the latest...

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

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...

Thursday, May 18, 2017

comfortable, but unstable... (pm.18.may.17)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 63.0F (17.2C)
High temp: 78.2F (25.7C)
Rainfall: trace

Our evening sky is partly cloudy, and it is pleasantly, comfortably mild as the day comes to an end.  Today featured pretty much equal parts clouds and sunshine, with mountain thundershowers lurking to our north and east from just before noon onwards.  Twice I heard thunder... once just shortly before noon, and the second time right around 2:00pm.  Then, at least at my location, there was a very brief smattering of light rain drops between 3:30 and 3:45pm.  And that was that.  Temperatures continue to run a bit below normal for mid-May, for the third day in a row.

Yes, you've heard it all before -- the upper-level flow remains very unsettled, with all kinds of weak circulations and random pools of cooler air aloft meandering across Himalayan north India.  This pattern/scenario will stay with us over the weekend, and the way it looks, into at least the first few days of next week as well.  That means we'll have to continue to be prepared for sudden shower/thunder development, at least on a random basis around our general area... with a better chance of some significant rainfall sometime during the period between late Saturday night and Monday evening.  I hate to try to nail that down, but at least according to the latest model data, our shower/thunder chances should peak during that time.

Extended range models have been hinting the last few days at a significant turn to more stable and warmer weather by the latter part of next week -- but that is still very far away, and we'll just have to wait and watch how things evolve.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

the ups and downs... (pm.17.may.17)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 64.2F (17.9C)
High temp: 79.4F (26.3C)
Rainfall: none

This evening as sunset approaches there are still some thundershowers, in various stages of dissipation, visible along the mountain ranges to our north and east, but everything is quiet and fine here in town.  I heard a few rumbles of thunder late this afternoon, starting around 3:45pm, but that activity up-mountain from us stayed there, and allowed us a break after the very active day we had yesterday.  Sunshine was plentiful today, but my high temp was nearly 3ºF/2ºC cooler than normal for this stage of May.

I'm craving a new weather pattern and something different to talk about, but that's just not the case.  For the past eight days we've been locked in a pattern that is fickle and changeable and moody -- as a disturbed upper-level flow overruns a warm summertime air mass in the lower levels.  With a moderate amount of moisture thrown into the mix, this is the recipe for chronic instability, with pretty much unpredictable fluctuations between sun, clouds, and thundershower development all across the western and central Himalayan region.  It looks like we are roughly a week away from any kind of notable shift in this general scenario, so we'll just have to keep riding these ups-and-downs, and be prepared for sudden bouts of thundershowers.

It's really not all that horrible, though.  As we experienced today, there will still be some very nice summer weather for us to enjoy in between the rounds of showers and thunder that appear to be inevitable.  And temperatures will be generally pleasant, and probably averaging near or even a bit below mid-May norms all the way into the early part of next week...

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

may's heaviest showers... (pm.16.may.17)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 54.7F (12.6C) -- during heavy shower at 5:40pm
High temp: 76.4F (24.7C)
Rainfall: 0.69" (1.8cm) 
*stats updated @ 8:00pm

This evening we're in the midst of wave after wave of thundershowers developing just to our south-southwest and moving north-northeastward up against the Dhauladhars.  I haven't been able to check the rain gauge since late this afternoon, but I'm sure there will be a lot more in there than what is currently listed in the stats above, as some of the showers since 5:15pm have been quite heavy.  Otherwise, we did have a bit of sunshine early this morning, but all of that was over by about 10:00am, with the first showers/thunder materializing a few minutes before noon.  The lack of sunshine and the rain have of course held temps way down today.

The latest in a long series of upper-level disturbances has turned the winds up around 12 to 15,000ft to the absolute perfect trajectory for precipitation development here along the Dhauladhars today.  Those winds are pretty much perpendicular to the mountains, and that has been dragging warm and moisture-laden air northeastward, and right up against the higher mountain ranges here in our part of Himachal Pradesh.  This particular disturbance will depart very late tonight or early Wednesday, but the upper-level flow remains full of minor to moderate circulations, wiggles and ripples, all the way into the early part of next week.  I am confident that we'll still see plenty of hours of sunshine over the course of the coming week, but at least a moderate risk of shower and thunderstorm development will never be far away.  Friday and Saturday could be our best bets of getting away with dry weather, but it's far from a sure thing.

