the latest...

Check archived posts (right column) and stats (above) for general information.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

goodbye july... (pm.31.jul.13)>

*Update @ 8:58pm... I've got steady moderate rain falling at the moment.  Total for the day is now 0.32" (8mm), which is really nothing special, considering the season.  However, if this rain continues all night, we could have some hefty totals to mark our transition from July to August.

*Update @ 7:46pm... It seems that we have some genuinely significant development happening during the past half hour or so.  The occasional light showers of the afternoon have been recently morphing into some much heavier downpours, with a bit of thunder as well.  I'll be updating this evening as we watch to see if this might continue on, or fizzle out.

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 66.7F (19.3C)
High temp: 76.6F (24.8C)
Rainfall: 0.18" (5mm) -- update to follow

Clouds, fog and scattered mainly light showers are alternating with peeks of sun across the area this evening.  We had a few hours of full sunshine which lasted until around 10am, when clouds and fog very rapidly developed, leading to off-and-on showers since just before 1pm.  But -- as has been the case for the last week to 10 days -- the rain has been on the light side, and amounts in the rain gauge have been well below what we would expect this time of year.  The humidity reading at my location dipped as low as 70% this morning, which is a rarity during the monsoon season.

Our recent situation is evidence that it is not always a good idea to make generalizations about the weather in McLeod.  Many people would never be caught dead here during monsoon, but this morning was about as bright and gorgeous as it gets around here, and temperatures have been very comfortable.  Although we've been lamenting the fact that we're going to end up well below the normal rainfall for the month of July, there have definitely been an above normal number of genuinely pleasant hours this month, and the drying of laundry hasn't been quite the impossible task that it often is.

There only has to be a very slight shift in wind direction throughout just a few of the multiple layers of the atmosphere to put us back in the target-zone for heavy rainfall development here along the front slopes of the Dhauladhars.  Computer models STILL say it will be happening, effective immediately, so we'll continue to watch and wait...

Check the CURRENT FORECAST on the tab at the top of the page.

befuddling... (am.31.jul.13)>

It is absolutely clear as the eastern sky brightens early on this final morning of July 2013.  And where is the fog?  Where is the rain?  Humidity stands at 83%, and I'm recording a low temp of 66.7F (19.3C).

Here are some recent rainfall statistics from my location in the upper part of town:

  • 24 hour rainfall -- 0.03" (1mm)
  • Rainfall in the past week -- 2.33" (5.9cm)
  • Rainall in the past 10 days -- 5.25" (13.3cm)
I'm sure I don't ever remember a stretch of such paltry amounts of rain like this right in the very heart of the monsoon season.  Even on years when I've been away during this time, I've had others monitoring and logging rainfall amounts, and weekly averages are commonly in the 8-10" (20-25cm) range.

The other perplexing thing is that computer models have been constantly churning out data to support moderate to occasionally heavy rainfall amounts for our area -- and it just ain't happening.  By all accounts, conditions remain favorable for the development of significant rainfall here along the Dhauladhars over the course of the next several days, but I don't know what it's going to take to jolt us out of this very weird and unseasonable situation.

The CURRENT FORECAST can be found on the tab above.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

wild cards... (pm.30.jul.13)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 67.3F (19.6C)
High temp: 73.9F (23.3C)
24 hour rainfall: 0.16" (4mm)

The day is ending as it began -- with thick fog.  In between, we've had a little of everything; from peeks of sun, to patchy fog, to a persistent bank of mid-level clouds, to thunder and some short-lived showers.  Most of the rainfall during the past 24 hours occurred during the depths of the overnight hours into the early morning, with not much at all since then.  Humidity dropped to around 85% during the middle of the day, but has been close to 100% at the start and end.

I'm precariously close to losing the plot with this recent weather pattern.  We've not had nearly the amount of rain I would have expected by now, and it seems that computer models have been unhelpful, continuing to over-forecast rainfall amounts for our area -- at least as far as the immediate McLeod area is concerned.  We're now down to about 30 hours left for the month of July, and unless there are some drastic changes very soon, we're going to end the month considerably below normal.  That's not the case further downhill, but it's the reality this season here at our elevation.

Anyway, the data continues to point to fairly widespread moderate to heavy rain showers for the remainder of the week, and perhaps into early next week as well.  Based on our recent track-record, I guess all we can do is play it hour-by-hour and see what might happen to develop.  We are way overdue for some persistent heavy rains, after only spotty and scattered showers during the past several days.

The CURRENT FORECAST and the MONSOON 2013 RAINFALL tally can be found on the tabs above...

entering active phase... (am.30.jul.13)>

*Update @ 8:47am... Picked up just 0.03" (1mm) during that little episode.  Pathetic!

*Update @ 7:37am... Although the large area of rain and thunder to our west is actually drifting west-southwestward, there is new development taking place on its eastern flank, and that's happening virtually right on top of us.  You've probably heard the thunder increasing in the past half hour or so.  If this development continues, we'll get some action very shortly.

It's foggy with 100% humidity here on Tushita Road below the Mountaineering Center early this morning.  I measured 0.13" (3mm) of rain overnight, which is still not much to get very excited about.  Due to the full saturation of this air mass, temperatures have moved very little in the past 24 hours or so.  My early morning temp is 69.1F (20.6C).

This morning's satellite pics are showing a large area of rain and thunder just to our west, but the upper-level flow is actually carrying it  more southwestward... away from us.  Anyway, the development of that action shows that the atmosphere is trying hard to release some of this pent-up thermodynamic energy, and it points to the likelihood of further development as we move into the middle of the week.

I've been talking about Tuesday (today) through late Thursday or Friday being the prime target for heavy rain potential, and this morning's data confirms that scenario.  Personally, I've been getting impatient waiting for things to pop, but I know we're probably going to get several inches of rain by the time Friday rolls around.  In fact, even looking further ahead, it appears that we're going to remain in a active phase of the monsoon through the weekend, at least.

