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.

Friday, November 30, 2012

serenity now... (pm.30.nov.12)>

Friday's stats:

Early morning low temp: 39.6F (4.2C)
Afternoon high temp: 52.7F (11.5C)
Rainfall since midnight: none
Rainfall since Thursday AM: 0.65" (1.6cm)

The few cumulus clouds which developed over the mountains this afternoon are vanishing quickly at sunset this evening.  Despite the predominance of soothing sunshine, the very chilly air mass in place over north India brought us our coolest high temp of the season -- it was balmy in direct sunlight, but downright bone-chilling in the shade.  Our temperatures the last 36 hours or so have been more characteristic of mid-December than the tail-end of November.

There was a good amount of snow-melt going on up-mountain from us today, but evidence of the healthy early season dumping is still evident on the highest foothills and along the Dhauladhars.  I don't think we are in for another dose of rain OR snow for the next several days at least, as we return to a very quiet weather pattern which is actually normal for this time of year.  Our recent storm system is more of an exception than the rule during this usually dry season.  The jet stream will become less active, and we'll come under the influence of a weak west-southwesterly flow into the middle of next week -- a classic uneventful pattern in this part of the world.

This unseasonably cold weather will gradually modify and moderate during the coming days, taking us back to normal or perhaps even a degree or two above normal for the first week of December.  Humidity looks like it will be near the lowest of this early winter season as well...

FRIDAY NIGHT:
clear skies... still quite cold.
low: 6C (42F)

SATURDAY:
sunny -- a few clouds mainly in the PM.
high: 12C (54F)

SATURDAY NIGHT:
mostly clear skies.
low: 6C (43F)

SUNDAY:
sunshine and a few clouds.
high: 13C (55F)

MONDAY:
sun and a few PM mountain clouds.  a bit milder.
morning low: 7C (45F)
daytime high: 14C (57F)

TUESDAY:
mostly sunny skies.  pleasant for early december.
morning low: 8C (46F)
daytime high: 14C (58F)

WEDNESDAY:
mostly sunny and rather mild.
morning low: 8C (47F)
daytime high: 15C (59F)

post-storm... (am.30.nov.12)>

The final morning of November 2012 is dawning with clear skies, and a promise of sunshine -- a dramatic change from what we were dealing with just 12 hours ago.  The rain ended right on cue (before 10pm), and skies cleared rapidly as our storm system accelerated off to the east and dissipated over the western Tibetan plateau.

I've recorded a low temp of 39.6F (4.2C) since midnight, but my thermometer briefly dropped to 39.0F (3.9C) last evening around 8:40pm, which is the lowest of the month and the winter season.

Total rainfall at my location on Tushita Road just below the mountaineering center was 0.64" (1.6cm), which is squarely in the middle of the precipitation forecast range averaged from several computer models I regularly consult.  It's always a pleasant surprise when computer model data provides excellent guidance!  The snow line is pretty much were it was expected to be this morning as well... hovering between Truind and the uppermost reaches of Dharamkot.  Abundant sunshine today should cause rapid melting, though, leaving the significant snow cover on the Dhauladhars.

No real changes to the going forecast (scroll down to last night's post), so check back here for an updated outlook this evening around 6:30pm...

Thursday, November 29, 2012

wx excitement... (pm.29.nov.12)>

*Update @ 9:02pm... I still have some moderate rain showers in progress here in the upper part of town, with a current temp of 39.7F (4.3C).  The rain should be coming to an end fairly soon, with clearing skies around midnight.  I'll post the final rainfall tally here early tomorrow morning.!

*Update @ 7:40pm... And now, some rumbles of thunder.  But from the satellite view, it appears that we are now on the back edge of the rain/snow/sleet, as the center of this upper-level circulation passes overhead and finally moves to the east.  There could be be a few more showers between now and 10pm or so.  Updated rainfall/temperature data in the stats below...

*Update @ 6:57pm... We've had the heaviest rain of the entire day during the past hour as the center of this storm system moves into northwestern Himachal.  I'll post new rainfall totals and low temp info later this evening...

---------------

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 39.2F (4.0C) -- at 6:20pm
High temp: 54.5F (12.5C) -- between 11:00 and 11:30am
Rainfall: 0.48" (1.2cm) -- as of 7:30pm

It's cloudy with occasional rain showers around the area just after dark this Thursday evening.  This has definitely been the most wintry day of the season, with mostly cloudy skies, off-and-on light rain, and a coating of snow well below Triund.  We did manage to get a couple of periods of sunshine in the midst of it all, but our high temp still ended up being the coldest of our young 2012 winter season.

