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Sunday, December 31, 2017

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


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

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

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

Friday, December 29, 2017

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 22, 2017

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

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

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

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

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

Monday, December 18, 2017

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 15, 2017

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

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

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

Thursday, December 14, 2017

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

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

My stats today...

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, December 11, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

satellite pic -- 8:00pm IST

Sunday, December 10, 2017

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 9, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 8, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 7, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

Precipitation between Tue 6AM and Wed 6AM IST

Monday, December 4, 2017

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

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

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

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

Sunday, December 3, 2017

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 1, 2017

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

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

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

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