The CURRENT FORECAST, along with plenty of other info, is located on tabs at the top of the page.

Monday, July 29, 2013

majorly muggy... (pm.29.jul.13)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 67.6F (19.8C)
High temp: 72.1F (22.3C)
Rainfall: 0.07" (2mm)

Not looking too bad this evening -- although the sky is still mostly cloudy, there is very little fog at the moment, and no rain showers either.  I was on pins and needles all day, waiting for the rain to get going, but it never did.  Some drizzle and a few sprinkles this afternoon didn't amount to more than a trace, so the only measurable rain we've had today occurred during the very early morning hours, before sunrise.  It's been really muggy, though -- humidity has hung in the 95-100% range all day.

We have to be right on the brink of significant rain development, and I have a feeling once it busts loose, it's going to be pretty heavy.  Thick tropical moisture is in place all along the front ranges of the mountains, and now all we need is some kind of energy in the mid- and upper levels of the atmosphere to kick things off.  So far it has remained rather calm and benign up there, but I think that could change at any moment.  The computer models remain consistent with heavy rain potential pegged mainly between tomorrow (Tues) and late Thursday or Friday.

We're now getting down to just over 48 hours left in the month of July, and if you've been following the blog, you've heard me mention many times that we are significantly below the norm for total July rainfall.  There are still about 13" (33cm) needed to catch up, and as the hours go by, prospects of that happening are decreasing in likelihood.

Check the CURRENT FORECAST on the tab at the top of the page.

moisture immersion... (am.29.jul.13)>

Thundershowers were roaming the area before dawn this morning, but at my particular location I only came up with 0.07" (2mm) in the rain gauge.  I have a feeling others may have had considerably more than that.  Humidity is still very close to 100% at sunrise, under partly cloudy skies with patchy fog... and the temperature is 68F (20C).

It's going to be very interesting to see how things evolve during these final few days of July.  Massive amounts of tropical moisture are flowing in, and as it interacts with the mountains there will be development of numerous periods of rain.  What remains to be seen is how heavy the rain will be, and how widespread it will be.  Computer model data is still pointing to the mid-week period (Tuesday through Thursday) for the greatest heavy rain potential -- so we'll see how much of what is coming gets credited to July, and how much to August.

Even during non-rainy periods, the humidity doesn't look like it will drop much at all, keeping us in the fog for the vast majority of the time.  It's very likely that we'll see much less of the sun this week than last -- in fact, it might be difficult to get even just a few faint glimpses.

The CURRENT FORECAST is always updated and available on the tab at the top of the page.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

back to reality... (pm.28.jul.13)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 66.4F (19.1C)
High temp: 70.3F (21.3C)
Rainfall: 0.56" (1.4cm) -- updated at 7:30pm

Things are finally starting to look and feel the way they're supposed to look and feel at the tail-end of July.  Deep tropical moisture has again pushed up against the front ranges of the mountains, all the way from northern Pakistan and northern India into Nepal, leading to the development of widespread fog and some more persistent rain showers.  We started getting some light rain and drizzle around noon, and have had steady, moderate rain for a couple of hours late this afternoon.  Humidity has remained very close to 100% throughout the day.

This latest surge of genuine monsoon conditions is just getting started.  More and more moisture-laden air is going to be flowing into Himachal during the coming few days, and computer model data is consistent in painting a very wet picture for us as we close out the month of July and turn the page to August.  There are signs that we could be in for some of the heaviest rainfall amounts of the season so far, especially as we get into the middle of the coming week.  It may be too little, too late, in order to bring us up to normal for July, but there is a remote chance that we could catch up.  Stay tuned!

I wanted to thank those of you who've voted on our monsoon poll (right column of page) -- it's actually quite a surprise to me that the results are fairly uniform across the board.  In fact, among those who have voted, it seems that monsoon lovers may slightly outnumber the haters(?)  Share your opinion, if you haven't done so already.

Tabs at the top of the page contain your CURRENT FORECAST, the MONSOON 2013 RAINFALL tally, and other info.

a tropical feel... (am.28.jul.13)>

There have been a couple of faint glimmers of sun out there early this morning, otherwise patches of thick fog have been dominating the scene, as humidity hovers very close to 100%.  My overnight low here in the upper part of McLeod was 66.4F (19.1C), and I've recorded no rainfall since the showers last evening.

Tropical moisture has increased significantly during the past 24 hours or so, and we're now back to where we should be at this stage of the monsoon season, in terms of full-saturation of the atmosphere and pervasive fog.  The next step would be to start getting some heavier rain showers, after several days in a row of only spotty light to moderate rain for the most part.  All indications are pointing to better and better rainfall potential as we progress through the first and middle parts of the week, and as we transition into August.

Rainfall totals for the entire monsoon are very close to normal at my location on Tushita Road -- but that's thanks to double the normal amount of rain during June.  For July, I'm still running way behind.  More often than not, it seems that things tend to balance out over the long haul.  

Check your CURRENT FORECAST on the tab above, and stay tuned for updates on heavy rain potential during the coming several days...

Saturday, July 27, 2013

deep moisture returning... (pm.27.jul.13)>

*Update @ 7:41pm... There is an additional 0.29" (7mm) in my rain gauge in the last hour and a half.  That brings the daily total to 0.51" (1.3cm).  Current humidity stands at 95%, and the temp is 71F (21.7C).

*Update @ 6:39pm... Getting some moderate intensity rainfall near the main square in McLeod at the moment, and seems to be the heaviest of the day.  Will update the rainfall total later this evening.

