the latest...

**It's been a while since we've had totally clear skies at sunrise, but that's the story early on this Friday morning. The temp is near 64ºF/18ºC.

Monday, September 30, 2013

not a nice day... (pm.30.sep.13)>

*Update @ 8:37pm... All of that thick fog and cloudiness has finally dissipated, leaving us with a clear, starry sky.  But the humidity is 88%, and with no expected surge of drier air, this temporary clearing is going to be replaced by clouds and fog again by late tomorrow morning... unless there is some kind of a miracle.

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Monday's stats:

Low temp: 61.2F (16.2C)
High temp: 65.5F (18.6C)
Rainfall: 0.29" (7mm)

We are absolutely and totally socked in with clouds and fog at sunset this evening.  Yesterday (Sunday) may have been the nicest day we've had in more than a week, but today has definitely been one of the worst.  Although there have been several glimpses of sunshine scattered throughout the day, the clouds and fog were far more prevalent -- not to mention the scattered showers (and some thunder) which occurred randomly from the early morning until the mid-afternoon.  There wasn't enough sun today to get the thermometer moving either -- the temp moved only a few degrees (F) all day long.

September will be closing in just a few hours, but a fresh month doesn't look like it is going to bring much long-term improvement with it.  Although computer models are all pointing toward a slight reduction in the moisture content of the atmosphere during the mid-week period, I still don't think it is going to translate into much of a tangible change for us.  There will be some day to day variations in terms of the combination of sun, clouds, fog and showers, but a decisive, definitive clearing trend looks totally unlikely during the next several days at least.

The main issue/problem this year centers on an upper-level pattern that is keeping the main branch of the jet stream way to our north.  Until the upper winds start to dip southward, bringing significant circulations/systems into northern India, there is basically no chance that this lingering tropical moisture entrenched across most of the Indian subcontinent will be displaced.  Let's hope for some bright spots here and there, but I'm afraid we can't expect much more than that during this first week of October.

Get CURRENT FORECAST details and other info on tabs at the top of the page.

the usual suspects... (am.30.sep.13)>

*Update @ 8:54am... We're getting robbed of our morning sunshine today so far, and there are now some new rumbles of thunder in the area.

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There was some thunder and lightning around the area just before dawn, but most of that activity seems to have dissipated, just as the sun comes up.  I have a couple of light rain showers here in the upper part of town, but there is no measurable rain in my gauge as of now -- and there has been only a trace of rainfall in the past 24 hours.  The sunrise temperature is near 62F (16.7C), and humidity is currently 81%.

If you are a regular reader/follower of this blog, then you are fully aware of what's going on, and what kind of weather pattern we're trapped in -- and you might be pretty tired of hearing about it day after day.  I'd love to spice it up somehow, but the fact of the matter is that we are continuing to languish in a rather stagnant post-monsoon pattern that features a widespread area of lingering tropical moisture sprawled across the vast majority of northern India.  The pattern in the upper-atmosphere is much more like summer than autumn, as the jet stream winds remain very far to our north over central Asia.  This set-up is giving us basically no chance at all of receiving the delivery of a fresh blast of drier air from the northwest, which is absolutely essential to sweep this leftover moisture out of here.  All the way into the weekend, I am seeing very little sign of any significant changes to this scenario.

On the bright side, our average daily humidity is well below the saturation point, which means (despite what people might be saying) this is NOT technically 'monsoon' anymore. Another positive note is that we're continuing to enjoy daily temperatures which are quite pleasant, and trending above normal for the September/October transition.

Still, expect the very familiar mix of sun, clouds, patchy fog, and the occasional shower and/or thundershower as we make the move into the first week of the new month -- and check here regularly for any hints of a favorably changing pattern.

The CURRENT FORECAST can be found on the tab above.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

no definitive clearing... (pm.29.sep.13)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 61.7F (16.5C)
High temp: 71.8F (22.1C)
Rainfall: trace

There are clusters of clouds and fog around the area this evening, but not enough to totally obscure a very lovely sunset just a couple of minutes ago.  Overall, today has been probably the nicest day of the last week or more, with lots of morning sunshine yielding to a less gloomy build-up of clouds during the mid-day and afternoon hours, and only a couple of random sprinkles of rain for a few minutes this evening.  Humidity has been primarily in the 65-80% range, with very comfortable temperatures.

I wish I could say that today is a preview of things to come, but it's really not.  Our atmosphere remains packed with much more moisture than is normal for this time of year, and there is only the slightest reduction in that moisture content expected as this week progresses.  At the same time, there will be a couple of weak upper-level circulations drifting through.  That means we are likely to see at least another couple of eruptions of showers and thundershowers this week -- which could occur virtually anytime of the day or night.  I'm pretty confident that we'll also continue to see a few hours of sunshine each day, but periods of clouds and patchy fog will never be too far away.

HHDL teachings start tomorrow morning at Tsuglagkhang -- so it would be nice if most of the inclement weather would avoid the morning and early afternoon hours.  Be prepared, just in case.

I am sorry to report that there is still no major feature appearing on the weather charts that would shove this lingering moisture out of here for good.  It's not technically the monsoon anymore, but it's certainly not the classically dry, crisp days of Himalayan autumn yet, either.

Keep track of CURRENT FORECAST details, located on the tab at the top of the page.

morning sun, then... (am.29.sep.13)>

There are a few patches of clouds in the eastern sky, otherwise it is mostly clear at sunrise this morning.  Here on Tushita Road just below the Mountaineering Center, I have temp of 62.5F (16.9C), and the humidity is hovering around 80%.  There's been no rainfall overnight, and only 0.09" (2mm) since this time yesterday morning.

In case you haven't been staying on top of the MONSOON 2013 RAINFALL info (tab above), we're now a little less than a 1/2 inch short of 100 inches of rain for the June-September period.  Although we had a very early start to the monsoon season this year, and are now seeing measurable rain on most days during the final week of September, the entire four-month period is balancing out very close to average for total rainfall amounts.  Yes, it has been a long, long, long rainy season this year, but the overall volume of rain received has not been excessive, in the long run.

Is there more to come?  There are discrepancies amongst the computer model data this morning, with one set of data showing a slow but steady lowering of the moisture content of the air during the coming several days.  Another set of data shows an atmosphere stuck pretty much in 'status quo' mode all the way through the end of this week.  I have to say that with the continued absence of a strong sweep of drier air poised to move southeastward across Himachal, I'm inclined to think that any improvements will be relatively minor.  We'll have some nice periods of sunshine, most likely every day, but rapid cloud/fog development during the mid-day hours is a good bet, and it's probably smart to keep the umbrella within reach, in the event of sudden shower/thundershower action.  Temperatures, overall, will remain pleasantly mild for this time of year.