Temperatures today have been an anomaly, compared to what we've been dealing with during most of the past week to ten days -- but both highs and lows will remain totally dependent on the battles between sunshine, clouds, and showers...

Monday, May 15, 2017

the variety show continues... (pm.15.may.17)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 65.8F (18.8C) -- updated @ 8:15pm
High temp: 86.9F (30.5C)
Rainfall: 0.06" (2mm) -- updated at 8:15pm

This Monday has unfolded pretty much according to plan, with full sunshine this morning yielding to increasing mountain cloudiness by the mid-day, and then isolated to widely scattered shower/thunder action in the area since mid-afternoon.  Before the clouds took over, temperatures were very warm, with my high temp in the upper part of town among the top three warmest of the season thus far.  As sunset approaches this evening we have mostly cloudy skies, rumbling thunder, and off-and-on showers of light rain near the main market of town.

A few significant disturbances in the upper-level flow will dominate our weather pattern for the rest of this week, and even into the first part of next week -- according to the latest model data.  That's going to keep us flirting with thundershower development in and around our area, in the midst of periods of strong May sunshine.  It looks like we could see an increase in the risk of showers/thunder during the overnight into the morning hours as well, as we head into the middle of the week.

Temperatures have remained on the plus-side of normal the last few days, but we'll probably fall a bit below normal by Wednesday or Thursday, with only a slight recovery expected over the coming weekend.  Here at the mid-point of May, our temperatures have so far averaged out slightly above normal, with precipitation slightly above normal as well...

Sunday, May 14, 2017

daily threats... (pm.14.may.17)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 61.0F (16.1C)
High temp: 85.4F (29.7C)
Rainfall: 0.10" (3mm)

It's mostly cloudy this evening, with still some faint rumbles of thunder now and then, along with a random drop or two of rain.  We started off our Sunday with full sunshine once again, but just like a finely-tuned machine, cloudiness began to develop along the Dhauladhars during the late morning, leading to a bit of thunder by around 12:45pm, and then some rather brief periods of showers between about 3:45 and 5:15pm or so.  The amount of rain in my gauge in the upper part of town was quite small... but it was the first measurable amount since very early Thursday morning.  It was very warm again before those thundershowers got going, but then the low temp for the day occurred during a shower shortly after 4:00pm.

Unstable, unstable, unstable.  How else can we describe this current weather situation?  And it looks like we are in for much more of this during the week ahead.  Some of the warmest air of the season remains entrenched across central and northern India, at least in the surface layers, while minor disturbances containing little pools of colder air ripple across in the upper-levels of the atmosphere.  Even with just a marginal amount of moisture in this air mass, this simple equation leads to random shower/thunder development during the PM and even into the overnight hours -- especially in the vicinity of the steep elevation gradient along the mountains.  There are no major changes in this pattern expected during the coming several days, so we'll just have to accept the fluctuations and back-and-forth between sun, clouds and the threat of thundershowers.

Even with the lurking showers, temperatures have been well above normal the last three days or so... but may drop back to normal or even slightly below during the latter half of this week.  The normal high for the middle of May is 82ºF/28ºC, just for the record.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

randomness is the story... (pm.13.may.17)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 67.1F (19.5C)
High temp: 86.7F (30.4C)
Rainfall: none

Much like yesterday afternoon and evening, there has been a lot of attempted thundershower development around our area, in spite of the fact that nothing has happened here in McLeod itself.  Yesterday there were a few sprinkles of rain during the early evening, but today (at least as of 6:30pm) there hasn't been a single drop.  We started off with full sunshine once again this morning, but our sky turned partly cloudy before noon, with alternations between sunshine and clouds for the rest of the day.  It was warmer -- as expected -- my high temp was the third-warmest of 2017.

