the latest...

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

Thursday, March 31, 2016

march bows out... (pm.31.mar.16)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 59.4F (15.2C)
High temp: 73.9F (23.3C)
Rainfall: none

It's partly cloudy at sunset this evening -- we have a variety of low, mid-level and high clouds scattered across the area.  Once again we have achieved the highest temp of the season and the year, as the sunshine fought hard against occasional waves of mainly high clouds, and a moderate build-up of cumulus over the mountains during the afternoon.  There was no shower/thunder development in our immediate area today, though, unlike the isolated activity we've dealt with the last few days during the PM hours.

The biggest bubble of very warm air of this new spring/summer season is building across the heart of India right now.  We're on the northern fringes of that, with indications that it will seep northward up against the mountains during the next two or three days.  However, an upper-level disturbance organizing well to our northwest in the vicinity of the Caspian Sea will edge gradually eastward over the weekend, and will probably increase the prevalence of high cloudiness, while also keeping us flirting with at least a mentionable risk of some mainly afternoon/evening thundershowers.  Right now the models are showing the best chance of getting some significant rain shower and thunderstorm action between late Sunday and Monday.

All in all we are doing very well for this March-to-April transition period, with temperatures running a bit above normal, and no signs of any unseasonably cold weather in our future.  That's a far cry from what we were experiencing this time last year!  Check the archives (on the right column) if you're interested in seeing what was going on.

THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK has forecast specs, above.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

characteristics of spring... (pm.30.mar.16)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 55.8F (13.2C)
High temp: 72.6F (22.6C)
Rainfall: 0.07"  (2mm)

The sky is almost totally clear during this half-hour before sunset, at the end of a day featuring some extreme variability.  We've had the expected back-and-forth between sunshine and clouds throughout the day, but we have also had the expected random shower/thunder development along the front slopes of the Dhauladhars during the afternoon hours.  Actually it was touch-and-go for nearly two hours -- between 1:50 and about 3:45pm -- with a few periods of brief rain showers, rumbling thunder, and even a couple of brief episodes of hail.  The amount of water in my rain gauge was very small, but it was definitely a noticeable punctuation mark in the middle of the day.  There was enough sun working on this mild air mass to boost temps to yet another new high for the season and the year.

This fairly typical springtime weather is expected to continue as we close out March and move into April.  Our westerly flow aloft will tilt to a bit more of a southwesterly component as the weekend arrives, and that may give us more in the way of high clouds, while also ushering in an even warmer air mass.  The afternoon thundershower potential will remain with us right into the weekend as well... but any periods of rain will be short-lived.

Models are trying to show more of a widespread shower and thunderstorm scenario between late Saturday and Monday, as a stronger upper-level disturbance moves across the western Himalayas, just to our northwest.  But at this point it's still not looking like that impressive of a storm system.  Temps will probably cool off just slightly next week.

Forecast details for the coming week can be found on THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK tab at the top of the page.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

general satisfaction... (pm.29.mar.16)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 55.6F (13.1C)
High temp: 72.1F (22.3C)
Rainfall: none

A very nice spring evening is underway, with just a scattering of clouds along with pleasant temperatures.  It seems the sunshine won the day, though we did see some patches of high clouds from time to time, as well as a fairly decent build-up of cumulus clouds over the mountains during the early to mid-afternoon hours.  In fact, I heard a couple of rumbles of thunder coming from up-mountain right around 2:40pm -- but I never personally witnessed any raindrops, if there were any at all.

The basically flat west-to-east flow we've been talking about the last couple of days should remain in place for the remainder of this week, with occasional very weak ripples in the upper-levels keeping us subject to a couple of hours of moderate instability during mainly the afternoon hours.  There have been attempts at some weak shower/thunder development along the Dhauladhars every afternoon, and I see no reason why that should completely disappear.  Enjoy this comfortable springtime weather, but be aware of that thundershower potential - especially if you are heading into the higher elevations.