CURRENT FORECAST details can be found on the tab at the top of the page.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

just messy... (pm.28.sep.13)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 60.3F (15.7C)
High temp: 68.9F (20.5C)
Rainfall since midnight: 0.41" (1.0cm)

We've just had a beautiful but eerie-looking sunset, with these patches of clouds and fog drifting around the area.  Today turned out to quite nice, actually, after the clouds and very light rain showers finally relinquished their grip during the early afternoon.  I was surprised (but pleased) to see so much sunshine during the mid- to late afternoon hours -- which was a change of pace from the recent routine of morning sun/afternoon clouds.  Most of the rainfall total since midnight occurred during the wee hours of the morning, with just 0.09" (2mm) since sunrise.

Although there will be a few variations on the theme, the weather scenario during the coming several days should improve only slowly, if at all.  Computer models continue to show a slow and subtle drying of the atmosphere between tomorrow (Sun) and Thursday, but honestly, it is SO slow and subtle that I wonder how much practical/tangible effect it will produce for us.  The underlying issue is that our overall weather pattern does not support a significant push of drier air from central Asia that is absolutely necessary to nudge this leftover tropical moisture out of northwest India.  It's pretty flabbergasting, actually, that we're going to move into October with all this murkiness still hanging around.

There will continue to be some stretches of sunshine for a few hours on most days, but the periods of clouds, fog, and occasional showers and thundershowers are going to remain in the forecast next week.  An optimistic outlook would be to see some improvement by Tuesday and Wednesday, but optimism is not always realism.  We'll have to stay on top of the latest data and see if there might be some sudden, dramatic overhaul appearing.

CURRENT FORECAST details, along with rainfall info, etc., can be found on tabs above.

more to deal with... (am.28.sep.13)>

*Update @ 8:56am... It's still cloudy, and we now have some steady light rain falling.  Satellite pics show the potential for some clearing in a couple of hours, but we'll have to watch.  Temp: 62F (16.7C).  Humidity: 83%.

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There's a solid deck of mid-level clouds blanketing the area early this morning -- leftovers from scattered thundershowers overnight.  There have also been a few sprinkles of rain at my location within the past half hour or so.  My rain gauge shows an additional 0.32" (8mm) since about 9pm last night, with nearly all of that occurring during the wave of thundershowers between roughly 1:30 and 4:30am -- bringing the 24 hour total up to 1.55" (3.9cm).  It's 61F (16C), with humidity at 84% to start the day.

Last evening's rowdy thunderstorm was the first in the subsequent development of widespread showers and thundershowers across Himachal and southwestern parts of Jammu & Kashmir overnight.  A minor disturbance in the upper-atmosphere was all it took to ignite the large pool of moisture that had been just sitting and waiting all day for some kind of trigger.  This morning that disturbance/circulation is sitting almost directly over northwestern Himachal, but it may have already exhausted most of its energy.  And with all these leftover clouds, it may be difficult to get the sunshine required to start the lifting and condensing process all over again.  Still... be on guard and prepared for a period or two of showers and thundershowers once again today, and on Sunday as well.

According to all the computer model data and upper-air profiles, the atmosphere over northwest India should be slowly and gradually drying out next week.  There is still no dramatic insurgence of dry and crisp air from central Asia showing up, but the thicker tropical moisture should be retreating to the south and east, day by day, into the middle of the week.  RIght now I don't expect that to completely erase the periods of mainly PM clouds and fog, but it may lower our chance of showers as we cross into October.

Details for the next five days can be found on the CURRENT FORECAST tab above.

Friday, September 27, 2013

not much hope... (pm.27.sep.13)>

*Update @ 8:37pm... I have 1.23" (3.1cm) here in the upper part of town.  It seemed like more than that to me, which could have been the case around our area.  It seems our storm was very isolated, and right on top of us, as evidenced by the latest satellite pics -- thanks to our precious Dhauladhar thunder machine. 

*Update @ 8:06pm... I only glanced at the rain gauge as I was trying to get in my door, but it seems there has been around 1.1" (2.8cm) since this major thunderstorm erupted over our heads around 6:50pm.  Will post the total once things calm down.  There is relatively warm air in the upper atmosphere right now, so we had no hail, and not much wind with this.  Only steady light rain, thunder and lightning at the moment.

*Update @ 6:57pm... A very heavy thundershower has developed overhead during the past couple of minutes.  Raining very heavily, and lots of thunder and lightning.

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Friday's stats:

Low temp: 62.4F (16.9C)
High temp: 70.0F (21.0C)
Rainfall: trace -- as of 4:00pm (update to follow)

Clouds and fog are prevalent across the area this evening just before sunset, with some scattered light showers as well.  Up until 4:00pm there had been nothing measurable registering in my rain gauge, but I think we may have picked up a few hundredths of an inch since then, so I'll update later this evening.  Today's sunshine was again limited to the early and mid-morning hours, with a rapid build-up of clouds before noon leading to our being pretty much totally socked in since about 2:00pm or so.

Unusual factors for this late in the month of September continue to dominate the weather scene.  The resurgence of tropical moisture that moved northwestward back into much of northwest India last weekend has not budged at all since the early part of the week.  That has kept our humidity mainly in the 70-90% range, and provided plenty of fuel for cloud/fog/shower development after a few hours of morning sunshine.  If you sleep past 10am, then you've probably seen very little of the sun during this entire week.  In addition to the moisture, the flow in the mid- and upper levels of the atmosphere has been very inactive, as the main branch of the jet stream remains well to our north across central Asia into northern China.  This pattern has prevented much drier autumn air from sweeping southward and displacing this leftover tropical murkiness.

Most of the computer model data is trending gradually toward an overall drier atmosphere over the course of the next 5-6 days -- and that certainly should be the case since October is just around the corner.  However, I am stunned that there doesn't appear to be a really strong weather system that would absolutely and decisively push out this moisture.  In the meantime, I think we all know what to expect -- some morning sun, followed by increasing clouds and then the random/scattered shower action during the PM hours.  The whole thing is getting old.

Check the CURRENT FORECAST details on the tab above.

sluggish pattern... (am.27.sep.13)>

It is mostly clear at sunrise on this Friday morning.  I have a temperature of 63.5F (17.5C), and a humidity reading of 85%.  There has been no rain overnight, leaving our 24 hour total at just 0.09" (2mm), nearly all of which occurred during a brief period of showers yesterday mid-afternoon.

I've just looked through the entire array of weather charts and computer model data that came out overnight, and I'm afraid I have no great news to report.  This unusually moist air mass which remains entrenched across northwest India (including nearly all areas that were officially cleared of monsoon conditions more than a week ago) shows no signs of going anywhere until at least Tuesday of next week.  And even then, the reduction in the moisture content of the air is not projected to be very dramatic.  Our upper-air pattern looks much more like late August or early September, which means there are no strong features aloft which can sweep across from west-to-east and clean out the damp murkiness which is trapped here.