The vigorous upper-level disturbance responsible for all this is currently centered over extreme southwestern Kashmir near Jammu, and will have moved east of us by sunrise on Friday.  As it passes, rain and snow showers will remain in the forecast for us here along the leading slopes of the Dhauladhars, but I still think precipitation chances are going to rapidly and dramatically diminish after midnight or so.  There has been some sleet mixed in with the rain here in McLeod just in the past few minutes as I type... and we will see some gusty winds and perhaps hear a little thunder before all is said and done.  Of course the snow line will inch downward overnight... but significant accumulations should remain above Dharamkot (!?).

It's looking like tomorrow (Friday) will be a vast improvement over today, with much more sunshine in the forecast.  Early morning temps will definitely be the coldest of the season, but the sun should bring a bit of comfort as the day progresses.  No more significant storm systems are on the horizon through the weekend into early next week, as a slow warming trend kicks in.

THURSDAY NIGHT:
rain showers and even some sleet mixed in, along with gusty winds at times... then clearing skies by midnight.  coldest night!!
low: 4C (39F)

FRIDAY:
sunny to partly cloudy.  temps remaining unseasonably chilly.
high: 12C (54F)

FRIDAY NIGHT:
mostly clear.  quite cold.
low: 6C (43F)

SATURDAY:
sunshine, along with some mainly PM clouds.
high: 13C (55F)

SUNDAY:
a mix of sun and occasional clouds.
morning low: 7C (44F)
daytime high: 13C (56F)

MONDAY:
sun and a few clouds.  a bit milder.
morning low: 8C (46F)
daytime high: 14C (57F)

TUESDAY:
sun and some high clouds at times.  tolerably mild for December!
morning low: 8C (47F)
daytime high: 14C (58F)

dry spell broken... (am.29.nov.12)>

Our anticipated inclement weather has indeed materialized.  I have 0.11" (3mm) in the rain gauge as of 7:30am, thanks to our first wave of showers which moved in just before 5:00am.  There is snow on the hills just above town -- I can't tell exactly how low from my current vantage point, but it looks like it is below Triund but above Magic View.

My early morning low temp was 44.1F (6.7C) during the pre-dawn rain, but the temp has bounced back up to 46.8F (8.2C) at the time of this writing.

The upper-level storm system responsible for the rain and snow is centered over northern Pakistan early this morning, and will be moving overhead today and tonight.  We shouldn't get continuous rain, but expect off and on showers (and maybe some thunder) until perhaps midnight, when the main instability moves east of us.  If we happen to get a period or two of sun, temperatures should rebound nicely, but if the clouds hang in, it's going to be hard to get much above 50F (10C) today.

There will be some moderate to heavy snow showers above roughly 9,000ft (2700m), so it's not a good day to be wandering up toward Triund.

Look for a full forecast update here around 6:30 this evening...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

wet and white?... (pm.28.nov.12)>

Wednesday's stats:

Early morning low temp: 47.8F (8.8C)
Afternoon high temp: 55.8F (13.2C) -- around 12:30pm
Rainfall: none

The sun was very easily overwhelmed by increasing cloudiness today... keeping our temperatures from warming as much as expected.  In fact, my high temp on Tushita Road just below the mountaineering center was the coldest of the season thus far.  Just after sunset this evening we have mostly cloudy skies, and snow showers are already developing along the Dhauladhars.

All eyes are now on a storm system which is making its way across extreme northern Afghanistan, and is expected to move across northern Pakistan and Himalayan north India tonight, Thursday and Thursday evening. This system has a good amount of dynamic energy associated with it, and is also tapping into some moisture from the Arabian Sea.  Humidity rose into the 75-80% range around noon today, and that is an indication that there is probably enough moisture in the air to fuel some measurable rainfall here for the first time since the 24th of October.  The latest computer model output suggests 1-2cm (0.4-0.8") in our vicinity by very late Thursday night, so be aware and prepared for a rare visitation of raindrops.!

This storm should be a significant snow-maker all across the mountains of J&K, Himachal, and possibly into Uttarakhand.  Although Rohtang Pass has been "officially" closed since about the 10th of November, there has still been some traffic back and forth on good days -- hopefully no one will get stranded up there.  Closer to home, there could be a blanket of snow below Triund before this storm clears out, so please keep close tabs on developing conditions.

