the latest...

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

Saturday, April 30, 2016

warmest of month, season & year... (pm.30.apr.16)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 64.2F (17.9C)
High temp: 83.8F (28.8C)
Rainfall: none

It's the last day of April, and it has been the warmest day of the month, the season, and the year.  It has also been the seventh consecutive day without so much as a single drop of rain, and the fifth day in a row of high temps above 80ºF (27.7C) at my location in the upper part of town.  Although it was hazy again today, I didn't even see one cloud until just after 3:00pm, and since then, there have only been a few small patches of mainly mid-level clouds.  A sunny and very warm day to end April 2016.

Yes, our atmosphere is very stable, and should remain that way for another 48 hours or so, as a dry air mass combines with a moderately strong ridge of high pressure over northwestern India.  That should allow our temps to continue warming up... we'll welcome May with highs several degrees above normal, and even overnight lows will be much milder than we would normally expect this time of year.  Sunshine should continue to dominate as well.

We're still keeping our eye on a changing pattern starting around Tuesday, with increasing instability and humidity levels on the rise.  That combo will bring us a better chance of some scattered shower and thunderstorm activity -- especially between Tuesday evening and Thursday evening.  If we do get some rain, it will serve to settle the dust a bit -- a good thing -- and also set temps on a course downward, perhaps closer to normal for the first week of May.

Climatological norms/averages for our area can be found on tabs above, along with the APRIL DAILY STATS and THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK.

Friday, April 29, 2016

stable and very warm... (pm.29.apr.16)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 63.1F (17.3C)
High temp: 81.8F (27.7C)
Rainfall: none

After a very rapid warm-up earlier this week, we've lapsed into a holding pattern the last three days, with high temperatures remaining right in the 81-82ºF (27-28ºC) range.  That's on the plus-side of normal for the tail end of April.  It's been another mostly sunny day, though there has been more haze/dust in the air, and we've also had some very thin high clouds at times, along with a tentative build-up of cumulus over the mountains.  Most of that scattered cloudiness has dissipated as sunset approaches this evening.

Gradual warming aloft has been occurring during the past 24 hours, and that warming will translate into the middle and lower-levels of the atmosphere over the weekend.  This is a recipe for general stability, so rain chances will remain quite low, as temperatures rise.  All week long we've been talking about the warmest weather of this new summer season as the weekend arrives, and that still looks to be the case.  Our April-to-May transition will likely feature temperatures well above normal -- closer to the average for about the 20th of May, actually.

It's been interesting to watch the next pattern evolution which is on the way for much of next week.  A large batch of moisture will surge northeastward from the Arabian Sea, as an increasingly disturbed upper-level west-southwesterly flow develops.  That combination is going to increase our risk of at least scattered showers and thunderstorms as early as late Monday, but more likely from Tuesday afternoon into Thursday.  We'll be shaving a few degrees off of our temps during that period as well.

Forecast details, daily stats and other info can be found on tabs up at the top of the page.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

the gorgeousness... (pm.28.apr.16)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 64.2F (17.9C)
High temp: 81.6F (27.6C)
Rainfall: none

Gorgeous and spectacular -- there's not really any other way to describe our weather this evening.  The sky is about 99% clear, with just a few dissipating cumulus clouds over the mountains at the moment... humidity remains very low... and temperatures are comfortably warm.  Sunshine won the day easily, with only some very lackluster mountain cloud development between late morning and late afternoon.

There is some isolated/scattered thundershower action over southwest J&K into extreme northern Himachal Pradesh early this evening, but considering the very low moisture content of this air mass, I'd say nobody is getting any significant precipitation out of the deal.  That thunder development is due to a lingering weak circulation in the upper-levels of the atmosphere that is accompanied by a pocket of colder air.  Warmer air is already gradually flowing in aloft, however, and that's going to cause the trend toward stabilization to continue into and through the weekend.  We'll have to be on the lookout for a period of cloudiness at some point -- along with the nearly ever-present slight risk of a PM shower/thundershower -- but I think we're going to see a good amount of sun the next few days, as temperatures climb to their highest levels of this new summer season.  The warmest I've recorded so far was 83.6ºF/28.7ºC back on the 16th of this month, and I think we should surpass that easily by Saturday or Sunday afternoon.

The models are showing a messier pattern shaping up next week, as a significant increase in moisture flows in from the Arabian Sea.  At the same time, we'll see the next series of upper-level disturbances drop in from the northwest.  That could spell some bouts of more substantial shower and thunderstorm activity by Tuesday night into Wednesday.

Check tabs above for other info, including THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

brief instability... (pm.27.apr.16)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 64.0F (17.8C)
High temp: 81.3F (27.4C)
Rainfall: none

We've had two totally different weather scenarios today -- nearly full sunshine this morning with temperatures warming rapidly, then a transition to mostly cloudy skies by just after 2:00pm, with gusty winds and temps dropping a few degrees.  Despite that explosion of convective cloudiness over the mountains, there was never any real shower activity here in McLeod proper... and if there was any thunder, I didn't hear it.  Satellite pics indicate some genuine thundershowers not far to our northwest, however.

The last couple of days we've been talking about some wiggling and rippling coming through in the upper-level flow, and that is indeed what we're seeing right now -- some moderate instability due to weak rotation aloft and some slightly cooler air up there as well.  BUT -- this is a very dry air mass we're dealing with, and even with the instability, there just isn't much moisture to translate into significant rainfall.  Let's see if we can still come up with at least a light shower tonight or Thursday.

