the latest...

**The India Met Department's 20-year rolling average of the date of monsoon withdrawal in the Dharamsala area is the 17th of September...

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

measurable rain, finally... (pm.24.aug.16)>

Wednesday's stats (today):

Low temp: 64.8F (18.2C)
High temp: 72.3F (22.4C)
Rainfall: 0.19" (5mm) -- as of 3:30pm

Tuesday's stats (yesterday):

Low temp: 64.9F (18.3C)
High temp: 74.6F (23.7C)
Rainfall: trace

After nearly three full days without measurable rainfall, we've finally had something in the gauge today -- though it hasn't been much at all to get excited about.  Periods of sprinkles, drizzle and mainly light showers have been coming and going since just before 10:00am, and continue this evening.  Clouds and some short episodes of thick fog have won the day, with only a little bit of sunshine early this morning.

Very feeble monsoon conditions have stayed with us recently, in spite of the models' continual suggestions of an uptick in activity.  Areas of rain showers have been scattered, with all of the heavier ones staying clear of McLeod Ganj for several days.  More randomness is in our future, with a round of heavier rainfall still possible at any time.

A week ago, the remaining amount of rain to get to achieve the norm for the month of August looked like it would be a simple task, but with the monsoon drought since the 16th of the month, we're now looking at a greater challenge.

Monday, August 22, 2016

poised on the brink, again... (pm.22.aug.16)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 66.2F (19.0C)
High temp: 75.0F (23.9C)
Rainfall: trace -- as of 5:20pm

The fog is extremely thick out there as I begin to type this evening, but there has been so much extreme variability between sun, clouds, fog, and very light rain showers/drizzle today -- who knows what might be happening by the time I get this posted.!  A major blast of sunshine early this morning boosted the high temp to 75ºF (24ºC) at my place in the upper part of town, but clouds and fog rapidly developed by the latter half of the morning, which led to occasional very light doses of rain during the afternoon and early evening hours.  Since mid-afternoon there has been a lot of shower and thundershower development across Himachal Pradesh, but as of this moment the heavier stuff has avoided us.

The vast array of data, and its advertisement of an increase in frequency and intensity of rain showers this week has so far failed to deliver -- at least here immediately on top of McLeod Ganj.  This is about the third time this monsoon season that we've had to sit on pins and needles waiting for the next significant surge of tropical moisture to manifest in heavier rainfall activity, and I have to admit it is not my favorite thing.  Still, all those models and all that data are pointing to a major increase in daily rainfall rates, effective immediately, and lasting through the weekend into early next week.  So we really could see the tables turn at any moment.

With less than two inches (5cm) of rain in the last week, the rain gauge is definitely very thirsty again.  Check tabs above for the AUGUST RAINFALL tally to see the numbers for yourself.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

atmospheric hesitation... (pm.21.aug.16)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 66.0F (18.9C)
High temp: 72.6F (22.6C)
Rainfall: trace

There's a lot of variability between clouds, fog and the fading sunlight this evening, with pleasant temps but rather high humidity (near 90%).  Apart from just a few minutes of very light drizzle late this afternoon that I noticed as I was heading into town, we've had a day without measurable rainfall for the first time since the 20th of July.  Clouds were rather thick at times, however, with some periods of fog which were most prevalent during the mid-afternoon.

It's been one of those days that has defied nearly all of the model guidance.  From satellite pics, it looks like there was barely any rainfall at all across Himachal Pradesh, or most of the rest of northern India for that matter.  That, in spite of the fact that the moisture content of our air mass is higher than it was for most of last week.  Although the necessary moisture is in place for periods of heavy rain showers, there have obviously been some missing dynamic ingredients today.  Overall conditions are expected to change very little throughout this coming week, so it's a matter of time before it all 'clicks' and we get our next dumpings of moderate to heavy rain.  As we've seen over and over, about the time we're ready to give up on it will be the moment that the heavens unload.

We have ten days left in August to come up with only 6.6" (16.8cm) of rain to reach the normal amount for the month.  Follow the detailed rainfall stats on tabs above...

Saturday, August 20, 2016

signs of resurgence... (pm.20.aug.16)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 64.6F (18.1C)
High temp: 71.7F (22.1C)
Rainfall: 0.68" (1.7cm)

The best weather of the entire day is happening this evening, with some high clouds above, some cumulus and patchy fog visible in the valleys below, and some nice sunshine filtering through it all.  But until just recently, it has been a mostly cloudy, gloomy, occasional foggy, and rather damp day.  Today's rainfall total (up til now) isn't very big, really, but we did have about a half hour of moderate to heavy showers between about 4:30 and 5:00am, then several periods of drizzle and light rain showers around sunrise, and again between 11:15am and about 2:00pm.  In my rain gauge in the upper part of town it's been the biggest rainfall amount since Monday -- but there were much heavier rains just south of us during the past 12 hours.

Real monsoon elements had been in retreat for four days or so, until very early this morning.  But the overall "big picture" trend since last night has been for the deeper tropical moisture to be oozing back northwestward, and we had our first tastes of that today.  Although we're still not talking about an extremely intense period of continuous rains, our daily rainfall rates during the coming week or so will likely be quite a bit higher than we've seen this past week.  Expect a few bright periods here and there, but the risk of some blasts of moderate to heavy rainfall will be good -- as we would normally expect during the final one-third of August anyway.

Extended range models are projecting the next major slowdown coinciding with the arrival of September.  The average official date of monsoon withdrawal here in the Dharamsala area is right around the 15th of September, so it's possible that we are only about 4 weeks away from the end of this year's rendition...

Check tabs above for detailed rainfall stats and other local info.