the latest...

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

Friday, March 31, 2017

still very warm as march departs... (pm.31.mar.17)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 63.5F (17.5C)
High temp: 78.7F (25.9C)
Rainfall: none

There has now been no measurable rainfall in McLeod Ganj in two full weeks, and it's the tenth day in a row in which temperatures have reached or exceeded 70ºF/21ºC.  This latter part of March has certainly gone a long way in redeeming the horrendous weather we struggled though earlier in the month.  Sunshine was a bit more plentiful today than expected, aiding the thermometer to rise higher than it has all throughout this recent stretch of unseasonably warm weather.  Isolated thundershower activity did try to get going this afternoon, but all of that weak/feeble action remained well north of us.

Changes are going to be rather slow and incremental during the coming three or four days, as the high pressure ridge responsible for our recent great weather breaks down.  As cooler air gradually filters in aloft, the atmosphere will get a bit more unstable, so we have to be aware of a 30-40% chance of passing thundershowers between now and Monday.  We'll see fluctuations between clouds and sun as well, with a bit of a downward trend in temps.

The main focus remains on a developing storm system during the mid-week period that is still looking kind of frightening.  A leftover batch of much cooler late winter air will try to invade Himalayan north India, mixing with this warm and more moist air mass in the surface layers -- stirring up widespread rain and thunderstorms between Tuesday and late Thursday night.  According to the latest data, Wednesday evening through Thursday evening should be the roughest period, but that timing could shift a bit in either direction, so stay tuned for daily updates.  In addition to the rain, thunder and gusty winds, temperatures will temporarily plunge well below normal for early April.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

nice and pleasant for now... (pm.30.mar.17)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 62.2F (16.8C)
High temp: 77.0F (25.0C)
Rainfall: none

Today is the fourth day in a row with a high temp at or above 77ºF/25ºC, which is very unusual for this early in the season.  My temp in the upper part of town hasn't been able to reach 80ºF/27ºC during this warm stretch, as I thought it might, but it's been darn close.  Sunshine was the dominant weather feature throughout this Thursday... though we have had occasional cirrus clouds, along with a bit of afternoon cumulus development over the mountains.

March 2017 has been a month of extremes... with temperatures far below normal along with numerous periods of sleet/snow showers back between the 9th and 11th, and then this very vivid preview of summer during the last week or so.  And now we are on the brink of another transition, as we usher in April.  The high pressure ridge which has dominated the weather pattern across central and northwest India recently will flatten and break down over the weekend, paving the way for a late winter-like upper-level storm system to move in from the northwest next week.  Already we had a brief period of thunder/sprinkles yesterday afternoon, and we should see our risk of some scattered shower/thundershower action increasing tomorrow afternoon through Saturday, as cooler air aloft generates some instability.

Sunday could be a decent day, though a bit cooler, but then the real concerns enter the picture by late Monday... and especially during the Tuesday through Thursday range.  A very ominous convergence of variables will occur by then, giving us a strong likelihood of significant rain, thunderstorms, gusty winds, and temperatures plunging well below normal for early April.  The good news is that quick improvement is suggested by the models for the following weekend...

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

temps creeping higher... (pm.29.mar.17)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 64.2F (17.9C)
High temp: 77.9F (25.5C)
Rainfall: trace

These crazy-warm temps for late March will be peaking during the next 24-36 hours, with a slow and gradual trend toward more unstable conditions as we move into the weekend.  By early next week, much colder air in the upper atmosphere will push across north India, and it looks like that's going to set us up for some turbulent weather -- especially from Tuesday through Thursday.  Rain, thunderstorms, gusty winds, and tumbling temperatures are looking likely... but we can hope and pray that it won't end up being as ugly as the latest models are strongly hinting at.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

season's warmest... (pm.28.mar.17)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 63.3F (17.4C)
High temp: 77.3F (25.2C)
Rainfall: none

It's partly cloudy and hazy this evening at sunset, at the end of a day in which we've notched yet another 'warmest of the season and the year'.  My high temp was about 1ºC cooler than I expected it to be, mainly due to a bit more cloudiness than anticipated, and also the fact that the moisture content of our air mass has increased during the last 12-18 hours or so.  Still, we're running way above normal for the end of March -- more in the normal/average zone for the end of April.