It looks like we'll have at least a couple of hours of sunshine again this morning, but clouds and some fog should be developing by late morning at the latest, putting us back in the gloom for most of the remainder of the day.  Shower and thundershower potential is moderate both today and Saturday, with a slightly lower chance of rain day by day as the new week unfolds.  Of course I will be eager to let you know when there are signs of some kind of fundamental shift in this sluggish weather pattern.

The CURRENT FORECAST details are on the tab above.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

mountain murkiness... (pm.26.sep.13)>

*Update at 8:14pm... Our sky cleared out rapidly between 7:15-7:45pm after the sun's influence disappeared.  But humidity is still around 85%, so there is still plenty of latent moisture in the air which isn't going to go away anytime soon.

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Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 62.2F (16.8C)
High temp: 70.9F (21.6C)
Rainfall: 0.09" (2mm)

It's another gloomy evening, with lots of clouds and fog around at the moment.  In fact, I don't think we've had more than a brief glimmer of sunshine since around 12:30pm -- though we did have some bright and sunny weather up until about 10:30am.  Despite all the clouds this afternoon, there have only been a couple of brief, light rain showers.  Most of my meagre rainfall total for the day occurred during a 10 minute shower around 3:15pm.

Satellite pics this evening show clouds and fog piled up on the front slopes of the Himalayan mountain ranges, from northern India southeastward into Nepal.  There's really not much rain/thunder action happening anywhere in this area today -- but the moisture content of the air is quite high, and that has fueled the widespread murky clouds and fog after the morning sunshine.

At my location, today has been the fourth day in a row of measurable rainfall, which has put a big huge damper on the initial seven days in a row of dry weather we enjoyed as the 'official' monsoon season came to an end.  Unfortunately, this resurgence of moisture doesn't appear to be planning a dramatic exit, so we're going to have to accept the fact that our autumn sunshine will continue to be interrupted by mainly afternoon/evening clouds and fog.  There will also be a good chance of some random shower and thundershower action, also during the PM hours, through the weekend.  I am seeing subtle signs of improvement early next week, but not enough to clean this mess up completely.

The CURRENT FORECAST for the next five days is available on the tab at the top of the page.

languishing... (am.26.sep.13)>

*Update at 8:08am... The patches of clouds and fog that were present right around sunrise have given way to full sunshine early this morning.  It's very nice out there at the moment.  BUT -- humidity is hanging close to 75%, which means we should see more clouds and some fog develop as mid-day approaches.

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It is partly cloudy at sunrise this morning, the temperature is 63.5F (17.5C), and we have a fairly high humidity reading of 81%.  There have also been some patches of fog trying to develop along the front slopes of the mountains during these few minutes before the sun peeks over the mountains.  I've recorded no rain overnight, leaving us at 0.17" (4mm) for the 24 hour total.

A tightly packed low pressure circulation in the mid-levels of the atmosphere continues to sit and spin over the middle of Gujarat.  This has been providing very heavy rainfall to areas of Rajasthan and Gujarat that should have been clear of monsoon conditions long ago.  The rest of northwest India is languishing under the effects of this system as well, which is keeping moist air pumping north and westward up against the mountains.  Although we had a monsoon withdrawal declaration nearly a full week ago, we're not getting to enjoy the dry and fog-free kind of air mass that should be making more permanent gains during this time of year.  Instead, we're continuing to fight the development of clouds and fog, along with having to be braced for downpours of rain.  In fact, after seven days without measurable rainfall last week, we've now had three days in a row with significant rain.  What to do?

Each morning and evening when I scan the new weather charts and the lastest data, I check hopefully for a sign of something sweeping in from the west-northwest to dislodge this stubborn moisture, but there is honestly nothing on the horizon.  The only positive sign I notice is the predicted demise of this low pressure area over Gujarat by the early part of next week.  Let's hope...

The CURRENT FORECAST is available on the tab above.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

the sun/shower combo... (pm.25.sep.13)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 62.2F (16.8C)
High temp: 71.6F (22.0C)
Rainfall: 0.17" (4mm) 

We have a combination of clouds, light fog, and some glimpses of sunshine across the area this evening.  Today has been an improvement over the past couple of days, with nearly unlimited sunshine until noon, slightly lower humidity, and considerably less rain.  There was a fairly brief period of showers between 3 and 4pm, but satellite pics show only isolated showers across Himachal Pradesh during the past several hours.

The lush green ferns have long ago turned yellow and withered away, but traces of lingering monsoon/tropical moisture continue to haunt us, and don't really show strong signs of getting totally swept out of here.  We are in need of another hefty surge of drier air from continental Asia to drive this murky stuff to the southeast, but there is really nothing like that appearing on the weather charts right now, so it looks like we're going to be stuck with this marginally moist and unstable air mass as we close out the month of September.

There will continue to be some fantastic periods of sunshine, mainly during the mornings, but afternoons all the way into the weekend and early next week will be filled with wild cards.  The development of clouds, some patchy fog, and random visitations of showers and thundershowers will unfortunately remain in the forecast.  The likelihood of warmer temps (near 80F) that had been advertised a few days ago seems to be disappearing, thanks to the presence of this lurking moisture and all of its effects.

Keep track of the CURRENT FORECAST, located on the tab above.

better for now... (am.25.sep.13)>

It's looking much much better out there early this morning, with clear skies as the sun begins to peek over the Dhauladhars.  My temperature here in the upper part of town is just barely above 62F (16.7C), and the humidity is lower than it's been the last couple of mornings -- right around 58%.  There was no more rainfall overnight, but yesterday's total was 0.97" (2.5cm), thanks to the heavy thundershowers during the mid- to late afternoon.

The clear skies and lower humidity this morning are signs that the stubborn blob of tropical moisture has been pushed back to our southeast -- at least temporarily.  Satellite pics also show that clouds have been pushed almostly completely out of Himachal Pradesh for the moment.  However, winds throughout all layers of the atmosphere have been fickle and variable the last few days, and computer models are showing that they will continue to allow the remnants of monsoon moisture to our south and southeast to drift back up here into our neighborhood during the coming several days.  In fact, there has been a large low pressure circulation meandering around Gujarat since the weekend, and until that weather feature weakens and/or drifts back to the east, a definitive clearing/drying trend is unlikely across most of northwest India.

At any rate, today is looking brighter than the last couple of days at least -- but we'll probably be dealing with the development of some clouds and fog during the afternoon, and a shower or thundershower is not out of the realm of possibility.  Temps will respond nicely to the sunshine, but could plunge again in the event of a thundershower.  Thereafter, we'll just have to take it day by day as we monitor the surges and retreats of this lingering moisture to our south...

