the latest...

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

Sunday, April 30, 2017

expressive april departs... (pm.30.apr.17)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 50.5F (10.3C) -- tied for coolest of the month
High temp: 71.2F (21.8C)
Rainfall: 1.36" (3.5cm) -- largest daily rainfall total of the month

This final day of April has been a remarkable one.  First of all, we had an extended period of showers and thunderstorms very early this morning which delivered nearly 1.2" (3cm) of rain.  Secondly, at around 5:00am during the rain, the temperature dropped to 50.5ºF/10.3ºC -- equalling the coolest temp of the entire month, which had first occurred back on the morning of the 5th.  And then, we managed to get several hours of beautiful warm sunshine which kept the day from being a total loss.  Finally, we had another period of thundershowers during the late afternoon which boosted the daily rainfall total to its largest for a single calendar day this month.  Now, at sunset, it is partly cloudy and quite chilly.

In a few hours we'll be saying goodbye to April 2017, which has had quite the vibrant and expressive personality.  We've had more than double the normal/average amount of rain for the month, but we also had a streak of eight days with temperatures which were way above normal for so early in the season, along with a few days of almost totally cloudless skies.  Also, we had some cooler than average weather during the first week, and then of course this excitement here on the final day.

As we move into the first week of May, our general pattern looks like it is going to remain quite changeable and fickle, with an upper-level flow which will continue to be embedded with some disturbances, ripples and wiggles.  That means we can expect a mix of sun, clouds and the risk of isolated thundershowers over the course of the coming several days, and beyond, with hints of a significant warming trend still showing up by the weekend into the following week.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

on the lookout... (pm.29.apr.17)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 64.6F (18.1C)
High temp: 78.6F (25.9C)
Rainfall: trace

We had some scattered and very feeble thundershowers around the area early this morning, but all of that activity was over well before mid-morning, leaving us with a mix of sunshine and clouds for the rest of the day.  Things are looking very nice at the moment, just before sunset, with only a few clouds around, and a very comfortable temp near 72ºF/22ºC.

Luck has been with us this afternoon and evening so far, as satellite pics show clusters of thunderstorms northwest, north, northeast, east, southeast and south of us.  It's quiet for now, but I don't think it will stay that way overnight.  A fast-moving upper-level disturbance will move across northern Pakistan and into Kashmir during the next 24 hours, and all of the available computer model output is showing a very good chance of some significant pulses of showers and thunderstorms across our area during that timeframe.  The models have actually been way over-doing precipitation amounts during the last week or so, so they could be hyping things again for tonight into Sunday -- but just be aware that we could get hit with some fairly rowdy thunderstorms with gusty winds between tonight and Sunday evening.

The pattern next week continues to look 'marginally unstable'... just as it has been during the last eight days or so.  That means we will continue to see fluctuations between sunshine and periods of clouds, along with occasional chances of some isolated to scattered thundershower action.  No major, lasting temperature changes are expected until next weekend, when we could see a rather dramatic warming trend kick in.

Friday, April 28, 2017

weekend thundershower risk... (pm.28.apr.17)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 61.0F (16.1C)
High temp: 79.2F (26.2C)
Rainfall: none

Today's high temp was the warmest (just barely) I've recorded in exactly one week, and is just slightly above normal for the last few days of April.  We started off with full sunshine this morning, but the mountain cumulus clouds were already starting to develop by 11:00am, which led to more scattered light thundershowers in the higher elevations to our north throughout the afternoon and early evening hours.  Even now, as the sun sets, things are still looking marginally unstable along the Dhauladhars, with quite a bit of cloudiness hanging on.

I guess 'marginally unstable' is the best way to describe the weather we've been experiencing the last several days -- with a mix of sunshine and mainly mountain clouds, and a daily round of generally weak showers/thundershowers that have barely brushed us here in McLeod.  As far as temperatures are concerned, it has been extremely pleasant and comfortable, and as we've expected, right in the acceptable range of 'normal' for this time of year.

A fresh upper-level disturbance is going to be dropping in from the northwest this weekend, and as of now, it's looking like it will cause our risk of some scattered showers and thundershowers to rise into the 40-60% range during the coming 48 hours or so.  A couple of the models are looking a little more potent than before... indicating the potential for at least a round or two of fairly significant precipitation (perhaps up to a half-inch/1.2cm) by the time the weekend is over.  We've already had much more rainfall than average for this month of April, thanks to that storm system back during the first week of the month, but it looks like there's some chance of picking up more before all is said and done.

Next week, as May arrives, things are still looking a bit on the unstable side, but with temps remaining very close to normal for the season.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

relatively minor issues... (pm.27.apr.17)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 57.6F (14.2C)
High temp: 75.5F (24.2C)
Rainfall: 0.01" (less than 1mm) -- updated @ 8:12pm

A very pleasant late April evening is underway, after our brush with some mountain thundershowers earlier.  There was a bit of thunder rumbling up-mountain shortly after 1:00pm, but it wasn't until 5:00-5:20pm that we actually got a brief period of light rain showers.  Otherwise it has been a day of both sunshine and cloudiness, with temperatures (both low and high) a bit cooler than expected.

