the latest...

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

Sunday, June 25, 2017

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

The latest from the India Met Department:

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

Thursday, June 22, 2017

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

Thursday's stats:

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

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

Wednesday's stats:

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

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

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

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

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

Tuesday's stats:

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

Largest daily precipitation totals of 2017:

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

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

Monday, June 19, 2017

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

Monday's stats:

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

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

Sunday, June 18, 2017

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

Sunday's stats:

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

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

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

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

Saturday, June 17, 2017

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

Saturday's stats:

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

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

Normal July total rainfall: 37.8" (95.9cm)

Normal August total rainfall: 35.8" (90.9cm)

Friday, June 16, 2017

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

Friday's stats:

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

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

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

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

Thursday, June 15, 2017

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

Thursday's stats:

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

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

Wednesday's stats:

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

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

Tuesday's stats:

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, June 12, 2017

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

Monday's stats:

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

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

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

Sunday, June 11, 2017

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

Sunday's stats:

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

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

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

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

Saturday, June 10, 2017

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

Saturday's stats:

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

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

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

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

Friday, June 9, 2017

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

Friday's stats:

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

Click for 2017 Monsoon Progress

Thursday, June 8, 2017

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

Thursday's stats:

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

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

Wednesday's stats:

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

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

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

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

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

Tuesday's stats:

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

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

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

Check THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK for forecast specs.

Monday, June 5, 2017

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

Monday's stats:

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

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

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

Sunday, June 4, 2017

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

Sunday's stats:

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

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

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

Saturday, June 3, 2017

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

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 68.0F (20.0C)

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

During the previous six days...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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