.

Bundle up! We could be in for a very long cold spell.

Here is a link to much more in-depth information about Solar Cycle history. Set aside some time to read this one.

One more link with more info on the link to climate: Solar Cycle and Climate

Sep 302008
 

Well, here goes.  Solar activity remains low.  Sunspot activity, solar output and the solar wind have all dropped to 50-100 year lows.  All would indicate an over all cooling trend for the planet.  Personally, I thought this drove our weather last winter.

The Pacfic Coast water temps are below normal.  This bodes ill for precipitation.  The Pacific Decadal Oscillation has intensely swung to cold.  Another bad sign for precip.  A weak El Nino may build into the spring.

So, for the next 3-6 months, I would expect colder than normal temperatures, and drier than average precipitation levels.  Notice the “than average” part.  I don’t mean outside normal bounds necessarily.  Just less than average.  Check this post in my forums for an example (http://stu-in-flag.net/forum/index.php?topic=3.msg4#new).  The temperatures will probably be like last winter….brrrr!

This forecast does coincide with the Farmer’s Almanac (http://www.almanac.com/weatherforecast/us/13).  Section 13 cooresponds to Flagstaff and most of Northern Arizona.

However, if you are a skier, I would recommend buying a season pass.  They will probably find a way to open for a fair amount of time.

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