Believe it or not, we are STILL dealing with the remnants of last weekend's upper-level low pressure system -- it has been lethargically spinning around over Kashmir for the last two or three days, triggering scattered showers/thunder over the higher elevations -- and finally a little of that action drifted into our neighborhood late this afternoon.  Still, rainfall was barely enough to register a measurement in the gauge.  Our pattern all the way into the middle of next week is going to remain touch-and-go, as a few more weak disturbances in the upper flow are expected to ripple across Himalayan north India.  As I have already said a few times... we're not talking about any kind of major storm system, but neither are we talking about a totally dead, quiet and care-free pattern.  Not a bad idea to have a small umbrella tucked away somewhere, just in case.

Otherwise, our temps should remain pretty close to the normal range as we close out April and shift into May, with no really major fluctuations on either side.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

mountain instability... (pm.26.apr.17)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 59.7F (15.4C)
High temp: 78.6F (25.9C)
Rainfall: none

It's partly cloudy just before sunset this evening, as we watch some very large cumulonimbus clouds over the mountains dissipate and fall apart.  Those thundershowers up-mountain this afternoon never made it anywhere close to us, but they were impressive-looking nonetheless.  Here, we enjoyed another day of good sunshine, in spite of that increase in clouds to our north and northeast -- with a high temp that was just a fraction of a degree warmer than yesterday's.

The remnants of a dying upper-level low pressure circulation continue to linger across the western Himalayas, with just enough colder air aloft to create some significant instability in the higher elevations during the PM hours.  Temps up there in the higher levels of the atmosphere will be warming a bit tomorrow (Thu) into Friday, but as that happens, lower-level temps will be warming as well... so that means we will probably continue to flirt with afternoon instability issues.  This is the kind of pattern where it is a rather complex and baffling equation to determine what kind of mountain thunder activity will get going -- or not.

This weekend there is another upper-level disturbance scheduled to sweep in from the northwest, but it should be weak and rather fast-moving.  Any risk of a passing thundershower or two should be mostly out of the picture again by Sunday evening, with some seasonably warm and relatively quiet weather expected as we push into the new month of May...

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

pleasant overall... (pm.25.apr.17)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 60.1F (15.6C)
High temp: 78.4F (25.8C)
Rainfall: none

Today has been the first day since last Friday without measurable rainfall, and also I recorded the warmest high temp since Friday.  A very pleasant and comfortable one it has been... with plenty of sunshine, punctuated on either side by some early morning patchy cloudiness, and a fairly impressive build-up of towering cumulus clouds over the mountains from mid-day into the mid-afternoon.  There have been scattered thundershowers again this afternoon, but all of that action has stayed in the higher elevations to our north and northeast.

As I said yesterday, although things have stabilized significantly for us since very early Monday morning, this is not a totally dead and calm and quiet weather pattern.  There is still a weak upper-level low pressure circulation swirling around just north of us, and there are all kinds of minor disturbances in that upper-level flow which will be flirting with Himalayan north India for the remainder of the week/month, and even as we cross into May early next week.  That means we can't totally exclude at least a slight risk of some random shower or thundershower activity -- with an even better chance of a period or two of showers/thunder over the weekend.

Average temperatures during mid- to late April are about the most pleasant of the entire year around here, and we should remain close to, or even slightly above those averages as we close out the month.  Not too much to complain about.

Monday, April 24, 2017

temperatures close to normal... (pm.24.apr.17)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 54.5F (12.5C)
High temp: 75.8F (24.3C)
Rainfall: 0.10" (3mm)

It's a good-looking Monday evening out there as sunset approaches, with only a few clouds lingering along the mountain slopes.  And really most of the day has been perfectly fine, after yet another round of overnight thundershowers and gusty winds which continued into the predawn hours... and left mostly cloudy skies in their wake until about 8:30am.  Since then we've been able to enjoy lots of sunshine, despite a fairly impressive build-up of mountain cloudiness mid-day through most of the afternoon.  Satellite pics show scattered thundershowers from northern Pakistan and Kashmir all the way into western Nepal this evening, but none of those have managed to threaten us.

What's left of an upper-level low pressure circulation is centered very near the Pakistan/Kashmir border, just west of Srinagar.  It is weakening and lifting north-northeastward more quickly than the models had projected, which has allowed at least some semblance of stabilization to return to our air mass, already.  However, the upper-level flow is going to be a bit fickle and indecisive all the way into and through this next weekend -- and although there are no major storm systems evident, this pattern is not going to be a totally dead and calm one either.  Most days during the coming week or more, we'll have at least a slight chance of an isolated thundershower, mainly during the afternoon into the evening hours.

As expected, our temps have dropped from their way-above-normal levels down to a range that is very close to normal for the final week of April.  We'll likely tip-toe upward a few degrees as we move toward the end of the week.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

unsettledness... (pm.23.apr.17)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 57.4F (14.1C)
High temp: 71.5F (21.9C)
Rainfall: 0.07" (2mm)

It's mostly cloudy as dusk settles in this evening, here at the end of the coolest day since the 10th of April.  The low temperature occurred during thundershowers with very gusty winds right around 4:00am, and then the high temp occurred very late in the afternoon -- right around 4:20pm -- when we had a nice spell of sunshine.  All of the paltry amount of measurable rainfall today occurred during those predawn thundershowers, with only a trace of rain during a period of thunder, sprinkles and drizzle during the mid-afternoon.

