the latest...

**WEDNESDAY 8:00AM -- I'm surprised to see an additional 0.70" (1.8cm) of rain in the gauge overnight. We also had some thunder, lightning and occasionally gusty winds during the wee hours.

Monday, April 30, 2012

the transition... (pm.30.apr.12)>

We're enjoying a fantastic evening at the moment, with partly sunny skies and comfortable temperatures.  Thick clouds early this morning gave way to sunshine by late morning... which has persisted for most of the day.  Although there are thundershowers in all directions, according to the satellite view... we've escaped the rain and thunder today so far.  I recorded a high temp of 73.6F (23.1C) just before 4pm, which was warmer than expected.

Although we're missing out up til now, thundershowers are actually scattered from northeast Pakistan into many areas of north India this evening -- in response to the lingering broad area of low pressure and very cold air in the upper atmosphere.  This moderately unstable situation is on the wane, but there is still a decent chance of getting hit with a period of showers and/or thunderstorms tonight and/or Tuesday, as we transition into the month of May.  We'll be watching to the west and southwest for potential development.

Looking further down the road, the overall weather pattern should be shifting in favor of lower rain chances and higher temperatures.  Today's warm-up is a taste of things to come, when we could be knocking on the door of 80F (27C) for only the second time this season.  Isolated afternoon thunderstorms will still be possible in the mountains during the latter half of the week... but at this point, I think we'll see a predominance of sunshine.

MONDAY NIGHT:
partly cloudy.  still the potential for thundershower development.
low: 13C (56F)

TUESDAY:
a mix of sun and some clouds.  risk of a thundershower.
high: 22C (72F)

TUESDAY NIGHT:
slight chance of an evening shower... then becoming clear to partly cloudy.
low: 14C (58F)

WEDNESDAY:
sunny to partly cloudy and pleasant.  an isolated PM thundershower?
high: 23C (74F)

THURSDAY:
sunshine and a few clouds.  mountain thunder in the PM?
morning low: 16C (60F)
daytime high: 24C (76F)

FRIDAY:
sunny to partly cloudy.  warming continues.
morning low: 16C (61F)
daytime high: 26C (78F)

SATURDAY:
sunshine and a few afternoon clouds.  seasonably warm.
morning low: 17C (62F)
daytime high: 26C (79F)

lingering gloom... (am.30.apr.12)>

Lots of clouds up here in McLeod Ganj early this Monday morning... although there is clearing to the south and west.  It was windy overnight as a large area of dying thundershowers moved through.  We only managed to get a few sprinkles of rain, as far as I am aware.  I recorded a low temp of 55.0F (12.8C).

A broad area of low pressure remains entrenched in the upper-atmosphere from northern Pakistan through northern India into western Tibet.  The dynamic strength of this system has been waning during the past 24 hours, and it has less moisture to work with.  Having said that, individual disturbances drifting through will still be able to generate scattered showers and thunderstorms between now and Tuesday evening, so be prepared for the same kinds of sudden changes we've been dealing with over and over again since last week.

My guarded optimism about the improving weather on the horizon is actually getting less guarded now.(!)  Although isolated mountain thundershowers can't be ruled out, I think we're in line for some vastly improving weather conditions starting on Wednesday, as a ridge of high pressure starts to poke its way into northwest India.  At this point, it looks like we'll have a healthy warming trend during the latter half of the week, with a good amount of strong May sunshine...

MONDAY:
a mix of clouds and sun.  the chance of a couple of showers or a thunderstorm remains.
high: 21C (70F)

MONDAY NIGHT:
good chance of a period of showers and thunderstorms, otherwise partly cloudy.
low: 13C (56F)

TUESDAY (1st of MAY):
partly sunny skies.  a thundershower or two possible.
high: 22C (72F)

WEDNESDAY:
sunny to partly cloudy and warmer.  an isolated PM thundershower?
morning low: 14C (58F)
daytime high: 23C (74F)

THURSDAY:
sunshine and a few clouds.  warm-up continues.
morning low: 16C (60F)
daytime high: 24C (76F)

FRIDAY:
mostly sunny and pleasantly warm.
morning low: 16C (61F)
daytime high: 25C (77F)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

watching the sky... (pm.29.apr.12)>

We're in the midst of a partly cloudy and pleasantly mild evening, after another day that transitioned back and forth between sunshine and clouds.  Our period of thunder and light showers during the mid-day failed to deliver anything measurable in my rain gauge in the upper part of town, which was nice for those out and about on this Sunday.  I recorded a high temp of 68.7F (20.4C), which remains close to 10F (5C) cooler than average for the end of April.