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 64.2F (17.9C)
High temp: 73.0F (22.8C)
Rainfall: 0.51" (1.3cm) -- updated

Well it has certainly been getting juicier out there since about mid-morning.  The day started off with some nice sunshine, but if you slept until 8:30am or so, you probably missed it.  The humidity quickly shot up to 95%, and has remained pretty close to 100% for the majority of the day, keeping us immersed in clouds and fog for all but just a couple of brief moments.  There have also been a few showers hugging the mountains, but as of this evening, there's been nothing heavy in the immediate McLeod area.

This recent weak phase of the monsoon may be very close to its end, as the overall weather pattern begins to tilt in favor of consistently saturated conditions and the potential for heavier and longer-lasting rains.  A southeasterly flow is starting to pile up the deep tropical moisture all along the Himalayan chain from Nepal into northern India, so it's only a matter of time until the heavier rains begin to manifest.  It still looks the most ominous starting on Tuesday, and continuing through most of next week.

Total July rainfall is already near normal for the entire month downhill from us in the Dharamsala area, but we continue to lag behind up here.  We need close to 14" (35cm) by Wednesday night in order to catch up -- not an impossible ask, but highly unlikely.

Keep track of the CURRENT FORECAST, along with other local weather information on the tabs above.

awaiting the next surge... (am.27.jul.13)>

*Update @ 9:06am... The nice sunshine earlier this morning has yielded to rapidly developing fog during the past hour.  We'll see if the return to the saturation point is going to be just short-term, or for the long haul.

There has been no new rainfall at my location in the upper part of town overnight, but I heard the thunder rumbling during the wee hours of the morning, so it's likely that someone, somewhere nearby was getting measurable rain.  At sunrise, it is partly cloudy, with a humidity reading of 87%.  We're starting off the day with a temperature near 68F (20C).

Although there have been some showers and healthy downpours scattered across the area during the past few days, we've been in a generally weak phase of the monsoon.  Since Wednesday, the average humidity has been way below normal for the end of July -- often dipping below 80% for a few hours every day.  That has left us well below the saturation point, with only a few short periods of fog, mainly during the evening hours.  Of course it is really nice to get a stretch of pretty decent weather this time of year, so I haven't heard many complaints.  But as I mentioned last night, the July rainfall tally is running way behind, and we need more than 14" (35cm) if we're going to catch up during these last five days of the month.

A fresh array of computer model data this morning continues to point toward a return to genuine monsoon conditions, in the form of a new surge of deep, rich and juicy tropical moisture.  It will most likely arrive gradually, between late today (Sat) and tomorrow (Sun) evening, in the form of humidity climbing back toward the 95-100% range.  The risk of heavier showers will increase as well, leading to perhaps a period of more extended heavy rain -- especially as we move toward Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.

Check the tabs at the top of the page for your CURRENT FORECAST, along with other information.

Friday, July 26, 2013

lagging behind... (pm.26.jul.13)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 60.8F (16.0C)
High temp: 73.0F (22.8C)
Rainfall: 0.90" (2.3cm)

We're in the fog again this evening, but we had partly cloudy skies for much of the day, with an inordinate amount of sunshine for the latter part of July.  In fact, the humidity dropped as low as 71% during the mid-day hours -- but it's back near 100% again this evening, as evidenced by the fog.  As far as I'm aware, there has been no rainfall since the healthy showers late last night into the very early morning hours.

Total rainfall for the month of July at my location on Tushita Road just below the Mountaineering Center now stands at 23.63" (60cm).  Average July rainfall is 37.8" (95.9cm), so you can see that we've got a lot of making up to do, if we're going to reach that amount.  Anything is possible, but I think it's going to be a tall order to come up with more than 14" (35.6cm) of rain in the next five days.  Further downhill in the Dharamsala area, they aren't running so far behind, so they should be able to end the month fairly close to normal.

It still looks like more typical monsoon conditions will be developing again during the next couple of days, with an increasing likelihood of some widespread heavy rainfall as we move into the first half of the new week.  We're getting more than a little spoiled right now, and I sense that a serious reality check is not too far in our future...

Your CURRENT FORECAST can be found on the tab at the top of the page.

odd phase continues... (am.26.jul.13)>

I picked up 0.90" (2.3cm) of rain overnight, bringing my 24 hour total to exactly 1.00" (2.5cm) here on Tushita Road in the upper part of town.  Those showers have moved out now, leaving us with mostly cloudy skies -- but the thick fog that is usually so prevalent this time of year is still noticeably absent.  Humidity this morning is just 86%, and the temp is 64.5F (18.1C).  I recorded a low of 60.3F (15.7C) during the rain, which is actually the coolest temperature of the month.

The atmospheric moisture profiles remain unusual for this stage of the monsoon season, as some drier air in mainly the mid-levels has squashed the fog development for much of the past 48 hours or so.  There's obviously still enough moisture and energy to stir up scattered rain showers, but even those have not been particularly widespread or long-lasting.  

It does appear that the next surge of deeper and richer tropical moisture will be moving in this weekend, and that should put us back at the full saturation point -- which means a return to 100% humidity and generally foggy conditions.  It also means that we could be experiencing more widespread and heavier rainfall next week, as we make the transition from July into August.

The CURRENT FORECAST is available on the tab at the top of the page.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

isolated downpours... (pm.25.jul.13)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 63.3F (17.4C)
High temp: 73.4F (23.0C)
Rainfall: 0.10" (3mm)

It's been a very odd mid-monsoon kind of day, with quite a bit of sunshine, humidity dropping to the 75-80% range for much of the day, and very little fog to be seen.  There were some heavy rain showers below McLeod overnight, but only a couple of periods of showers here in town this afternoon which deposited 0.10" (3mm) in my rain gauge.  As sunset approaches, it's partly cloudy with a couple of isolated rain showers dotting the area.

We're firmly in the midst of a weak phase of monsoon conditions, as a pocket of drier air has worked its way into northern India, temporarily.  There is still enough moisture in the air to stir up those isolated heavy downpours (which continue to remain mostly downhill from the immediate McLeod vicinity), but widespread saturated conditions characterized by wall-to-wall fog and persistent moderate to heavy rains have been chased away for perhaps the next 36-48 hours or so.