Our weather scenario and forecast remain in the same mode as we move into the new week.  We're dealing with a fairly typical mid-May air mass, though the risk of scattered showers and thundershowers is a bit more pervasive and prevalent than it normally is this time of year.  But it is a hit-and-miss kind of situation -- we've had no measurable rain for two days now -- with randomness and irregularity the main feature.  It does look like the risk of getting hit with some significant thunderstorms will increase into Tuesday and Wednesday, however, as temporarily cooler air arrives in the upper-levels of the atmosphere.

Models are hinting at a notable drop in temperatures by the latter half of the coming week, with the overall weather pattern remaining on the unstable side even into the following week...

Friday, May 12, 2017

mixed messages... (pm.12.may.17)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 66.7F (19.3C)
High temp: 85.1F (29.5C)
Rainfall: trace

Thundershowers have been trying desperately to get going all this afternoon and evening, but at least here in the immediate McLeod area, I've seen only a few random sprinkles of rain -- since about 5:10pm.  We started the day off with unlimited sunshine, but already clouds were sprouting over the mountains by shortly after 10:00am, and that mountain instability is what has kept the sky looking a bit threatening all through the PM hours.  Still, sunshine held the majority for us, with temps today back above normal for this stage of May.

The weather pattern all across the western Himalayan region is a fickle and changeable one, and will most likely stay that way for the foreseeable future.  We still have a weak ridge of summertime high pressure hanging on, but there are minor disturbances galore, drifting by in the upper-levels of the atmosphere -- along with a respectable amount of moisture in the air for this time of year.  That means our weather will continue to be full of variety, ups and downs, sun and clouds, periods of dryness and periods of showers.  This is one of those times when we can't count on total sunshine and a complete absence of rain, but neither will it be a total washout and/or outdoor-activity disaster.  In other words, just be prepared for sudden changes.

Most likely, our temps will be averaging above normal for mid-May during the next two or three days, but we could drop a bit below normal by the middle of next week.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

poised for more warming... (pm.11.may.17)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 57.6F (14.2C)
High temp: 77.9F (25.5C)
Rainfall: 0.76" (1.9cm)

This evening we have only a few lingering clouds along the mountains which are rapidly dissipating, and a very comfortable temperature close to 75ºF/24ºC.  We've seen quite a lot of fluctuations in weather conditions during the past 24 hours, which included an extended period of showers and thunderstorms during the wee hours of the morning that really didn't entirely finish until around sunrise.  Rainfall was fairly significant for this time of year, and definitely more than expected.  It took a few more hours, but the sunshine finally appeared in abundance somewhere around 11:00am, and stuck around for the remainder of the day.  But even with that strong May sunshine, our temps lagged behind, with my high temp the coolest I've recorded since exactly one week ago.

You can probably tell that humidity levels have been higher the last couple of days -- averaging 45-50% since early this morning.  There's been just a taste of tropical juice in the air, which in part aided that thunderstorm development during the overnight hours.  Most of the data is pointing to a period of stabilization during the next 48 to 72 hours, as a new surge of warmer air aloft replaces the cooler air in the higher levels that has kept things unstable since Tuesday.  I can't say that the chance of rain is ZERO, but I think we stand a chance of a couple of days of generally drier weather during the first part of the incoming weekend.  Temperatures should rebound rather dramatically tomorrow (Fri) and Saturday as well.

Gradually, shower and thunderstorm chances will increase again as early as Sunday... with at least a 20-30% chance of a period of thundershowers each and every day next week.  Temperatures will most likely stay on the sultry side, and should average pretty much normal or a bit above as we press into the middle and latter parts of May.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

mid-may variables... (pm.10.may.17)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 63.1F (17.3C)
High temp: 80.9F (27.2C)
Rainfall: 0.11" (3mm)

As May evenings go, this one is pretty close to perfect, I'd say.  The day is ending as it began -- with clear skies and comfortable temperatures -- but right in the middle of the day, we again had to contend with a bout of thundershowers.  Sunshine boosted temps to the 80ºF mark this morning by noon, but rapidly increasing clouds and and that round of mainly light showers between about 1:30 and 2:10pm caused the temp to drop to the day's low.  Then, almost full sunshine returned by 3:00pm or so, sending the thermometer back above the 80ºF mark.  A bit of a roller-coaster of a day, but when all is said and done it's been a pretty good one.