High pressure will build back in late tomorrow, and last through most of the weekend.  That will allow us to resume our warming trend, with the highest temps of the season and the year still in the forecast.  An isolated random thundershower is possible during the PM hours, but it looks like we'll have to wait until either Monday or Tuesday of next week to get a taste of some better chances of measurable precipitation.

Forecast details, daily stats, climatological norms, and other info are all located on tabs above.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

an aggressive warm-up... (pm.26.apr.16)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 62.8F (17.1C)
High temp: 81.3F (27.4C)
Rainfall: none

We're in the midst of another perfect late April evening, with almost totally clear skies, very pleasant temperatures and low humidity.  I haven't even talked about humidity at all lately, because it has been consistently low -- in fact, today it was barely 20-22% for most of the day, and it's been even lower than that down on the plains.  We again saw a few patches of high clouds throughout this Tuesday, with a bit of cumulus development along the mountains during the afternoon, but the sun has done its job nicely.  Temperatures are over-performing, providing us with the third-warmest day of the season and the year.

I've been consistently under-forecasting high temps the last three days or so, as our expected warming trend has been kicking in even more aggressively than the data has indicated.  Unless we end up with several hours of cloudiness during the peak-heating hours one of these days, we should continue to see temperatures climb, possibly taking us close to 84-85ºF (29ºC) as the weekend arrives.  That would be well above normal for the April/May transition period, and the warmest we've seen yet.

There is some wiggling and rippling and churning expected in the upper-levels of the atmosphere tomorrow afternoon through Thursday, however, and that could stir up a couple of rogue showers or thundershowers somewhere in our vicinity.  With this moisture-starved air mass, it'll be hard to get much in the rain gauge, but we'll watch it nonetheless.  Another chance of some random thundershower action enters the picture late Sunday or Monday, but it looks like we'll remain on the warm side of normal/average for the foreseeable future.

Remember to check forecast details on THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK tab above.

Monday, April 25, 2016

right on target... (pm.25.apr.16)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 59.4F (15.2C)
High temp: 78.2F (25.7C) -- updated
Rainfall: none

What a beautiful evening, and what an idyllic late April day.  We have sunshine and only a few scattered clouds during these minutes before dusk sets in, with temperatures right in the middle of the comfort zone.  There was some mountain cumulus development starting during the late morning, and also some patchy high, thin cirrus clouds, but the sun still managed to win out.  Just about as good as it gets.

Steadily warmer air streaming in aloft has indeed stabilized our atmosphere nicely, allowing us to enjoy some truly perfect late spring/early summer weather conditions here in our corner of the world.  There's still some kind of an upper-level wiggle or ripple showing up on the computer models during the mid-week period that could give us a rogue thundershower or two, but if it does happen, it should be short-lived, and the low moisture content of the atmosphere should keep any precipitation amounts on the very light side.  Otherwise we'll continue to see sunshine alternating with periods of mainly high clouds, and cumulus development (mostly PM) along the mountain slopes.  All in all, very typical for this time of year.

Temperatures are also very close to what we would expect during the latter part of April, but the signs are pointing toward some warmer than average/normal temps as we close out the month.  It's hard to believe that May is only a few days away...  and the start of the monsoon season is only a couple of months in our future.  Sorry to remind you of that truth :-/.

THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK has all the forecast details... above.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

a fresh warming trend... (pm.24.apr.16)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 57.0F (13.9C)
High temp: 75.5F (24.2C)
Rainfall: none

There are just a handful of small, scraggly cumulus clouds right along the mountains in this half hour before sunset, otherwise it's mostly clear -- a gorgeous evening, really.  And the day has worked out almost exactly according to plan, with full sunshine early this morning yielding to partly cloudy skies by mid-day, and temps warming up a couple of degrees.  Even with that mid-day build-up of cumulus along the mountain slopes, the sun was still dominant, and as far as I'm aware, there was no thundershower development anywhere near us.

Warmer air streaming in aloft has stabilized our atmosphere somewhat, with even greater stability expected on Monday as the mid- and upper-levels continue to warm.  Even here in the lower elevations temps will be on the rise... not only tomorrow, but all the way through the week, taking us back to the above normal range as we finish off the month of April.  There is some kind of a weak disturbance showing up on the charts between Wednesday evening and Thursday evening, but moisture will be severely limited, so only the most isolated shower/thunder development is expected at this point.  Of course we'll keep an eye on it as always... I'm never very smug about a zero probability of rain around here.  Sunshine will alternate with some periods of high clouds throughout the week, otherwise.

A lot more local weather info and stats are available on tabs across the top of the home page... including forecast details on THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

cooler than the norm... (pm.23.apr.16)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 57.4F (14.1C)
High temp: 73.0F (22.8C)
Rainfall: trace

The sun will be setting very shortly, and we have only a few patches of mid-level convective clouds remaining, most of them right along the mountain peaks.  It's been another day of alternating clouds and sun -- but other than a few sprinkles of rain, some gusty winds and a clap or two of thunder during the mid-late afternoon, it has been pretty uneventful.  For the second day in a row, and as we've anticipated, temperatures remain on the cool side of normal for the latter part of April.