CURRENT FORECAST details are available on the tab at the top of the page.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

backward steps... (pm.24.sep.13)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 57.4F (14.1C) -- around 3:30pm
High temp: 70.7F (21.5C)
Rainfall: 0.97" (2.5cm) -- updated at 7:30pm

It is partly cloudy at sunset this evening, with a large cluster of thundershowers hovering just to our northwest.  The thundershowers which developed on top of us early this afternoon have dissipated now, but we had a solid two and a half hours of rain between 2:00 and 4:30pm, which was accompanied by thunder, very gusty winds, a bit of small hail, and a blast of chilly air brought down to the surface from higher in the atmosphere.  Sunshine today was restricted to the morning before about 10:30am, and then again for an hour or so this evening, keeping our temperatures well below the forecast high.

One look at the latest weather data this evening has made me depressed.  After an official withdrawal of the monsoon season that occurred pretty much "on time" for the first time in several years, we're now dealing with a resurgence of tropical moisture which is threatening to ruin all of that.  Each and every run of the computer model data is showing a moist air mass which seems to be more and more stubborn about letting go and moving back to the south and east.  The scenario couldn't really be in more contrast to what had been projected just a few days ago.  Our drying and warming trend for the middle and latter parts of the week is looking less and less certain, thanks to a weather pattern that resembles something more normal for the beginning of September, rather than the end.

Of course I'll keep you updated with blog posts each morning and evening, but we're going to have to be braced for more of this thundershower action during the next several days, along with sunshine that will be constantly challenged by the development of clouds and some periods of fog.  Temperatures will be trimmed back as well, for obvious reasons...

Check the CURRENT FORECAST info on the tab at the top of the page.

nothing fixed... (am.24.sep.13)>

We have clouds and a few patches of blue sky at sunrise this Tuesday morning.  The temperature here in the upper part of town is a mild 64.8F (18.2C), and humidity remains rather high -- at 77%.  I've recorded no additional rainfall overnight, but the 24 hour total is 0.51" (1.3cm).  That's the first time there has been measurable rainfall at my location on Tushita Road below the Mountaineering Center since Sunday the 15th of Sept.

The transition out of monsoon season is different every year, and this year is no exception.  We had a beautiful 'clean sweep' of tropical moisture on the 15th/16th of this month, which led to about a week without measurable precipitation.  That prompted the India Met Department to declare monsoon withdrawal for all but extreme eastern Himachal Pradesh.  However, since this past weekend, the back edge of monsoon/tropical moisture has been trying desperately to push back north and westward, and has been partially successful.  The really heavy rains have been happening well to our south, over Gujarat and southeastern portions of Rajasthan -- but still, we've seen some higher humidity, longer stretches of clouds, patchy fog, and even the development of scattered showers/thundershowers up here along the mountains recently.

New data which comes out twice a day has been showing a less aggressive surge of drier air this week, which means that this stubborn moisture may not get swept out of here as decisively as it had looked earlier.  To be honest, it is very unusual for all remains of tropical moisture to get pushed out of here once and for all by the middle of September.  Occasional rain showers typically linger until the end of the month anyway -- and actually our September rainfall tally is running a few inches below normal, believe it or not.

Bottom line -- expect the mix of sun, clouds and some patchy PM fog to continue, and also don't be surprised by some random thundershower development mainly during the afternoon/evening hours.  Any extended periods of sun will send temperatures above the norm for this time of year.

Check the CURRENT FORECAST details on the tab at the top of the page.

Monday, September 23, 2013

return of the rain... (pm.23.sep.13)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 62.2F (16.8C) -- updated at 9pm
High temp: 73.4F (23.0C)
Rainfall: 0.51" (1.3cm) -- updated at 9pm

After seven full days without measurable rainfall, we are getting some significant shower and thundershower action now.  There were a couple of brief light showers as early as 1:30pm, but right at 3:00pm a heavier thundershower developed overhead, then some even heavier downpours with thunder during the past hour or so.  The humidity today has topped 80% for a while, but we've had some periods of sunshine in the midst of the clouds and showers as well.

If you've been keeping up with the blog the last few days, you know we've been watching this resurgence of tropical moisture into northwest India since Friday evening.  Up until this afternoon, there hasn't been any measurable rainfall in my gauge in the upper part of town, but humidity has remained higher than it was for most of last week, and there has definitely been more clouds and patchy fog to deal with.  The increasing moisture content of the atmosphere in the last few days has obviously finally reached the tipping point, providing us with the rain this afternoon.

It still looks like there is going to be a drying trend taking shape for us as we move into the middle of the week -- but I have to say -- a marginally moist and unstable air mass is going to linger precariously close to us, according to the latest data.  I expect increasing amounts of sun, lower humidity, and decreasing chances of rain during the remainder of the week, as well as some warmer temperatures -- but check here for the ever-evolving outlook.

CURRENT FORECAST details are available on the tab at the top of the page.

the autumnal equinox... (am.23.sep.13)>

It's unseasonably mild again this morning, with an overnight low temp of just 65.5F (18.6C).  There's a broken overcast, much like yesterday morning, and humidity stands at 64%.  It's now officially autumn -- the equinox occurred shortly after 2 o'clock this morning.

Our weather hasn't been perfect the last couple of days, but it hasn't been all that bad either.  The resurgence of moisture-laden air which has been flirting with us since Friday night has so far failed to stir up any significant rainfall, though it has kept us dealing with quite a few clouds, some periods of fog, and humidity which is running higher than it was during most of last week.  One computer model in particular keeps insisting that we're going to get some measurable rain in the form of showers and possibly a thunderstorm or two over the next couple of days, so it's not a bad idea to be prepared -- just in case.

Otherwise, a gradual and subtle drying of the atmosphere is expected as we move into the middle of this week, which should continue through the end of the week as well.  That means we should see humidity dropping well below 50% again, along with a greater percentage of sunshine.  Temperatures still look like they could be very close to 80F (26.7C) by Thursday/Friday, for the first time since early June.

CURRENT FORECAST details can be found on the tab at the top of the page.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

flirting with moisture... (pm.22.sep.13)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 64.6F (18.1C)
High temp: 75.2F (24.0C)
Rainfall: none

There's a mix of clouds, fog, and also some fleeting patches of blue sky at sunset this evening.  We've been pretty socked in with clouds and fog since around 5pm, but the day in general hasn't been bad at all -- it has been the very definition of a 'partly sunny' kind of day.  Humidity remains on the high side, mostly 55-75%, much like yesterday, with pleasant temperatures.  As far as I am aware, there were no showers today up to this point, making this the seventh day in a row with no measurable rain.

A full week without measurable rainfall is really something to celebrate, especially when it occurs during the third week of September.  Although monsoon moisture is alive enough to our south and east to keep us flirting with some clouds and fog, anything more than isolated showers/thundershowers have had a hard time developing here in the western part of Himachal Pradesh.  Delhi got slammed with some heavy rain yesterday, and today there has been widespread rainfall across southern Rajasthan and Gujarat, but nothing of consequence has appeared up here along the mountains.