The high pressure ridge which has been responsible for our dry and unseasonably warm weather the past several days is forecast to gradually weaken between tomorrow and the weekend, but initially, we may not notice much of a change.  Temps should stay where they are, through Friday, and might even climb another degree or two, with this mix of sunshine and clouds.  However, starting tomorrow, we'll have to be aware of at least a slight chance (20-30%) of some isolated thundershower development during the afternoon/evening hours, especially in the higher elevations to our north and northeast.  That shower risk could even climb up into the 50/50 category on Saturday.

Much cooler air in the upper atmosphere will settle gradually across Himalayan north India next week, with models now pinning Tuesday and Wednesday as particularly rainy and cool days for us.  Let's watch how this incoming system sets itself up -- and be prepared for a return to wet weather and cooler temps for a spell...

Monday, March 27, 2017

feels like late april... (pm.27.mar.17)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 59.5F (15.3C)
High temp: 77.1F (25.1C)
Rainfall: none

It's now ten days in a row without measurable rainfall, and the sixth day in a row of high temps exceeding 70ºF/21ºC.  In fact, today's high at my location in the upper part of town is the warmest of the season and the year, and more in line with a normal/average high temp for about the 22nd of April.  Again there was abundant sunshine today, though cumulus development over the mountains during the afternoon was a little more pronounced than it was yesterday.

This much warmer than normal weather is going to stick with us for a few more days, with temps possibly rising a bit further between tomorrow (Tues) and Thursday or Friday.  The first signs of instability will be returning though, as we head into the latter part of the week, and that means we could be dealing with at least a slight chance of some mainly PM shower/thunder development somewhere around the area -- starting on Wednesday, but then there's an even better chance over the weekend.  Temps will probably start to dip a few degrees by Saturday, just in time for the arrival of the new month.

I don't like what I am seeing on extended range computer models... with a very disturbed pattern evolving across the western Himalayas during the first week to ten days of April.  We could have a couple of periods of significant rain and thunderstorms during that period, along with temperatures falling back below normal for the season.  Even when the weather gets as nice as it's been recently, there are absolutely no guarantees in this part of the world...

Sunday, March 26, 2017

the finest so far... (pm.26.mar.17)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 59.4F (15.2C)
High temp: 73.7F (23.2C)
Precipitation: none

It is not hard to officially declare TODAY the finest of 2017... with almost full sunshine, and temperatures which were about as comfortable as they get.  In fact, my high temp in the upper part of town was the warmest since the last couple of days of September, nearly six months ago.  The Dhauladhars stood in full glory as millions of cricket fans in India, Australia and other parts of the world watched the happenings down at the HPCA stadium in Dharamsala.

A building high pressure ridge will continue to dominate our weather scene during at least the first half of this week, causing our temps to climb even further above normal than they have already done.  For a few days we've been talking about 80ºF/27ºC as a distinct possibility around Tuesday and/or Wednesday, and that prognostication holds.  With major warming in the surface levels, and temps remaining steady or only warming slightly up higher in the atmosphere, we may see the risk of an isolated afternoon thundershower increasing through the week, but the mainly dry weather of the last nine days should not be seriously challenged until the weekend.

Then, a pattern change is in the cards as April arrives, and though the models are fluctuating and inconsistent as of now, it looks like temperatures will drop quite a bit, with shower and thunderstorm chances on the increase, at least off-and-on, during the first week to ten days of the new month.  Stay tuned for daily updates.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

springtime on display... (pm.25.mar.17)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 59.4F (15.2C)
High temp: 71.6F (22.0C)
Precipitation: none

I've only recorded a trace of rainfall, on three different occasions, during the last eight days.  And during those same eight days, temperatures have gone from about 11ºF/6ºC below normal, to 2-3ºF/1-2ºC above normal.  It's definitely been quite a transformation we've undergone since just barely over a week ago.  Today has been yet another day of the back-and-forth between sunshine and clouds that we have seen so often during this past week.

Other than a barely mentionable risk of a shower or thundershower one of these afternoons, we should continue to see a good amount of sunshine punctuated by periods of cloudiness as we make our way through the coming several days.  The main event is going to be the northward surge of some even warmer temperatures, which is still looking like it will take us very far above normal for the tail-end of March.  The 80ºF/27ºC mark could be reached sometime during the mid-week period.

As April arrives next Saturday, the weather pattern is going to become more unsettled and unstable -- and potentially much cooler and wetter.  There's a lot of time to keep an eye on things, but just keep in mind that this unseasonably warm weather may not continue into the new month.

