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Monday, October 13, 2014

shop closing...

The weathergeek is going into shut-down mode starting today (Monday), with only random updates during the next few months, if and when I am able.

There are archives on the right side of this main page containing more than two thousand posts over the last four and a half years, which you can peruse for some perspective on weather conditions for dates you might be curious about.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

super-dry atmosphere... (pm.12.oct.14)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 60.3F (15.7C)
High temp: 70.3F (21.3C)
Rainfall: none

As if it couldn't get any better... today seemed to outshine the last three days, with a very minor amount of afternoon cumulus cloud development over the mountains providing any competition for the beautiful autumn sunshine.  Also, I recorded a humidity reading as low as 20% late this morning, which is the lowest I can remember since perhaps a random day or two late last May.

With gorgeous weather here in our neighborhood, it's hard to relate to the fact that the east-central Indian coast is being battered by a severe tropical cyclone.  Cyclone Hudhud is now inland, and will be rapidly weakening during the next 12-24 hours as it drifts to the northwest.  I am amazed at all the wild disagreement between the various sets of computer model data -- some keeping the residual moisture associated with this system well to our southeast, and some bringing it right to our doorstep.  At the same time, we've got a fairly strong upper-level system dropping in from the northwest, so it's going to be interesting to see how all of these converging elements affect us during the Tuesday to Thursday time frame.

From the current vantage point, I think we need to be braced for an increase in humidity along with an increase in clouds by Tuesday, along with the return of the risk of some shower and/or thundershower development during the mid-week period.  Of course we could remain high and dry, but it's smart to be aware of the potential for some changes in the days ahead...

Saturday, October 11, 2014

close to perfection... (pm.11.oct.14)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 58.8F (14.9C)
High temp: 69.8F (21.0C)
Rainfall: none

For the third evening in a row, we have clear skies and pleasantly cool temperatures just after dark.  It's also been the third picture-perfect day -- with only some afternoon mountain cumulus clouds putting a dent in otherwise totally sunny skies.  Humidity was even lower today, as it dipped into the 35-40% range at times this morning.

This is the kind of classic October weather that we all look forward to, and which ranks among the most pleasant times of year here along the front slopes of the north Indian Himalayas.  The much drier flow of air from central Asia we've been enjoying since Wednesday night and Thursday is responsible for this -- having pushed all remnants of tropical moisture way into extreme eastern and southern portions of India.

It's still looking dry and quiet for another couple of days, but then there are some question marks lurking as early as Tuesday.  The tropical cyclone now approaching the east-central coast of India will drift west-northwestward during the next 48 hours or so, its center reaching the middle of the sub-continent.  Computer models are showing some divergent solutions thereafter, so it remains to be seen whether or not the northwestern fringes of this dying system might affect us sometime between Tuesday and Thursday.  At any rate, that potential interruption in our recent super-nice autumn weather should be gone by next Friday...

Friday, October 10, 2014

weekend looking good... (pm.10.oct.14)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 58.8F (14.9C)
High temp: 70.3F (21.3C)
Rainfall: none

Apart from just a few leftover cumulus clouds over the mountains, we have clear skies just after sunset this evening.  It's been another stunner of a day, with lots of autumn sunshine, along with a moderate build-up of mountain clouds this afternoon.  Humidity remains in the pleasant category (mainly 40-55%), with temperatures running close to or slightly above normal for this time of year.

Computer models continue to show further drying of the atmosphere over the weekend, as a general west-northwesterly flow dominates in the mid- and upper-levels.  We nearly always get a turn to south-southeasterly winds during the daytime here along the front slopes of the mountains, and that channels whatever moisture remains in our air mass uphill -- condensing it out in the form of clumps of cumulus clouds.  Apart from that phenomenon, we should continue to see lots of sunshine during the coming two or three days.

It would be nice to say that tropical moisture isn't going to be making a return again this year, but I can't.  This bit of uncertainty is due to a large and powerful tropical cyclone spinning away over the Bay of Bengal.  By Tuesday, what remains of that system will be located squarely over the center of the Indian sub-continent... starting to make a turn to the north.  Right now it appears that the best chance of a return to saturated conditions and even some fairly widespread heavy rains would be further south and east of us, but plenty can change during the next five days.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

undeniably brilliant... (pm.09.oct.14)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 58.6F (14.8C)
High temp: 69.3F (20.7C)
Rainfall: none

What's left of mountain cumulus clouds are dissipating rapidly just after sunset this evening... at the end of a downright gorgeous October day.  The average humidity reading today has been about 45%, and that's by far the lowest since way back in late May before the first traces of tropical moisture started to appear.  There was that cumulus development over the mountains, starting around 11:00am, but it remained pretty tame, and allowed us to enjoy a very sunny day here in McLeod.