What's left of a broad upper-level low pressure circulation is centered very close to where it was this time last evening... just west of Srinagar.  The atmosphere has been drying out though, and that has led to less shower/thunder development across the north Indian Himalayan region than we had to deal with yesterday.  Still, there's a very cold pocket of air hanging overhead in the upper-atmosphere, so things are still unstable across a wide area.  Starting tomorrow (Sun), some significantly warmer air will being to stream in aloft, and we should see our air mass move toward greater stability.  It's looking quiet throughout the coming week, in fact, though I think we're going to have to watch the afternoon mountain instability factor just about every day, and be prepared for a rogue thundershower somewhere around our neighborhood.

The general temperature trend will be upward as we progress through the final week of April... and we'll probably be flirting with the 80ºF/27ºC threshold once again by Friday or Saturday, if not before.

Monthly climatological data, along with THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK can be found on tabs above.

Friday, April 22, 2016

showers still lurking... (pm.22.apr.16)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 54.0F (12.2C)
High temp: 72.8F (22.7C)
Rainfall: 0.19" (5mm)

There's a sliver of clearing skies along the west-southwestern horizon as the sun sets, otherwise it's still mostly cloudy here at the end of an active weather day.  Starting at just after 4:00am we had some light showers and gusty winds, with a few other periods of showers and thunder off and on during both the morning and afternoon hours, with even a brief episode of hail right around 2:30pm.  In the midst of that, we also had a nice period of sunshine from late morning until just after noon.  Temperatures were not so warm today -- my high temp was the coolest since the 11th of the month.

It's been plain to see that our atmosphere has been on the turbulent side today, as we were expecting.  A large upper-level low pressure circulation is centered just northwest of Srinagar this evening, and has provided plenty of instability across Himalayan north India, thanks to some unseasonably cold air aloft that is parked overhead.  There have been numerous areas of showers and thunderstorms strung up and down the western Himalayan chains, though at least here in our immediate area, actual rainfall amounts have been on the light side.  This weakening system will remain fairly stationary through tomorrow night, with the first signs of a bit of a pattern shift entering the picture during the day Sunday.  That means we could still see some random shower or thundershower development tomorrow (Sat), but then lesser chances on Sunday.  Temps will run a bit cooler than normal over the weekend.

A feeble ridge of high pressure will attempt to take over as we move through much of next week, and that should send our temperatures on an upward trajectory again.  Rain chances should be confined to just isolated PM activity along the mountain slopes as we finish off the month of April.

Forecast details can be found on THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK tab above.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

atmospheric adjustments... (pm.21.apr.16)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 63.3F (17.4C)
High temp: 80.6F (27.0C)
Rainfall: none

A very pleasant evening is underway, with partly cloudy skies and comfortable temperatures.  We saw sun and scattered clouds pretty much all day long, but the sunshine seemed to dominate, allowing my high temp to surpass the 80ºF mark for just the third time this season.

Some significant dynamic changes are occurring in the upper atmosphere at this very moment, however, and that's got us looking at a different kind of weather scenario during the coming 24 to 36 hours.  A rather strong upper-level circulation is forming over eastern portions of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, containing some unseasonably cool air up above 13,000ft (4000m) or so -- and this weather feature is already starting to drop southeastward in our direction.  With relatively warmer air in the lower levels of the atmosphere, it's going to become more and more unstable later tonight and Friday, possibly igniting a few areas of rather strong thunderstorms somewhere in our vicinity.  Models have backed off a bit during the last 12 hours, but I'm not sure if we can trust that or not.  If that rain and thunder does develop, then we'll probably have some hail as well, very gusty winds, and temporarily plunging temperatures as some of that colder air aloft gets brought down to our elevation.

It will remain unstable on Saturday as well, so we can't rule out a couple of random showers or thundershowers in the area, but starting on Sunday, we'll see a trend toward a stabilizing atmosphere.  Right now it looks like most of next week will be quiet and dry, apart from an isolated PM thundershower somewhere along the mountain slopes... with temperatures warming up yet again.

Check out tabs above for other info, including THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

temporarily quiet... (pm.20.apr.16)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 59.5F (15.3C)
High temp: 79.8F (26.6C)
Rainfall: none

It's rare that we have totally clear skies during this hour before sunset, but that is what's happening this evening.  We've had a really nice and pleasant day, in fact, with the sun winning out over some scattered clouds this morning and then a build-up of cumulus over the Dhauladhars this afternoon.  Satellite pics have shown some isolated, weak thundershower development from western Kashmir across Himachal into Uttarakhand, but none of that threatened us at all.  Of course we did get that round of thundershowers last night between about 9:45 and 11:00pm, but that's ancient history by now.

We're enjoying a respite between upper-level disturbances in this latest series, with this spell of quiet weather expected to last through most of tomorrow (Thu), if we're lucky.  It was back up close to 80ºF (27ºC) today, and we'll probably be in that neighborhood tomorrow as well.  But then we've got to watch yet another disturbance as it sets its sights on us for late Thursday night through Friday night.  Models are showing this one packing quiet a punch, with a very impressive batch of colder air in the upper-atmosphere accompanying it.  This should set us up for a very unstable situation starting Thursday night, which means some strong thunderstorms, very gusty winds, hail and a sharp drop in temps will be fairly likely.

A couple of thundershowers will linger on Saturday, but a return to a more stable scenario comes into play on Sunday.  Although we could be dealing with typical afternoon instability, most of next week is looking rather peaceful, as temperatures rebound quickly into the normal range for the end of April.

If you're interested in more details, like monthly averages, April's daily stats, and the forecast specifics, take a look at tabs across the top of the page...