We're still in the midst of a major transformation of the upper-level pattern which started on Wednesday of last week, and won't really complete its cycle until the middle of this new week.  The huge high pressure ridge responsible for a long stretch of abnormally warm weather has entirely broken down now, and is being replaced by a trough of low pressure in the upper atmosphere which is now centered right along the Afghanistan border with northern Pakistan.  This system is going to be wobbling only slowly eastward during the next couple of days, and will keep our weather on the unsettled and unstable side, as a batch of colder air aloft drifts over the top of relatively warmer air in the lower levels, while mixing in a moderate amount of moisture.  As we have seen, rainfall amounts have so far been very light, but we've been dealing with regular periods of cloudiness, showers, thunder and gusty winds for a few days now.

Models are in a fair state of disagreement, but the most reliable data suggests that we'll see some stabilization as early as Tuesday, but more like by Thursday.  We'll have to keep an eye on the risk of isolated thundershower development all week, actually, but it looks like temperatures will be on the rise again by the coming weekend, taking us back into the slightly above normal range as May arrives...

Saturday, April 22, 2017

the heat breaks... (pm.22.apr.17)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 58.6F (14.8C)
High temp: 78.3F (25.7C)
Rainfall: 0.16" (4mm)

Today our extended spell of unseasonably warm weather broke -- with both high and low temps the coolest since about ten days ago.  And, with a few periods of light rain showers, we had the first measurable rainfall in just over two weeks.  Things started out very rocky early this morning, with thundershowers and extremely strong wind gusts during the wee hours -- that's when we received the vast majority of the day's rainfall total (as of 6:30pm).  There were other brief showers during the early afternoon, and again late afternoon, with clouds only giving way to a small amount of sunshine a few times in the midst of all that.

A rather deep area of low pressure aloft is being carved out to our west, from extreme eastern Iran into Afghanistan this evening; and this is going to be our main weather feature during the next three or four days.  It's bringing together a few different ingredients, including some significantly colder air in the upper-levels of the atmosphere, a moderate amount of moisture, and a fairly impressive amount of dynamic energy.  With leftover warmer air in the surface layers, this will keep us in a moderately unstable situation all the way through Tuesday, with a good chance of a few more periods and waves of showers and thunderstorms.  There should be significant breaks in the action in between spells of showers/thunder, but we need to be on notice for rapidly changing conditions... both day and night.

Temperatures will average out much cooler into the middle of next week, after our recent long streak of mid to late May warmth.  But this time of year, 'much cooler' simply means that we will be closer to normal for the end of April, which is actually a very pleasant zone to be in.

Friday, April 21, 2017

gradual changes underway... (pm.21.apr.17)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 67.1F (19.5C)
High temp: 85.6F (29.8C)
Rainfall: trace

The trend the last three days has been toward a marginally unstable atmosphere, as some waves of slightly cooler air aloft overrun this extremely warm air in the surface layers.  That has led to some random/isolated thundershower activity all across the western and central Himalayan region, but it has indeed been 'isolated and random', with very little significant precipitation occurring in any one place at any one time.  So far.

A more pronounced influx of cooler air in the upper-atmosphere will begin to arrive this weekend into early next week, which should give us a better chance of some measurable rainfall, along with at least a couple of periods of thunder and lightning.  Also, it looks like our temps will be on a downward trajectory... probably taking us into a more normal/average range for the latter part of April, which will feel much more comfortable after the unseasonably warm weather of the last eight days or so.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

abnormal warmth hangs on... (pm.20.apr.17)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 70.3F (21.3C)
High temp: 86.6F (30.3C)
Rainfall: none

Well just when it seemed we might have peaked out in the temperature department, the thermometer soared even higher today.  My high temp in the upper part of town surpassed the 86ºF/30ºC mark for the first time this season and year, taking us even further above normal than we've already been for what is still essentially the middle of April.  There were some extensive patches of cloudiness around this morning, but during the afternoon hours it was mostly sunny, with not much of an impressive build-up of cumulus clouds over the mountains -- unlike what happened yesterday.

Satellite pics this evening show a lot of shower and thunderstorm activity to our northwest over northern Pakistan and parts of Kashmir, and also a few clusters of thunderstorms southeast of us in Uttarakhand into central Nepal.  But here in Himachal, we managed somehow to miss out on much convective development today.  The weather pattern is still undergoing a fundamental change, however, with increasingly unstable conditions evolving over the coming few days which will require us to be aware of the potential for some passing showers and thundershowers.

A weak but broad area of low pressure aloft will drift into northern Pakistan and northwest India by Sunday, and linger through Tuesday.  Temperatures will most likely drop down into more of an average/normal range as we progress toward the end of April, with almost daily chances of at least isolated shower/thunder activity.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

no longer stable... (pm.19.apr.17)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 69.3F (20.7C)
High temp: 84.9F (29.4C)
Rainfall: none

It's rare to experience so much thunder and lightning, and not come up with any rain at all -- but that's what happened this afternoon here in the immediate McLeod Ganj area.  I first heard some thunder around 1:45pm, and it continued on and off (sometimes very intensely) until nearly 4:30pm.  BUT -- I never saw even one drop of rain, though I'm sure there were at least some light showers up-mountain from us.  Prior to all that, we had a lot of hazy sunshine, which was only briefly eclipsed by the cumulonimbus development along the mountains during the afternoon.  The high temp at my location in the upper part of town was yet again the new warmest of the season and the year.