If the computer models have any handle at all on this situation, then we can expect even drier air to continue flowing in during the next couple of days.  That should provide us with generally sunny skies, along with very pleasant humidity levels and seasonably comfortable temperatures.  If you've spent much time here at all, you know that our afternoons can often surprise us with sudden rapid cloud development and even random showers/thunder, but at this point, the risk of that happening looks to be small.  I'm trying not to get too overconfident!

You may have heard about a tropical cyclone over the Bay of Bengal that is heading toward the east-central Indian coastline.  Moisture associated with that system may threaten us by the middle of next week, but at this point it seems that most of its effects will remain well to our south and east.

humidity way down... (am.09.oct.14)>

The humidity reading at sunrise this morning is 47% -- and the sky is 100% clear.  I've recorded no rainfall overnight, along with a low temperature of 58.6F (14.8C).

There's going to be a lot of sunshine for us to enjoy this morning, but the big question (as always) will be what to expect as the afternoon unfolds.  The series of upper-level disturbances that delivered about an inch and a half of rain, strong and gusty winds, and the first snowfall of the season on the Dhauladhars the last 48 hours has also pulled in a nice batch of much drier central Asian air in its wake.  We've got the kind of brisk west-northwesterly flow in the mid- and upper-levels of the atmosphere that effectively eats away at what's left of the tropical moisture remaining stuck along the mountain slopes -- but the real test will be to see what kind of cloud development might occur (or not occur) anytime between about noon and 4-5pm.

The overall pattern looks to be the most calm, quiet and dry we've had the pleasure to enjoy in recent months -- through the weekend and into Monday or Tuesday of next week.  I really hope there are no major monkey-wrenches thrown into the situation... here in our very fickle weather neighborhood on the southwestern slopes of the Dhauladhars it seems there are often surprises.  Let's hope for the best!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

a changing scenario... (pm.08.oct.14)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 49.5F (9.7C)
High temp: 66.6F (19.2C)
24 hour rainfall: 1.24" (3.1cm)

We have a broken layer of high clouds across the area just as the sky goes dark this evening -- but it's been another day of sudden and radical swings between sun, clouds and fog.  There was actually a very good amount of sun until the early afternoon, but then some thick clouds and fog developed, along with some brief light rain showers during the late afternoon.  Then the sun popped out again for awhile as it was heading for the western horizon.  Nearly all of our measurable rainfall during the past 24 hours occurred during the nasty thunderstorm episode in the middle of the night.

The dramatic changes occurring in our upper-level pattern have translated into lots of instability in the mid- and lower-levels of the atmosphere.  Circulations way up there above 15,000ft contain by far the coldest air of this new fall/winter season, and as they've tracked across the western Himalayan region and over the lingering moisture which has been stuck here for so long, we've seen a few waves of showers and thunderstorms.  You may have noticed the new snow on the Dhauladhars this morning -- the first of the season.

Tomorrow will be an important day.  Because -- in the wake of these recent disturbances and large-scale pattern shift, we're going to see if the stubborn leftover tropical moisture of recent weeks has been displaced.  Or not.  Computer models show a much drier air mass in place starting tomorrow, and continuing through the weekend into the early part of next week.  We'll see if we can actually come up with a significantly greater amount of daily sunshine... and a significantly LESS amount of afternoon/evening clouds and fog.

landmark events... (am.08.oct.14)>

Those thundershowers in northern Pakistan that I said would die overnight obviously DIDN'T.!  In fact, they intensified into a large area of very strong thunderstorms and swept across parts of J&K and northern Himachal -- driven by the strongest jet stream winds we've yet seen this autumn.  Those brisk jet stream winds were carried down to the surface, in part, delivering very high wind gusts on the back side of the area of thunderstorms.  I have 1.24" (3.1cm) in my rain gauge here in the upper part of town -- and I recorded a low temp of 49.5F (9.7C) during the storms, which is the coolest temperature since last spring.  Humidity this morning has dropped to 59%.

