the latest...

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

Sunday, December 31, 2017

flipping the calendar... (pm.31.dec.17)>


2017 is on its way out, and 2018 is on arrival -- depending on which time zone around the world you are checking in from.

Here in McLeod Ganj, we had a hazy and mostly cloudy evening on this last day of December and 2017, but skies have cleared out after sunset, apart from some patches of high clouds.  Temperatures have been the coolest since about the 15th of the month today, taking us pretty close to seasonal averages for this time of the year.

We remain in a very dry weather pattern that doesn't give us much hope of any measurable precipitation here in town, though there could be some light snow showers up-mountain during the coming 24 hours or so, and again toward the latter part of the week.  Extended range computer models have been extremely fickle with regard to pattern changes about a week from now... but it seems that we might have to wait until at least the 12th of Jan to see a decent chance of significant rain/snow in our area.  Even then, prospects are not all that promising from this current vantage point.

Friday, December 29, 2017

a quiet end to 2017... (pm.29.dec.17)>

Although I am not posting every day, I am looking at the array of available computer model data and projections both morning and evening... waiting for something of interest to report to you.  Unfortunately, the overall weather pattern remains inactive and very dull across northern India, and across most of the Indian subcontinent, for that matter.  On the other hand, I guess that's good news for the throngs of travelers who are in transit during holiday/vacation as we approach the new year.

This December has been an ALL OR NOTHING kind of month -- with three days of very heavy rain (and mountain snowfall) on the 11th to the 13th which delivered more than the normal amount of precipitation for the entire month.  However, that event was both preceded and followed by totally dry, mild and uneventful weather.

Right now, all the data trends indicate generally quiet conditions to continue through the first week of January and 2018... but I am interested in hints of a pattern shift around the 8th or 9th of Jan, that could bring us our next round of significant precipitation, and an accompanying drop in temps.  Stay tuned as we watch those potential developments...

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

generally dull... (pm.26.dec.17)>

A moisture-starved upper-level disturbance is swinging across northern India right now, and will keep us dealing with the effects of moderate instability -- periods of clouds and at least a slight risk of a random light shower -- for the next couple of days.

Temperatures are on the plus-side of normal for the end of December, but should be cooling down a bit as we approach the end of the week, which is the end of the month and also the end of 2017.

I am keeping tabs on extended range model data, and I must say, there is still very little to get excited about or be worried/concerned about -- all the way through the first ten days of January.  I will do my best to let you know if/when there are indications that changes are on the way...

Friday, December 22, 2017

no concerns... (pm.22.dec.17)>

Well... we had our two or three days of excitement and drama during the middle of the month, otherwise this December has been a very calm and quiet one.  The advertised spell of instability during the middle of this past week didn't come to much, with only some scattered and fleeting cloudiness on Wednesday and Thursday, and a very brief period of gusty winds and perhaps a sprinkle or two of rain on Wednesday night.

As we look ahead, there is very little to worry about during these final 8-9 days of the month and the year.  There will be a period of slight instability on Sunday into Christmas Day, as a pool of very cold air aloft drifts across Himalayan north India -- but immediately after that, warmer air in the upper-atmosphere will stream in, bringing us more stability.

According to the latest extended range models, there is nothing even remotely resembling any kind of storm system expected to affect us into the first week of January.  Yawn.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

temporarily unstable... (pm.20.dec.17)>

Our atmosphere has been in a destabilization phase today... but so far that has only triggered some random cloud development in our immediate area.  There are a few scattered showers west and northwest of us, showing up on satellite pics this evening, but it would be hard to classify this as a significant storm system.

This moderately disturbed atmosphere could bring us a fleeting period or two of (light) showers between tonight and very early Friday morning, along with occasional cloudiness.  And, with a colder air mass moving in aloft, we might see some kind of isolated shower activity somewhere in our area this weekend.  But even with this bit of instability, our overall weather situation is looking really mild and mellow as we close out the final ten days of December, and 2017.

There are hints of another run at unseasonably warm temps during the final week of the month/year... so we'll watch that.

Monday, December 18, 2017

losing our recent perfection... (pm.18.dec.17)>

Mid-December weather does not get any better than this -- the last three days we've had almost unlimited sunshine, a very fresh and clean air mass, low humidity, and temperatures much more like early November.  It's been a very nice recovery after what we endured last week.

There are some changes on the way, however, which will bring in more cloudiness, and at least a mentionable risk of some light precipitation during the upcoming mid-week period.  An upper-level disturbance currently over the northern Arabian Sea into extreme southwest Pakistan will shift northeastward during the coming 48-72 hours or so, but will not really achieve any impressive degree of development as it sweeps across northwest India.  Still, we could have a few scattered light showers during the Wednesday/Thursday range, as our temperatures cool down just a few degrees.

By Friday, things will stabilize again, with extended range models showing nothing of any major consequence affecting our weather pattern all the way into the new year.  Stay tuned in case that scenario should change...

Friday, December 15, 2017

quiet times ahead... (pm.15.dec.17)>

Not much to talk about weather-wise the next few days, and possibly all the way through the end of the month and the year.  The overall weather pattern is shifting into a very benign state, with a generally dry atmosphere, and only minor ripples in the upper-levels floating across northern India.

The only thing to be concerned about is occasional waves of mainly high clouds which could eclipse the winter sunshine from time to time... otherwise we should see our temperatures rising above normal again.  That beautiful snow on the mountains above town will be melting, day by day, and won't be replenished anytime soon.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

rebounding phase... (pm.14.dec.17)>

4.93" (12.5cm) -- That's the grand total of rainfall from our recent early winter storm system, 99% of which occurred between 7AM Monday and 7AM Wednesday.  This is MORE than the normal precipitation total for the entire month of December, and the most rainfall in a 48 hour period since August.  Earlier today I heard from a very reliable source that the snow at Triund on Wednesday was hip-deep... which is closer to three feet than the previously reported two feet.