Our volume of rainfall has eased considerably the last couple of days, but we're still obviously in an unsettled situation, with scattered showers and thunderstorms never too far away.  There will be a couple of more upper-level disturbances between tonight and Tuesday, which will keep the thundershower risk greater than 50/50, and also keep our temperatures from being able to warm up very much.  Although we haven't seen more than light rainfall amounts since late Thursday night... don't be surprised if we get slammed again sometime during the coming 36-48 hours or so.

Starting on Wednesday, I am cautiously optimistic that the atmosphere will begin to stabilize, allowing us decreasing chances of rain (except for perhaps the isolated mountain thunder action during the late PM).  Temperatures should also be on a gradual upward trend during the first few days of the new month.

SUNDAY NIGHT:
partly to mostly cloudy.  good chance of more showers and/or thunderstorms.
low: 13C (55F)

MONDAY:
a mix of clouds and sun again... with a risk of a thundershower or two.
high: 21C (70F)

MONDAY NIGHT:
partly cloudy with some thundershowers in the area.
low: 13C (56F)

TUESDAY (1st of MAY):
partly sunny with a good chance of a thundershower or two.
high: 22C (71F)

WEDNESDAY:
sunny to partly cloudy, with a risk of a PM thundershower.  a bit warmer.
morning low: 14C (57F)
daytime high: 23C (73F)

THURSDAY:
warmer, with sunshine and a few clouds.  an isolated PM thundershower?  
morning low: 16C (60F)
daytime high: 24C (76F)

FRIDAY:
partly to mostly sunny.  pleasantly warm.
morning low: 16C (61F)
daytime high: 25C (77F)

ducking and dodging... (am.29.apr.12)>

It is partly cloudy at sunrise on this Sunday morning.  The overnight low temp was 54.9F (12.7C), which occurred around 9:30pm, in the midst of the showers -- but it's 57.0F (13.9C) at the time of this post.  Rainfall at my place was rather light... just 0.11" (3mm) last night... giving us a total of 0.18" (5mm) for all of Saturday.

We appear to have a little greater potential for some sunshine this morning than we had this time yesterday, which is a bit of good news.  But the rest of the overall picture continues to look rather bleak -- thanks to the continuing presence of an unstable atmosphere.  Another couple of additional upper-level disturbances will be tracking across the area between now and Tuesday, and that is going to keep us ripe for another few rounds of showers and thunderstorms.  As has been the case every day of the past week, we'll also see sunshine thrown into the mix... so just be prepared for more of these wild swings in conditions. Such is life on the edge of the mighty Himalaya.

Temperatures will remain several degrees below normal as we end the month... but we're likely to see a steady warm-up during the coming week.  I'm still seeing just a bit of improvement as far as the "instability" factor is concerned by Wednesday.  Although an isolated afternoon thundershower can't be ruled out, I think things are going to quiet down considerably...

SUNDAY:
both clouds and sun.  unseasonably cool, with a good chance of a couple of showers and thunderstorms in the area.
high: 21C (69F)

SUNDAY NIGHT:
partly to mostly cloudy.  lingering thundershowers, mainly before midnight.
low: 13C (55F)

MONDAY:
partly cloudy.  risk of another round of thundershowers, mainly in the PM.
high: 21C (70F)

TUESDAY (1st of MAY):
a mix of sun and clouds.  a couple of showers and thunderstorms possible.
morning low: 13C (56F)
daytime high: 22C (72F)

WEDNESDAY:
sunny to partly cloudy and a bit warmer.  an isolated PM thundershower?
morning low: 14C (58F)
daytime high: 23C (74F)

THURSDAY:
sunshine and a few clouds.  pleasantly warm.
morning low: 16C (60F)
daytime high: 24C (76F)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

back and forth... (pm.28.apr.12)>

It has been another one of those days with two very distinct personalities.  Right now, as we approach sunset, skies are partly cloudy, with thunderstorms lurking to the southwest, and the far southeast of us.  We had off and on light showers until just after the noon hour, but I only recorded 0.07" (2mm) up at the top of town.  And even though we've had some soothing sunshine this afternoon, my high temp struggled to just 67.3F (19.6C) -- a good 10F (5C) cooler than average for the end of April.!