Temperatures have reached their warmest of the season and all of 2016 thus far -- and unless we get totally clobbered by some longer lasting and thicker cloudiness, we should see them climb even higher as we approach the end of the week and the beginning of the new month.  The risk of showers and thunderstorms may increase a bit over the weekend into early next week, but right now it still doesn't look like any major storm systems are on the way.  We'll keep watch...

Check out THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK tab above for forecast specifics.

Monday, March 28, 2016

agreeable... (pm.28.mar.16)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 56.1F (13.4C)
High temp: 69.8F (21.0C)
Rainfall: trace

We have hazy skies this evening, with a fairly extensive area of high, thin cirrus clouds overhead as well.  Our Monday started out with almost unlimited sunshine, but we had cumulus development along the mountain slopes by mid-day, just as some of that cirrus began to drift in from the west.  There was even a brief period of very light rain showers at my location on Tushita Road just below the mountaineering center right before 2:00pm -- but it wasn't enough to register a measurement in the rain gauge.  Temperatures are almost spot-on normal for the last days of March.

There's really nothing dramatic to speak of with regard to the overall weather scenario as we progress through this week.  The pattern aloft will remain almost unchanged -- a moderate west-to-east flow -- with still no sign of any major storm systems for us to deal with.  We're not talking about a totally quiet and sunny pattern though, as several weak ripples and wiggles will drift across northern India, bringing at least a bit of instability and also a mention of some isolated shower/thunder development during mainly the afternoon hours.  The back-and-forth between sunshine and clouds will continue for the next several days at least.

As far as temps go...  there are strong signs of a warming trend as we head toward the latter part of the week, but as we saw last week, the cloud development could keep us from taking advantage of a truly dramatic warm-up.  At any rate, it's going to be quite comfortable and pleasant, which is what we would normally expect this time of year.

Forecast details can be found on THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK at the top of the page.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

spring nicely entrenched... (pm.27.mar.16)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 58.3F (14.6C)
High temp: 71.6F (22.0C)
Rainfall: none

A glance to the east-northeast reveals (and satellite pics confirm) a batch of thundershowers which developed across the higher elevations this afternoon, otherwise we're dealing with partly cloudy and hazy skies as sunset approaches.  It has been a spectacular Easter Sunday here in McLeod, actually, with the sunshine never being hindered by cloudiness for long, and temperatures which peaked out at their warmest of the season and the year.

The dying upper-level disturbance drifting across Himalayan north India today barely affected us at all, but there has been an extensive outbreak of shower and thunderstorm action further north and east of us along the main mountain chains.  The weather pattern during this coming week is going to consist mainly of a flat west-to-east flow in the upper atmosphere, embedded with a few weak ripples and wiggles.  Those little disturbances will keep us from being totally and completely apathetic about some mainly PM shower/thunder development, but significant macro-scale storm systems will be totally lacking.  Like last week, we will probably have to contend with some rather extensive patches of high cloudiness drifting in from the west-southwest from time to time.

Temperatures today were warmer than expected, and it seems that's an indication that this latest disturbance failed to drag any lingering late-winter central Asian air into our neighborhood.  Models are showing quite a warming trend over the course of the next several days -- through Friday, in fact -- so I'll be bumping up our temps on THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK (see tab above).

For those of you who are celebrating Easter across the time zones of the world, I hope yours is special and blessed.

easter and elections... (am.27.mar.16)>

Well it has been very busy the past week -- Tibetan elections last Sunday, Holi on Wednesday and Thursday, Good Friday, and now it's Easter Sunday and also a local election day.  It's a bonus that the weather has cooperated for the most part.

Early this morning we have mostly clear skies and mild temps -- I'm recording an overnight low of just 58.3F (14.6C) here in the upper part of town.  There's been no rainfall since the very minor amounts we received early yesterday morning.

Our weather pattern should be a rather uneventful one all the way through the coming week.  There are going to be several weak disturbances rippling along the fairly rapid west-to-east flow aloft, but no major storm systems are showing up on the charts at all.  Do not be totally surprised if there is a flare-up of a thundershower right here along the front slopes of the mountains on just about any given afternoon, but otherwise we should see alternating periods of clouds and sun, with temperatures running very close to normal/average for the end of March and the start of April.