This reprise of tropical moisture that has been bumping up against us since late Friday night will be gradually retreating to the south and east again during the coming 24-36 hours or so.  I think it's still possible for us to get a round of thundershowers between now and Tuesday, so keep that in mind -- but humidity should plunge again by the middle of the week.  That means we should be in line for sunny, dry and warm days, apart from a bit of cloud/fog development during the late afternoon/evening hours.

By the way, the autumnal equinox will occur at 2:14am tomorrow (Mon) morning, signaling the official arrival of autumn in the northern hemisphere.

Get the CURRENT FORECAST details on the tab at the top of the page.

straddling the line... (am.22.sep.13)>

We have a mostly cloudy sky at sunrise this morning, with a mild temperature of 65F (18.3C) and a humidity reading of 59%.  There was no rainfall overnight, but there was just enough to wet the bottom of the rain gauge yesterday afternoon/evening, though not enough to register a measurement.  That means we've now had six days in a row without measurable rainfall, leaving us stuck on 12.73" (32.3cm) for the month of September.

The theme during the past 24-36 hours has been the attempted resurgence from the southeast of some leftover monsoon moisture, and its interaction with the drier post-monsoon air mass over the western Himalayas.  There have been some isolated to widely scattered showers and occasional thunder since very late Friday night, along with more clouds and some higher humidity than we had for most of last week -- but it hasn't been that much of a big deal so far.  This morning's fresh data indicates that we'll continue to find ourselves on the dividing line between air masses through Monday and maybe into Tuesday as well.  That means we have to be braced for the potential for some shower or thundershower development, along with restricted sunshine during the early part of this new week.

Gradually drier air will seep back into our neighborhood starting on Tuesday, with a dry and unseasonably warm stretch of weather still expected for the middle and latter parts of the week.  By the way, the autumnal equinox (official start of autumn in the northern hemisphere) occurs just after 2:00am tomorrow morning in our time zone.

The CURRENT FORECAST details are available on the tab above.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

a bit threatening... (pm.21.sep.13)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 63.1F (17.3C)
High temp: 73.4F (23.0C)
Rainfall: trace

A gorgeous sunset is in progress at this very moment, but by the time this gets posted, it will be long gone.  Skies have become partly cloudy this evening, after some very threatening-looking conditions an hour or two ago, which included gusty winds and a few brief, very light rain showers.  We've had less sunshine today as a whole, in comparison to the last 4-5 days, and humidity has been much higher -- in the 55-75% range.  Still, measurable rainfall has been avoided, at least at my location on Tushita Road just below the Mountaineering Center.

Monsoon moisture which was pushed well southeast of here on Sunday night and Monday is trying desperately to sneak back northwestward, and has partly succeeded.  Actually, the scenario has unfolded almost exactly according to expectations, even if the computer models have been a bit out to lunch and in denial about this resurgence of tropical moisture.  We'll likely remain very close to the dividing line between dry air from central Asia and tropical moisture over much of the Indian subcontinent to our south -- at least for the next 36 to 48 hours or so.  That means we should be alternating between sun, clouds, patchy fog, and possibly some scattered showers/thundershowers until the air mass begins to dry out again on Monday.

A return to generally sunny skies, low humidity and warm temperatures is on the way as we move toward the middle of next week.  Other than the risk of some clouds/fog for a couple of hours in the evenings, it should be a pretty idyllic stretch of weather for the last week of September.

CURRENT FORECAST details and monsoon info can be found on tabs at the top of the page.

territorial disputes... (am.21.sep.13)>

We have clear skies at sunrise on this Saturday morning, with humidity quite high compared to the last five mornings, at 70%.  The clouds and fog had a hard time dissipating last night, due to the moisture that has crept back in from the southeast, and we even had a period of thunder and some scattered showers around the area in the 1:00-2:00am range -- but I recorded no measurable rainfall at my location in the upper part of town.  The temp is 64F (17.8C) just before the sun peeks over the mountains.

A batch of tropical moisture to our southeast is definitely trying to overstep its bounds, as it nudges back into Himachal Pradesh.  As I've been saying the last few days, computer models have been trying to keep us in the clear, under the influence of the drier central Asian air mass that we've enjoyed for most of the past week.  However, this leftover monsoon moisture is knocking on our door, as evidenced by the higher humidity and thunder we've dealt with overnight.  Although we're going to start out with sunshine this morning, be aware of the potential for a more rapid build-up of clouds and patchy fog, along with a decent chance of some showers and/or thundershower development.  This scenario could repeat itself tomorrow (Sun) and possibly Monday as well.

By late Monday into Tuesday, a fresh surge of continental Asian air will spill across northern India, and that should force whatever rogue elements of tropical moisture off to the southeast once again.  In fact, it's looking dry and unseasonably warm for the middle and latter parts of next week, with temps that could perhaps reach very close to 80F (26.7C).

The CURRENT FORECAST and other information can be found on tabs above.

Friday, September 20, 2013

potential resurgence... (pm.20.sep.13)>

*Update @ 9:05pm... Humidity at 70% this time of night has me concerned.  That's the highest humidity reading I've recorded since our storm on Sunday evening.  Getting more and more worried that our recent dry and quiet weather could be in jeopardy in the coming 48-72 hours or so.

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Friday's stats:

Low temp: 64.6F (18.1C)
High temp: 77.9F (25.5C)
Rainfall: trace

It is mostly cloudy just before sunset this evening, and there have even been a couple of brief sprinkles of rain in the area since around 5pm.  Once again, we had almost unlimited sunshine until the early afternoon, when developing clouds over the mountains began to expand and spread gradually downhill.  Before the clouds thickened up, my temp in the upper part of town almost reached 78F (25.5C), which was the warmest since the very earliest stages of the monsoon season.  Humidity today was not as low as yesterday, but did dip to 44% at one point this morning.

A resurgence of tropical/monsoon moisture continues to approach from the southeast, and although computer models are saying that it won't engulf us, I am not convinced.  Already deep moisture is producing clouds, fog and scattered thundershowers across nearly all of Uttarakhand, and I am having a hard time seeing how some of that action is not going to sneak its way northwestward along the front slopes of the mountains into our neighborhood over the weekend.  Maybe it will come to a screeching halt just to our southeast, sparing us from a monsoon curtain call -- but I think we're in for an increase in clouds and fog, along with some better rain chances during the next few days.

If this lingering moisture DOES take over for a few days, it looks like a brand new surge of drier air will force it back to the southeast starting on Tuesday, ushering in another period of generally sunny, dry and quite warm weather for the remainder of next week.  Keep an eye on this space if you want to stay on top of what's happening.