Our weather pattern is not totally settled and stable, obviously, with still a risk of some isolated shower/thunder development again overnight into Thursday.  But another surge of warmer air aloft should give us a bit more stability on Friday and Saturday, lowering the chance of thundershowers, and also boosting temps back into the range we were experiencing earlier in the week.  We could be pushing 90ºF/32ºC once again over the weekend.

Disturbances aloft will begin knocking on the door again as early as Sunday evening, but more likely on Monday into Tuesday of next week -- and that will again bring us a mentionable chance of some random/roaming showers and thunderstorms somewhere in our vicinity.  But as I've said a few times lately... summertime temps are here to stay, apart from some temporary relief during and just after a round of thundershowers.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

a bit of heat-relief... (pm.09.may.17)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 57.7F (14.3C)
High temp: 84.3F (29.1C)
Rainfall: 0.19" (5mm)

Quite a day it has been, with lots of sunshine and very warm temperatures during the morning being replaced by rapidly developing thundershowers to our northwest during the noon hour.  Those thundershowers swept through during the early afternoon with some gusty winds, a few periods of small hail, and a minor amount of rainfall.  The vast majority of my precipitation total for the day occurred between 1:15 and 2:15pm, with only a few sprinkles and spritzes of rain thereafter, which lasted off and on into the early evening.  And take a look at the temperature stats -- the high occurred shortly after noon, with the chilly low temp only an hour and a half later in the midst of rain showers and hail.  Those temps have rebounded dramatically during the afternoon/evening, however.

We'll have to remain in thundershower-dodging mode during the next day or two, thanks to a marginally unstable atmosphere across Himalayan north India -- but this air mass remains a very warm one, so with a few hours of sunshine and an absence of showers, temperatures will continue to be in the mid-summer range.  We'll see fluctuations in temps through the rest of this week and on into the weekend, but on average, we'll stay above normal for this stage of May.

Friday and Saturday could be thundershower-free, but then the risk of more shower/thunder action re-enters the forecast as early as Sunday, as fresh disturbances wobble in from the west.

Monday, May 8, 2017

from warm to hot... (pm.08.may.17)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 70.2F (21.2C)
High temp: 89.6F (32.0C)
Rainfall: none

It's not very often in a typical summer season that we hit 32ºC, but that's exactly what happened today at my recording location in the upper part of McLeod Ganj.  That's only a bit below 90ºF -- a temperature that was reached only twice last summer, and wasn't reached at all during the summer of 2015.  So... if you thought it was hot today, you were absolutely correct.  There was even less cloud development over the mountains today than yesterday, allowing us pretty much unlimited sunshine to boost those temps.  This evening just before sunset, we're seeing some increasing cloudiness spreading in from the west, however.

Actually today we've been in an oasis of calm and quiet, with clusters of afternoon/evening thunderstorms evident on satellite pics literally in all directions from us.  We've had no precipitation at all since last Thursday, but it looks like the risk of some random shower and thunderstorm activity is going to be on the rise again between tonight and Wednesday evening.  Some slightly cooler air in the higher levels of the atmosphere is oozing in from the northwest, even now, and that's going to introduce a more unstable situation during this mid-week period.  A period of rain is really our only chance to get our temperatures to drop, which would probably not be such a bad thing.

So... there is the risk of some shower/thunder action, otherwise, expect alternations between clouds and sunshine through the rest of the week and even into the weekend.  Temperatures will remain in peak summer mode, on average, with the exception of the break(s) we might get during a round of thundershowers.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

an 11-month high... (pm.07.may.17)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 68.2F (20.1C)
High temp: 88.1F (31.2C)
Rainfall: none

I've been digging through my records and stats sheets just now, to find that the last time I recorded a high temp warmer than today was last year on the 4th of June, when it was 90.3ºF (32.4ºC).  So yes, today was the warmest day of the season and 2017, but also the warmest in nearly 11 months.  Sunshine here in our immediate area was almost unhindered throughout the day, though there was a very impressive build-up of mountain cumulus which eventually transformed into cumulonimbus (thunderstorms) in the higher elevations off to our north and northeast.  I heard just a couple of faint rumbles of thunder between about 4:45 and 5:15pm... but that was it.  As sunset approaches, that activity along the mountain peaks is disintegrating.