Today (Thu) we've been in transition, as the atmosphere gradually stabilizes from the recent turmoil.  There was a good amount of sunshine this morning, but a batch of mid-high clouds rolled in by mid-day, thanks to some significant warming starting to arrive in the middle and upper levels of the atmosphere.  It looks like the general temperature trend will be upward as we head into the weekend, with increasing amounts of sunshine over the course of the coming several days.

Extended range weather models show no evidence of another significant storm system... all the way through Christmas and toward the end of 2017.  We'll keep watch to see if that outlook holds.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

the worst is over... (pm.12.dec.17)>

My stats today...

High temp: 45.7ºF (7.6ºC)
Low temp: 37.9ºF (3.3ºC)
Precipitation: 3.28" (8.3cm)

Total storm precip since Mon AM: 4.23" (10.7cm)

Our seventy-day streak without measurable rainfall/precipitation has come to an end in dramatic fashion during the past 36 hours or so.  If the gargantuan rainfall amounts here in McLeod Ganj weren't impressive enough... there have also been huge amounts of snowfall in the mountains just above us.  The snow line has come as low as the vicinity of Magic View, and I've had a few confirmations today of snowfall in excess of two feet at Triund.  It's very early in the season for such an accumulation at that elevation.

Computer models provided excellent guidance... as far back as 11 days ago... which gave us a major 'heads-up', and plenty of time to get prepared for this radical change.

Although most of the moisture that has been feeding this system is being shunted to our east-northeast now, the upper-level dynamic energy still lingers to our west-northwest over northern parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan.  That means that we could still be affected by waves of shower development tonight, tomorrow (Wed), and possibly into tomorrow night.  A stabilizing atmosphere is expected to build in thereafter... and right now, the weekend is looking very good, with rapidly rebounding temperatures.

Monday, December 11, 2017

it's here... (pm.11.dec.17)>

*Update @ 9:30pm...  0.88" (2.2cm) in the rain gauge.  Light to moderate rain continues, with occasionally very gusty winds.

Moderate rain is falling here at my spot in the upper part of McLeod Ganj just below Tushita and the mountaineering center late this evening.  As of 7:30pm, I had recorded 0.52" (1.3cm) of rain, which is the most in my gauge since the 27th of September, almost two and a half months ago.  There were a few very light showers popping up as early as about 5:00am this Monday morning... but more substantial showers didn't really get going until between about 11:00 and 11:30am.  And that was pretty much right on schedule.

The core of our intense upper-level low pressure circulation/system is moving from Afghanistan into northwestern Pakistan right now, and has been tapping into and drawing moisture northeastward from the Arabian Sea as it approaches.  That warmer and more moisture-laden air slammed into the outer ranges of the Himalayas earlier today, just as the colder air aloft began to move in... and that's been the recipe for this widespread/moderate precipitation development.

The heaviest precip (rain here/snow above) will occur tonight into the first half of tomorrow (Tuesday), with that rain/snow diminishing by the mid-day or afternoon hours.  BUT -- it's going to remain marginally unstable all the way through Thursday, so other rain/snow showers are likely, off and on.

This evening I recorded a low temp of 43.7ºF/6.5ºC, which is the coolest since the 13th of March, in the midst of an unusually cold/wet late winter storm system. Our temps will plunge even further during the next couple of days.

satellite pic -- 8:00pm IST

Sunday, December 10, 2017

all coming together... (pm.10.dec.17)>

This graphic/depiction of 36hr precipitation amounts (listed in inches) between noon tomorrow (Mon) and midnight Tue night - Wed morning pretty much tells the story.  At least according to the most sophisticated computer models, there should be a wide area of moderate to heavy rainfall across the lower and middle elevations of Himalayan north India.  And that translates into the first heavy dose of snowfall of the season in the higher elevations to our north and northeast.

Right now, on this Sunday evening, satellite pics and upper-air charts show a large batch of moisture being drawn northeastward from the Arabian Sea, while simultaneously, an expansive low pressure circulation with unseasonably cold air aloft develops and eases in from the west-northwest. 

We have an interesting scenario shaping up during the coming 18-48 hours...

Saturday, December 9, 2017

winter knocking... (pm.09.dec.17)>

Fluctuating solutions/outputs coming from the vast array of computer models is something modern meteorologists just have to accept and get used to -- and right here, right now, in this current scenario, that's what we're dealing with.  The latest models are now much more robust and forceful with regard to precipitation intensity and amounts than they were just 24 hours ago.

The very latest data suggests that we'll have an impressive period of rain, plunging temperatures and possible thunderstorms between roughly mid-day Monday and mid-day Tuesday.  Then, a bit of a respite before another round of more significant rain showers on Wednesday into early Thursday.  The amount of cold air projected to accompany this incoming system continues to impress me... and if things pan out according to plan, we could see several inches of snow well below Triund.

As I've mentioned before, I really hope hikers/trekkers and campers are paying attention to this radically changing weather pattern.

Total Precipitation Mon 6AM til Tue 6AM  (24hr)

Friday, December 8, 2017

balmy for december... (pm.08.dec.17)>

This morning's low temp (52.7ºF/11.5ºC) was the warmest since the 13th of November, and the high this afternoon (63.8ºF/17.7ºC) was warmer than we've experienced since the 8th of November.  Yes, it has been an extremely mild early December day... and we had low humidity (avg 38%) and perfectly clear/sunny skies to go along.

The majority of the weekend ahead should be fairly nice for this time of year, but we'll probably have to deal with some increasing high cloudiness... especially by late tomorrow (Sat) and Sunday.  The main issue in our future continues to be a developing early winter storm system, which will introduce an increasing chance of rain showers and mountain snow, starting on Monday, but more likely on Tuesday, then continuing off and on into early Friday.