Well, it is obvious that our atmospheric stability of the last several days is taking leave of us.  If you've been following along here, you know that we've been anticipating a gradual influx of cooler air aloft to begin destabilizing our atmosphere... and today we got the first little taste of that.  With some gradually cooler air in the upper-levels overrunning much warmer air in the surface layers, we're going to be seeing an increasing chance of some isolated to scattered shower/thunder action over the course of the coming several days.  Although afternoon into early evening is the peak time for seeing that development, we could also see some overnight thunderstorms over the weekend into early next week.  But keep in mind that we'll also have some nice periods of warm sunshine in the midst of that risk of passing thundershowers.

These way-above-normal temps are going to be departing in a few days as well.  As a slow-moving upper-level low pressure circulation eases into northern India by Sunday into Monday, we should cool off quite a bit -- but I have a feeling that wouldn't be such an unpopular thing.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

another new high... (pm.18.apr.17)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 67.5F (19.7C)
High temp: 84.6F (29.2C)
Rainfall: none

It's mostly clear but hazy this evening at sunset, as our temperatures slowly dip after a daytime high which was the new maximum for the month, the season and the year.  Sunshine was plentiful again, though we have been contending with some haze the last couple of days, and also there was a bit more afternoon cumulus development along the mountain peaks than we've seen recently.

The massive high pressure ridge which has been responsible for this early season heat wave across much of the Indian subcontinent is already showing signs of breaking down a bit -- as some slightly cooler air in the higher levels of the atmosphere filters in from the northwest.  This trend will continue during the coming several days, which will lead to a more and more unstable air mass after this streak of almost perfect stability since late last week.  Although temperature aloft are going to be cooling, the lower levels are still unusually warm for this time of year... and with a moderate influx of moisture between now and the weekend, the risk of some isolated to scattered shower and thunderstorm development is going to re-enter the forecast.  We may not get anything impressive at all, as far as rainfall is concerned, but we'll have to start adapting to the possibility of some showers nonetheless.

Atmospheric temperature profiles would suggest a return to mid- late April normals/averages over the weekend into early next week, after this early taste of authentic summertime temps.

Monday, April 17, 2017

warm streak to continue... (pm.17.apr.17)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 68.7F (20.4C)
High temp: 83.9F (28.8C)
Rainfall: none

Today has been the tenth day in a row without even one drop of rain, and it has also been the fourth day in a row of temps rising above 80ºF/27ºC.  For some reason, today's high temp was just a small fraction of a degree less than yesterday's, but we are still running about 9ºF/5ºC warmer than normal for this stage of April.  The air quality today wasn't as good as it's been the last couple of days... with an increasing amount of haze in the air... otherwise there was plentiful sunshine again.

This run of unseasonably warm temperatures will continue as we progress into the middle of the week, with both overnight lows and daytime highs expected to rise another degree or two, at least.  Our huge ridge of high pressure will start to flatten a bit starting late Wednesday, with a very slow and gradual evolution toward a more unstable atmosphere as the weekend arrives.  We're not talking about any kind of major storm system moving in -- just more of an active and disturbed westerly upper-level flow containing some pockets of colder air aloft, AND, a bit of an increase in moisture availability.  All of that mumbo-jumbo means that we should see a slighter better chance of some scattered shower/thunder development starting as early as Wednesday, and continuing into at least the early part of next week.

There probably won't be a dramatic drop in temperatures with the increasing risk of showers coming in... but it seems fairly likely that we will settle back into a range that is a bit closer to normal for the latter half of April by the weekend.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

ultimate stability... (pm.16.apr.17)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 66.7F (19.3C)
High temp: 84.2F (29.0C)
Rainfall: none

Maybe I missed it, but I never saw even one single cloud today, which made for wall-to-wall sunshine on this Easter Sunday 2017.  Our atmosphere was perfectly stable, and with very little moisture in this air mass, we had one of the few days over the course of the year around here with no cloudiness whatsoever.  And temperatures?  Well, again we achieved new maximums for the season and the year -- both the overnight low and the afternoon high.

Models have done a very good job since about a week ago, advertising this massive ridge of summertime high pressure which is now well-established from the Arabian Sea into the heart of the Indian subcontinent and even pushing well into the western half of the Himalayan region.  Of course this includes us, and is providing us with the kind of summer temperatures that fall into the normal/average range during the latter part of May into mid-June.  The big difference is that during late May into June, we are starting to deal with much higher humidity levels, which make these kinds of temps a lot more uncomfortable.

It will likely warm up even further between tomorrow (Mon) and Wednesday, but then a series of weak disturbances will drag in some gradually cooler air aloft... and that's going to lead to some destabilization of our atmosphere for the latter part of the week.  Mainly isolated PM showers/thunder will become a possibility as early as Wednesday, but more likely by next weekend, as temps begin to trend a bit cooler...

Saturday, April 15, 2017

easter heat... (pm.15.apr.17)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 64.6F (18.1C)
High temp: 81.1F (27.3C)
Rainfall: none

It's a very busy three day holiday weekend here in McLeod Ganj, and the weather couldn't be better for enjoying the outdoors.  We had tons of sunshine today, with just a few afternoon cumulus right along the mountain peaks -- and temperatures just a tiny bit warmer than they were yesterday (both low and high).  We're on the order of 7ºF/4ºC above normal for the middle of April.