**Update @ 8:05pm... now 0.14" (4mm) total rainfall for the day.  scattered thundershowers continue.

Well I really have nothing new to report... the overall weather pattern remains disturbed and potentially stormy. There are several upper-level disturbances lined up, ready to move across the area between now and Tuesday, and that will keep us braced for occasional showers and thunderstorms.  As we saw today, conditions can swing wildly and dramatically between sunshine and showers, and vice versa... so just be aware of the unstable situation and be prepared with a "Plan B" if necessary.

It takes a nice ridge of high pressure aloft, and its associated bubble of warmer air in the upper-atmosphere to kill the instability and potential for thundershowers... but unfortunately, there is nothing of the kind showing up on the extended range weather charts.  I am optimistically watching for a stretch of somewhat quieter weather beginning around Wednesday... along with a steady warm-up next week.  Let's see!

SATURDAY NIGHT:
partly to mostly cloudy.  more showers and thunderstorms developing/moving in.
low: 13C (56F)

SUNDAY:
both clouds and some sun.  still cooler than normal, with a good chance of a couple of showers and thunderstorms around.
high: 21C (69F)

SUNDAY NIGHT:
lingering thundershowers... mainly before midnight.  otherwise partly cloudy.
low: 13C (56F)

MONDAY:
partly sunny skies.  still a risk of a thundershower... mainly in the PM.
high: 22C (72F)

TUESDAY (1st of MAY):
partly cloudy.  good chance of a round of showers and thunderstorms.
morning low: 13C (56F)
daytime high: 22C (72F)

WEDNESDAY:
sunny to partly cloudy.  an isolated PM thundershower?
morning low: 15C (59F)
daytime high: 23C (74F)

THURSDAY:
sunshine and a few clouds.  pleasant temperatures.
morning low: 16C (60F)
daytime high: 24C (76F)

braced for more... (am.28.apr.12)>

Clouds are thick and heavy at the time of this morning's posting, and there was a brief, very light shower here just after 7:00am.  We escaped most of the heavier thundershower activity last evening, for a change.  I've only recorded 0.01" (less than 1mm) of rain during the past 24 hours, and my overnight low temp has been 57.0F (13.9C).

I'm wondering how much sunshine we'll be able to come up with today, and tomorrow for that matter.  Our late April atmosphere remains unusually disturbed as a continuous stream of upper-level systems tracks from west-to-east across north India.  Meanwhile, seasonably warm air remains encamped just down the hill to our south on the plains... which provides fuel for instability as these disturbances move overhead.  All of this means that we are going to be flirting with occasional showers and thunderstorms through the weekend, and probably into Monday and Tuesday of next week as well.  Of course it won't rain continuously, and with any luck, we'll get a few hours of sunshine in between periods of action.  Just be watchful and prepared for sudden changes.

Our temperatures have slipped below normal the last couple of days... and it looks like we'll stay there until this weather pattern starts to stabilize again during the first few days of May.  The very warm air is not far away at all... and will be able to quickly surge back northward as soon as things calm down.

SATURDAY:
clouds and perhaps some periods of sun.  good chance of a couple of showers and thunderstorms in the area.
high: 21C (70F)

SATURDAY NIGHT:
partly to mostly cloudy.  a round or two of showers and thunderstorms likely.
low: 13C (56F)

SUNDAY:
partly cloudy, to mostly cloudy at times.  good chance of a thundershower or two.
high: 21C (70F)

MONDAY:
sunshine and occasional clouds.  an afternoon thundershower possible.
morning low: 13C (56F)
daytime high: 22C (72F)

TUESDAY (1st of MAY):
both sun and clouds.  still a good chance of a thundershower.
morning low: 14C (57F)
daytime high: 22C (72F)

WEDNESDAY:
sunny to partly cloudy.  a bit warmer.
morning low: 15C (59F)
daytime high: 23C (74F)

Friday, April 27, 2012

a momentary break... (pm.27.apr.12)>

A very pleasant evening underway, in contrast to the last two... with partly cloudy skies.  There has been just a trace of rain at my place since this morning's report, thanks to a brief shower just before 11am.  Despite the sunshine we've been able to enjoy since about 2:00pm, my high temp only made it to 69.1F (20.6C) -- it was probably a couple of degrees warmer than that in locations with full western exposure (which i don't have).