Check out tabs above for forecast specifics (THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK) and other local info... and HAPPY EASTER!!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

turbulence in the neighborhood... (am.26.mar.16)>

**Saturday's stats (added at 7:53pm)
Low temp: 54.1F (12.3C)
High temp: 68.3F (20.2C)
Rainfall: 0.04" (1mm)

It's been extremely windy since before 4:00am, and remains so at the moment (6:45am).  There has also been a little bit of thunder, along with some brief and (so far) very light rain showers.  My rain gauge is showing just 0.03" (less than 1mm).  Temperatures have been swinging wildly, due to this intense mixing of the atmosphere taking place -- I have 61.7ºF (16.5ºC) right now, but the thermometer dipped to a low of 54.1FºF (12.3ºC) during a rain shower a couple of hours ago.

An upper-level disturbance, the center of which is now pushing into northern Pakistan, is responsible for the rowdy weather early this morning.  It is expected to weaken as it slowly slides toward the east-southeast during the next 36 hours or so.  Models are not showing anything other than scattered shower/thunderstorm activity today, with any showers/storms becoming even more isolated by tonight into Easter Sunday.  Be prepared for a sudden thundershower, but I don't think we'll have to deal with any long-term rains.  Otherwise we can probably expect to see quite a bit of back and forth between clouds and sun both today and tomorrow.

Temperatures will cool off several degrees during the passing of a shower, otherwise the overall air mass is not going to cool down very much as this system passes by.  In fact, it's looking like we'll see very comfortable temps for the final days of March, along with more of this variable mix of clouds and sun...

THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK and other info can be found on tabs above.

Friday, March 25, 2016

shower risk returns... (pm.25.mar.16)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 63.0F (17.2C)
High temp: 70.5F (21.4C)
Rainfall: none

For the third day in a row we've had to contend with a lot of mainly mid- and high level clouds posing a serious challenge to the sun.  There were a few nice periods of at least dim sunshine today, and with the very mild air mass in place across northern India, that was enough to finally kick my high temp in the upper part of town above 70ºF for the first time this season.  Overnight lows the last couple of nights have been very mild as well, so we are definitely getting a good taste of springtime.

An upper-level disturbance/circulation center is rolling across Afghanistan this evening, and will be moving across Jammu & Kashmir by mid-day Easter Sunday.  This system has been looking less and less impressive with each and every run of the computer model data the last couple of days -- but it should still be capable of stirring up some scattered shower and thunderstorm action across Himalayan north India between tomorrow (Sat) and late Sunday night.  I'll be surprised if we get nothing out of the deal, but I'll also be surprised if we get more than just a couple of periods of rain before all is said and done.

A weak high pressure ridge will build in for much of next week, but it may not be enough to keep us totally and completely stable.  Temperatures are looking comfortably pleasant during at least the next week to ten days or so, but we can't rule out an isolated shower or thundershower at some point, in the midst of variable clouds and sun.

Take a look at THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK (above) for forecast details.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

pushing 70ºF... (pm.24.mar.16)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 59.4F (15.2C)
High temp: 69.4F (20.8C)
Rainfall: none

A solid layer of high clouds blankets us this evening just before sunset, at the end of another day of mainly high clouds alternating with periods of sunshine.  The best shot of sun occurred during the mid-day hours, and that's when my high temp got very close to 70ºF (21ºC), though we dropped off a couple of degrees with thicker cloud cover after about 2:00pm.  All in all it's been a pleasant day for enjoying Holi festivities.