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

precariously positioned... (pm.19.apr.16)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 55.8F (13.2C) -- updated
High temp: 75.7F (24.3C)
Rainfall: 0.20" (5mm) -- updated for thundershowers 10-11pm

It's partly cloudy this evening, but the southern fringes of a large area of thundershowers is visible to the north-northwest as it tracks across southern Kashmir and extreme northern Himachal.  We've managed to escape any precipitation here in our immediate area today, with quite a bit of back-and-forth between clouds and sun.  The high temp at my location in the upper part of town was the coolest since exactly one week ago, though we are still right in the normal range for this time of year.

Yes, we're still in a rather active weather pattern as that string of upper-level disturbances continues to move from west-southwest to east-northeast across Himalayan north India.  That's keeping us in a precarious position since the atmosphere remains marginally unstable over a wide area.  Models are showing smaller chances of rainfall both tomorrow (Wed) and Thursday, but a couple of isolated thundershowers are still not at all out of the question somewhere in our vicinity.  A more potent disturbance/circulation is scheduled for very late Thursday night through Friday night or early Saturday, and that could be our next chance of picking up some significant thunderstorms with gusty winds and the possibility of hail.  I'm pretty impressed with the amount of cold air aloft that will accompany this system, so we could have an interesting scenario shaping up.

A return to some semblance of stability will arrive on Sunday, with a stretch of quiet and pleasant late April weather appearing likely for several days thereafter.  It could be briefly chillier on Friday and Saturday, but temps should quickly rebound.

THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK has the forecast details.

Monday, April 18, 2016

lots of possibilities... (pm.18.apr.16)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 55.4F (13.0C)
High temp: 77.5F (25.3C)
Rainfall since midnight: 0.32" (8mm)
24 hour rainfall: 0.60" (1.5cm)

Satellite pics are showing two main areas of thundershowers near us -- one is to our north, from southern Kashmir into Lahaul/Spiti, and the other is to our south, just over mid-way to Shimla.  But at the moment, we've seen no development in our immediate area.  Skies are partly cloudy as sunset approaches, and it's been that way pretty much throughout the day.  Showers, gusty winds and thunder overnight finally settled down sometime after 4:00am or so.  After unseasonably warm temperatures both Saturday and Sunday, we've dropped a few degrees today -- closer to normal/average for the middle of April. 

The first in a series of upper-level disturbances moved through Himachal last night into early this morning, and certainly made us take notice.  There are going to be more little pulses of energy in the upper atmosphere rippling across northern India all week long, with a continuing chance of a period of showers and thunderstorms, almost every day between now and Saturday.  The most impressive of those disturbances is scheduled for Thursday night and Friday, but an hour or two of showers/thunder could happen nearly anytime of the day or night this entire week.  Still... we'll probably also come up with a decent amount of sun on most days, as temperatures remain comfortably warm.

Check out tabs at the top of the page for monthly average temperatures and precipitation, along with THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK which contains all the forecast specs.

morning stats... (am.18.apr.16)>

Early morning low temp: 55.4F (13.0C) -- around 3:30am during shower
Current temp: 64.6F (18.1C)
Rainfall since 10:00pm: 0.32" (8mm)
Total rainfall since 8:00pm: 0.60" (1.5cm)

Sunday, April 17, 2016

shower/thunder risk is back... (pm.17.apr.16)>

*Update @ 8:56pm...  The light/power has been coming and going a few times in the last half hour.  Still plenty of thunder and lightning with occasional wind gusts... but so far the rain itself has been spotty and fleeting.  Nothing to measure in the gauge, yet.

*Update @ 8:29pm... Thundershowers with gusty winds have continued to develop all around us, and especially just to the south.  Here at my location, there have only been a few sprinkles of rain, despite the thunder, lightning and strong winds.  Ooooops... power gone.


Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 55.9F (13.3C)  -- updated @ 10:00pm
High temp: 82.4F (28.0C)
Rainfall: 0.28" (7mm) -- updated @ 10:00pm

The sky is looking a bit less stable this evening, with some towering cumulus clouds in all directions, and even evidence of some thundershower development off to the south-southeast.  We managed about equal parts clouds and sun today, but the sunshine was prevalent enough to provide us with another unseasonably warm high temp -- a bit above expectations.  It's been the sixth dry day in a row... unless we get some raindrops before midnight.

...And that could happen.  The first in what looks to be a rather long string of upper-level circulations is now starting to ease into Himachal from the west.  These little disturbances will be chipping away at our recent ridge of high pressure which has kept us stable since last Monday afternoon, while also setting the stage for some scattered shower and thunderstorm activity to pop up.  Models the last 24 hours are actually less aggressive with that shower development here in our immediate area, but it'll be a good idea to be braced for it nonetheless.  Any individual showers/thunderstorms shouldn't last longer than a couple of hours, but it looks like there will be at least a 20-30% chance almost every day of this coming week.

Temperatures should drop several degrees over the course of the week, but the overall air mass characteristics would favor us remaining near normal for this stage of April, even if it does cool off for a few hours during and just after a thundershower.

Check tabs above for other info, including THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK...

Saturday, April 16, 2016

unseasonable warmth... (pm.16.apr.16)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 65.1F (18.4C)
High temp: 83.6F (28.7C)
Rainfall: none

Take a look at the high temperature for the day -- 83.6ºF/28.7ºC -- the warmest I have recorded since the 18th of June last year.  And speaking of last year, we didn't have a temp as warm as today's until the 6th of May, so we are indeed ahead of schedule with this kind of warmth this early in the season.  Not only here, but all across the Indian subcontinent an unusually early heatwave is in progress -- it reached 111ºF/44ºC in Delhi this afternoon.