Friday, March 24, 2017

aggressive warming ahead... (pm.24.mar.17)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 59.4F (15.2C)
High temp: 72.1F (22.3C)
Precipitation: trace

We're completing our third day in a row in which the high temperature has exceeded 70ºF/21ºC, though yesterday was just slightly warmer than it was today.  Once again we saw a lot of back and forth between sunshine and cloudiness, and also a very brief spell of thunder and some fleeting sprinkles of rain -- both occurring between about 2:00 and 3:00pm.  This evening at sunset we have mostly clear skies.

Temperatures since Wednesday have been a bit above normal, but we should be warming up even further over the weekend into about the middle of next week, as the huge ridge of high pressure across central India pokes northward again.  I think there is a chance we could even nudge the 80ºF/27ºC mark by Tuesday, which is a normal high temp for the very end of April or the first few days of May.  Our atmosphere will be generally stable until the latter part of the week... though a random/isolated PM thundershower is not impossible on any given day.  But really, it seems that the main theme of the coming five or six days will be UNSEASONABLE WARMTH, along with a variable mix of sunshine and mainly high clouds.

This evening's extended range data is showing some very frightening stuff for the first few days of April -- a strong upper-level storm system bringing in much cooler temps and an extended spell of wet weather.  Let's hope the models change their minds, as that's still quite a long way into the future...

Thursday, March 23, 2017

over-performing temperatures... (pm.23.mar.17)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 58.5F (14.7C)
High temp: 72.7F (22.6C)
Precipitation: trace

Today has featured some nice periods of sun, along with occasional cloud cover, and a couple of very brief brushes with some light thundershower action -- during the early morning, and again during the mid-afternoon.  Temperatures have been over-performing the last couple of days, with today's high temp (between 1:00 and 2:00pm) exceeding expectations again, pushing us further above normal for this stage of March.  This evening at sunset it is partly to mostly cloudy, but pleasantly mild.

The slightly disturbed upper-atmosphere that we're dealing with right now has not really done much, but then, we haven't been expecting much drama out of this weak system anyway.  There's still a fairly decent chance of a round or two of showers and/or thundershowers overnight, and then at least a slight chance of some isolated activity on Friday as well.  But I will be very surprised if we get anything very impressive in the rain gauge.

The next surge of warmer air associated with a huge sprawling ridge of high pressure across central India will make its way in our direction over the weekend, and according to the latest data, should make it feel much more like the latter part of April than the latter part of March, between about Sunday and Wednesday of next week.  There's almost always about a 10-20% chance of a rogue PM thundershower during the warm season, but rain chances are almost not worth mentioning until the last part of the week.

All eyes of the cricketing world are focused on Dharamsala between Saturday and Wednesday, as India and Australia compete in the final test match of a contentious series.  Seems like the weather should cooperate nicely...

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

transformations... (pm.22.mar.17)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 58.6F (14.8C)
High temp: 70.2F (21.2C)
Precipitation: none

Another day of significant warming, and now we have to go all the way back to the 16th of October to find a temp that was warmer than today's.  Finally we have broken above 70ºF/21ºC, and also, finally, we have risen slightly above normal for the date, after spending most of the month of March below normal... and sometimes shockingly colder than normal.  There were some pretty major stretches of nice sunshine in the midst of the clouds today, and that allowed temps to rise higher than expected.  No complaints.  This evening it is mostly cloudy and hazy, but still very mild and comfortable.

A ripple of energy in the upper-atmosphere, accompanied by some slight cooling aloft, is heading into Himalayan north India right now, and will bring us a spell of unstable conditions overnight into perhaps the first half of Friday.  With this warm and marginally moist atmosphere in the lower levels, the incoming disturbance could stir up some widely scattered shower and thundershower activity as it sweeps through -- with the best chance of some rain expected late tonight through late tomorrow (Thu) night.  I don't think there will be anything too dramatic, but that shower/thunder chance exists nonetheless.