A huge bubble of high pressure will be expanding north and eastward across most of central and northern India during the next 24-48 hours, and that's going to provide us with a stable atmosphere, along with temps which will continue to climb higher and higher.  As of now, it looks like the peak of the heat will be on Wednesday, with a gradual turn to slightly milder weather during the latter part of the week.  Our high temps during that Tuesday/Wednesday range could push 86ºF/30ºC, which is very warm for any time of the year, but closer in line with what we would expect during the end of May or early June.

The upper-level flow will become gradually more disturbed starting late Wednesday, with some cooler air aloft coming in from the west generating some instability, little by little.  Next weekend will likely not be nearly as quiet and unseasonably warm as what we are enjoying right now... with a good chance of some scattered showers and thunderstorms, and temps dropping considerably.


Friday, April 14, 2017

a preview of may... (pm.14.apr.17)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 63.9F (17.7C)
High temp: 81.0F (27.2C)
Rainfall: none

It's mostly clear this evening before sunset, though satellite pics show a long line of thundershowers extending from central Himachal Pradesh near Mandi, all the way southeastward to the Kathmandu Valley.  We managed to miss out on any of that action in our area today, with a mix of sunshine and occasional moderate cumulus development over and along the mountains.  Temperatures were slightly warmer than expected, about 1ºF/0.6ºC, but enough to continue our recent warming trend, and take us to a new high for the season and the year.

The building heat wave across most of the northern two-thirds of India is already an impressive one, and will become even more incredible over the coming several days.  It's going to feel like the height of the summer season by Monday into Tuesday of next week, with temps more like what we would experience during mid- to late May.  Here at our elevation it will still be tolerable, but in the lowlands south of us, it's already starting to get downright oppressive.  The last two days, our local airport in Gaggal (just down the hill) has reported high temps in the range of 94ºF/34ºC!!

Right now it looks like the unseasonable heat won't be lasting for very long, however, as yet another significant pattern change is in the forecast for late next week.  Temperatures will start to cool by Friday into Saturday, with an increasing risk of some showers and thunderstorms during that timeframe as well...

Thursday, April 13, 2017

unseasonable warmth returns... (pm.13.apr.17)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 63.0F (17.2C)
High temp: 79.4F (26.3C)
Rainfall: none

Here is the progression of our high temperatures over the last seven days:

  • Fri 7 Apr        63.2F (17.3C)
  • Sat 8 Apr       66.8F (19.3C)
  • Sun 9 Apr       67.1F (19.5C)
  • Mon 10 Apr    68.6F (20.3C)
  • Tue 11 Apr     73.5F (23.1C)
  • Wed 12 Apr    77.7F (25.4C)
  • Thu 13 Apr     79.4F (26.3C)
That's a rise of 16.2F (9.0C) during the last week, which has definitely been nice to experience.  And now we are well above normal for the middle of April, as today's high temp becomes the new maximum for 2017.  We've had a few thin, high clouds today, along with just a scattering of afternoon mountain cumulus, otherwise the sunshine has been abundant once again.

As we've been talking about, there is a little wiggle in the upper-level flow that is now going to be dropping southeastward across Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh later tonight through Friday.  It will bring with it a very slight bit of cooling aloft, and models are still showing the possibility of some isolated thundershower development between late tonight and tomorrow (Fri) evening.  I still think the risk of significant rainfall is very slight, but something to be aware of nonetheless.

Our recent aggressive warming trend may slow down a bit during the next couple of days, but then should kick in strongly again during the early to middle parts of next week. A huge summertime high pressure ridge will provide May-like temps for all of central and northern India until around next Thursday or Friday...

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

a run at summer... (pm.12.apr.17)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 60.4F (15.8C)
High temp: 77.7F (25.4C)
Rainfall: none

There were two days in late March (the 29th and the 31st) that were just slightly warmer, but today has been the third-warmest day of 2017, and the warmest of April thus far.  Our sky-rocketing temperatures the last couple of days have put as back above normal for the middle of April, after about a week of cooler-than-average temps.  Today was filled with glorious sunshine again, with another round of feeble cumulus cloud development along the immediate Dhauladhar range during the PM hours.

And the big news is that we are poised for this warming trend to continue -- all the way until about the middle of next week -- as a summertime pattern both at the surface and aloft takes hold across our part of the world.  Yes, temperatures have obviously been on the rise here in the lower levels of the atmosphere, but the real story is the major warming aloft, which will keep our atmosphere basically stable during the next week or so.  The exception to that will be a weak ripple of energy in the upper-atmosphere which is scheduled to pass by on Friday, perhaps stirring up a couple of isolated thundershowers somewhere around the area.  But significant rain chances are still looking quite small.

The latest data would indicate the kind of heat we normally don't see until about the second week of May arriving here on Monday or Tuesday.  Even overnight lows are going to be extremely mild, chasing away whatever chill in the air that might still be lingering...

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

fantastic stuff... (pm.11.apr.17)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 55.8F (13.2C)
High temp: 73.5F (23.1C)
Rainfall: none

A day like today hits the bull's-eye of weather perfection, with mostly sunny skies and temperatures squarely in the middle of the comfort zone.  My high temp in the upper part of town was the warmest in eight days, since before we began our descent into a cooler and stormier pattern on Tuesday of last week.  It has taken a few more days to shake off the cooler air lingering in the wake of that storm system, but we've finally turned the corner today.  There were again only a few feeble cumulus clouds over the mountains this afternoon, and at sunset we have totally clear skies.