Although the upper-level storm system affecting us next week looks unusually deep, intense and cold for this early in the season, there are signs that the moisture availability is going to be sub-par.  Even so, anyone planning travel or outdoor activities should be staying on top of developments, in anticipation of the first significant precipitation in our area since the first day of October... nearly two and a half months ago.

Precipitation between Mon 9PM and Tue 9AM IST (12hr total)

Thursday, December 7, 2017

mild to stormy... (pm.07.dec.17)>

It's unseasonably mild at the moment... I recorded a high temp this afternoon of 60.8ºF (16.0ºC), and the low this morning was above 50ºF (10ºC).  We also had abundant sunshine, good air quality, and moderately low humidity today.

This mild early December weather will remain with us as we finish off the week, as a ridge of high pressure briefly builds into/across northern India.  However, already the first signs of a developing storm system are showing up to our west-northwest across central Asia, and it still looks like we are in line for a very radical change in our weather conditions early next week.

According to the latest data via various computer models, an intense early winter storm system is going to begin affecting us with increasing chances of rain and mountain snowfall by late Monday, and especially on Tuesday into early Wednesday.  We should see a major plunge in temperatures which will accompany precipitation development, and it is very likely that our temps here in McLeod Ganj will fall to the lowest we've experienced since last February.

I certainly hope trekkers and hikers are paying attention to these anticipated changes, because even at Triund, and possibly below, there could be significant snowfall and temps well below freezing by late Monday night into Tuesday morning.

Precipitation between Tue 6AM and Wed 6AM IST

Monday, December 4, 2017

time to wake up... (pm.04.dec.17)>

We're now only about a week or maybe eight days away from a major shift in this weather pattern that has kept things dry and uneventful for the last couple of months.  I don't think many people are following along or aware of changes ahead... my fault, since I didn't post here at all for more than five months... and thus, most of my several hundred daily readers have stopped checking in.

Anyway... here's the deal:  A very strong upper-level low pressure circulation is projected to develop just to our west, across Afghanistan and Pakistan, by the end of this coming weekend.  At least according to the latest data, it will be very deep and very intense, drawing significant moisture northward from the Arabian Sea.  At the same time, a big mass of unseasonably cold air aloft will be pooling to our west and northwest.  Although all of this is still several days away, current data points to an outbreak of significant precipitation across the Himalayas of northern India, which will probably continue (off and on) for several days, starting on Monday (11 Dec) of next week.

I have to admit that I am pretty excited, in anticipation of some active weather after a very long spell of nothingness.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

watching... (pm.03.dec.17)>

If you are a weather enthusiast, then you might be a little bored with what's been going on (or NOT going on) around here the last couple of months.  We've had nothing but a TRACE of rainfall since the first day of October, and that occurring only on two very brief occasions lasting just a couple of minutes.  As far as temperatures are concerned, we've ranged only between about 46ºF (8ºC) and 66ºF (19ºC) during the last month... which is pretty close to normal/average for the season.

However, as I posted a couple days ago, the extended range models are showing a radically shifting weather pattern as we approach the middle of December, which could bring some major changes if it does indeed materialize.

I will be on standby, and will let you know if/when/what might be on the way starting on the 11th or 12th of the month.

Friday, December 1, 2017

time for changes... (pm.01.dec.17)>

It's been a long time since I've posted here... more than five months... but I wanted to let you know that models and data are indicating a potentially dramatic change in our weather situation right around the 12th of December. 

A very strong upper-level circulation will be easing in from the west-northwest, tapping into moisture from the Arabian Sea and drawing it northward toward the Himalayas.

The last time we had measurable precipitation in McLeod Ganj was way way way back on the first day of October.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

monsoon update... (pm.25.jun.17)>

The latest from the India Met Department:

"Favourable conditions are developing for further advance of southwest monsoon into some more parts of north Arabian sea, Gujarat state, Madhya Pradesh, remaining parts of Bihar and some more parts of East Uttar Pradesh during next 48 hours. Also, rapid advance of southwest monsoon is very likely into most parts of northwest India, including remaining parts of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, entire Haryana, Chandigarh & Delhi, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir during next 4-5 days. This is expected, in view of the likely west-northwestwards movement of the low pressure system which is currently located over northwest Bay of Bengal & neighbourhood, towards northwest India and its likely interaction with an approaching Western Disturbance."

Thursday, June 22, 2017

drying out a bit... (pm.22.jun.17)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 58.1F (14.5C)
High temp: 67.6F (19.8C) -- updated @ 840pm
Rainfall: 0.14" (4mm)

This beautiful evening is quite a gift, considering what we have been through the vast majority of the time during the past six days.  It is partly cloudy and pleasantly cool during this hour before sunset, with much drier air in place across our area.  The morning was not great... lots of clouds were still hanging around, along with several periods of very light showers, sprinkles/drizzle... which didn't really break up until the early afternoon.  For the third day in a row, temperatures have failed to reach 70ºF/21ºC.

An expansive pool of unseasonably cool air aloft drifting in from the north-northwest, crashing into the first major push of tropical moisture advancing from the south-southeast has been the main driver of our extremely wet weather since last Saturday.  But that combination of factors is just now starting to fall apart, as much warmer air in the upper atmosphere begins to push in from the west, while the deeper moisture retreats back to the south for a few days.  That should set us up for some better weather as we head into the weekend, and depending on which set of computer model data is to be believed, this relatively drier and calmer and more pleasant weather could last until about Sunday at the earliest, or Tuesday evening at the latest.  That's when we will see another aggressive surge of juicy tropical air heading in our direction.