The sun was by far the main player for us today, though we did have some very thin high clouds at times, along with a moderate build-up of mountain cumulus for a few hours between late morning and mid-afternoon.  There are only some scattered high clouds around the area as sunset approaches.

The big ridge of high pressure responsible for our totally dry and unseasonably warm weather the past few days is going to be breaking down during the coming 24-36 hours.  We're going to go back into an unstable and unsettled period starting tomorrow (Sun) afternoon/evening that will remain with us to one degree or another through much of next week.  Already our risk of a thundershower is starting to creep upward, with a good chance of some significant shower and thunderstorm action between Sunday evening and early Tuesday morning, especially.  Upper-level energy will spin across north India a few times between tomorrow and Friday, giving us at least a mentionable chance of showers/thunder each 24 hour period.

Temperatures will also start to go down, though we should stay in the pleasantly warm range, apart from some brief cool weather in the midst of showery periods.

APRIL DAILY STATS can be found on a tab above, along with forecast details on THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

summer preview... (pm.14.apr.16)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 59.5F (15.3C)
High temp: 78.8F (26.0C)
Rainfall: none

A few streaks of high thin cirrus clouds are evident this evening, mainly in the western sky, but it would be hard not to say that it's very nice and pleasant at the moment.  We're putting a close on the warmest day of the season and the year, with the high temp running a few degrees (ºF) above normal for the middle of April.  No complaints.  The sunshine was in our favor again today, with only some random patches of high clouds and really not much cumulus development over the mountains, at least compared to what we saw yesterday.

The anticipated ridge of high pressure has indeed been building across most of the Indian sub-continent during the past 12 hours or so, and will continue to do so during the coming 48 hours.  That means the main branch of the upper-level jet stream flow is shifting further northward, allowing the most pronounced bubble of summertime air of this new season to strengthen and expand into our area.  As I mentioned yesterday, there are concerns about high cloud development, though, with some of that already evident on satellite pics not far to our west.  Yes, this is an unseasonably warm air mass, but if the sun gets dimmed by extensive high clouds tomorrow into Saturday, temps will be hard pressed to rise much further.  If there IS a good amount of sun, we could easily be talking about 80ºF/27ºC (or higher) as the weekend rolls in.  It's a couple of weeks early for that kind of warmth, but at least we're not going to be dealing with 110ºF (43ºC) temps that are expected in Delhi.

Looking down the road, the risk of an isolated shower and/or thunderstorm will come back into the forecast by Saturday afternoon, with rain chances increasing significantly by Sunday evening into Monday morning.  This will be the start of yet another period of instability that could hang with us for much of next week.

THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK (above) has all the forecast details.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

temps on the rise... (pm.13.apr.16)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 59.2F (15.1C)
High temp: 76.4F (24.7C)
Rainfall: none

There are just a few lingering patches of cumulus clouds hanging around before sunset this evening -- most of them right along the mountain peaks.  It's been another gorgeous April day, though there was a more pronounced build-up of clouds over the Dhauladhars during the afternoon hours, which led to a couple of thundershowers up there.  There was some thunder rumbling off and on, mainly between 3:00 and 4:00pm, but none of that development ever crept very far downhill.  Temperatures today continued their recent aggressive rise -- my high temp moved into a three-way tie for the warmest of this month, season and year, matching the highs back on both the 2nd and 3rd of April.

The warmest air mass of this new summer season is building across the heart of India, and the data shows that increasingly warmer air trying to surge into Himalayan north India during the next two or three days.  The issue is, we could also see an increase in high cloudiness along with the warming temps throughout all layers of the atmosphere -- and if the sun is restricted, then we don't get to partake of the full benefit of that potentially warmer air mass.  So at this point I'm being rather conservative with our high temps between tomorrow (Thu) and Saturday, and if the sun prevails, it will be even warmer.

The next series of disturbances in the upper-level flow will start to affect us over the weekend, bringing an increasing chance of showers and thunderstorms once again.  Right now it looks like we could be in for an extended period of instability and scattered rain showers/thunder all the way into the middle of next week.

You can check all the specifics on THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK tab above.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

a much better scenario.. (pm.12.apr.16)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 57.0F (13.9C)
High temp: 74.8F (23.8C)
Rainfall: none

It's a picture perfect evening as the sun sinks toward the horizon -- totally clear skies other than a few dying puffs of cumulus clouds in the immediate vicinity of the highest Dhauladhar peaks.  I'm sure this day would qualify as one of the finest of 2016, with temperatures rising significantly and full sunshine only being challenged by that feeble mountain cumulus development during the afternoon hours.  Today's high temp at my location in the upper part of town was the fourth warmest of the month, the season and the year.

With a rather benign west-northwesterly flow aloft leading to a building ridge of high pressure by Thursday, we're getting the chance to experience a relatively stable atmosphere for the first time in a while.  There is still the ever-present concern about some kind of rogue thundershower development along the mountain slopes during the mid- to late afternoon hours, otherwise we should have dry weather the next three or four days, along with a majority of sunshine.  The high cirrus cloud issues could threaten us by the later part of the week, which could keep our warming trend from getting completely out of control.  Models are showing some seriously warm temps for us by Thursday, Friday and Saturday -- even 80ºF (26ºC) seems possible if the high clouds don't take too much of the sun away.