Our trusty computer models are showing the next major surge of deep and juicy tropical moisture to begin moving in on Saturday, and lasting into at least Tuesday of next week.  Those of you who have ridden through a few monsoon seasons know that conditions can change quickly and dramatically, and it's never a good idea to get complacent.

Remember to check the tabs at the top of the page for the CURRENT FORECAST, the MONSOON 2013 RAINFALL tally, and other local information...

lower humidity... (am.25.jul.13)>

*Update @ 8:40am... The crazy disparity between 'uphill and downhill' continues.  Just had a report of 1.6" (4.1cm) of rain overnight near Norbulingkha -- while I had absolutely zero rain up here.

It doesn't look very much like monsoon season out there this morning.  Although skies are mostly cloudy, there is no fog, and the humidity is hovering around 85%.  There was a bit of thunder rumbling around very early this morning, but I've had no new rainfall amounts up here on Tushita Road in the upper part of town.  My current temperature at sunrise is 64.4F (18.0C).

The moisture content of the air has dropped considerably since just before noon yesterday (Wed), and it looks like this stretch of drier weather could last another 48 hours or so.  As I mentioned last night, our rain chances are not going to be erased altogether -- there could still be some healthy downpours somewhere around the area -- but we probably won't be spending extended hours at the full saturation point, and any showers should be of the scattered variety.  A respite, indeed, in the midst of what hasn't really been that bad of a July monsoon period anyway.

Right now it appears that the next major surge of tropical moisture will arrive as early as Saturday, and thicken up during the early part of next week.  Widespread heavier rainfall will be back in the forecast, especially by Monday and Tuesday.

The CURRENT FORECAST can be found on the tab at the top of the page.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

quiet for now... (pm.24.jul.13)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 64.2F (17.9C)
High temp: 71.4F (21.9C)
Rainfall: 0.03" (1mm)

A pleasant and very quiet evening is underway, after an unusually quiet day.  There was some drizzle, a few sprinkles and a couple of very light showers in the area until mid-morning, but then the humidity dropped a bit which allowed even the fog to dissipate.  Although it's been generally cloudy, the visibility has been good as the atmosphere dips well below the saturation point for a while.

This time of year it's impossible to rule out a sudden heavy downpour any time of the day or night, but it does look like the overall weather pattern will favor less shower action and slightly lower humidity levels during the next couple of days.  Deep tropical moisture is constantly surging up against the mountains and then temporarily retreating, but we just may be able to enjoy this "retreat" mode until the weekend.  It's probably not a good idea to pack the umbrella away, but it may not be needed quite as frequently during the next 48 hours or so.

After an early and aggressive start, this monsoon season has slowed down in July.  My rainfall total for the month is still running a bit below normal -- but it's not too late to catch up before the month comes to an end in exactly a week from now.

Check out the tabs above for your CURRENT FORECAST, along with other info.

up vs. down... (am.24.jul.13)>

*Update @ 7:46am... Very rapid and dramatic clearing has occurred during the past 20 minutes or so.  I don't think it will last for too long, but nice to see the sun.

I'm totally socked in with clouds and fog here at my location in the upper part of McLeod early this morning.  The rain gauge isn't showing measurable rain from overnight, but there have been a few sprinkles and very light showers developing again since about 5:00am.  My early morning temp is 65.5F (18.6C), and humidity is very close to 100%.

There continues to be a pretty major disparity between rainfall amounts across our area.  Yesterday, 5.7" (14.5cm) was reported near Norbulingkha, while I had 2.41" (6.1cm) up here near the Mountaineering Center.  That continues the trend that has been very consistent during the past week or so -- significantly heavier rain occurring at the lower elevations, with amounts decreasing as we go up-mountain.  This level of maximum saturation varies and fluctuates up and down throughout the monsoon season, but now is obviously the time for it to be hanging closer to Dharamsala than McLeod.  Or -- maybe there's just an invisible dome over my rain gauge recently!!

I've been talking about a potential reduction in rain chances, along with a slight lowering of the amount of moisture in the area during the middle of the week.  Well, it's now the middle of the week, and there isn't much evidence of that happening yet.  Computer model data isn't pointing to any dramatic drying/clearing, just a bit of a respite between now and Friday.  We'll see whether or not there is the slightest element of truth to that...

Check your CURRENT FORECAST on the tab at the top of the page.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

wet day ending... (pm.23.jul.13)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 64.0F (17.8C)
High temp: 69.8F (21.0C)
Rainfall: 2.41" (6.1cm) -- midnight until 7:45pm (*updated)

There are some faint glimmers of sunshine across the area this evening, after what we might call a "rainy day".  Clusters of rain showers that developed along the leading edge of the mountains late last night held on much longer than expected, and kept redeveloping off and on throughout most of the day.  I've had an impressive rainfall total since midnight (see stats above), and will update that amount later this evening.

During the monsoon season, and even during other times of the year, we are often under the gun here along the Dhauladhars, even if computer model data isn't indicating significant precipitation.  If you are a regular weathergeek reader, you've heard the story time and time again about our micro-climate features that sometimes over-ride the large-scale patterns.  That's what we've been dealing with since late last night, as deep tropical moisture trapped along the leading edge of the mountains was being lifted and condensed into rain-producing clouds in a sort of "holding pattern" that lasted for about 12-15 hours.

The overall scenario favors a turn to "less wet" conditions during the mid-week period, which means we could get more dry hours between showers, and some periods of lower humidity between tomorrow and perhaps Friday.  Then, it looks like yet another surge of deep tropical moisture will be making its presence known over the coming weekend.