Temps will probably rebound nicely on Friday and Saturday, as long as we don't get too much cloud development to spoil the show.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

too much too soon... (pm.21.jun.17)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 57.0F (13.9C)
High temp: 65.4F (18.6C)
Rainfall: 5.21" (13.2cm) -- largest daily total of 2017

Today's rainfall was totally off the charts and beyond comprehension  -- most years during the monsoon season we get a calendar day total in the range of what we saw today only a few times.  In fact, last year, the largest daily rainfall amount of the entire season was on the 11th of August when I recorded 6.17" (15.7cm).  And the best part of the story is, according to the India Met Department, IT'S STILL NOT OFFICIALLY MONSOON.!!  Except for a few very short breaks, it rained almost continuously today from 2:20am until about 3:45pm.

There are indications that we'll see somewhat of a stabilizing trend in our atmospheric dynamics between tomorrow (Thu) and Saturday, though we still can't rule out at least a couple of periods of showers/thunder during that period.  This inaugural surge of tropical moisture will be in retreat mode, while temperatures aloft warm up significantly, especially on Friday and Saturday.  However, a fresh push/surge of very moisture-laden air will be heading in our direction again Saturday night or Sunday, and is expected to hang around into at least the middle of next week.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

monsoon flirtation... (pm.20.jun.17)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 60.3F (15.7C)
High temp: 69.0F (20.6C) -- coolest high temp since 10 april
Rainfall: 1.57" (4.0cm)

Largest daily precipitation totals of 2017:

1 -  2.32" (5.9cm)     19 June
2 -  1.78" (4.5cm)     13 June
3 -  1.70" (4.3cm)      7 January
4 -  1.57" (4.0cm)     20 June (today)
5 -  1.54" (3.9cm)     26 January

Today has been the fourth wettest day of 2017.  Officially, the leading edge of this year's monsoon is still very far to our south and east, but we have been getting our first tastes of the incoming season since Saturday.

Monday, June 19, 2017

wettest day since last august... (pm.19.jun.17)

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 60.4F (15.8C)
High temp: 73.0F (22.8C)
Rainfall: 2.32" (5.9cm)

Today's total rainfall was the MOST IN A SINGLE CALENDAR DAY since the 27th of August last year, when we had 5.15" (13.1cm).

Sunday, June 18, 2017

life in late june... (pm.18.jun.17)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 63.5F (17.5C)
High temp: 74.2F (23.4C)
Average humidity: 77%
Rainfall: 0.12" (3mm)

A line has been crossed the last 48 hours, with these much higher humidity levels.  The entire nature and character of our air mass has changed, and I think that is obvious to see.  It's been another murky day, with a lot of cloudiness interspersed with a few periods of hazy sunshine, and a period of light showers which was confined to the noon hour.  There was a little bit of thunder with that, but at least so far, we've seen nothing close to the kind of rainfall we dealt with yesterday (Sat).

By late June, pretty much on schedule this year, the atmosphere across most of central and northern India takes on more tropical characteristics, with a very lazy flow in the upper-atmosphere, and increasingly moist/humid air accumulating in the lower and mid-levels.  Although it always takes a while for the India Met Department to move that official monsoon onset line up in our direction, here along the mountains, we often begin to see monsoon conditions well before the official onset declaration.  So... we are living on the edge at the moment.

Temperatures have underperformed dramatically the last couple of days, due to the very moist atmosphere and very limited sunshine, and will have trouble climbing very much unless we can come up with a more extended period of sun, and at least a temporary reduction in the humidity.  As far as rain showers/thunder are concerned... they are in the forecast pretty much for the duration.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

pre-monsoonish... (pm.17.jun.17)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 62.4F (16.9C) -- at 11:40am during thundershower
High temp: 75.0F (23.9C)
Average Humidity: 72%
Rainfall: 1.19" (3.0cm) -- total thru midnight

June rainfall thus far: 4.27" (10.8cm)
Normal June total rainfall: 8.0" (20.3cm)

Normal July total rainfall: 37.8" (95.9cm)

Normal August total rainfall: 35.8" (90.9cm)

Friday, June 16, 2017

humidity on the rise... (pm.16.jun.17)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 66.4F (19.1C)
High temp: 80.2F (26.8C)
Rainfall: none

For the first time in 12 days, there was not even a trace of rainfall here in McLeod Ganj -- at least not that I witnessed.  We did have a lot of cloudiness to contend with throughout the day, with only occasional mainly filtered sunshine, but I heard no thunder and saw no rain drops... for a change.

A large mass of tropical moisture is gathering to our south, and will be gradually pressing northward over the coming several days.  This is going to cause a noticeable increase in humidity for us over the weekend into early next week, and will take us into a genuine pre-monsoon scenario.  For all the veterans of our McLeod Ganj monsoon, you know very well that it's the humidity levels and the fog that are the real villains of the season, just as much or moreso than the bouts of moderate to heavy rain which become more frequent and abundant as we press into July.  It will be interesting to watch just how high our humidity might go by the time next Tuesday rolls around.

With the much higher moisture content of our air mass by early next week, temperatures will slide -- but it should remain quite warm for another two or three days.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

gradual transitions... (pm.15.jun.17)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 66.0F (18.9C)
High temp: 80.4F (26.9C)
Rainfall: trace

Well it's been another day with bouts of ugly clouds and a considerable amount of thunder -- but only some sprinkles and very light showers to show for it.  There were also a few extended periods of nice sunshine thrown into the mix as well.  We've had very few totally dry days this June, but we've also had very few days with rainfall above about a quarter of an inch (6mm).

The leading edge of this year's monsoon is hung up across central into extreme northeast India, and has made no further progress the last couple of days.  However, all of the models and various data sets are indicating a rather strong north-northwestward surge of deep tropical moisture early next week, which could give us our first taste of monsoon conditions by late Tuesday into Wednesday.  The moisture content of our atmosphere will increase dramatically by then -- which is pretty much right on schedule.  We hardly ever make it into the final ten days of June without our first preview of what's to come.