These are 'peak summer' temperatures we've experienced today, as it doesn't really get much warmer than this around here.  Our air mass should remain basically unchanged throughout this week, and maybe even into early next week, and that means we'd better get used to this very warm or HOT weather, depending on where you're from and your own personal perspective.  This pattern will be almost tropical by the the middle of the week, as some deeper moisture attempts to creep into our general vicinity from the southeast.  Honestly, it's too early to see that happening.

Shower and thunderstorm development will be hit-and-miss, isolated, random, widely scattered -- but with this kind of very warm air mass firmly entrenched, we'll need a round of thunderstorms to cool things down a bit.  Nights will quickly become uncomfortably warm if we don't get some kind of rain to help us out.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

pushing 2017's warmest... (pm.06.may.17)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 64.6F (18.1C)
High temp: 83.6F (28.7C)
Rainfall: none

Today's high temp was back within close striking distance of the warmest two days of 2017, which occurred back on the 20th and 21st of April (right around 86ºF/30ºC).  We did have some clouds around today -- both high cirrus and mountain cumulus -- but the sunshine ended up being the major player, while warmer air surged northward from the baking plains to our south.  As evening settles in, we have scattered clouds and temps just barely below 80ºF/27ºC.

All layers of our early May atmosphere are warming up, as a big bubble of summertime high pressure pushes northward across the Indian subcontinent.  However, as we've been discussing, there are projected to be several ripples and wiggles in the weak flow aloft in combination with some unusually moist air creeping in from the southeast as we move into the middle of next week.  So -- even though we will be dealing with some of the warmest temps of the year, there will still be the risk of a sudden round of showers/thunder, which could pop up out of nowhere one of these afternoons, or possibly during the overnight hours.  Be advised.

The pattern for the coming ten days to two weeks features little in the way of cooler central Asian air for us.  But if and when we do manage to get a round of showers and thunderstorms, we'll be able to enjoy some temporary air-conditioning in the midst of this encroaching summer heat...

Friday, May 5, 2017

summer surging... (pm.05.may.17)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 61.9F (16.6C)
High temp: 80.1F (26.7C)
Rainfall: none

Today's high temp was the warmest in exactly two weeks -- Friday the 21st of April was the last time I recorded a daily maximum in excess of 80ºF (26.6C).  Although there was a quite a lot of mountain cloud development after about 11:00am, we still ended up with a majority of sunshine to boost those temps significantly above what we experienced on Wednesday and Thursday.

And we now stand on the brink of what looks to be an extended period of real summertime weather, as temperatures continue to rise into about the middle of next week.  But unlike back in April when we had an eight day stretch of very warm temperatures, this time it looks like our atmosphere will not be void of minor disturbances and pockets of moisture.  In fact, models are still showing an annoying slight risk of some shower/thunder development almost every single afternoon/evening, though in our local forecast, I've tried to trim that down only to include the days when the chance of a thundershower might be a bit above 20% or so.  We should have quite a bit of back-and-forth between sunshine and clouds over the course of the coming several days as well.

Looking even further ahead, the overall pattern is trending toward something a bit more tropical than we would normally expect during the month of May -- meaning higher humidity and that daily risk of a thundershower.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

warming trend on the way... (pm.04.may.17)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 54.7F (12.6C)
High temp: 72.6F (22.6C)
Rainfall: 0.17" (4mm)

The temperature just before sunset is very close to the high for the day, with just a few scattered clouds in the area.  It has been a truly 'variably cloudy' day, with all kinds of fluctuations between clouds and sunshine during the daylight hours.  All of the measurable rainfall you see in the stats at the top of this post occurred during the early morning hours, with at least three different episodes of light rain showers between about 1:30 and 6:30am.  We did have a few sprinkles late this afternoon, but that didn't add to the daily total.