The CURRENT FORECAST is available on the tab at the top of the page.

moving on... (am.20.sep.13)>

It's unseasonably mild again early this morning, with a low temp of just 64.8F (18.2C) here in the upper part of town.  For the third straight morning the day is dawning with totally clear skies, so we'll have bright sunshine once again in just a matter of minutes.  The humidity reading stands at 55% to start the day.

In case you missed last night's blog post, Monsoon 2013 is now officially behind us.  The India Met Department issued their official withdrawal declaration last evening for all but extreme eastern parts of Himachal, as well as many other surrounding areas.  After several years in a row of having to wait 5-10 days longer for the official withdrawal, it's kind of a treat to have it occur fairly close to the long-term average.

I'm still concerned about lingering tropical moisture and monsoon conditions lurking just to our southeast during the coming few days, however.  Computer models are offering a variety of different solutions, but there is consensus that some of that moisture will be edging back toward the west-northwest over the weekend, which could bring us an increase in humidity, the development of more clouds and fog, and even the risk of a couple of showers or thundershowers.  It's possible that the juicier moisture won't make it back this far north and west, just keep in mind that we may have less sunshine and dry air than we've seen during the past few days.

Temperatures will remains on the warm side, as long as we don't get a lot of cloud cover, with hints of even more warming by the middle of next week.

CURRENT FORECAST details and other info can be found on tabs above.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

MONSOON WITHDRAWAL declared... (pm.19.sep.13)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 64.9F (18.3C)
High temp: 77.5F (25.3C)
Rainfall: none

THE INDIA MET DEPARTMENT HAS MADE AN OFFICIAL MONSOON WITHDRAWAL DECLARATION FOR MOST OF HIMACHAL PRADESH (INCLUDING DHARAMSALA/MCLEOD GANJ), ALL OF JAMMU & KASHMIR, ALL OF PUNJAB, AND MORE PORTIONS OF RAJASTHAN.  This is the earliest official withdrawal for our area since 2004, but still a couple of days later than the 1971-2012 average.

We've got some patchy clouds and fog across the area just before sunset this evening, but sunshine has definitely been the main player today.  My temp in the upper part of town was the warmest since the early days of the monsoon season back in June, and humidity dipped all the way to 34% for a while during the mid-morning.  Today has been the fourth dry day in a row -- the IMD usually waits until the fifth day to declare the end of monsoon, but they're apparently feeling very enthusiastic.

Generally dry air remains anchored across the western Himalayan region, providing us with lots of sun, warm temps, and low humidity.  The only fly in the ointment has been the development of some clouds and patchy fog for a couple of hours during the evenings the last couple of days, but last night it cleared quickly after sunset and the same is expected tonight.

Although we're now officially finished with Monsoon 2013, I'm feeling some trepidation as I look at the weather charts during the next several days.  Deep tropical moisture is projected to drift back northwestward along the front ranges of the Himalayas, and there is a possibility that we'll notice the effects of that over the weekend into early next week.  Increasing clouds, periods of fog, and even the risk of a few showers and/or thundershowers can't be ruled out if this more moisture-laden airmass manages to make it this far.  There's going to be a very sharp dividing line between clear and murky weather conditions, which we'll have to watch carefully.

Check the tabs above for the CURRENT FORECAST, along with updated monsoon info, etc.

mixed signals... (am.19.sep.13)>

We'll be getting bright sunshine in just a few minutes, as skies are totally clear again early this morning.  The temperature is a mild 66F (19C), and humidity is low -- at 43%.  There has been no rainfall since last report, which means we are now going into our fourth dry day in a row.

There are some conflicting signals to examine this morning.  On one hand, a sprawling post-monsoon air mass has pretty much taken over the western Himalayan region, with low moisture content in all but the very lowest layers of the atmosphere.  On the other hand, computer models are showing the deep tropical/monsoon moisture which is now in central and northeastern India being drawn BACK northwestward as the weekend approaches.  On top of those two factors, the India Met Department has announced that there will be a monsoon withdrawal declaration by Friday evening, which could include us here in western Himachal Pradesh.

What this all boils down to is that we could find ourselves right on the line between air masses again, especially on Saturday and Sunday, which means things could go either way.  We could remain in the dry air and sunshine, or we could see a resurgence of tropical moisture which causes our humidity to sky-rocket and increases our potential for some showers and thundershowers.  Stay tuned as we carefully watch what this crazy atmosphere decides to do.

Other monsoon info, along with CURRENT FORECAST details are available on tabs above.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

three dry days... (pm.18.sep.13)>

*Update at 7:40pm... Lingering clouds and fog dissipated very rapidly at sunset, leaving us with clear skies and a great view of the big, bright, full moon in the eastern sky.  Humidity has now dropped to 58%.

---------------------------------------------------
Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 63.0F (17.2C)
High temp: 76.5F (24.7C) -- updated
Rainfall: none

It is mostly cloudy with some patchy fog in the area at sunset this evening.  We had full sunshine until about 12:30pm when a few cumulus clouds began to develop over the mountains, leading to generally partly cloudy skies for most of the afternoon.  Around 4:30pm, the cloud bases lowered to the point were we had a period of rather widespread fog here in the main market area of McLeod.  Up until that point, it had been a very nice day -- and the warmest since the 31st of July.  Humidity dipped as low as 38% during the late morning, but has obviously been on the rise since mid- to late afternoon.  Today has been the third day in a row without rain!

As of this evening, the India Met Department is announcing that an official monsoon withdrawal declaration is coming for more sections of northwest India during the next 48 hours.  They mention Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, AND Himachal Pradesh.  By Friday evening we should have word about the exact placement of the withdrawal line, and whether or not we'll be included.

The thicker clouds and fog during the past couple of hours are an example of what keeps me nervous and on edge during the final transition out of the monsoon season.  Our position here along the front slopes of the Dhauladhars is notoriously fickle, and usually if there are lingering pockets of moisture drifting around, they can easily be lifted and condensed into clouds, fog and even random thundershowers.  Don't be surprised by these variations in the midst of the major overall improvements in our recent weather scenario.  Sunshine should continue to dominate the majority of the time, but we're going to have to be constantly aware of rogue resurgences of moisture that could occur from time to time, all the way until the end of the month.

CURRENT FORECAST details can be found on the tab above.

sunshine and warmth... (am.18.sep.13)>

'Perfection' is a subjective term, as far as weather is concerned, but it seems like it might apply this morning.  The sky is 100% clear at sunrise with a temperature of 64.5F (18C) and 46% humidity.  There was no rainfall overnight, and not a drop since late Sunday evening.