In the meantime, we'll have more of this back-and-forth between sun, clouds and roaming thundershowers, with temperatures seasonably warm, as long as we can come up with a few hours of sunshine on any given day.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

just spotty showers... (pm.14.jun.17)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 64.6F (18.1C) -- @ 5:05pm during light shower
High temp: 80.9F (27.2C)
Rainfall: 0.01" (less than 1mm)

Sunshine this morning gave way to very rapid mountain cloud development between 11:00am and noon, with some thunder already rumbling before high noon arrived.  There was a brief light shower around 12:20-12:30pm, but then our skies cleared out again for a little while during the early afternoon.  But two or three more waves of very light showers/sprinkles accompanied by thunder and some gusty winds occurred during the mid-afternoon into the early evening.  Even so, the proceedings today were much less dramatic than what we dealt with yesterday (Tues) afternoon.

By mid-June it is normally quite rare to get many days without at least some precipitation -- and even though June of 2017 has not been an abnormally wet one so far, we have seen at least some measurable rainfall on eight out of these first fourteen days of the month.  There's enough moisture in the air, and enough disparity between colder air aloft and warmer air in the surface levels to keep things perpetually unstable.

We are now less than two weeks away from the normal/average start of the monsoon season here in the Dharamsala area, so a day without at least a moderate chance of showers in the forecast is getting harder and harder to come by...

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

violently assaulted... (pm.13.jun.17)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 52.0F (11.1C)
High temp: 80.0F (26.7C)
Precipitation: 1.78" (4.5cm) -- rain and melted hail

*Today's precipitation amount was the largest single day total of 2017.

*We more than doubled our June precipitation today -- reaching 3.07" (7.8cm) for the month so far.

*The low temperature, which occurred at 12:55pm during heavy hail, was the lowest since the 30th of April.

*The temperature plunged 28ºF/15.6ºC in only 35 minutes, between 12:20 and 12:55pm.

Monday, June 12, 2017

stats update... (pm.12.jun.17)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 63.5F (17.5C)
High temp: 82.7F (28.2C)
Rainfall: 0.10" (3mm)

Lowest temp this June so far: 57.2F (14.0C) on the 8th
Highest temp this June so far: 92.5F (33.6C) on the 4th

Rainfall total for June so far: 1.29" (3.3cm)
Normal rainfall total for June: 8.0" (20.3cm)

Sunday, June 11, 2017

waiting for some warming... (pm.11.jun.17)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 63.3F (17.4C)
High temp: 79.3F (26.3C)
Rainfall: 0.01" (less than 1mm)

Lingering thundershowers continue to cling to the Dhauladhars this evening, otherwise we have partly cloudy skies and some random sprinkles of rain in our general area.  Although there were two distinct periods of thundershowers today, you can see from the stats that the actual rainfall produced was next to nothing.  The first thunder started rumbling around 12:45pm, with a period of light showers between about 1:30 and 2:45pm.  The sun returned in full force for a while during the afternoon, but then the thunder/sprinkles came back during the evening.  Temperatures continue to run significantly cooler than normal for this stage of June.

A warm-up is still expected this week, though so far it has been sluggish about getting going.  It looks like we should be approaching seasonal norms, temp-wise, by Wednesday or Thursday, but the warming trend on the way will probably not be enough to get us to the levels we were experiencing about a week to ten days ago.

Marginal instability will probably not go away...  as a general north-northwesterly flow in the upper-atmosphere overruns increasingly warmer air at the surface.  That means more sun-cloud-sun-cloud swings are on the way, along with the decent risk of mainly PM thundershower development somewhere in our vicinity.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

the variability theme... (pm.10.jun.17)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 63.5F (17.5C)
High temp: 80.0F (26.7C)
Rainfall: trace

Although we've had at least a trace of rainfall on six of the first ten days of this month, the June total thus far of 1.18" (3.0cm) is actually running slightly behind the normal pace.  Today has been the third 'trace' rainfall day of the month, as thundershowers this afternoon in the mountains to our north-northeast threatened, but never delivered right here in the immediate McLeod area.  Otherwise it was a day of mixed sun and clouds, with temps warming up higher than we've seen since Tuesday.

We should see a general warming trend during the next five days or so, but it's not going to be a totally stable weather pattern... not at all.  Although some warming will be occurring aloft, which usually stabilizes the atmosphere, there will also be considerable warming in the surface layers.  And right now, it looks like the surface warming in the lower levels may outpace that warming higher up, and that could keep us in line for at least isolated shower/thunder development mainly during the afternoon and evening hours.  There's been a lot of back-and-forth between great summer sunshine, gloomy cloudiness, and passing thundershowers the last six days -- and I think that general scenario is going to continue.

Monsoon conditions continue to develop and slowly drift northward across the southern half of India.  Check the progress of this year's monsoon here.

Friday, June 9, 2017

temps well below the norm... (pm.09.jun.17)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 62.2F (16.8C)
High temp: 74.5F (23.6C)
Rainfall: trace

Click for 2017 Monsoon Progress

Thursday, June 8, 2017

swings and fluctuations... (pm.08.jun.17)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 57.2F (14.0C) -- at 2:00pm during thundershowers/hail
High temp: 75.8F (24.3C)
Rainfall: 0.67" (1.7cm)

It's an incredibly beautiful evening... with mostly clear skies, really good visibility, humidity around 40%, and the temperature hovering close to 72ºF/22ºC.  The morning was fantastic as well, but in the middle, we had quite a rough patch to deal with.  Clouds were actually on the increase by about 10:00am, and it started to look threatening shortly after noon.  Then the wind, thunder, rain showers and even some spotty small hailstones appeared, which lasted off and on for a couple of hours between 1:00 and 3:00pm or so.  Although the rainfall amount for the day was significant enough, it wasn't as big of a downpour as we often begin to see by the first week or so of June.