All of that was a rude awakening, giving us a heads-up that our atmosphere is indeed radically shifting gears.  The upper-level disturbances currently sliding in from the west-northwest contain a taste of fall/winter dynamic energy -- and as they encounter this stubborn leftover tropical moisture in the low-levels of the atmosphere, it has created some fireworks.  But as we've been anticipating for a few days now -- the other side of the equation is the fact that the driest batch of air in more than four months will be settling across north India in the wake of these disturbances.

It's possible that another round or two of showers and thunderstorms could develop later today into tonight, but then it looks like things will calm down and dry out dramatically as we progress through the latter half of the week.  Right now, the weekend is looking fantastic...

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

fundamental realignment... (pm.07.oct.14)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 55.8F (13.2C) -- at 2:20pm
High temp: 69.9F (21.1C)
Rainfall: 0.23" (6mm)

With the nearly full moon rising into mostly clear skies, we have one of the nicest evenings in recent memory happening for us.  Today has been another day of radical variability -- with plenty of sunshine this morning giving way to mostly cloudy skies and a period of fairly thick fog, which in turn led to a period of thundershowers during the 1:45 to 3:00pm range.  All of that was followed by rapid clearing that has left us with a very nice late afternoon and evening.  Temperatures swung dramatically as well... in response to the sun/clouds/rain.

Last evening I mentioned that we had a couple of upper-level disturbances on the way... and the first of those rippled across Himachal Pradesh this afternoon.  We're finally seeing some much drier air in the middle and upper-levels of the atmosphere beginning to filter into northern India -- and the cooler and drier air aloft overrunning lingering moisture at the surface is what stirred up our round of healthy thundershowers this afternoon.  But in the wake of those showers, we've gotten a taste of the drier air mass to come.

The next disturbance is over northern Pakistan this evening, and has triggered a large area of thundershowers up there.  Most of that activity should die overnight, but as the disturbance itself drifts across our area tomorrow (Wed), we may see more shower/thunder development.  The good news is that all of the available data continues to show a truly different kind of air mass settling across most of northwestern India by Thursday -- and this time it could signal a lasting turn toward drier/less humid conditions for us.

Monday, October 6, 2014

stagnant for now... (pm.06.oct.14)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 63.0F (17.2C)
High temp: 70.4F (21.3C)
Rainfall: none

It's mostly cloudy and foggy at this exact moment... but there has again been a lot of sudden variability between sun, clouds, and fog since the noon hour.  We started off with fantastic sunshine this morning -- but with humidity remaining above 80%, it's just a matter of time before the cloud/fog show begins.  I heard some thunder between 2:00 and 2:30pm, and satellite pics show a cluster of thundershowers to our east, but we never had any rain today in the immediate McLeod Ganj vicinity.  Another note -- today's high temp (see above) was the warmest I've recorded since the 23rd of September.

Today was the first full day since our official monsoon withdrawal declaration... but that technicality didn't seem to matter.  We've still had to endure our daily dose of thick clouds and fog during the PM hours.  There are some changes taking shape, however, which could jolt us out of this very stagnant pattern of the past few weeks.  In the near term, there will be a couple of upper-level disturbances dropping in from the northwest between tomorrow and Wednesday evening, which could give us a better chance of some scattered shower and thundershower action as they roll over and above this lingering moist air in the lower levels.  But then we've got a fairly respectable-looking push of drier and slightly cooler air projected to sweep across the area starting on Thursday.

Totally removing this residual moisture along the mountain slopes is always a tough task, but computer models are showing the driest air mass of the season settling in by this weekend.  You can check on forecast details and other info on tabs at the top of the page...

Sunday, October 5, 2014

the official word... (pm.05.oct.14)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 61.3F (16.3C)
High temp: 69.3F (20.7C)
Rainfall: trace

An official monsoon withdrawal declaration has come down from the India Met Department today.  All of HImachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab and Uttarakhand have been cleared.  Of course the "official" declaration of monsoon withdrawal is kind of an arbitrary thing, as the same lingering moisture issues remain with us here in the hills and mountain slopes of northern India.  But -- it's a sign that the overall pattern is indeed shifting.