Stabilization will kick in again gradually on Friday, with quiet weather expected for the most part all the way through at least the first half of next week.  Along with generally stable conditions, temperatures will climb higher and higher.  We should be well above normal by Monday and Tuesday... from one extreme to the other this month.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

warmest since november... (pm.21.mar.17)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 54.0F (12.2C)
High temp: 65.7F (18.7C)
Precipitation: none

November 9th, 2016 -- Results of the U.S. election were coming in, and word was spreading that our 500 and 1000 rupee notes were suddenly worthless.  Remember that day??  That was the last time temperatures here in McLeod Ganj were warmer than they were today... nearly four and a half months ago.  We did get those high clouds today, but the sunshine didn't really get challenged significantly until around noon, allowing temps to warm up almost exactly as expected.  Now we're only about 2ºF/1ºC cooler than normal for this stage of March, which is quite an achievement considering where we've been during the last couple of weeks.

The weather pattern has evolved absolutely according to plan the last several days, as the first genuinely warm/hot air mass of the season finally starts to take hold across the plains of north India to our south.  We're on the northern fringes of that significant warming, with the general temperature trend over the coming week or so expected to continue to be an upward one.

There are issues to watch, however.  Already there are a couple of minor upper-level disturbances trying to crash into this ridge of high pressure, drifting in from the west, and that's going to introduce the next chance of some scattered shower/thunder action during the coming 24 hours.  Rainfall shouldn't be long-lasting or widespread, but keep in mind the thundershower risk, mainly between Wednesday evening and late Thursday night.  Then... our atmosphere should stabilize again, with additional warming expected over the weekend into next week.

Monday, March 20, 2017

temps approaching normal... (pm.20.mar.17)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 49.8F (9.9C)
High temp: 64.4F (18.0C)
Precipitation: none

The vernal equinox occurred at 3:58pm IST today, and that's the moment when the direct rays of the sun crossed the equator, heading into the northern hemisphere for the next six months of the year.  We call it the official first day of spring, meteorologically, and the weather here in our little corner of the world cooperated nicely.  It was about 24ºF/13ºC WARMER today than it was just nine days ago, on the 11th of March, when we had snow showers on and off all day.  Quite a dramatic and welcome change.  Apart from occasional thin, high clouds, and just some feeble cumulus development over the mountains this afternoon, it's been a mostly sunny Monday.

But a view to the west and a check of satellite pics shows a lot of high cloudiness heading in our direction, which we are going to have to contend with as the rest of this week unfolds.  The mildest/warmest air mass of the season is still on its way in, but as we've been discussing, the cloudiness will likely prevent us from maximizing the ground-truth warming potential during the next two or three days.  Still, it will be much milder than it was just last week, and closer to normal for the latter part of March.

A few weak disturbances smashing into this new ridge of high pressure will also introduce the next risk of some isolated to scattered shower/thunder development... as early as Wednesday evening, but a bit more likely on Thursday into Thursday night.  After that, things should stabilize again, with further warming on the way over the weekend into early next week.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

trending into spring... (pm.19.mar.17)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 49.8F (9.9C)
High temp: 62.6F (17.0C)
Precipitation: trace

Our sky is clearing out again this evening at sunset, after our little bout of thundershowers during the latter half of the afternoon.  There was not enough rain to register a measurement at my location on Tushita Road just below the mountaineering center, but there was a lot of thunder between about 2:30 and 4:00pm, as those thundershowers lurked just up-mountain.  Before all that, we had abundant sunshine, with temperatures climbing higher than expected -- just shy of the warmest of the season and the year thus far.

Warmer air throughout all layers and levels of the atmosphere is poised to begin flowing into our area during the next 12-24 hours, as a ridge of high pressure pokes northeastward into the Indian subcontinent.  Not only here, but across most of central and northern India, temperatures will be higher than we've seen so far this season, and it's likely that we'll finally rise back to normal and even slightly above as we move into the final one-third of March.  Tomorrow is the vernal equinox, which, meteorologically speaking, marks the first official day of spring in the northern hemisphere... so the timing is good.

There are some serious concerns about high cloudiness developing and flowing along the north side of this incoming ridge of high pressure... especially by Tuesday into Wednesday.  That could keep temps from reaching their full warming potential, even though we'll be in a much more comfortable zone than we've been able to enjoy in the last 12 days or so.  There is also a decent chance of some thundershowers sometime between Wednesday night and early Friday morning.

Check tabs above for historical normals/averages, and THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

a shifting pattern... (pm.18.mar.17)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 44.6F (7.0C)
High temp: 58.7F (14.8C)
Precipitation: none

For only the second time in the last ten days, there was ZERO precipitation today.  And temperatures, although still well below normal for mid-March, were the warmest in the last ten days as well.  Considering the stretch of weather we've had recently, I guess we should be grateful for whatever little gains we can get.  Sunshine was plentiful today, with only a moderate build-up of cumulus over the mountains this afternoon, and some patchy high clouds drifting in from the west.