This morning's satellite photos show absolutely clear skies from Iran to Mt. Everest -- which is an indication of the very dry autumn-like air mass that has settled in across a very wide area.  Tropical moisture associated with lingering monsoon conditions has been decisively pushed well to the south and east, setting the stage for some official monsoon withdrawal declarations for large swaths of northwest India during the coming several days.

The big question is:  Are we really finished with Monsoon 2013?  It certainly looks that way, according to all the available computer model data which profiles various layers of the atmosphere according to moisture content, wind, temperature and stability factors.  However, moisture in the very lowest levels is showing signs that it could creep back northwestward along the front slopes of the mountains very late this week, which could cause humidity to rise and some patchy fog to develop.  Not a sure thing, but something to keep our eye on.  Something else to watch is potential shower/thunder development over the Dhauladhars during the afternoon hours, which can't be entirely ruled out.

Otherwise, there should be plenty of sun in our immediate future, along with temperatures that will be warming up into a range that we've rarely seen since the onset of monsoon conditions in June.  Check the CURRENT FORECAST details and other monsoon info/stats on tabs at the top of the page.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

simply fantastic... (pm.17.sep.13)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 60.8F (16.0C)
High temp: 73.6F (23.1C)
Rainfall: none

There are just a few scraggly cumulus clouds dissipating over the mountain peaks at sunset this evening, leaving us with clear skies.  Today has been nothing short of stunningly gorgeous, and by far the most beautiful day we've been able to experience in more than three months.  There was a minor build-up of clouds over the Dhauladhars starting just before noon, but it didn't look like there was any shower development up there -- making this the second totally dry day in a row.  With the unlimited sunshine, today's high temperature was the warmest of the entire month of September thus far.

Apart from the obvious -- full sunshine and not the slightest trace of fog -- the humidity readings tell the story of what has been happening around here during the past 48 hours.  That huge blast of thunderstorms with hail that blew through on Sunday evening was followed by very strong north-northwest winds which ushered in much drier air straight out of central Asia.  The humidity dropped down to 55% after the storm on Sunday night, and has continued to fluctuate in the 40-55% range ever since.  That means we are nowhere near the saturation point, keeping the fog and low clouds from having any chance at all of redeveloping.  Even the mountain thunder machine has been starved for moisture, which is actually kind of surprising.

All of the atmospheric profiles say that this air mass is going to continue to dry out, with the average moisture content from the surface into the upper-levels decreasing steadily as we head toward the end of the week.  Simultaneously, there should be some warming occurring as well, which spells out a very pleasant stretch of weather ahead.  Years of observation and experience have taught me to be wary of surprise thundershower development over the mountains during the afternoon hours -- so that's the caveat to this whole discussion...

Monsoon info, along with CURRENT FORECAST details are available on the tabs above.

our new reality... (am.17.sep.13)>

The sky is absolutely, totally clear at sunrise this morning.  My temperature here in the upper part of town is hovering around 61F (16C), and humidity is only 47%.  Not a trace of monsoon character to the air mass that has now settled in!  I recorded no rain overnight, and none during the past 24 hours.  This is the first time since the middle of July that I've registered ZERO rainfall for a calendar day.  There have been three days with only trace amounts -- but every single day we've had at least some drizzle or a light shower -- until yesterday.

I'm very happy with the way computer models have been handling this retreat of monsoon moisture, and the much drier central Asian air mass that has taken its place here across Himalayan north India.  For several days, the various sets of data have been hinting at rainfall completely disappearing, and so far those projections are being confirmed.  But we all know that our Dhauladhar thunder machine can be moody and fickle -- and even if there appears to be very little moisture to work with, it can scrounge some together and produce a significant afternoon thundershower after a morning of strong sunshine.  The best we can do is keep an eye on cloud development as the noon hour approaches, and see how strong and decisive this surge of dry air really is.

The moisture content throughout all levels of the atmosphere is forecast to continue decreasing all the way until the end of the week.  With more sunshine and a (hopefully) more stable air mass, we should see our daytime temps climbing -- but it will remain seasonably cool during the nights.  Now we really are on the brink of some of the finest weather of the year...

CURRENT FORECAST details and specific monsoon info can be found on tabs above.

Monday, September 16, 2013

changing fortunes... (pm.16.sep.13)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 59.0F (15.0C)
High temp: 68.2F (20.1C)
Rainfall: none

The weather scenario at sunset this evening could not be in more stark contrast to what we were dealing with exactly 24 hours ago.  We have almost 100% clear skies, humidity is near 55%, and there is barely a breeze.  Although we started with sunshine early this morning, things were looking potentially ominous between about 10am and 2pm, as clouds thickened up and a chilly wind started blowing.  As far as I am aware, we never had so much as a drop of rain out of that little interlude -- then the sun busted out in full glory for the remainder of the day.  My humidity reading dipped to 41% at some point today, which is by far the lowest in months.

Coincidentally, according to averages compiled by the India Met Department for each year going back to 1971, 16-17 September is the normal time frame for monsoon withdrawal here in the western part of Himachal Pradesh.  I'm sure we won't see that official withdrawal declaration for several days yet, but the drier air flowing in from central Asia that we've been anticipating for about a week now definitely seems to be for real.

It's wise to keep the mention of a flare-up of afternoon thundershowers along the front slopes of the Dhauladhars for another couple of days or so, otherwise it looks like we'll be seeing more sunshine and lower average daily humidity readings than we've been able to enjoy since the end of May or very early June.  It will be very interesting to see if our mountain thunder machine cooperates with this first taste of a post-monsoon air mass instead of spoiling our fun.

Check the CURRENT FORECAST details and the latest monsoon info on tabs at the top of the page.

humidity plummets... (am.16.sep.13)>

*Update @ 8:01am... Forgot to mention the fair coating of snow on the Dhauladhar peaks from last evening's storm.  I'm sure it was a harrowing night on the high passes across Himachal.  Just another sign of the changing seasons.

-------------------------------------------------------------
We have mostly clear skies at sunrise, a temperature of 60F (15.5C), and humidity at 54%.  A humidity reading that low at this time of the morning is a definite sign that we are turning the corner.  I recorded no more rainfall last night, after the 0.96" (2.4cm) of rain and melted hail that accumulated in my rain gauge during the few waves of thunderstorms yesterday afternoon and evening.

As I've tried to make clear on this blog over the years, both the arrival and the departure of the monsoon usually occur in fits and starts, surges and retreats.  It's normally not a sudden moment or one event that marks the beginning and/or end of the season.  However, there are stages that we go through -- relating to average daily rainfall rates, average daily humidity levels, thickness and duration of fog and cloud cover, etc.  All of these variables ebb and flow during the transition out of monsoon season, and that is what we're currently dealing with.