Check the CURRENT FORECAST, along with other useful info on the tabs at the top of the page...

overnight rainfall... (am.23.jul.13)>

*Update @ 8:33am... Rainfall intensity has increased again during the past few minutes, as satellite pics show a resilient band of showers along an axis from extreme northeastern Pakistan through southwest Jammu & Kashmir, into central Himachal.  I was expecting these showers to fizzle out this morning, but they're obviously still hanging on.

We've had some persistent, significant rain overnight -- I've recorded 1.45" (3.7cm) since last report (around 9:15pm) here on Tushita Road just below the Mountaineering Center.  It's cloudy with patchy fog at sunrise, with just a bit of drizzle.  The early morning temperature is 66F (18.9C), and humidity is close to 100%.

Satellite pics show a few small clusters of rain and thundershowers from western Kashmir into central Himachal Pradesh, which have been nearly stationary since last evening.  This activity should dissipate during the next few hours, but new scattered shower action could easily redevelop later in the day.

Computer models and other data are trending toward a slightly drier atmosphere as we head into the mid-week period.  That doesn't mean rain chances will be diminishing altogether, but it does indicate that we may see more hours of dry weather in between showers/downpours, along with a few periods of lower humidity now and then.  During the very heart of the monsoon season, any stretch of drier conditions is much appreciated.

Keep an eye on the running total of MONSOON 2013 RAINFALL, along with your CURRENT FORECAST, both located on tabs at the top of the page.

Monday, July 22, 2013

off-on-off-on... (pm.22.july.13)>

*Update @ 8:05pm... I'm getting the most significant rainfall of the day right now.  Moderate intensity showers have been ongoing for the last 45 minutes or so.  Rainfall update to follow... (see stats below)

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 65.7F (18.7C)
High temp: 72.9F (22.7C)
Rainfall: 0.36" (9mm) -- updated at 9:15pm

It's been another day of constant swings and changes... between clouds, fog, showers, and brief peeks of sun.  There have been numerous brief showers, but at least at my location in the upper part of town, rainfall amounts have been light once again.  It's very dark and gloomy this evening, and it looks like there could be a massive downpour at any moment... but so far that hasn't happened.  (Check the rainfall total later this evening for updates.)

Sorting through all the available computer model data recently has become very monotonous.  We are locked into a fairly typical mid-monsoon pattern, overall, and there just isn't much of a dramatic shift evident anywhere in our immediate future.  My rainfall tally is definitely running a bit below normal for July, but I know that's not the case further downhill in Dharamsala and vicinity.  Average daily rainfall should be running close to 1.2" (3cm) per day, but I'm showing an average of only 0.90" (2.3cm) per day for this month so far.  As I mentioned this morning, though, it only takes a couple of major downpours to start turning that statistic around.

Regardless of what the weather charts or computer models are telling us, the micro-climate factors in these mountains hold more sway, so just be prepared each and every day for whatever Monsoon 2013 has to offer us...

The CURRENT FORECAST is available on the tab above, along with a running total of MONSOON 2013 RAINFALL.

moderate phase... (am.22.jul.13)>

There have been some light  rain showers during the pre-dawn hours scattered around the area -- but I've got just 0.10" (3mm) in my rain gauge.  At sunrise, it's mostly cloudy with some patchy fog.  My temperature is 68.1F (20.1C) and the humidity is 93%.

Total rainfall over the weekend between Friday and Sunday was 3.76" (9.6cm) at my location up on Tushita Road -- but I know it was more in the 6-7" (15-18cm) range in some areas below McLeod Ganj.  As we move through the new week, it looks like we're going to be in a rather moderate phase of monsoon conditions -- not too weak, but not particularly strong either. There is plenty of moisture around, and there are also plenty of weak ripples and disturbances drifting through in the upper-levels of the atmosphere.  There are also going to be a few peeks of sunshine here and there to heat up the surface layer and create some marginal instability.

All of those meteorological factors point to the likelihood of occasional showers on any given day this week, a few of which could produce locally heavy amounts of rain.  It is looking like a bit of a hit-and-miss pattern again, which means there could be great variability according to elevation and location.  There are hints of a more substantial surge of heavy rain-producing tropical moisture on the way for the end of the week, so that will be something else to keep our eyes on.

Your CURRENT FORECAST is always available on the tab above.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

tropical variability... (pm.21.jul.13)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 63.9F (17.7C)
High temp: 75.1F (23.9C)
Rainfall: 0.15" (4mm)

A day of rather extreme variability is drawing to a close.  Clouds, light showers, fog, and bursts of sunshine have been alternating back and forth since very early this morning.  I recorded the warmest temperature of the past week at around 9:00am, believe it or not, thanks to an extended sunny period that finally succumbed to clouds and fog as late morning arrived.  There were off-and-on periods of drizzle and light rain showers today, but not much in the rain gauge to show for it, at least at my location in the upper part of town.

The whole weather pattern is really kind of nondescript right now, with a seasonably tropical air mass sloshing back and forth along the front ranges of the mountains of northern India.  The computer models have only a marginally OK handle on the situation, as micro-scale features are really more dominant this time of year, and the model guidance doesn't have the resolution to pick up on some of the intricate details.  Those computer models are showing that we should be getting about 1.5" (3-4cm) of rain this evening and overnight, but so far, there hasn't been anything close to that, as far as I am aware.  But -- development is likely to be isolated and localized, so don't be surprised if some of us get a heavy downpour, and others do not.

There does appear to be a trend toward slightly lower humidity and lower rainfall coverage during the first part of this week, followed by another surge of more widespread saturation and potentially heavy rainfall starting on Thursday.  Rainfall at my spot in the upper part of McLeod is lagging below normal for July as of now, but it only takes a couple of major downpours to reverse that.