This preliminary taste of summer doesn't look permanent, however, as another period of unsettled and potentially wet weather creeps back into the forecast by Sunday, lasting perhaps into the middle of next week.

Get all the details on THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK, located on a tab at the top of the page.

Monday, April 11, 2016

attempting to settle... (pm.11.apr.16)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 52.0F (11.1C)
High temp: 67.4F (19.7C)
Rainfall: 0.16" (4mm)

Our evening is looking and feeling just fine, as has the entire afternoon.  The morning was a different story, though, with thick clouds, occasional light rain showers and some very strong and gusty winds between about 7:30 and 10:15am.  It wasn't the greatest way to start a Monday morning, but just before 11:00am we were getting the first glimpses of sun, which turned into pretty much full sunshine all throughout the afternoon hours.  That rain was not heavy at all... but added to our already above normal total for the month of April.

Since the 26th of March, we haven't had more than two consecutive days without at least a trace of rain -- thanks to this pattern which has kept regular weak upper-level disturbances swinging across Himalayan north India.  Amazingly, we've also been able to squeeze out a decent amount of sunshine on all but a few days during that period, allowing our temps to average out fairly close to normal over the course of the past 20 days or so.

Computer models are showing a somewhat more stable pattern for the remainder of this week, but I still think we need to be on guard for some isolated thundershower development along the mountain slopes during the afternoon hours.  It's really hard to get the rain potential down to zero around here, as most of us well know.  Temperatures are projected to be on the rise over the course of the coming five days or so, pushing us close to the warmest of the season and the year.  Highs of 110ºF (43ºC) are in the forecast for Delhi later this week -- a sign that summer is indeed arriving.

We won't be close to those kinds of numbers, but you can check THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK tab above for our own forecast details.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

the parade of disturbances... (pm.10.apr.16)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 59.2F (15.1C)
High temp: 70.1F (21.2C)
Rainfall: none

Other than a few breaks in the clouds to our west, we're under a mostly overcast sky just prior to sunset this evening.  We came up with more sunshine today than we saw yesterday, but there was still quite a lot of cloudiness to deal with, holding our temperatures just a shade below expectations.  At least up to this point, we've had no rainfall at all.

The entire month of April thus far we've found ourselves in an 'in between' kind of weather pattern.  There have been no genuine storm systems of any significance in our part of the world, but neither has it been totally quiet and uneventful.  We've had a persistent west-southwesterly flow for the most part, delivering a parade of weak upper-level disturbances.  Each of those ripples in the flow aloft has been able to kick up extensive patches of mainly mid- and/or high level cloudiness, along with some brief periods of showers and thunder now and then.  In the midst of that, we've also seen some nice hours of sunshine -- but even then, the clouds and sprinkles of rain have never been very far away.

Another one of those disturbances will be in the area tonight through Monday evening, but then it does look like we may see a shift in the pattern which could allow our atmosphere to stabilize a bit.  The upper-level flow will shift more to the northwest starting on Tuesday... with a rather impressive ridge of high pressure showing up on the models by the end of the week.  Although it's hard to say that the risk of mainly PM showers/thunder will totally go away, it's looking more settled as the week progresses.  Temperatures could rise to their highest of the season and year by Friday or Saturday.

THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK contains the forecast specs.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

still unstable and unsettled... (pm.09.apr.16)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 52.7F (11.5C)
High temp: 66.0F (18.9C)
Rainfall: 0.08" (2mm)

It's partly cloudy this evening... a relatively bright finish to a generally dismal day.  There were some attempts at a few sunny breaks this morning, but the clouds were definitely in control for the vast majority of the day, preventing our temperatures from making much progress at all.  There have also been a couple of periods of light rain showers -- the first of which occurred during the 4 o'clock hour of the pre-dawn, and the second of which occurred briefly right around 3:30pm.  Today has been the fifth day this month of April with measurable rainfall in my gauge.  The total has been only 0.86" (2.2cm), but that's an above normal amount for the first nine days of April.

This current weather pattern is an extremely variable one, an unsettled one, and an unstable one... obviously.  Very warm summertime air is lurking on the plains just to our south, while weak upper-level disturbances containing little pools of much colder air aloft continue to ripple their way across the western Himalayas.  This has provided us with numerous fluctuations between nice sunshine and extensive cloudiness during the past several days, along with quite a few brief periods of mainly light showers and occasional thunder.  It's hard to know what to expect from one hour to the next.  This pattern will remain with us through Monday, with more of the same fluctuations -- but there are some subtle signs of increasing stability starting on Tuesday.

Temperatures are obviously very dependent on sunshine.  As we've seen this last week, 70-72ºF (21-22ºC) is quite gettable when the sun holds on for at least half the day, but if we get unlucky to be blanketed by clouds for many hours in a row, the chill returns.  I'm kinda bored saying that, and you might be bored reading it as well.  

Thursday, April 7, 2016

variables in motion... (pm.07.apr.16)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 52.5F (11.4C)
High temp: 72.1F (22.3C)
Rainfall: 0.09" (2mm)
*updated @ 8:05pm

The weather is not very nice at all this evening just before sunset, though most of the day has been bright and pleasant.  Currently it's cloudy, some thunder is rumbling, and there are some sprinkles and light rain showers scattered around the area.  The wind is occasionally strong and gusty as well.  Earlier, we were able to enjoy a lot of sunshine which only had to compete with a few clouds until about 3:30 or 4:00pm when the mountain cumulus development really took over.  That sunshine allowed us to warm up nicely -- the high temps around the area exceeding expectations by a few degrees.  Starting just before 4:30pm there was some thunder, which takes us up to what we're dealing with now.