A massive ridge of high pressure continues to pump itself up across western into northwestern India, but there also continues to be a lot of high cloud development in the warming zone and rapid southwesterly flow up and over the top of that ridge.  We've found ourselves in line to receive plenty of those high clouds since late morning yesterday, so although our temps have kept climbing day-by-day, we haven't really realized the full potential of this balmy air mass.  Tomorrow (Fri) we will be under the same influences, so a few hours of sun in the midst of the clouds will boost our temperatures considerably.  Let's see if we can finally make it past the 70ºF mark for the first time this season.

The weekend storm system is now looking faster and possibly weaker than it was earlier this week.  It now seems like we could have some rain showers and possibly thunder as early as Saturday morning, with a smaller chance of significant rainfall on Easter Sunday.  That scenario could change, however, so stay tuned as we keep our eye on the evolution.  Further ahead... seasonably mild/pleasant weather is on tap for much of next week.

THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK and other local info can be found on tabs at the top of the page.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

holi into easter weekend... (pm.23.mar.16)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 53.6F (12.0C)
High temp: 68.5F (20.3C)
Rainfall: none

There are large patches of mid- and high clouds across the area this evening, but the setting sun is shining through as well.  Those clouds really did pose a serious challenge to our sunshine today... but this aggressively warming air mass still managed to keep temps on an upward trend, with the day's high (above) almost right on target.  Humidity was only about 25% during the mid-morning, but rose to about 35% by late afternoon.

Clouds of the type we saw today are an indication of very dramatic warming occurring in the middle and upper levels of the atmosphere, as a steep ridge of high pressure builds across west and northwest India.  The forecast challenge the next couple of days centers on the extent of more mainly high cloud development, and how that's going to interact with a much warmer air mass.  If we can come up with a majority of sunshine, temperatures will be feeling almost summer-like -- but if the clouds hang in, it won't get much above about 70-72ºF (21-22ºC).  Still, we're talking about the warmest temps of our spring season thus far.

A brand new upper-level disturbance/circulation will move across northern India over the weekend, bringing more changes.  Rain and thunderstorm chances will be on the increase again, especially by late Saturday, continuing into Monday morning.  It's not going to rain continuously during that period of time, but be on the lookout for at least a couple of waves of showers/thunder during this Easter weekend.  Temps should cool off several degrees as well.

Holi is now being celebrated across India, and rumor has it that we'll get our turn tomorrow -- check the weather specifics on THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK tab at the top of the page.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

onward and upward... (pm.22.mar.16)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 48.7F (9.3C)
High temp: 65.6F (18.7C)
Rainfall: none

For the second evening in a row we're dealing with 100% clear skies at sunset.  Sunshine was the main player again today, with only the most feeble cumulus development for a couple of hours during the afternoon.  Temperatures continue their upward climb -- again rising a degree or two higher than expectations -- while humidity stays close to 30%.

Today's temps were actually very close to normal for this stage of March, but it looks like we'll be rising well above normal as we head into the latter part of the week.  A high pressure ridge is only just now beginning to develop across west into northwest India, which will allow warmer air to surge northward.  We've got to keep an eye on some high cloud development, but this dramatically warming air mass should be able to present us with the highest temps of the season and the year between tomorrow (Wed) and Friday.  Unless the sun gets completely shut out by high clouds, we should definitely be surpassing the 70ºF (21ºC) mark by Thursday.

Unseasonably warm temps will stay with us into Saturday, but a moderately potent upper-level system will push in from the west over the weekend, increasing our risk of some shower and thunderstorm action.  Right now it would appear that the best chances of rain will come between Saturday evening and early Monday morning, as we cool off a few degrees.

Check out the forecast details for Holi and Easter on THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK tab above.

Monday, March 21, 2016

warmer days ahead... (pm.21.mar.16)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 49.1F (9.5C)
High temp: 63.6F (17.6C)
Rainfall: none

We've got totally clear skies as the sun sinks toward the western horizon this evening, at the end of a really nice day.  There was an attempt at a moderate build-up of cumulus clouds right along the mountains from mid-morning until just past the noon hour, but those clouds didn't have much staying power and in the end, the sunshine prevailed.  Temps were quite a bit milder than they've been the last few days, and even a couple of degrees (C) higher than expected.