The CURRENT FORECAST, along with the MONSOON 2013 RAINFALL tally can be found on tabs above.

monsoon life... (am.21.jul.13)>

*Update @ 7:39am... Most of us are getting a glorious blast of Sunday morning sunshine, as the clouds temporarily disperse.  Wishing this could last for a few hours, but I think all the sun is going to do is start to draw lots of moisture from the ground which will condense into fog and clouds shortly.

*Update @ 7:08am... That rain shower about a half hour ago turned out to be brief, but it deposited a quick 0.11" (3mm) here.  There are some nice breaks in the overcast at the moment...

The night was absolutely quiet and uneventful, but it's raining again this morning at my location on Tushita Road, as of about 6:15am.  It's just starting to register in the rain gauge, so I'll post amounts later in the morning.  It's currently 64.5F (18.1C), and humidity is very close to 100%.

Rainfall yesterday morning ranged from around 3" (7.5cm) in Dharamkot, to around 6" (15cm) further downhill in and around the immediate Dharamsala area.  Since that time, there hasn't been a lot going on, but we'll see what happens with the rain that has been developing in the past hour.  Conditions are still favorable for some significant rainfall today, but we'll likely get some hours of dry weather as well.

It looks like the atmosphere is going to attempt to dry out just a bit between Monday and Wednesday.  That doesn't mean there will be no rainfall at all, it just means that the showers will be more of the scattered, hit-and-miss variety, as we experienced between Wednesday and Friday of last week.  There is no weather feature on the horizon that is going to displace this tropical air mass, so any breaks and/or drops in humidity will be quite short-lived.  That's just the way life is in late July, and the way it will stay for the next 5-6 weeks or longer.  Historical records show that the heaviest rainfall of the entire monsoon season and year occurs between roughly July 20th and August 20th... so according to the law of averages, we're just now getting into the "meat" of the season.

Check the tabs above for your CURRENT FORECAST, along with the running total on MONSOON 2013 RAINFALL.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

perpetually wet... (pm.20.jul.13)>

*Update @ 9:08pm... Our sky has cleared out a bit, and satellite pics are showing absolutely nothing going on -- at least for now.  Conditions are ripe for some rain/thunder development during the overnight hours, but it should remain quiet for at least a few hours.

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 62.6F (17.0C)
High temp: 69.7F (20.9C)
Rainfall: 3.22" (8.2cm)

It's mostly cloudy this evening with areas of fog rolling in and out.  The major rainfall ended around 11am, with just some off-and-on drizzle and a couple of brief light showers since that time.  Fortunately, that heavy 3.22" (8.2cm) occurred over the course of about 10 hours or more, which kept the run-off from ever getting too serious, at least here in the immediate McLeod area.  Heavier amounts in a shorter period of time could have caused some flooding further downhill, but I haven't heard of specific issues.

The very extensive area of rain and thunder which sat on top of mainly western portions of Himachal Pradesh for all those hours has mostly dissipated, leaving lots of multi-layered clouds behind.  For now, the air mass has stabilized, but there is the potential for things to re-fire tonight -- so keep in mind the risk of more moderate to heavy rainfall before the weekend is over.

There is actually very little day-to-day variation on the weather charts over the course of the next 5-7 days or so, which is quite normal for the end of July.  At least some rain is likely to occur every day, with a good chance of occasional heavy downpours thrown into the mix as well, thanks to an atmosphere that is going to remain very close to the saturation point.  Looks like clothes-drying is going to be a difficult task for a while...

Cast your vote on our monsoon poll at the right of the page, and check the CURRENT FORECAST on the tab above.

substantial rains... (am.20.jul.13)>

*Update @ 10:55am... Total rainfall now 3.11" (7.9cm) since all of this started around 1:00am.  It seems to be brightening up at the moment, but not sure if this will be a trend, or just a brief respite before further development happens this afternoon.

*Update @ 9:10am... The rain hasn't been heavy the last few hours, but it's been steady.  I now have 2.91" (7.4cm).

*Update @ 7:55am... Total rainfall now 2.66" (6.8cm) since the wee hours of the morning.  Still steady light rain falling here on Tushita Road.  I've also had a report from Norbulingkha of 6" (15cm) overnight!!  It seems the amounts have been heavier at elevations below McLeod recently...

There is 2.43" (6.2cm) of rain in my gauge as of 6:00 this morning, and there is still light to moderate rain falling here in the upper part of McLeod Ganj.  As far as I can tell, the heavier rain started after midnight, and there was a considerable amount of thunder and lightning to go along with it -- especially between about 3:00 and 5:00am.  I'm showing an early morning low temp of 62.6F (17.0C), which is the coolest I've recorded this past week.

Well, the weather ingredients and variables we've been talking about all week did indeed come together during the past six hours or so, and we're getting that heavier rainfall that has been anticipated.  Satellite pics this morning show a couple of large clusters of rain and thunderstorms from northern Pakistan into Himachal Pradesh, thanks to the latest thick and juicy surge of tropical moisture bumping up against the front ranges of the Himalayas and getting lifted into cooler air aloft.  I don't think we'll have continuous heavy rain throughout the weekend -- instead, the rainfall intensity should wax and wane as the atmosphere temporarily stabilizes between surges of moisture and energy.  There hasn't been enough rain yet to really overwhelm our drainage system, but that could change during the coming 24-36 hours, so be aware of that.

I'm not seeing any major clearing trends during the coming days, but it does look like we could have a couple of relatively drier days during the early to middle part of next week.  Even then, the humidity won't drop much, and the fog will never be very far away.

Get your CURRENT FORECAST on the tab above, and check back here for rainfall updates.

Friday, July 19, 2013

weekend issues... (pm.19.jul.13)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 66.6F (19.2C)
High temp: 72.9F (22.7C)
Rainfall: 0.35" (9mm)

There have been more showers roaming the area this evening, but we had a period of sunshine during the mid-afternoon that provided a short break from all the clouds and fog.  Rainfall at my location on Tushita Road below the Mountaineering Center has been relatively light again, for a third straight day, despite the heavier amounts that have occurred at some locations mainly downhill from McLeod.