Yet another weak upper-level disturbance has been stirring up thundershowers across Pakistan this afternoon, and is scheduled to ripple across northern India tomorrow (Sun).  Already we're seeing these high clouds in advance of this minor system, and we could see some widely scattered shower and/or thundershower activity somewhere around the area on Sunday, though there should be some sunshine as well.

Warmer air aloft flowing in by Monday will be the first sign of a ridge of high pressure building into west-central and northwest India during the coming week.  Models are still showing an aggressive warming trend, with the mildest/warmest air of this spring season expected to surge northward.  Unfortunately, there is going to be quite a lot of mainly high cloudiness developing and flowing over the top of that high pressure ridge, so even though our air mass will be much warmer, the sunshine is going to be restricted.  Let's see how it pans out.  Any shower action should be confined to higher elevations to our north-northeast until sometime on Thursday, when we could catch some springtime thundershowers here...

Friday, March 17, 2017

our infamous instability issues... (pm.17.mar.17)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 44.4F (6.9C)
High temp: 57.5F (14.2C)
Precipitation: 0.13" (3mm) -- updated @ 8:10pm

We had a rapid-fire round of thundershowers with hail that lasted all of 25 minutes, between 5:30 and just before 6:00pm -- otherwise this has been one of the better days of the last week and a half or so.  Full sunshine early this morning gave way to increasing mountain clouds not long after 10:00am, and that led the way to a lot of back-and-forth between sunshine and clouds throughout the remainder of the day, with the sound of rumbling thunder up-mountain from us during the afternoon.  And obviously, we finally got to get up-close and personal with the thunder for that brief period this evening.  My high temp in the upper part of town was the warmest I've recorded since I got back in town nine days ago.

Very often on this blog over the years we've discussed afternoon/evening instability issues here along the Dhauladhars.  Warmer air in the surface layers that builds up during the day has no choice but to rise as it heats up, encountering much cooler air parked over the mountains in the middle and upper-levels of the atmosphere.  That leads to convective cloud development, and eventually, shower/thunder development -- as long as that temperature disparity with increasing height is significant enough.  Even without much of a large-scale weather disturbance, we regularly see PM thundershowers erupt along the mountains under those circumstances, which drift our way if the upper-level winds are favorable.

There should be a marginal amount of instability again tomorrow (Sat) afternoon, and on Sunday as well, so we stand a chance of seeing another round or two of shower/thunder action during the afternoon or early evening hours.

The high pressure ridge which has been advertised the last few days is still on track to develop starting late Monday, and dominate the weather pattern for most of next week.  Temperatures should rise significantly, most likely erasing most of this lingering unseasonable winter chill we've been dealing with the last ten days or so.  There will also be cloud issues to deal with, but it's at least looking much more spring-like by Tuesday into Wednesday...

Thursday, March 16, 2017

temporary setback... (pm.16.mar.17)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 44.4F (6.9C) -- at 4:10pm
High temp: 53.8F (12.1C) -- at 11:00am
Precipitation: 0.32" (8mm) -- total

A sliver of clearing in the western sky has allowed a quick view of the setting sun during the past few minutes, here at the end of a day that has not been very good at all.  This morning there were a few glimpses of sunshine in the midst of the clouds, but those clouds thickened even further during the afternoon, with numerous periods of light rain showers, starting just before 12:30pm.  Rainfall was not heavy, but it was certainly more widespread and persistent than expected.  Temperatures started out mild this morning, but plunged during the PM showers.

The weak upper-level disturbance that began to affect us yesterday (Wed) afternoon became more robust than the models were indicating, but we're now starting to get on the backside of that circulation.  Things should stabilize overnight, but with warming in the surface layers, coupled with significantly colder air aloft, we could see some isolated/random shower development tomorrow (Fri) as well.  Even on Saturday and Sunday there's going to be a mentionable chance of mainly PM instability kicking off more in the way of random showers somewhere around our area.  So... it's not totally smooth sailing for us as we head into the weekend.