The pattern we're in now is the pattern we'll stay in for the coming week to ten days or so.  That means there will be plenty of bright and pleasantly warm weather, but also the looming threat of showers and thunderstorms.  Most of the storminess/wetness should occur during the afternoon or early evening hours, but there is a chance of some overnight development as well -- so keep that in mind.  A northwesterly flow aloft transporting little waves/pockets of cooler air into Himalayan north India, overrunning a warmer and moderately moist airmass in the surface layers is the meteorological scenario.

The northern extent of this year's monsoon has now reached a line from Goa to just north of Chennai, with further northward progress expected during the coming several days.  At least as of now, all of that is pretty close to the normal schedule of advance...

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

milder and less stable... (pm.07.jun.17)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 59.7F (15.4C)
High temp: 77.3F (25.2C)
Rainfall: 0.33" (8mm)

After an impressive round of thunderstorms during the predawn hours which featured not a whole lot of rain, but some extremely strong and gusty winds... we saw thick cloudiness begin to dissipate by the late morning.  From mid-day onwards things have turned out favorably for us, with plenty of sunshine and isolated afternoon thundershower development remaining just to our north.  Temperatures were obviously significantly cooler today, in the wake of those early AM thunderstorms, with humidity in the 40-50% range for most of the day.

Our period of stability that lasted over the weekend and into the beginning of this week was accompanied by the highest temperatures of 2017.  Our weather pattern has now definitively shifted into something less stable, and more fickle and changeable once again.  Pre-monsoon moisture  is gathering across much of northern India, and as it occasionally gets drawn up against the mountains it will encounter some much cooler air drifting by in the upper-levels of the atmosphere.  That's a recipe for random periods of showers and thunderstorms which could occur either day or night.  It's not all bad, though, as there will still be some good stretches of sunny weather, while temperatures run in a much more pleasant/comfortable range than we've experienced just recently.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

humidity jumps... (pm.06.jun.17)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 67.6F (19.8C) -- at 6:00pm during shower/hail
High temp: 85.1F (29.5C)
Rainfall: 0.18" (5mm)
*updated @ 8:05pm

We got our first measurable rainfall of the month of June this evening, but it didn't last very long.

As cooler air aloft overruns the very warm and increasingly moist air mass in the lower levels of the atmosphere, we should see a better chance of a few periods of showers and thunderstorms.  The overall weather pattern is starting to look more like a pre-monsoon situation -- not only here, but across most of central and northern India.  Official monsoon conditions have already been declared across the extreme southern and eastern portions of the Indian subcontinent.

Check THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK for forecast specs.

Monday, June 5, 2017

increasingly unstable... (pm.05.jun.17)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 74.3F (23.5C)
High temp: 90.7F (32.6C)
Rainfall: trace

High temperatures the last three days have been the first, second, and fourth warmest of the season and the year -- and among the warmest of the last three years, actually.

An increasingly unstable air mass is developing across our area, however, as this massive ridge of summertime high pressure weakens and breaks down during the next 24 to 48 hours.  That means the risk of showers and thunderstorms will be on the rise, as temperatures start to drop a bit as we head into the middle of the week.  So far there has been no measurable rainfall for the month of June, but that is probably going to change fairly soon.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

temperatures soar... (pm.04.jun.17)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 72.5F (22.5C) -- warmest overnight low of the year
High temp: 92.5F (33.6C) -- hottest of the year
Rainfall: none

The most intense high pressure ridge of the year extends from the Persian Gulf into northern India, and has delivered heat wave conditions to many millions of people the last two or three days.  For us, it's been a rather dramatic change after the very unsettled and unstable situation we experienced during the last two-thirds of the month of May.

But -- this is not going to last for much longer, as gradual cooling in the upper-levels of the atmosphere will be chipping away at this high pressure ridge starting late tomorrow (Mon).  Also, some significantly more moisture-laden air will be sneaking in from the south-southeast at the same time.  That will re-introduce the chance of some shower and thunderstorm action, while getting rid of these extremely warm temperatures by the middle of the week.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

stats catch-up... (pm.03.jun.17)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 68.0F (20.0C)

High temp: 89.1F (31.7C) -- second-warmest of 2017
Rainfall: none

During the previous six days...

low: 65.7F (18.7C)
high: 77.9F (25.5C)
rainfall: trace

low: 58.1F (14.5C)
high: 76.4F (24.7C)
rainfall: 0.22" (6mm)

low: 57.0F (13.9C)
high: 80.3F (26.8C)
rainfall: 0.41" (1.0cm)

low: 57.2F (14.2C)
high: 73.2F (22.9C)
rainfall: 0.27" (7mm)

low: 58.8F (14.9C)
high: 80.1F (26.7C)
rainfall: 0.08" (2mm)

low: 64.6F (18.1C)
high: 84.3F (29.1C)
rainfall: none

The heat has been building dramatically the last 48 hours or so, with the hottest weather of this summer season expected during the next couple of days.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

rare thunderless day... (pm.27.may.17)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 68.5F (20.3C)
High temp: 86.0F (30.0C)
Rainfall: none

WHAT??  No shower(s) today?  And no thunder?  It's quite an accomplishment, considering the fact that we have had at least some mountain thunder on every single day since the 9th of May, except for the 19th -- that's 17 of the last 19 days (including today).  There wasn't rainfall on all of those days, but rumbling thunder up-mountain has had us on our toes for a long time.  The first cloud development along the Dhauladhars got started very late, around the noon hour, and never really progressed -- and that allowed us to enjoy a mostly sunny Saturday.  My high temp was the warmest I've recorded since the 15th of the month.