We're still in a hit-and-miss rain shower pattern, with no development of widespread steadier/heavier rains as of this evening across Himachal Pradesh.  But the weekend is arriving, and we're on the brink of the increasing chance of that happening, as we've been anticipating.  Honestly, this time of year, it's just a matter of time.

One set of computer model data is pointing to rainfall amounts in the 4-6" (10-15cm) range by Sunday afternoon, but other models aren't looking quite that wet.  But as I've mentioned several times, I'm highly skeptical of these computer models' ability to accurately predict precipitation amounts in the mountains -- especially during the monsoon season.  Anyway, we'll continue to brace ourselves for a round or two of potentially very heavy rains during the next 48 hours or so as this latest tropical surge moves through.

Check the CURRENT FORECAST along with the running total of MONSOON 2013 RAINFALL on the tabs at the top of the page...

rain risk rising... (am.19.jul.13)>

*Update @ 1:03pm...  I've had a report of 1.5" (3.8cm) of rain near Norbulingkha last evening, as we were getting a healthy downpour in McLeod, but only a light shower up at my place on Tushita Road.  Have heard others say there was heavy rain in Dharamsala at that same time.  Very hit-and-miss indeed!  Now, up to the present -- I've measured 0.35" (9mm) of rain since about 11:15 this morning, and it is currently raining lightly with some faint rumbles of thunder as well.

It's gloomy and dreary early this morning with clouds and areas of fog, but I've recorded no rainfall overnight, and just 0.08" (2mm) in the past 24 hours.  As I mentioned last night, it seemed like more than that in the center of McLeod around 630-645pm, but when I checked my rain gauge, there wasn't much there.  Just evidence that there can be a lot of rainfall variability around the area due to the hit-and-miss nature of these showers.

The temperature is 67.5F (19.7C), with 95% humidity as of 6:45am.

The evidence I'm seeing this morning points to an increasing chance of more substantial rainfall as we head into the weekend.  The flow in the upper atmosphere is almost non-existent, but at the lower and mid-levels, more and more moisture is being transported northwestward into Himachal and Punjab.  WIth that very light flow aloft, any large areas of rain that develop along the leading edge of the mountains will move very slowly, and could hang around long enough to produce some sizable rain amounts.  Our rain has been generally light since the nearly 4" (10cm) we received on Monday and Tuesday, but it looks like we are due for a few inches over the weekend -- I'll be quite surprised if it doesn't materialize.

If long-lasting heavy rain develops, be aware of the potential for localized flooding due to the overloaded nullahs, gullies and drainage systems.

The CURRENT FORECAST is always available at the tab at the top of the page, and I've also started another page (tab at top), MONSOON 2013 RAINFALL, to keep a running total that you can check at any time.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

the break continues... (pm.18.jul.13)>

*Update @ 7:39pm...  My rain gauge shows just 0.08" (2mm) from that brief downpour, but it seemed like much more than that down in town.

*Update @ 6:41pm... Well, I've just posted (below), but now we're in the midst of a heavy downpour here near the main square in McLeod.  Will update the rainfall tally within the next hour or so.

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 64.4F (18.0C)
High temp: 72.7F (22.6C)
Rainfall: trace

Things have remained generally quiet today (so far), with only a few sprinkles and very light showers which haven't even registered a measurement in my rain gauge.  It was nice to see the sunshine this morning, if only for an hour at the most -- maybe there was some marginally constructive laundry-drying going on.  As darkness approaches this evening we are socked in with clouds and fog, however, as humidity hangs close to 100%.

Our air mass is still expected to become even more moisture-laden during the next 24-36 hours, as the latest surge of juice from the tropics slides up against the front ranges of the mountains.  I'm a little surprised to see that today's computer model data isn't quite as aggressive with rainfall amounts for the weekend, but even if we don't get excessively heavy rainfall, it does look like we're in for more hefty rains than we've seen during the past couple of days.  We'll have to keep a close eye on it, as the resolution of the modelling data is notoriously inept at picking up micro-scale features that can bring heavy precipitation to our mountainous region.  

At any rate, it still looks like anytime between tomorrow (Friday) and Sunday could be ripe for several inches of rainfall that could lead to some localized flooding, minor landslides and perhaps some washed-out roads.  Stay tuned as we follow developments...

Your CURRENT FORECAST can be found on the tab above... and be sure to register your opinion about our famous monsoon season on the poll at the right side of the page.

a temporary break... (am.18.jul.13)>

We've been in the midst of a lull in the action during the past 12 hours or so, as clouds have broken up and the humidity has dropped just slightly (to 92%).  There has been no additional rainfall overnight, with a total of only 0.19" (5mm) since this time yesterday morning.  My early morning temperature here on Tushita Road below the mountaineering center is 66.4F (19.1C).

As the sun comes over the mountain during the next hour or so, we could get some glimmers and glimpses of it, before the quick surface heating leads to the development of thicker clouds and fog once again.  Rain showers can develop at any time, but it's possible that we may get away with another day of relatively lighter rainfall totals before things start to change with the arrival of the weekend.

A major surge of tropical moisture and instability will team up starting on Friday, to put us in line for a couple of rounds of very heavy rainfall between then and Sunday.  Computer models are in agreement that rain amounts of 6-8" (15-20cm) are not out of the question across parts of Himachal Pradesh during that time period -- so if that happens we'll be dealing with lots of water flowing down the mountains which could lead to problems.  Every year we have at least a couple of events that cause a few road wash-outs and minor landslides in our immediate area... so just be aware that this weekend could be one of those times.  

Of course there will be plenty of updates to follow... and your CURRENT FORECAST can be found on the tab at the top of the page.