Needless to say, we're in line for some colder temps, thanks to clouds and precipitation.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT:
partly to mostly cloudy.  good chance of a shower or two developing overnight.  a thundershower is possible as well.
low: 8C (46F)

THURSDAY:
partly cloudy to mostly cloudy at times.  good chance of some rain showers and possibly a thundershower or two in the area.  turning even cooler.
high: 12C (54F)

THURSDAY NIGHT:
some showers in the area til around midnight, otherwise partly cloudy and quite cold.
low: 6C (43F)

FRIDAY:
sunshine and a few clouds... but a very cool end to November.
high: 13C (55F)

SATURDAY:
a mix of sun and some clouds at times.
morning low: 7C (44F)
daytime high: 13C (56F)

SUNDAY:
both sun and a few clouds.
morning low: 7C (45F)
daytime high: 13C (56F)

MONDAY:
sunny to partly cloudy -- seasonably cool temps.
morning low: 7C (45F)
daytime high: 14C (57F)

storm watch... (am.28.nov.12)>

I've just gone through all the latest weather data, models, charts and satellite pics, and it looks like there are no major changes to the current forecast.  All the information seems to remain consistent with regard to our approaching early winter storm system.

We've already got a good amount of high cloudiness across our area, which should alternate with some periods of sun as the day wears on.  Rain and snow showers should develop in the high mountains to our north as early as mid-afternoon or so, with precipitation chances increasing overnight and on Thursday.  I still think our best window of opportunity for picking up some measurable rainfall here in the immediate McLeod area will be from this evening until late Thursday night.  Computer models are taunting us with 1-2cm (0.4-0.8") amounts -- which is a heck of a lot, considering the very dry weather of the past 6-8 weeks. We shall see if we get anything close to that.  Thunder and lightning will be a possibility as well.

Of greater concern is the potential for HEAVY SNOW in the mountains above roughly 10,000ft (3000m).  I can't stress enough the necessity of being on top of weather developments for people thinking about crossing high passes (including Rohtang!!) between late this afternoon and early Friday morning.

Scroll down for the 5-day outlook, and check back here this evening around 6:30pm for a full update...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

storm drama ahead... (pm.27.nov.12)>

Tuesday's stats:

Early morning low temp: 46.6F (8.1C)
Afternoon high temp: 57.6F (14.2C)
Rainfall: none

Other than just a couple of clouds during the late afternoon, we had a totally sunny Tuesday, with temperatures running just slightly (but almost imperceptibly) higher than the last few days.  Another very pleasant late November day if you were fortunate enough to be able to take advantage of the sun -- but quite chilly if you were confined to the shade.

The most interesting weather of this early winter season appears to be just ahead of us.  A rather vigorous upper-level storm system is moving from Iran into Afghanistan this evening, and will be sweeping across northern Pakistan and Himalayan north India during the next 48-60 hours or so.  Computer models are more consistent about significant precipitation this time around, thanks to some moisture from the Arabian Sea which is expected to be drawn into the mix.  We'll have to watch carefully how things come together, but it appears that we have a chance of receiving measurable rainfall here -- perhaps as early as Wednesday PM, until the wee hours of Friday morning.  Since we've had ZERO measurable rain for November 2012, anything in the rain gauge will be noteworthy!

Higher up in the mountains, it's looking more and more certain that this storm will deliver some locally heavy snowfall, generally above 10,000ft.  Rohtang Pass will be affected, as will all the other high passes in J&K and much of Himachal.  PLEASE CLOSELY FOLLOW WEATHER DEVELOPMENTS if you are considering venturing to high terrain from Wednesday afternoon through early Friday.  This is the kind of early winter situation that strands motorists and trekkers, and leads to fatalities in this part of the world.

Temperatures will dip again sometime on Wednesday night and Thursday, and are expected to be just slightly below normal as we make the transition into December...