Well here we go... models the last few days have been showing an impressive warming trend kicking in during this mid-week period, and they have been spot-on so far.  We should be warming further, day-by-day, rising above normal for the middle of April during the latter half of this week.  Although our air mass is very stable right now, a weak upper-level disturbance zipping through on Friday could bring us a brief period of instability, and because of that, a small chance of some isolated thundershower activity.  But at least as of right now, rain chances are only in the 20-40% range.

Our warming trend could stall a bit on Friday and Saturday, but then a massive ridge of midsummer-like high pressure is forecast to develop and park itself over Pakistan and northwest India during much of next week.  I'm trying not to go berserk with the temperature forecast starting on Easter Sunday, but it certainly looks like we could be dealing with an early summer heat wave... 

Monday, April 10, 2017

climbing back to normal... (pm.10.apr.17)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 51.6F (10.9C)
High temp: 68.6F (20.3C)
Rainfall: none

Our early morning low temperatures have not been moderating during the last few days, but we have seen very slow, incremental warming of our daytime highs since Friday.  It's been another sunny one today, with only a few scattered cumulus clouds along the mountains during the afternoon.  At sunset this evening it is totally clear.

For six days in a row we've had below-normal temperatures, after an impressive stretch of warmer-than-average temps between the 22nd of March and the 4th of April.  And now, we're on the brink of another swing of the pendulum -- back to warmer weather that will likely end up being the warmest of the season and the year.  Tomorrow (Tues) we should be back to normal for this stage of April, with temps climbing even higher as the rest of the week plays out.  There could be some periods of mainly high clouds at times, but sunshine should continue to dominate.  By Friday there will be just a minor ripple of energy passing by in the upper-levels of the atmosphere, which could stir up a couple of isolated/random thundershowers around the area, but that looks to be our only chance of rainfall during the coming several days at least.

Easter Sunday should mark the next phase of significant warming for us, as an incredibly warm bubble of air expands across nearly all of the Indian subcontinent.  The strong upper-level winds of the jet stream will be forced very far to our north, giving us what looks to be the first hints of a truly summertime weather pattern.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

great-looking week ahead... (pm.09.apr.17)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 52.0F (11.1C)
High temp: 67.1F (19.5C)
Rainfall: none

Our Sunday is ending just as it began, with totally clear skies.  In between, from mid-day into the late afternoon, there was a bit of cumulus development along the Dhauladhars, but not enough to overshadow our brilliant April sunshine.  Although my high temp was just barely warmer than it was yesterday, keeping us about 5ºF/2-3ºC below normal for this time of year, we'd have to call it a very pleasant day.

Things are looking very quiet for most of this week, as a stable west-northwesterly flow aloft dominates the weather pattern, and a building ridge of high pressure to our southwest begins to exert more and more influence on us.  As I've said, our warming trend has been slow thus far, but we can expect to see temperatures jumping upward more aggressively by Tuesday, with a good chance that we will surge above normal/average by the latter half of the week.  There is a weak ripple of a disturbance scheduled to move across Himalayan north India Thursday night through Friday night, but nothing more than some isolated to widely scattered brief thundershowers are expected at this point.

Extended range models are showing a very impressive HUGE bubble of high pressure to develop all across the Indian subcontinent by about one week from now -- which could hang on for at least another week thereafter.  If this holds true, then we will get our first taste of some genuine summertime weather, with temperatures rising into a range that will feel more like mid- to late May than mid- to late April.  Let's see...

Saturday, April 8, 2017

new week, rising temps... (pm.08.apr.17)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 54.3F (12.4C)
High temp: 66.8F (19.3C)
Rainfall: none

There are still some clouds hugging the mountain peaks just before sunset this evening, otherwise we have mostly clear skies.  It has been a fairly decent Saturday, with the expected mix of sunshine and clouds, and temperatures which moderated pretty much according to plan.  But even with the beginnings of a warming trend today, we've got quite a deficit to close, as we remain well below normal as we enter the second week of April.

Leftovers of this past week's strong storm system are actually still swirling around over northwestern Kashmir and northern Pakistan, and though the upper-level pattern is trying to morph into something more pleasant and favorable for us, it's slow-going right now.  Our atmosphere is still trying to stabilize, and will continue to do so during the coming 48 hours or so, but the moderation in temperatures will remain rather tentative until probably Tuesday or Wednesday, when we should get more of a significant bounce.  In fact, by that time we'll be getting back to normal, and probably even warmer than normal/average during the latter part of the week.

The next upper-level disturbance scheduled for roughly late Thursday through Saturday is looking less significant with each recent run of the computer model data.  That means rain chances will be only in the 20-40% range by that time -- and that's OK, considering we've already received more rainfall than we normally get during the entire month of April.

Friday, April 7, 2017

weekend rebound... (pm.07.apr.17)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 51.6F (10.9C)
High temp: 63.2F (17.3C)
Rainfall: 0.03" (1mm)
Storm total rainfall since Tuesday afternoon: 2.80" (7.1cm)

There was a lot of cloudiness, dust and haze in the area this morning, along with some occasionally gusty winds, but we had a good amount of sunshine throughout the afternoon, as those winds settled down.  Rainfall today has been confined to some predawn thundershowers which actually consisted more of wind and thunder than rain.  And the good news -- temperatures remained a few degrees above expectations, and that kept the snow line well above Triund throughout this three-day stormy period.