By the way, I've put up a poll over on the right-side column of the page on our love/hate relationship with the monsoon season -- register your opinion!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

typical for july... (pm.17.jul.13)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 66.4F (19.1C)
High temp: 72.1F (22.3C)
Rainfall since 6am: 0.15" (4mm)
Rainfall past 24 hours: 0.36" (9mm)

It is raining lightly this evening, and that light rain has been all we've seen since late yesterday -- rainfall overnight and today has been much less significant than during the previous 24-36 hours.  Although it remained mostly cloudy with periods of fog throughout the day, the sun did make a couple of attempts to peek through, and that allowed temps to warm a couple of degrees higher than yesterday.

Typical monsoon conditions are expected to continue during the next couple of days, with the usual clouds, fog and periods of rain.  There could be some brief glimmers of sun, but with the atmosphere remaining very close to the saturation point, it's going to be hard to get much in the way of significant clearing.

Things are still looking a bit ominous for the weekend, with computer models pointing to an outbreak of widespread moderate to heavy rainfall across most of Himalayan north India -- especially from late Friday into Sunday.  Of course that's not abnormal for this time of year, but be aware of the potential for heavier rainfall amounts of perhaps 6-8" (15-20cm) during that time period, which would lead to a lot of water running downhill, obviously.  Stay tuned!

Get your CURRENT FORECAST details on the tab at the top of the page.

100% juicy... (am.17.jul.13)>

The fog is about as thick as it gets outside my window early this morning, with the temperature hovering right around 68F (20C).  Although there have been some light rain showers and nearly constant drizzle overnight, I'm only showing an additional 0.21" (5mm) in my rain gauge since the last report.  That does bring us to 2.02" (5.1cm) since this time yesterday morning, however. 

Weather forecasting this time of year can get pretty monotonous, since deep tropical moisture dominates the atmosphere, with numerous little wiggles and ripples in the upper levels to set off round after round of rainfall.  That is what the middle of monsoon season is all about, and we just have to be braced for downpours at any time of the day or night.  Of course after what happened in Uttarakhand last month, many people are paranoid and on edge about another massive dumping of rain that could cause landslides, wash out roads, and trap pilgrims and other travelers.  Those kinds of micro-scale events are nearly impossible to predict, but it does look like there will be a chance of a few rounds of heavier rainfall across Himachal Pradesh during the coming several days, with the best bet still looking to be between late Friday and Sunday.  Keep that in mind.

The latest data from the India Met Department shows Himachal at 47% above normal rainfall since the 1st of June.  Of course that is due to the MUCH above normal rainfall we received during the middle of last month, because since that time, rain amounts have been much closer to average.

I'm keeping the CURRENT FORECAST updated on the tab above, but it's probably boring enough to put you into a coma...

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

sogginess... (pm.16.jul.13)>

*Update @ 8:25pm... I'm now measuring 1.81" (4.6cm) of rain since 6am this morning, which brings us up to 3.47" (8.8cm) in the past 24 hours.

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 66.4F (19.1C)
High temp: 70.3F (21.3C)
Rainfall since 6am: 1.64" (4.2cm)
Rainfall past 24 hours: 3.30" (8.4cm)

Healthy monsoon conditions have developed again across our area during the past 36 hours or so, bringing heavy rainfall after a respite of a few days.  The July rainfall tally has been lagging a bit until recently -- but it looks like we'll be catching up during the coming several days.

It is cloudy and foggy just before dark this evening, with just a few light showers at the moment, but we had some heavy rain during the mid-afternoon that brought more than an inch in about an hour's time.  All in all, it has been a very typical mid-July, mid-monsoon kind of day around here.  As you can see from the stats above, temperatures barely moved all day, thanks to the clouds, fog, rain and lack of sunshine.

Our air mass should remain absolutely saturated for the remainder of the week, and computer models are hinting at some periods of very heavy rainfall, with the most ominous time period on Friday into Saturday.  We are getting into the very heart of the monsoon season now, which means rainfall averaging around 1.5" (3.8cm) per day is not at all out of the ordinary.

Although it's almost unbearably repetitive, your CURRENT FORECAST can be found on the tab at the top of the page.

the rainfall tally... (am.16.jul.13)>

I'm very happy to be back in McLeod, and back on the weather desk, after a bit more than 7 weeks away.  After the first month of monsoon rains, my apartment was in fairly good shape when I walked in yesterday morning -- which is in contrast with what I found last year after being gone for the latter two-thirds of the rainy season.

The temperature this morning is 68.5F (20.3C), and the humidity is flirting with 100% -- stats which are pretty much on par with what we would expect on a mid-July morning.

I just recorded 1.66" (4.2cm) in the rain gauge from heavy overnight rains.  And here are some comprehensive rainfall stats, which have been carefully and meticulously tallied by my neighbor Tom while I was away:

July thus far -- 13.78" (35.0cm) -- up to 6am this morning
June total -- 20.03" (50.9cm)
May 27-28 -- 0.47" (1.2cm)

That means the total rainfall since I left McLeod on the 20th of May has been 34.28" (87.1cm) -- with the vast majority of that occurring since monsoon conditions began cranking up between the 10th and 15th of June.  Although the monsoon's arrival was around two weeks early this year, there have been several periods where the deep tropical moisture has been on the wane, allowing some relatively dry stretches to keep things more tolerable than usual for July.  Current computer model data is pointing to a major resurgence of that tropical moisture as we head toward the end of this week, however.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

just getting started... (am.02.jul.13)>

On Tushita Road just below the mountaineering center, the total rainfall recorded for the month of June was 19.63" (49.9cm).  That is more than double the normal amount for June, thanks to this year's first surge of monsoon conditions which occurred about two weeks ahead of schedule.

There have already been a couple of significant retreats/respites since the monsoon onset was officially declared, but July and August are the wettest months of the year, with more than 30" (76cm) normally occurring during each of those months.  We could be in for a very long haul this year...