It's Holi week, and also Easter week, and it looks like the weather is going to behave itself at least until the weekend.  Already the atmosphere has stabilized sigificantly, and during the next two or three days a ridge of high pressure will build rapidly into northern India.  This will open the door for a dramatic warming trend, which should push our temps to their highest levels of this new spring season.  Even Delhi is looking at its first 100ºF temp of the year by Thursday or Friday.

I think we've got a really good shot at 70ºF+ (21C) later this week, as some of that warmer air surges northward -- and it's definitely time for that to happen.  We should also see very little chance of rainfall as that high pressure ridge takes over.

There is another storm system on the way, however, which will begin to generate some high cloud development ahead of it... eventually leading to the risk of some scattered showers by late Saturday.  It still looks like most of the rain and/or thunderstorm development will hold off until Easter Sunday into early Monday.

Check out all the forecast details on THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK tab at the top of the page.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

drier and milder... (pm.20.mar.16)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 49.1F (9.5C)
High temp: 57.9F (14.4C)
Rainfall: trace

Here in the middle of McLeod Ganj it is about 75% overcast as sunset approaches.  Variable cloudiness was the forecast, and that's been the only way to describe sky conditions today -- with a couple of rather dramatic swings between clouds and full sunshine.  The shower/thunderstorm development didn't really get going, though there were a few light rain showers accompanied by gusty winds during the very early morning hours.  Temperatures remain well below normal for the latter half of March, and the official first day of spring.

This is the time of year when we can experience some wild swings in temps -- from unseasonably cool to nearly summer-like warmth (and back) in a matter of just a few days.  It's looking like we may get to experience that as we close out the month, as the first truly warm air of the season builds on the plains just to our south, but gets challenged by lingering late-winter air across the western Himalayas to our north and west.  A high pressure ridge will be building in by late Tuesday into Wednesday, which right now looks like it will deliver a fairly impressive warm-up for us during the middle to latter parts of this new week.  I am concerned about extensive high cloud development by Thursday and Friday, but there's plenty of time to keep an eye on that.

The next storm system will be knocking on the door as early as Saturday, but will be more likely to bring in some significant shower and thunderstorm action on Easter Sunday... at least that's the way the data is looking at the moment.

Stay tuned for daily updates, and check out THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK on the tab above for forecast specs.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

spring thundershowers... (pm.19.mar.16)>

1.46" (3.7cm) of rain accumulated in the gauge between roughly 9:00am and 12:30pm -- a healthy amount for March, or for anytime of the year for that matter.  There was a good amount of thunder and lightning accompanying the rain, with a decent dose of small hail as well.  We had a dramatic turn for the better during the early afternoon, thankfully, with nearly full sunshine providing very pleasant conditions to finish off the day.  Temperatures (topping out at 56.0F/13.3C at my location) were very cool for this time of year, despite the attempt at a rebound during the mid- to late afternoon hours.

The VERNAL EQUINOX is nearly upon us -- which means the direct rays of the sun have now moved from the southern hemisphere to the equator, marking the official start of the spring season here in the northern hemisphere.  The moment of that event will be at 10:00am tomorrow (Sun) morning, Indian Standard Time.

I've been out of the country for two months, so bear with me as I get back into riding the weather waves and trends during the coming few days.  I've just perused all of the available computer model data/charts, and it does look like we may be in line for some drier and warmer weather very shortly -- and especially by the middle of the coming week.  There's still a fairly good chance we could see another wave of thundershowers either late tonight or Sunday, however, before a building ridge of high pressure introduces a bit more stability for us.

I'll try to get THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK back up and running asap, so check that tab at the top of the page for forecast details.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

back soon... (pm.17.mar.16)>

My attention has been focused on family matters the last couple of months, and not on meteorology in northern India.

But I am on my way back to McLeod Ganj right now, and should be getting back into the weather-mode during the next few days.  It looks like the pattern has been a rather active one recently, after a very boring and uneventful winter season.

See ya soon.