This evening we have partly cloudy skies, here on the southern fringes of our dying upper-level circulation, which is now centered very close to the northwestern corner of Kashmir.  Already warmer air aloft is trying to sneak in from the west-southwest, which signals the pattern change which is going to bring significantly improving weather conditions for us over the weekend into the middle of next week.  We'll have to keep an eye on some rogue shower/thunder development tonight, and then perhaps a 10-20% chance of an isolated thundershower over the mountains tomorrow afternoon -- otherwise it looks like calm and quiet weather is on the way for several days.  A warming trend will start tomorrow, but it will be rather slow until Tuesday/Wednesday, when we should find ourselves back on the plus-side of normal for the season.

Another disturbance dropping in from the northwest late next week will give us the next chance of a bit of thundershower development, but at least as of now, it's not looking anything like the system that we're just now getting rid of...

Thursday, April 6, 2017

atmosphere in turmoil... (pm.06.apr.17)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 50.9F (10.5C)
High temp: 66.0F (18.9C)
Rainfall: 1.34" (3.4cm) -- updated @ 7:50pm

It's dreary and gloomy and gray out there at sunset this evening, thanks to totally cloudy skies.  What a day it has been... with two main periods of significant rain and thunderstorms.  The first one was left over from thunderstorms which got going last night around 9:00pm -- lasting until just before sunrise.  And the second round hit during the mid- to late afternoon hours, with some small hail, extremely gusty winds, and the kind of darkness which is rare during the daytime.  The rainfall amount since midnight (stats above) was pretty much equally split between those two episodes.  In between, there was a period of sunshine and a surge of milder air which gave us a high temp a few degrees warmer than expected.

This storm system is being driven by an upper-level circulation which is now centered midway between Kabul and Islamabad -- not too far from Peshawar, Pakistan.  It's a particularly intense one for early April, but is now, finally, showing signs of weakening as it begins to encounter the higher Himalayan ranges.  Still, we are going to be experiencing the lingering effects of this system through tomorrow (FrI), with the likelihood of a few more pulses of shower/thunder development, along with some gusty winds at times.  The colder air is also finally making it down to our elevation, so there is still a chance of some snowfall accumulation in the vicinity of Triund during the coming 24 hours or so.  I really hope not... for the sake of people who are milling around up there.

Major improvement is expected on Saturday, with a fairly robust warm-up expected as we move through the first half of next week.  There could be some PM mountain thunder on Saturday, but I think we should see our atmosphere stabilize nicely as we try to move toward something much more typical for April...

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

intense april storm system... (pm.05.apr.17)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 50.5F (10.3C)
High temp: 64.1F (17.8C) -- updated @ 8:05pm
Rainfall: 1.33" (3.4cm) -- updated through midnight

The average rainfall for the entire month of April is 1.90" (4.8cm), and you can see from the stats right above that we received the vast majority of that monthly total today -- in just about seven hours, between roughly 2:00 and 9:00am.  It was also very windy during those early morning thunderstorms, and at least according to the rumor mill today, a large fallen tree near the government hospital in Dharamsala has been the cause of our very long power outage.  Even though we had a mix of clouds and sun for most of the day, temperatures (both low and high) have been about 8ºF/3.5ºC cooler than normal for this stage of April.

And this is not over.  The center of our upper-level storm system is still developing and deepening as it moves into Afghanistan, and fresh thunderstorm development is evident on satellite pics this evening off to our west and southwest.  It's looking like we will have plenty more action overnight into Thursday morning.  There will likely again be some dry periods, but waves of showers, thunderstorms, and gusty winds are a threat all the way through Friday, as this upper-level system swings across northern Pakistan and Kashmir.  By Friday evening some significant stabilization will set in, putting an end to all of this.  Keep in mind that the coldest air of this system has yet to arrive, so the snow potential up-mountain from us will be increasing between late tonight and Friday.

A much more quiet and pleasant stretch of weather is in the forecast for the weekend into early next week, though it's now looking like temperatures may be a little slower to rebound than earlier expected.  It will probably be Tuesday or Wednesday before we get back to normal/average for this time of year.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

increasingly turbulent... (pm.04.apr.17)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 55.4F (13.0C) -- at 3:55pm during thundershower
High temp: 71.4F (21.9C)
Rainfall: 0.10" (3mm)

The last time there was something to measure in the rain gauge was back on the 17th of March -- and the last time I recorded a high temperature cooler than today was on the 22nd of March.  So... the changes we've been anticipating the last several days have finally begun to occur.  We had some thunder, gusty winds and sprinkles of rain very early this morning, and another couple of times thereafter, but it wasn't until about 3:30 to 4:00pm that we actually had a bonafide shower than produced something tangible in the gauge.  There were also some impressive lightning strikes with thunder around that time.  A back-and-forth dance between sun and clouds went on all day, otherwise.

Our weather-maker between now and Friday will be a developing upper-level storm system which is now located over northeastern Iran.  It is expected to deepen and strengthen significantly tomorrow and Thursday, as it heads toward northern Pakistan.  Ahead of it, moisture will be drawn northeastward into Himalayan north India, as a large batch of much cooler air slides in from the northwest.  This combo will give us an increasing chance of several periods of moderate to heavy rain showers, thunder, and gusty winds -- lasting through Thursday night -- with some lingering thundershowers a good bet on Friday as well.  I think we'll see plenty of dry hours between episodes of thunderstorms in the midst of all that, but our atmosphere will really be churning during the coming two to three days.  Temperatures will drop considerably, especially when it's raining, making it feel like late winter again, at least temporarily.  This won't be a good time to venture up-mountain, as snow accumulations, perhaps heavy, could occur all the way down to Triund or maybe a bit below.