Thundershowers are already in full-swing both to our northwest and southeast this evening, but our corner of Himachal Pradesh has been catching a break thus far, other than some rumbles of thunder late this afternoon.  If you have a view to the southeast, there is an excellent view of some beautiful springtime cumulonimbus (thunderstorm) clouds, most likely in the vicinity of Mandi as of 6:00pm.

This is the kind of weather that lulls us into thinking that the threat of rain and thunder has ended, but that is not the case at all.  The upper-level flow contains yet another few disturbances which are scheduled to pass through our area between now and early next week.  There will likely be some periods of major instability, producing more showers and thunderstorms.  Of course, nice periods of sunshine can be expected as well -- just be on alert for a return to stormy skies at any time over the weekend.

Temperatures will continue to swing rather wildly as instability and showers advance and retreat.  It does look fairly certain, however, that we'll be a few degrees below normal for the April-to-May transition...

FRIDAY NIGHT:
partly cloudy.  chance of a round of thundershowers developing overnight.
low: 14C (58F)

SATURDAY:
both clouds and sunshine.  good chance of a couple of showers and thunderstorms around.
high: 23C (73F)

SATURDAY NIGHT:
partly to mostly cloudy with a good possibility of a round of showers and thunderstorms.
low: 13C (56F)

SUNDAY:
a mix of clouds and sun.  a round or two of thunderstorms likely.
high: 21C (70F)

MONDAY:
periods of sun and clouds.  risk of a thundershower, mainly during the PM.
morning low: 13C (55F)
daytime high: 21C (70F)

TUESDAY:
partly cloudy with a continuing chance of a thundershower or two.
morning low: 13C (55F)
daytime high: 22C (71F)

WEDNESDAY:
sunny to partly cloudy.  temps still a bit below normal.
morning low: 14C (57F)
daytime high: 23C (73F)

active pattern... (am.27.apr.12)>

There are a few breaks in the overcast just before sunrise this morning, otherwise it is mostly cloudy and 59.4F (15.2C).  I recorded a whopping 0.70" (1.8cm) of rain last night -- that makes a total of 1.11" (2.8cm) during the past two evenings.

As we've been discussing all week long, we're stuck in a very active weather pattern for this normally quiet time of the year.  The upper-level flow is brisk, with one disturbance after another tracking eastward across northern India.  As summertime heat lurks in the lower elevations just to our south, these disturbances and pools of cold air aloft are generating very unstable conditions nearly each afternoon, lasting well into the night.  The pattern will remain active all the way into early next week, which means we'll have to be braced for more rounds of showers and thunderstorms from time to time.  The sunshine won't be totally absent, however, so there should be some periods of pleasant weather in between the action.

The computer models are struggling big-time with temperatures during the next several days.  Actually, a seasonably warm air mass remains in place at the surface, but the amount of sunshine we're able to get is the key to being able to capitalize on the benefits.  Also, when thundershowers hit, the colder air aloft is temporarily brought down to the surface.  So... I guess that means we'll be on a bit of a roller-coaster ride, sometimes in the space of just a couple of hours...

FRIDAY:
a mix of clouds and some periods of sunshine.  chance of a thundershower developing during the PM.
high: 23C (74F)

FRIDAY NIGHT:
a period of thundershowers possible... otherwise partly cloudy.
low: 14C (58F)

SATURDAY:
partly cloudy with a good chance of a couple of showers and thunderstorms in the area.
high: 23C (74F)

SUNDAY:
both clouds and some sun.  still a good chance of a few showers and thunderstorms around.
morning low: 13C (56F)
daytime high: 22C (72F)

MONDAY:
partly sunny, breezy and unseasonably cool.  an isolated PM thundershower possible.
morning low: 13C (55F)
daytime high: 22C (71F)

TUESDAY:
a mix of clouds and sun.  too cool for MAY, with a chance of more thundershowers.
morning low: 13C (55F)
daytime high: 21C (69F)