TUESDAY NIGHT:
a few patches of high clouds increasing overnight.  not as cool.
low: 9C (48F)

WEDNESDAY:
a mix of sun and clouds, with a chance of a rain shower or two developing by late afternoon.  a bit milder.
high: 15C (59F)

WEDNESDAY NIGHT:
partly to mostly cloudy.  good chance of a few rain showers, and possibly a thundershower.
low: 8C (47F)

THURSDAY:
both clouds and some periods of sun at times.  good chance of a round or two of showers and/or thundershowers.  turning cooler again.
high: 13C (56F)

FRIDAY:
any showers ending before sunrise... then sunny to partly cloudy.  cool temps.
morning low: 7C (44F)
daytime high: 13C (56F)

SATURDAY:
a mix of sunshine and some clouds at times.
morning low: 7C (45F)
daytime high: 14C (57F)

SUNDAY:
partly sunny.  seasonably cool.
morning low: 8C (46F)
daytime high: 14C (57F)

Monday, November 26, 2012

cool streak... (pm.26.nov.12)>

Monday's stats:

Early morning low temp: 45.5F (7.5C)
Afternoon high temp: 57.0F (13.9C)
Rainfall: none

I recorded a high temp very close to 57F (14C) for the fourth day in a row on this Monday, despite very soothing sunshine which maintained firm control.  It's amazing the difference in comfort level between sun and shade these days.

I'm anticipating an ever-so-slight warm-up during the next 48 hours or so, but it may not be all that noticeable.  Sunshine should prevail on Tuesday, for the most part, before we begin to come under the influence of the next upper-level disturbance which is just now moving into Iran.  This approaching system will cause a gradual increase in clouds as we head into mid-week, and a couple of computer models are still insisting on a very good chance of some measurable rainfall here by Wednesday evening into Thursday.  I'm very interested to see if this system can muster the energy and draw enough moisture into its circulation to bring us at least a little rainfall to record in the November books.

Even if we miss out on the precipitation down here at our elevation, it looks likely that the mountains from Jammu/Kashmir into at least the northern half of Himachal will receive their heaviest snowfall of this season.  Please keep tabs on this evolving situation if you have plans to be up high, or crossing passes later this week!

MONDAY NIGHT:
mostly clear... still very cool.
low: 8C (46F)

TUESDAY:
sunshine and a period or two of mainly high clouds.
high: 14C (58F)

TUESDAY NIGHT:
occasional high clouds.  not quite as cool.
low: 9C (48F)

WEDNESDAY:
clouds thickening... chance of some showers developing PM.
high: 15C (59F)

THURSDAY:
partly to mostly cloudy.  a rain shower or two possible.  turning colder again.
morning low: 8C (47F)
daytime high: 13C (56F)

FRIDAY:
sunny to partly cloudy and seasonably cool.
morning low: 7C (45F)
daytime high: 14C (57F)

SATURDAY:
a mix of sun and some clouds at times.
morning low: 8C (46F)
daytime high: 14C (57F)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

november's final week... (pm.25.nov.12)>

Sunday's stats:

Early morning low temp: 45.3F (7.4C)
Afternoon high temp: 57.2F (14.0C)
Rainfall: none

It was a mostly sunny Sunday, but some mid- and high-level cloudiness has developed and moved in from the west this evening.  This morning's low temp was yet another new low for the season, and even sunshine today wasn't all that effective to temper the chill in the air.  The last three days have definitely started to feel like winter is supposed to feel like around here.

A fast-moving and rather active jet stream pattern continues to sprawl across southwestern Asia, and will keep us from experiencing totally sunny and quiet conditions during the coming week.  There are a few minor ripples and wiggles in the atmosphere -- one of which is moving through right now -- and a potentially stronger disturbance for the latter part of the week.  A couple of the computer models I use for extended range guidance are suggesting measurable rain for us from late Wednesday into Thursday.  My cynicism and skepticism is running high, based on the failure of the last few systems to deliver even a drop of rain, but let's be braced for a chance of showers nonetheless.  It will be interesting to keep an eye on things later this week at least.

Temperatures stand little chance of returning to the above normal range... although we should see a bit of moderation during the coming 72 hours or so, I think we should stay near or slightly cooler than normal for the waning days of November.

SUNDAY NIGHT:
a period or two of high cloudiness.  still chilly.
low: 8C (46F)

MONDAY:
sunshine and a few clouds at times.  cooler than normal.
high: 14C (58F)

MONDAY NIGHT:
clear to partly cloudy skies.
low: 8C (47F)

TUESDAY:
a good amount of sunshine.  slightly milder.
high: 15C (59F)

WEDNESDAY:
increasing clouds.  chance of a shower or two by late in the day.
morning low: 9C (48F)
daytime high: 15C (59F)

THURSDAY:
both clouds and sun.  a couple of rain showers possible.
morning low: 8C (47F)
daytime high: 14C (57F)