We have an interesting week ahead of us, with some changes that could bring in a significantly drier air mass by Thursday into Friday.  In the meantime, we're still going to be dealing with this sun/cloud/fog variability, with at least a mentionable risk of a period of showers, mainly during the afternoons.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

trying to be positive... (pm.04.oct.14)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 61.9F (16.6C)
High temp: 68.3F (20.2C)
Rainfall: trace

It's hazy, but there are very few clouds around the area after dark this evening.  We had a lot of variability between sun, clouds, and fog today -- with just a few sprinkles of rain for a short time during the early afternoon.  Although it's still much too gloomy for early October, it seems there have been some incremental improvements lately.

Totally removing rain showers from the forecast is a scary thing, because it seems that as soon as it seems safe to do that, it rains.  That's due to all this lingering moisture which continues to snuggle up against the mountains getting lifted and condensed by the late morning hours.  Although we can't totally rule out a couple of isolated showers, all the computer model data is pointing to a gradual drying trend during the next couple of days.

However, some cooling in the upper atmosphere is scheduled to start arriving by late Tuesday, continuing through Wednesday.  That could trigger yet another round of scattered showers and/or thundershowers during the mid-week period.  The good news is that the extended range data is consistently showing a remarkably impressive push of drier air spreading across most of northwest India by Thursday and Friday.  We'll be keeping a close eye on how that evolves...

mundane... (am.04.oct.14)>

After several chillier mornings in a row, it's quite mild again this morning.  I've recorded a low temp of 61.9F (16.6C), and there has been no rainfall overnight.  Humidity this morning is 86% -- still way too high for this time of year.

There has only been a trace of rain the past two days, in the form of some very light sprinkles during the mid-day into the mid-afternoon hours.  Otherwise we're continuing to deal with the same set of variables we've been dealing with for what seems like forever.  Lingering swathes of tropical moisture remain entrenched all along the front ranges of the Himalayas -- From J&K through Himachal and Uttarakhand into Nepal.  The upper-level pattern features a weak west-northwesterly flow, but is otherwise relatively stable.  The heating of the sun for a couple of hours during the morning leads to the condensation of all this latent moisture in place -- thus, the clouds, patchy fog and random showers.

Hints of a push of significantly drier air are showing up on the weather charts/data by Thursday and Friday of next week.  But we've been teased with this kind of scenario a few times before, so let's see. 

Check tabs above for forecast details and other info.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

the residuals... (pm.02.oct.14)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 59.9F (15.5C)
High temp: 67.5F (19.7C)
Rainfall: trace

We have very hazy skies just after sunset this evening, with a few clumps of clouds and fog drifting around.  Although clouds and fog definitely trumped the sunshine today, we only had a few brief sprinkles of rain from the late morning into mid-afternoon which didn't do much more than barely wet the ground.

There's obviously still a lot lingering moisture here along the front slopes of the Dhauladhars -- and that ribbon of moisture actually extends all along the Himalayan ranges -- from Jammu & Kashmir all the way into Nepal.  A very weak northwesterly flow in the upper-levels of the atmosphere is interacting with that residual moisture to keep widespread cloud/fog development happening, along with a few isolated showers/thundershowers as well.

I think I've said it about a thousand times -- but until we get a definitive and decisive push of deep drier air from the west-northwest, this latent moisture is going to continue to plague us.  The last several days our average humidity has been in the 75-90% range.  That number may drop a bit between tomorrow (Fri) and Monday, but it's not going to be enough to set us on a totally dry and sunny track...

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

october moisture... (pm.01.oct.14)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 59.5F (15.3C)
High temp: 65.1F (18.4C)
Rainfall: 0.43" (1.1cm)

It's partly cloudy and hazy as darkness settles in this evening.  We had another period of moderate rain showers today -- which got started shortly after 11:30am, and continued until around 1:00pm.  Both before and after that rainy episode, we had a bit of sunshine.

For the second year in a row, we're carrying significant leftovers of the monsoon season into the month of October.  As long as so much cloudiness and fog, along with scattered showers and thundershowers continue to develop along the hills and mountain slopes, it's questionable as to whether or not the India Met Department will consider giving us the "ALL CLEAR" for Monsoon 2014.  You can continue to follow that story on the tab above.

It's been looking like we may have a bit of a trend toward drier conditions and lower average humidity as we move into the latter part of this week -- then into the weekend and early next week as well.  But I'm sorry to say this still doesn't appear to be a long-term shift to sunny and dry weather.  Not at all.