Here across Himalayan north India we are stuck mid-way between a swirling area of low pressure aloft which is centered over northern Tibet, and a strong area of high pressure aloft which is parked over eastern Saudi Arabia.  The upper-level flow between these two dominant weather features is keeping north-northwesterly winds in the higher levels of the atmosphere in play across our area.  Random pockets of cooler air embedded in weak circulations in that upper-level flow overrunning a very warm summertime air mass in the lower levels is a recipe for fluctuating instability along the Himalayan ranges.  This situation is not going to budge much before the latter part of next week -- so though we got a much-welcomed break in the action today, I'm afraid we're going to have to remain braced for scattered shower and thunderstorms anyway.  Very honestly and frankly, thunderstorm development right here along the Dhauladhars in this kind of pattern is best predicted with the flip of a coin.

Temperatures have been slightly above normal the last couple of days, but we will likely cool off a few degrees again during the first part of next week, before the next surge of heat pushes in by the following weekend.

Friday, May 26, 2017

stats update... (pm.26.may.17)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 62.4F (16.9C) -- at 3:05pm during rain/hail
High temp: 85.6F (29.8C) -- at 1:20pm
Rainfall: 0.33" (8mm)

Thursday, May 25, 2017

weekend warming... (pm.25.may.17)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 64.2F (17.9C)
High temp: 83.4F (28.6C)
Rainfall: 0.12" (3mm)

It's been a weird day, temperature-wise, with the low occurring around 2:30pm during our thundershower, and the high temp just an hour before that -- and this evening as we get closer to sunset, the temperature has rebounded to within 2ºF/1ºC of the day's high.  We had full sunshine until the late morning when the customary mountain cloud development began, and then we were back to mostly sunny skies by about 3:30pm after our rather brief period of thundershowers.  As you can see from the stats above, I only received a small amount of rain at my location in the upper part of town.

Today's high was exactly the same as yesterday's, thanks to that blast of thundershowers which occurred right at the time of maximum heating, keeping temps at least 2-3ºF/1-2ºC cooler than they would have been.  But we've still got some impressive warming on the way during the coming three days, as a full-on summertime air mass continues to build across northwest India.  Of course our atmosphere refuses to stabilize completely, so the almost daily thundershower risk along the mountains is hard to remove from the forecast -- but really, the bigger news will be the borderline HOT temps expected over the weekend.  In fact, it still looks like we could be challenging the highest temps of the season and the year.

A large batch of moisture will creep in from the southeast by Monday and Tuesday, as slightly cooler air aloft seeps in... and that will bring in the risk of more significant rainfall for a few days next week.  Thereafter, another major warming trend is being hinted at by extended range models as the first week of June unfolds...

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

himalayan summer... (pm.24.may.17)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 64.9F (18.3C)
High temp: 83.4F (28.6C)
Rainfall: none

Cloudiness associated with clusters of thundershowers from western Kashmir into northern Himachal Pradesh can be seen to our north and northwest this evening, but those thundershowers are in their dying phase as the sun sets.  We had another day of nearly full morning sunshine, followed by increasing mountain cloudiness, and then off-and-on rumbles of thunder through the majority of the afternoon.  I never saw so much as a drop of rain, but there could have been some trace amounts of rainfall somewhere around our area.  Temperatures continued their upward climb, as we were expecting.

Today's high temp was just a fraction of a degree shy of the normal high for this date -- and if this weather pattern continues to progress according to plan, we should be rising above normal tomorrow, and stay there all the way through the weekend.  We are right on the eastern fringes of a large area of summertime high pressure which continues to strengthen from eastern Saudi Arabia into Pakistan.  There's still a marginally unstable atmosphere across the western and central Himalayas, however, which keeps us from being able to totally ignore the risk of some mainly PM thundershower development in the vicinity of the mountains.   Friday through Sunday might be our best opportunity to escape that afternoon/evening thunder potential, but even then we're talking about a 10-20% chance of something popping up.

After a very warm weekend, we could see some slight cooling during the first half of next week, along with shower/thunder chances increasing temporarily.  All in all things are not looking terribly out of the ordinary for our mid-summer along the edge of the north Indian Himalayas... in anticipation of pre-monsoon conditions which will start to build during the month of June.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

time for another warm-up... (pm.23.may.17)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 63.1F (17.3C)
High temp: 80.7F (27.1C)
Rainfall: trace

We're in the midst of a beautiful evening, and we also had a beautiful morning... but in between there was a flare-up of thundershowers over the mountains which just barely grazed us here in town.  At my location on Tushita Road just below the mountaineering center there was only a trace of rainfall -- in the form of about 20 minutes worth of sprinkles and drizzle -- right around 3:30pm.  There was also a good amount of thunder preceding that.  Otherwise we had a lot of sunshine up until about 1:30pm, and have had more nice sun this evening.  My high temp today was the warmest since Saturday.

Our overall weather pattern is showing strong signs of improvement over the course of the coming several days -- and that should take us through the weekend into the very first part of next week.  A big ridge of high pressure is trying hard to nudge its way into northwest India from the southwest, and that's already triggering a warming trend that should become even more aggressive by the end of the week.  However, lingering pockets of cooler air aloft, and the ever-present weak ripples and wiggles floating through in the upper atmosphere will keep us concerned about at least a slight chance of some thundershower development during the PM hours.  Some of the data is also suggesting we could get some nocturnal thundershower action as well.  Despite all that, we should have a majority of dry hours and intense summer sunshine during the days ahead.

The highest temperature I've recorded this season/year so far was 89.6ºF/32.0ºC back on the 8th of this month.  There is a chance we could be making a return to temps in that general category by the weekend.