All of this is characteristic of the moderate instability we've been talking about over the course of the last few days.  The upper-level flow remains embedded with weak disturbances and pockets of colder air; riding over the top of a milder air mass closer to the surface.  With strong springtime sunshine like we had most of today, the atmosphere gets boiling, which has led to scattered thundershower development not only in our neighborhood, but all across the western Himalayan region.

There are really no major changes in the general weather pattern expected during the coming several days.  The pattern will remain favorable for some isolated to widely scattered shower/thunder development during the afternoon and evening hours -- though we will also see a good amount of sunshine on a daily basis.  As we saw today, our temps will quickly respond to the sunshine, keeping our daytime highs fairly close to normal for early April.

Check out the rest of the blog for lots of other information about the climate in our local area, including THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK which is located on a tab above.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

dodging some showers... (pm.06.apr.16)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 54.5F (12.5C) -- updated @ 810pm
High temp: 65.6F (18.7C)
Rainfall: 0.01"  (less than 1mm)

Although the sun has been trying to peek through during the last half hour or so, we've had very gusty winds and occasional brief light rain showers this evening as well.  There was another spell of showers and even some thunder this morning right around 10:00am, otherwise we've seen mostly cloudy skies with only the most fleeting glimpses of sunshine today.  Temperatures were a few degrees cooler than expected, thanks to very little cooperation from the sun.  Compared to the streak of really nice weather we were enjoying not too long ago, it's been a bit on the dismal side.

The latest in a series of upper-level disturbances riding a rapid west-southwest flow aloft is now over northern Pakistan, and has kept our atmosphere quite unstable throughout the day.  Although there are signs of some improvement -- mainly a greater percentage of sunshine -- tomorrow into the weekend, our atmosphere is going to remain unstable enough to keep a chance of isolated to widely scattered showers and/or thundershowers in the forecast.  Chances will diminish a bit on between Friday and Sunday, but I think we could still easily see a flare-up of thundershowers along the mountain slopes during the afternoon hours.  Keep that in mind.

This time of year, the air mass will respond quickly to a few hours of sunshine, and that makes the temperature forecast difficult.  We'll rebound to at least the 70ºF (21ºC) mark with a good dose of sun, but if clouds and showers hang in, that won't be possible.  Let's hope the clouds give way for us during the next couple of days...

THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK can be found on a tab at the top of this page, with all the forecast details.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

unsettled for a while... (pm.05.apr.16)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 52.0F (11.1C)
High temp: 68.9F (20.5C)
Rainfall since 7:00am: none
24 hour rainfall: 0.61" (1.5cm)

A solid layer of high clouds blankets the sky as dusk settles in, at the very end of a day which has been the coolest since the 26th of March -- ten days ago.  We never had any more significant shower/thunder development, at least not any that i witnessed, but the sunshine quotient was minimal as only dim glimpses of sun made appearances now and then.  It's definitely been the gloomiest day of this young month of April.

Last week we were enjoying some bright springtime weather, with temperatures climbing above average, and a good amount of sunshine on a daily basis.  But now, we find ourselves in a less pleasant pattern.  The upper-level flow is rather strong and active -- and even though there is not any sign of a truly organized macro-scale storm system, there are several minor disturbances projected to spin across northern India during the next 6-7 days.  This will keep us dealing with extended periods of cloudiness at times, and also keep at least a 20-30% chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms in the forecast.  In fact, the rain chances will be even better tomorrow (Wed) by late afternoon into Thursday, and again around Monday of next week.  As far as April weather patterns go, we'd have to call this a rather active one.

It will feel plenty warm and comfortable when we get a few hours of sunshine, but the warmer air mass of last week has been suppressed well south of us for now -- and that means we'll probably average just slightly cooler than normal between now and early next week.

Explore the rest of the blog for lots of other information...

last night's thunderstorm... (am.05.apr.16)>

It's exactly 60F (15.6C) at sunrise this morning, with mostly cloudy skies and a humidity reading of 44%.  Things are calm right now, but boy oh boy did we get one heck of a nasty thunderstorm last night around 10:30pm.  I've rarely seen hail so large here in McLeod, some of the stones were nearly an inch and a half in diameter.  The storm didn't last very long, but there was a quick 0.61" (1.5cm) of rain in my gauge in only about a half hour's time.  The overnight low in the wake of the rain and hail was 52.0F (11.1C).

As I was saying last evening, I've been surprised that we were able to dodge most of the shower and thunderstorm activity scattered around the area as this latest disturbance moved through -- but we certainly did get our turn, finally.  It's going to remain unsettled and unstable through the rest of this week, with the next best chance of picking some showers/thunder coming late Wednesday into Thursday.  But frankly, we could get a rogue thundershower on any given day, in the midst of variable periods of clouds and sun.

Temperatures have finally cooled down a bit, and should remain a few degrees below where they were during the past week or so.  Check forecast details on THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK tab above.