We've made great progress in the last 12 hours, thanks to that large batch of thunderstorms that pushed in from the west-northwest late yesterday.  The mid- and upper level winds have turned mostly to the west-northwest now, allowing much drier air from central Asia to filter into/across the western Himalayas.  As this drier air encounters lingering pockets of tropical moisture being stirred up by strong morning sunshine, we may yet see more development of some locally intense shower and thunderstorm action.  But as we move day-by-day through this week, it looks likely that the new drier air mass is going to begin to dominate.  Exciting times!

The latest monsoon info, along with your CURRENT FORECAST can be found on tabs above.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

battle lines... (pm.15.sep.13)>

*Update @ 9:05pm... Humidity is down to 55% -- the lowest since this monsoon season began, more than three months ago.  A couple of showers and maybe some thunder could occur yet tonight, but a brand new air mass is decisively advancing.  Temp steady near 58F (14.5C).

*Update @ 7:40pm... Wow.  That was wicked.  Those thunderstorms have finally pushed well off to our southeast, leaving us with a few sprinkles, a north breeze and humidity which has dropped back down to 60%.  Our first real taste of continental Asian air in a long long long time.  It's 58F (14.4C) right now, but temps have been rising during the past hour, since most of the rain/hail has finally moved out. 

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Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 54.9F (13.3C) -- at 6:15pm
High temp: 70.5F (21.4C)
Rain/melted hail: 0.96" (2.4cm) -- updated @ 7:30pm

We're in the midst of a massive battle for territory this evening, and have been since about the middle of the afternoon.  Currently, north-northwest winds are gusting strongly as a large area of thunderstorms begins to collapse overhead.  There are still some thunder, lightning and moderate rain showers going on, but right now the main event seems to be the wind.  Between roughly 3:00 and 5:00pm, we had a couple of periods of heavy hail and some moderate/heavy rain -- and it seems like the thunder has been rolling almost continuously since about 2:30pm.

Ironically, humidity fell to 58% late this morning, which is the lowest I've recorded during this transition out of the monsoon season.  There were a few hours of fantastic sunshine until about 11:00am, when the latent moisture in the air began to rise, condense, and eventually fuel thunderstorm development.

A widespread area of showers and thunderstorms started developing late this morning over west-central Kashmir.  As it moved toward the southeast, other thundershower development was initiated here along the Dhauladhars.  By late afternoon we had a huge mass of rain/hail/thunder right along the front slopes of the Himalayas from southwest Kashmir into western Himachal Pradesh.  This development has been occurring right on the battle line between much drier air attempting to push in from central Asia, and lingering tropical moisture which is slowly pulling out of north India.

The dramatic push of that much drier air from central Asia (and whether or not it is going to permanently displace what remains of monsoon humidity and moisture) will be our main event during the coming week.  Stay tuned as we watch the seasons turn...

Monsoon info and CURRENT FORECAST details can be found on tabs above.

by increments... (am.15.sep.13)>

It looks like we're in line for another beautiful morning, although there are some scattered clouds along the mountains as the sun rises.  I have an early morning temp of 61.5F (16.4C), and humidity is 78%.  If I'm not mistaken, that's the lowest humidity reading I've seen at this time of the morning in the past couple of months.

Yesterday afternoon's round of rain, hail and thunder was quite intense for an hour or so, reminding us that monsoon conditions here along the front slopes of the Dhauladhars do not depart without a fight.  Progressively drier air throughout all layers of the atmosphere is arriving, but lingering pockets of moisture, especially in the low levels, gets stirred up by strong morning sunshine -- then lifted and condensed into thundershowers by the early afternoon.  That's been the dynamic for the past several days, and may continue for another few days, until a drier post-monsoon air mass is able to establish itself firmly.  Enjoy the much longer periods of sunshine and the much lower average humidity -- just keep the rain gear within reach so you don't get caught unprepared.

New computer model data arrives every 12 hours, and it is interesting to watch the consistent trend toward drier and drier air which is projected during this coming week.  On paper (or on the computer screen) it looks quite dramatic, but we'll just have to wait and see what kind of micro-climate curve balls the mountains throw at us as this transition occurs...

Check out more specific monsoon info, along with the CURRENT FORECAST on tabs above.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

sun/rain/sun... (pm.14.sep.13)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 56.7F (13.7C) -- 3:15pm during rain/hail
High temp: 71.6F (22.0C)
Rainfall: 1.02" (2.6cm)

Our Saturday had a beautiful start, and now a gorgeous end -- but in between we got nailed with one heck of a downpour of rain, accompanied by hail, thunder and some gusty northwest winds.  The first sprinkles showed up just before 1pm, but the heaviest of the rain occurred between about 2:30 and 3:45pm.  My temperature in the upper part of town dropped to its lowest of the season as the hail was falling.  We had lots of sunshine this morning before the clouds erupted though, with humidity dipping briefly below 60%.

Well, this afternoon the mountain thunder machine showed what it can do during this phase of monsoon withdrawal.  Although the genuine tropical moisture associated with monsoon conditions is rapidly retreating to the southeast, what's left of it here along the front slopes of the Dhauladhars still can get lifted and condensed after a morning of strong sunshine -- providing us with some excitement during the afternoon hours.  The challenge during the next few days will be trying to keep on top of that PM thundershower potential.

All available data continues to show a dramatic drying of the atmosphere between Monday and Wednesday, and computer models are actually showing ZERO shower development across Himalayan north India by Tuesday.  This can't really be taken at face value yet... we'll just have to watch day-by-day as the average humidity continues to drop.  Despite the lingering downpours, it's great to see the hours of nicer weather steadily increasing...

Get the CURRENT FORECAST details and other monsoon info on the tabs at the top of the page.

cautious optimism... (am.14.sep.13)>

A gorgeous Saturday morning is dawning.  We have mostly clear skies, a mild temperature of 64F (17.8C), and humidity near 80% to start the day.  There has been no rainfall overnight, and only 0.02" (less than 1mm) during the past 24 hours.

I'm trying hard to throttle my enthusiasm about our unfolding weather scenario during the coming several days, because it is looking like dramatic changes are in the works.  Gradually drier air is already filtering its way into Himalayan north India from the west and northwest, with a much stronger push of drier and more stable air being advertised by computer models between Monday and Wednesday of next week.  The reason I'm trying to keep my enthusiasm under control is due to the fact that there are often lingering pockets of moisture which remain trapped along the front ranges of the mountains during the last week or ten days of monsoon season -- undetected by the computer models.  This can lead to some pretty intense downpours during the afternoon/evening hours, despite the major changes in the large-scale weather pattern.

Overall, we should see increasing amounts of sunshine and lower average daily humidity (down below 50% by next week) over the course of the next several days.  However, just keep in mind that an eruption of showers and thundershowers is at least a 50-50 bet, especially during the PM hours, and be prepared to deal with it if you're out and about.  Still -- it's nice to know we are now truly nearing the end.

Monsoon info and your CURRENT FORECAST details can be found on tabs above.