Well this departing upper-level disturbance has played out pretty much according to expectations, with only light amounts of rain here in our immediate area, and heavier precipitation amounts in the higher elevations north and northeast of us.  It has served to cool us off a few degrees the last couple of days... putting us in the range of roughly 5-7ºF/3-4ºC cooler than normal for the early days of May.  But this taste of cooler weather is not going to last, it appears.

The upper-level pattern is already on the move, again, with warmer air flowing in aloft, as a big, broad high pressure ridge starts to build across most of south Asia during the coming several days.  This looks like it's going to be what we call a 'dirty ridge' of high pressure -- due to the fact that there will be some weak circulations embedded in the very light flow, along with some pockets of moisture.  That means that we're probably going to be contending with occasional periods of cloudiness, and even a barely mentionable risk of mainly PM thundershowers -- even as a fairly aggressive warming trend kicks in.

My last 80ºF+ (27ºC) temp was way back on the 21st of April, but it looks like we'll be heading above that mark sometime over the coming weekend.

stats updates... (am.04.may.17)>

*Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 58.5F (14.7C)
High temp: 73.7F (23.2C)
Rainfall: 0.09" (2mm)

*Thursday's stats (as of 6:20am):

Low temp: 54.7F (12.6C)
Rainfall: 0.17" (4mm)

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

the latest disturbance... (pm.02.may.17)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 61.0F (16.1C)
High temp: 77.3F (25.2C)
Rainfall: none

It is partly cloudy as the sun sets this evening, after a day of alternating sunshine, mainly high clouds, and dim sun filtered through those high clouds.  Were it not for the cloudiness, our high temp would have probably hit 80ºF/27ºC, which is a bit above the average maximum for the first few days of May.

It's getting very repetitive to talk about the disturbed upper-level flow we've been dealing with for the last eight or nine days... but that really does continue to be the weather theme lately.  The next disturbance of note is organizing in the vicinity of Uzbekistan at the moment, and will swing across Himalayan north India tomorrow (Wed) into early Thursday.  Current data indicates that the best chance of significant precipitation will be in the higher elevations to our north and northeast between late tonight and Thursday afternoon... but it's looking like we could get at least something measurable in the rain gauge during that time period as well.  I'm not extremely pumped up about our prospects, but we'll have to keep an eye on things during the coming 36 to 48 hours or so.

Thereafter... signs of a building ridge of summertime high pressure are looking better and better over the weekend into at least the middle of next week.  There's likely going to be some moisture around, which means the risk of isolated thundershowers is not entirely out of the question, but the bigger news is an aggressive rise in temperatures which could take us back into the range we were experiencing a couple of weeks ago during our early-season April heat wave...

Monday, May 1, 2017

may arrives politely... (pm.01.may.17)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 58.1F (14.5C)
High temp: 76.7F (24.8C)
Rainfall: none

This inaugural day of May 2017 has been a very fine one.  We had full sunshine until the late morning, but then there was a fairly impressive amount of mountain cloud development during the afternoon -- but nothing came of it -- and we're back to mostly sunny skies during this half hour or so before sunset.  The normal/average high temp for the first day of May is 78ºF/26ºC, and you can see from the stats at the top of this post that we were just a little below that.

We're still looking at an absence of major storm systems across the western Himalayan region, which is fairly normal for this time of year.  However, just as has been the case the last ten days or so, we're locked into an upper-level pattern that is wiggly and wobbly, containing several fast-moving upper-level disturbances of varying intensity.  This pattern will keep us fluctuating between sunshine and clouds over the course of this week, with the risk of a period of thundershowers or two not out of the question.  Right now the best chance of some rain appears to be on Wednesday, but frankly, there is at least a 10-15% chance of a shower on any given day.  Not a big deal, but keep that in mind.

Temperatures will also wobble up and down between now and Thursday, but it looks like we still have a fairly aggressive warming trend on the way over the weekend into about the middle of next week.