Monday, April 4, 2016

some slight cooling... (pm.04.apr.16)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 60.4F (15.8C)
High temp: 74.4F (23.6C)
Rainfall: trace

Ominous-looking clouds stretch from the northern into the eastern sky before sunset this evening, but it's quite a bit brighter to the southwest.  I'm surprised that we've received no measurable rainfall in McLeod during the past 24 hours, in spite of the period of thunder, lightning and gusty winds very early this morning, and then another build-up of scattered thundershowers across Himachal Pradesh this afternoon.  There were a few raindrops during the pre-dawn, and another short period of light sprinkles around 4:00pm, but that's been it.  Temps today were just slightly cooler than they were over the weekend.

Our weather pattern is a moderately unstable one, and will remain so for most of the coming week.  A west to southwest flow aloft is embedded with weak disturbances, as some gradual cooling in the upper atmosphere occurs.  This, in conjunction with a few pulses of mainly mid-level moisture is going to keep the mention of some isolated to widely scattered showers in the forecast on most days -- all the way into Monday of next week.  There could even be a period of fairly decent thunderstorms at some point along the way.  Interspersed with all that will also be some good periods of April sunshine, so all is not lost.  As most of you know, April is the second-driest month of the year, on average, so even with the risk of thundershowers in the neighborhood, we don't usually get a whole lot in the rain gauge to show for it.

Models have been showing somewhat of a cool down in temperatures, but we haven't really seen evidence of that yet.  Still, both high and low temps this week should average a few degrees lower than we've seen recently -- but still fairly close to normal for the season.

Check tabs above for lots of other local info, including APRIL DAILY STATS and THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK...

an unstable period... (am.04.apr.16)>

Upper-level energy along with some colder air in the middle and higher levels of the atmosphere are nudging into northwest India now.  The main center of circulation of this 'system' is way up in central Asia, but with the unseasonably warm air mass in place in the lower levels, the whole atmosphere has become moderately unstable.  That instability has triggered some isolated to scattered thundershower activity in our vicinity overnight -- thunder and lightning, gusty winds, but actually very little rainfall.  My rain gauge is barely wet this morning.

The potential for a couple of periods of showers and thunderstorms will remain with us today and tonight, with a smaller chance on Tuesday.  Then, yet another wave of upper-level energy will swing across northern India on Wednesday afternoon into Thursday, increasing the thundershower risk once again.  We're not talking about a whole lot of rain, but frankly this whole coming week is looking unstable and a bit bumpy.

As far as temperatures are concerned... it's currently 64.9F (18.3C) at my location here in the upper part of town, and that's really mild for an early April morning.  I do expect some cooler air to begin filtering in during the next 24 hours, especially if we do get hit with a significant round of rain showers.  All in all, this coming week will average out cooler than last week, most likely.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

warmest since september... (pm.02.apr.16)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 58.3F (14.6C)
High temp: 76.4F (24.7C)
Rainfall: 0.07" (2mm)

Once again we've reached a new high temperature for the season, and for all of 2016.  In fact, according to my records, the last time the temp was higher than it was today, was way back on the 12th of September -- nearly seven months ago!!  There were lots of high clouds across the area today, but they were mainly thin cirrus, and we were able to get the benefit of at least dim sunshine for the vast majority of the day.  Patches of those cirrus clouds remain overhead at sunset.

We had a couple of periods of light rain showers and gusty winds during the wee hours of the morning -- I would estimate it was in the 2:00-3:15am range but I'll admit I never arose to full consciousness -- and that shower action was the first sign of the changes in the weather pattern which are now on approach.  There's still a massive high pressure ridge dominating most of the Indian subcontinent, providing some truly hot weather on the plains not far to our south.  However, there are also some waves of fairly impressive upper-level energy starting to show up to our northwest, which will create a rather lengthy period of instability for us as we head into the new week.  Isolated to widely scattered showers and/or thunderstorms will become more probable by tomorrow (Sun) evening through Monday, but I don't think we're talking about any long-lasting rains.

Another wave of good shower/thunder potential will appear on Wednesday into Thursday, as temperatures next week settle a few degrees lower than we've seen recently.  Right now it looks like the overall pattern will trend toward more stability by next weekend.

Forecast specifics can be found on THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK tab, located at the top of the page.

Friday, April 1, 2016

hitting new highs... (pm.01.apr.16)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 60.3F (15.7C)
High temp: 75.2F (24.0C)
Rainfall: none

A broken layer of thick high clouds is overhead just before sunset this evening.  We were actually able to enjoy a majority of sunshine until nearly 2:00pm, and that allowed the temperature at my location in the upper part of town to warm to yet another new high for the season and the year.  There have been a lot of those lately.  That high of about 75ºF (24ºC) is a few degrees (ºF) above normal for the first day of April.

Here in Himachal Pradesh we are caught between a huge ridge of high pressure aloft which is sprawled across most of the Indian subcontinent to our south -- and an upper-level low pressure trough trying to organize well to our northwest.  That means we will also be caught between a bubble of hot air south of us, and an increasing chance of showers and thunderstorms mainly to our north, as we head into the weekend.  In this 'in between' zone, we're going to be dealing with quite a lot of high cloudiness, though there should be at least a few glimpses of sunshine from time to time.  The risk of some isolated shower and/or thunderstorm activity re-enters the picture tomorrow -- but it's still looking like the best chance of us getting a wave or two of significant rainfall will come sometime between late Sunday and late Monday, as the best upper-level energy sweeps by.

Thereafter, things will remain on the moderately unstable side through most of next week, though any shower/thunder action should be rather isolated and short-lived.  Temperatures will likely be slightly cooler next week, but still close to par for the first week or so of April.

Check tabs above for plenty of other info, including THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK and monthly averages...