The big weather feature to watch in the extended period will be a building ridge of high pressure across much of India, which should allow some much warmer air to surge northward into our neighborhood... by Tuesday into Wednesday.  If all goes at least marginally according to plan, we should be seeing the warmest temps of the season in about 5-6 days from now.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

fickle and fluctuating... (pm.15.mar.17)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 45.1F (7.3C)
High temp: 55.9F (13.3C)
Precipitation: 0.06" (2mm)
*stats updated thru midnight

Our recent warming trend gained more ground this morning, under the influence of bright sunshine and blue skies, but high clouds began streaming in from the west around the noon hour, leading to a very gray and overcast afternoon, with temperatures dipping again.  Then, we've had some sprinkles and very light rain showers off and on this evening.  A day of variety, for sure.

A weak upper-level disturbance is responsible for the deteriorating weather conditions since mid-day, and will bring us a continuing risk of a few light rain showers overnight and on Thursday.  In fact, as we've been talking about the last few days, the overall pattern remains an agitated one, even though there are no major storm systems threatening.  That means we can get used to more fluctuations between sunshine and cloudiness, along with rain shower chances worth noting -- off and on -- all the way into Sunday and Monday.  Rainfall amounts should remain light when those showers do pop up.

Temperatures have risen slowly and steadily since last Sunday, but we're still not very close to normal for mid-March.  Extended range models are showing an impressive ridge of high pressure building across the India subcontinent by the middle of next week, however, and that gives us hope of experiencing our first real taste of springtime warmth this season.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

milder day by day... (pm.14.mar.17)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 43.9F (6.6C)
High temp: 54.1F (12.3C)
Precipitation: trace

Our sky has cleared out rapidly as of sunset this evening, but we dealt with quite a lot of convective cloudiness over the Dhauladhars starting just before noon, which kept our sunshine coming and going throughout the latter half of the day.  There were even some periods of light sprinkles of rain at times, though it was not nearly enough to register a measurement in the rain gauge.  Temperatures crept up another degree or two today, but we remain well short of the normal range for this time of year.

There are no major storm systems anywhere in sight, but the upper-level flow is restless and fickle, allowing random weak disturbances to wobble across Himalayan north India.  That's going to remain the case all the way through the coming weekend, so we are not going to be breaking into a totally sunny and zero-rain-chance scenario.  We can expect more cloud development just about every day, with at least a mentionable chance of some widely scattered shower activity -- mainly during the PM hours.  Rainfall amounts will be very light, most probably.

This pattern is favorable for a continued slow and gradual warm-up over the coming few days, but then there are some interesting hints at a more aggressive upward bounce in temperatures about a week from now.  We'll keep an eye on that, in anticipation of maybe finally getting into the zone that we should be experiencing by this stage of the evolving spring season...

A new post, SPRING INTO SUMMER, can be found on a tab above, with some thoughts on what we might expect during the coming few months.

Monday, March 13, 2017

recovery in progress... (pm.13.mar.17)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 40.1F (4.5C)
High temp: 52.6F (11.4C)
Precipitation: none

The thermometer made some nice gains today, though we remain very far below normal for the middle of March.  All day long there were fluctuations between clouds and sun, but there was definitely enough sunshine to make this HOLI a decent one for those celebrating.  Late this afternoon there was some thundershower development off to our east, but for the first time in exactly one week, there was no precipitation here in our immediate area.  This evening just after sunset there are only a few high clouds to be found.

The weather pattern during the next week or so isn't a totally quiet one, but neither will it be very active -- with only weak disturbances gliding through, along a general westerly flow aloft.  We can expect occasional waves of cloudiness, and also at least a slight to moderate chance of a few isolated or scattered light rain showers, especially during the mid-week period, but things are looking good compared to what we've just come out of.

Temperatures have already been rebounding the last 36 hours or so, and we can look forward to that trend continuing all the way into early next week.  We're still running about 12ºF (5-6ºC) below normal for the season, but I think we will be able to erase much of that deficit by Sunday or Monday.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

struggling out of this... (pm.12.mar.17)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 34.7F (1.5C)
High temp: 46.7F (8.2C)
Precipitation: 0.05" (1mm) -- updated @ 9:00pm

Today has been a step in the right direction, but we remain well below normal, temperature-wise, for this time of year -- and there has been yet more shower development across the area this evening.  The morning sunshine was fantastic, but this air mass is so frigid, even the strong March sun couldn't get us up to 50ºF/10ºC.