Right now the models are showing rapid and dramatic improvement starting on Saturday, with sunny to partly cloudy skies and temperatures quickly rebounding to early April norms during the early part of next week.

Monday, April 3, 2017

the dream is ending... (pm.03.apr.17)>

Monday's stats: 

Low temp: 61.5F (16.4C)
High temp: 75.6F (24.2C)
Rainfall: trace

Today's high temp was the 'coolest' of the last eight days -- if only by about 1ºC -- thanks in part to a rapid build-up of mountain cloudiness right around the noon hour, which led to a brief period of some sprinkles of rain between 1:00 and 2:00pm.  Those raindrops were not enough to register a measurement in the gauge, so we've now had 17 days in a row without even so much as 0.01" of precipitation.  This evening at sunset we have a lot of mid- and high-level cloudiness moving in from the west.

Well it looks like we can say GOODBYE to the extended period of extremely nice spring/early summertime weather we've enjoyed since around the 20th of March, as a dynamic storm system sets its sights on Himalayan north India.  The center of the upper-level system itself is just west of the Caspian Sea this evening, but will move into northern Pakistan by Thursday morning, and then weaken as it swings across Kashmir on Friday.  In advance, a good amount of moisture will be drawn northward and up against the mountains, as much colder air gradually filters in from the northwest.  For more than a week we've been watching the models' scenarios about what might come to pass... and I have to say, things are still looking kind of nasty.

The risk of scattered showers and thundershowers will be on the increase during the coming 24 hours, but it still looks like the best chance of some bouts of moderate to heavy rainfall and strong thunderstorms will be concentrated between Wednesday mid-day and Thursday night.  We should also have some very strong and gusty winds at times, as temperatures plummet well below normal for early April.  Current data suggests that there could be significant snowfall (more than one foot?) around Triund, and perhaps even slightly below.  Of course we'll have to watch that.

Lingering thundershowers are a good bet on Friday, but quick improvement is expected over the weekend into early next week, as temperatures rebound close to normal for the season by Monday or Tuesday...

Sunday, April 2, 2017

big changes later this week... (pm.02.apr.17)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 62.2F (16.8C)
High temp: 77.1F (25.1C)
Rainfall: none

I've recorded high temps between 77ºF (25ºC) and 79ºF (26ºC) on each of the last seven days -- so this stretch of unseasonably warm weather has certainly been clinging tightly.  Other than a moderate build-up of cumulus clouds over the mountains since just before noon, it's been a mostly sunny day, with isolated thundershowers up-mountain being deflected away from us by the upper-level winds.  This evening at sunset those mountain clouds are dissipating rapidly.  And, by the way, today is the 16TH DAY IN A ROW without measurable rainfall.

Upper-level temps are cooling ever-so-slightly, but with very limited moisture, the increasing instability hasn't been able to deliver any thundershowers right here in our immediate area.  Tomorrow (Mon) there will be a very slight chance of a PM shower or thundershower, but really, we're just waiting for the main event of the week which will start happening late Tuesday.  That's when a strong storm system will begin taking shape just to our west, bringing in much colder air aloft, and a significant amount of moisture into the western Himalayas.  Since yesterday, it has been looking like the best rain chances might hold off until Tuesday evening, with several periods of moderate to heavy showers and thunderstorms likely on Wednesday through Thursday night.  Even on Friday there will most probably be some lingering thundershowers in the area.  Gusty winds will accompany this system as well -- along with temperatures which will feel uncomfortably cold after our recent long stretch of early summer-like weather.

Whenever there are signs of a dramatic change like this -- either very early or very late in the winter season, there is a major concern about trekkers, climbers and general travelers in the higher elevations who may not be paying attention to what's going on.  Now is a good time for a 'heads-up' for those people.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

a happy start to april... (pm.01.apr.17)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 64.4F (18.0C)
High temp: 77.5F (25.3C)
Rainfall: none

Apart from a few periods of cloudiness, today has been a fantastic start to the month of April.  There was still a good amount of sunshine, and temperatures remained well above normal for the March/April transition period... very much in the same zone we've enjoyed all of this past week.  Some isolated shower/thunder development occurred north, east and southeast of us, but we were again left high and dry.

For the last few days we've been talking about at least a slight chance of some thundershower development in our area, as this air mass becomes a bit more unstable.  However, other than a rumble of thunder and a few sprinkles on Wednesday afternoon, those instability-induced thundershowers have failed to materialize here in McLeod itself.  We'll be in a slow and gradual transition during the next three days, as our big high pressure ridge continues to weaken and break down, so just be aware that we could get a random shower with thunder at some point, mainly during the PM hours.  

A major storm system is still being advertised by all the computer models for the middle of the coming week.  Right now the upper-level low pressure system that will drive the whole thing is way back over the Middle East.  But by Thursday, it will be parked over northern Pakistan, containing much colder air, and the dynamic ingredients necessary for a two or three day stretch of heavy thunderstorms and very gusty winds.  The timing appears to be a bit slower, according to the latest data... with the best rain chances coming into the picture Tuesday evening.  Improvement should begin sometime Friday and continue through the weekend.