FRIDAY:
partly cloudy.  temps slightly cooler than normal.
morning low: 7C (45F)
daytime high: 14C (57F)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

taste of winter... (pm.24.nov.12)>

Saturday's stats:

Early morning low temp: 45.5F (7.5C)
Afternoon high temp: 57.4F (14.1C)
Rainfall: none

Dissipating clouds reveal new snowfall along the Dhauladars this evening, thanks to a few snow showers overnight, but more substantial development in the higher elevations to our north and east this afternoon.  As far as I am aware, we've never received a single drop of rain  in McLeod, Bhagsu, Naddi or Dharamkot from the disturbances which have moved through during the past few days.  What we HAVE received is colder air... there has definitely been a bite in the air the past 24 hours or so, and a chilly breeze at times as well.  This morning's low temp was the coldest I've recorded since the 13th of March.

A fast-moving jet stream will be running from the Mediterranean to the western and central Himalayan region for the next several days at least.  There are no major storm systems being carried along, but occasional minor disturbances will provide us with a little cloudiness here and there to punctuate the sunny periods.  Other than the odd high elevation snow shower, precipitation chances should be very slight.  We may have a little better chance of some showers by late Wednesday, but based on our track record for November thus far (zero measurable precip), I am skeptical.

Our temperatures are the coldest of the autumn/winter season, and are now running solidly below normal for a change.  We may see a little moderation by Tuesday/Wednesday, but I'm thinking we may have seen 60F for the last time in a while!  Get used to the new reality...

SATURDAY NIGHT:
becoming clear.  coldest night of the season.
low: 7C (44F)

SUNDAY:
sunny to partly cloudy skies.  unseasonably cool.
high: 13C (56F)

SUNDAY NIGHT:
some high clouds possible, otherwise fair skies.  still chilly.
low: 8C (46F)

MONDAY:
sunshine and a period or two of high clouds.
high: 14C (57F)

TUESDAY:
sun and a few clouds.
morning low: 8C (47F)
daytime high: 14C (58F)

WEDNESDAY:
a mix of sun and clouds.  slight chance of a brief PM shower.
morning low: 9C (49F)
daytime high: 15C (59F)

THURSDAY:
partly cloudy and seasonably cool.
morning low: 8C (47F)
daytime high: 14C (58F)

Friday, November 23, 2012

season's coldest... (pm.23.nov.12)>

Friday's stats:

Early morning low temp: 46.0F (7.8C)
Afternoon high temp: 56.8F (13.8C)
Rainfall: none

Temperatures today (both high and low) were the coolest of the season, even though we did have nearly full sunshine during the morning hours.  Clouds of all varieties and in all layers of the atmosphere exploded overhead during the afternoon, and lots of mid- and high cloudiness has persisted into the evening.  It looks like there were some very light rain/snow showers in the higher elevations this afternoon, but nothing here in McLeod proper.

By November standards, there is a lot going on right now.  Another upper-level disturbance in this latest series is moving in tonight, and will remain in the neighborhood for most of Saturday as well.  That means we'll continue to see occasional cloudiness, along with that risk of some shower activity developing, thanks to a rather unstable atmosphere.  As I've been talking about all week, the chances of significant rain and/or snow are not great, but the probability is worth mentioning -- especially for those who might have plans to be hiking and trekking up toward Triund and beyond.  Just be prepared.

This recent cooling trend will lead to even colder temps between now and Sunday.  We've already dropped a bit below normal, and it looks like we'll stay there right into the middle of the coming week.  Stake out your favorite sunny spot to keep warm!

FRIDAY NIGHT:
occasional clouds.  a few sprinkles or a shower overnight?  very cool.
low: 8C (46F)

SATURDAY:
both sun and some clouds.  very cool, with a risk of some sprinkles or a shower passing through.
high: 13C (56F)

SATURDAY NIGHT:
a brief, light shower in the evening?  otherwise partly cloudy and unseasonably cold.
low: 7C (44F)

SUNDAY:
sunny to partly cloudy.  below normal temps.
high: 13C (55F)

MONDAY:
sunshine and a few clouds.  just a bit milder.
morning low: 8C (46F)
daytime high: 14C (57F)

TUESDAY:
sun and some high clouds at times.
morning low: 8C (47F)
daytime high: 14C (58F)

WEDNESDAY:
sunny to partly cloudy -- slight warm-up.
morning low: 9C (49F)
daytime high: 15C (59F)