Monday, May 22, 2017

perhaps some improvement... (pm.22.may.17)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 58.3F (14.6C)
High temp: 74.8F (23.8C)
Rainfall: 0.09" (2mm) -- as of 4:50pm

There have been a few sprinkles of rain around the area this evening since around 5:40pm, but it's been barely enough to wet the pavement.  Otherwise it is mostly cloudy as sunset approaches.  The only other rain we've experienced today occurred during the wee hours of the morning, and even that was quite light, as you can see from the stats above.  In between, we had a few fluctuations back and forth between clouds and sunshine -- but there was more sun than yesterday, though the actual temperature didn't reflect that.  My high temp in the upper part of town was about 9ºF/5ºC cooler than normal for the date.

It's now been nearly two weeks since we began this phase of very unsettled, unstable and frequently changeable weather -- I have recorded measurable rainfall on nine of the past fourteen days.  That rainfall has not been particularly heavy, but it seems we're dodging showers here and there, now and then, nearly every day.  The latest disturbance responsible for this recent bout of showery weather is nearly right on top of us this evening, but will continue to weaken as it pushes east-northeast overnight into Tuesday.  Although we're not going to stabilize completely, there are some positive signs that we'll be moving toward a more settled pattern as the rest of the week progresses.  But you know the story... even in the midst of summer sunshine and a return to warmer temperatures, we'll have to be aware of some rogue (mainly PM) thundershower development.

On average, the 20th of May through about the 15th of June is the warmest period of the entire year here in the Dharamsala area.  We're into that window now, and it is indeed looking like we're going to see temperatures rise significantly as we head toward the weekend...

Sunday, May 21, 2017

chronically unstable... (pm.21.may.17)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 58.1F (14.5C)
High temp: 75.9F (24.4C)
Rainfall: 0.20" (5mm)

It is mostly cloudy this evening, but at least it's quiet and pleasant now.  We had quite the rocky and turbulent afternoon, with rapidly increasing clouds, gusty winds and falling temperatures during the noon hour, thunder right around 2:00pm, and then a period of thundershowers accompanied by more gusty winds and very cool temps between roughly 3:00 and 4:15pm.  There was some sunshine during the morning, but it was the dim/filtered kind of sun, due to lots of high clouds in the area.  My high temp was the coolest I've recorded since the 4th of May.

A weak but broad area of low pressure in the upper-levels of the atmosphere is centered right along the Punjab/Pakistan border right now, and is expected to move only slowly eastward during the coming 24 hours as it gradually dissipates.  That means we've got more unstable weather in the forecast through tomorrow -- with more development of scattered showers and thundershowers quite likely from northern Pakistan into Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh.  By tomorrow night into Tuesday there should be some semblance of stabilization occurring, but all throughout the coming week our atmosphere is going to remain marginally unsettled, with the risk of an isolated thundershower or two not out of the question.

We should remain cooler than normal for the latter part of May for another day or two, but it's still looking like a fairly dramatic warming trend will be underway during the latter half of the week -- and that could take us back above seasonal norms/averages by Friday or Saturday.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

active and changeable... (pm.20.may.17)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 59.4F (15.2C)
High temp: 82.6F (28.1C)
Rainfall: 0.17" (4mm)

It's partly cloudy and pleasantly warm this evening as the sun goes down, at the end of a Saturday which turned out fairly well.  I don't know about you, but I was rudely awakened by sharp cracks of thunder around 1:30am, and that thunder and lightning was accompanied by some fairly brief light to moderate rain showers.  Thunder was still rumbling at sunrise this morning, with a lot of cloudiness lingering until nearly 9:00am.  But after that... the skies cleared nicely, with a build-up of clouds over the mountains during the mid-day and a few minutes of light sprinkles of rain around 3:45pm.  We had a huge range in temperatures today -- the low occurring during those overnight thundershowers, and the high occurring late this afternoon during a strong blast of sunshine.

The disturbed upper-level pattern which has been dominant for the last twelve days is going to stay with us -- at least into the first part of the new week.  In fact, more dynamic energy aloft is scheduled to drop southeastward into our neighborhood later tonight, and hang around through Monday.  It should become more unstable during the coming 24 hours, as a batch of moisture gets pulled northward at the same time.  The model data has been pretty useless in predicting the specific development of shower and thundershower activity, but I'd say we stand about a 60% chance of getting some significant action before Monday evening rolls around.  Be on the lookout.  Clouds will also probably be more prevalent tomorrow (Sun) and Monday.

By Tuesday and Wednesday, the risk of thundershowers will be decreasing again, and it looks like we'll be poised for a fairly dramatic warm-up during the latter part of the week.

Friday, May 19, 2017

pleasant for the season... (pm.19.may.17)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 64.0F (17.8C)
High temp: 80.6F (27.0C)
Rainfall: none

For the third evening in a row we've got some fine weather in progress -- there are scattered clouds around, with temperatures quite comfortable for this time of year.  It's been another day of sunshine and mainly mountain cloudiness, but I never heard any thunder, and by the look of it, the instability along the mountains was a bit less pronounced than it has been in several days.  We're still running just slightly cooler than normal, though it was the warmest day since Monday.

Well we've managed to dodge most of the scattered thundershower activity all along the western and central Himalayan ranges the last three days, but it's looking like our chances of measurable rainfall will be on the increase again by the mid-point of this weekend.  The next in a very long series of upper-level disturbances will be dropping in from the northwest by late tomorrow (Sat), and will slowly wobble its way across extreme northern India on Sunday and Monday.  This incoming system will contain another batch of cooler air aloft, with an even more impressive amount of moisture being pulled in from the south by Sunday.  So -- the risk of a few periods of showers and thunderstorms will be back above the 50-60% category by the latter half of the weekend, with rain chances decreasing to about 20-30% again by Tuesday.

With the increasing shower/thunder risk will also come another dip in temperatures for a few days.  BUT -- there are still some strong hints at a significant warming trend by the latter part of next week, which could take us back to seasonal highs during the last few days of May...