This central Asian late winter air mass will slowly and gradual modify and loosen its grip on us over the course of the coming several days, but it's looking like it will be a rather slow process.  The upper-level flow will be plagued with weak disturbances all week long, and that will keep us battling periods of cloudiness, and even some random/scattered light rain showers from time to time.  In the midst of all that, there will be some periods of sun, however, helping us get back into a springtime mood after this recent major backward step.

We usually see temperatures pop above 70ºF/21ºC sometime during the mid- to latter part of March, but that kind of warmth is not going to happen for at least another ten days or more.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

momentum shifting... (pm.11.mar.17)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 34.3F (1.3C)
High temp: 40.2F (4.6C)
Precipitation: 0.38" (1.0cm) -- rain and melted snow

The low temperature today, which occurred during the middle of the day in the midst of a rather heavy snow squall, was the fourth coldest of the entire winter season.  It was colder only back during rain/snow events during the middle of January.  Yes, it has been another March day that has not felt at all like March, with several impressive periods of snow showers, in the midst of mostly cloudy skies and even some bouts of fog.  We have seen marked improvement this evening, however, with partial clearing allowing us to enjoy a nice sunset.

A record-breaking cold air mass continues to sit atop the western Himalayan region, with the upper-level low pressure circulation center itself anchored over extreme northern Pakistan.  Thankfully, this weather system is finally on the wane, and will be dissipating and shifting northeastward during the coming 24-36 hours or so.  There could be enough lingering instability to stir up more snow showers overnight, however, with perhaps a random rain/snow shower or two somewhere around the area on Sunday as well.  But really, the trend is a positive one as we finish off the weekend and head into the new week.

There is no super aggressive warming trend in our future, but it still looks like temperatures will be steadily moderating throughout the coming week.  We've got a long long long way to go to get up to where we should be by the middle of March, but we could get within range by next weekend.  Occasional waves of clouds and the risk of a few isolated showers are in the forecast, but at least there are no indications of another significant/major storm system during the coming week to ten days or so.

Friday, March 10, 2017

january's return... (pm.10.mar.17)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 36.0F (2.2C)
High temp: 48.6F (9.2C)
Precipitation: 0.49" (1.2cm) -- both rain and melted sleet/snow
*all stats updated thru midnight

The average high temperature by this stage of March is 63ºF/17ºC, and the average low is around 48ºF/9ºC -- so we are obviously way below the mark.  In fact, temperatures the last couple of days have looked very similar to what we would expect during about the third week of January, at least according to historical averages.

An extremely deep and cold low pressure circulation continues to hover just to our west and northwest this evening, with the counter-clockwise flow drawing milder, moisture-laden air northward up against the outer ranges of the Himalayas.  Of course that milder air gets immediately condensed into clouds and precipitation as it encounters the much colder air aloft -- with thunder this afternoon the tell-tale sign of the turbulence and instability in the atmosphere.  We've had soft snow grains/pellets and mushy snowflakes right here in the main market of McLeod Ganj since the mid- to late afternoon... something that occurs only very rarely this late in the winter season.

Occasional showers of rain, sleet and snow will remain quite likely through tomorrow (Sat) night, but then we'll see a gradually stabilizing atmosphere thereafter.  Although we can't totally rule out some isolated/random showers next week, we should see temperatures moderate day by day, as we attempt to scratch and claw our way back to weather conditions that are at least a little closer to normal for mid-March.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

march in the himalayas... (pm.09.mar.17)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 37.9F (3.3C)
High temp: 47.3F (8.5C)
Precipitation: 0.23" (6mm)

In case you were wondering, this is about as cold as it ever gets in March, with temps today much more typical of mid- to late January.  We've got a near record-breaking cold air mass in place from central Asia into the western Himalayas, and it won't loosen its grip for another couple of days, at least.

The moisture supply for this weather system is not extremely impressive, but with a warm, springtime air mass in the lower levels across the plains to our south coupled with very cold air aloft to our north and northwest, what little moisture is available is going to be squeezed out easily -- in the form of numerous periods of rain and snow showers during the next 48 hours or so.  The coldest temps might be yet to come, which means we could continue to see an uncommonly low rain/snow line over the coming weekend.

Too often I hear people say that by March, winter is over.  That's along the same lines as "by September, monsoon is over".  Most of us who really pay attention to the weather around here know that both of those statements are usually dead wrong.