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.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013's last fight... (pm.31.dec.13)>

*Update @ 7:39pm... Light rain is falling, fog is thick, and the temperature is 40.1F (4.5C).  My total rain/melted sleet here in the upper part of town is now 1.2" (3cm) -- more than half of that happened between 4:30 and 6:30pm.

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Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 37.2F (2.9C) -- 3:45am
High temp: 47.3F (8.5C) -- just after midnight
Rain/melted sleet: 1.20" (3cm) -- as of 7:30pm

There's been some thick fog in the area this evening, following about an hour of moderate to heavy rain and sleet, which left about a half inch of slushy ice on the streets in the main market of McLeod.  Since temperatures remain a few degrees above freezing, what's left of the sleet has already been sliding off rooftops and melting.  Up until that blast of heavier precipitation late this afternoon/early evening, today's rain and sleet showers had been rather brief and sporadic, but fairly regular throughout the day.

The culprit for this active weather to close out 2013 is an area of low pressure in the upper-atmosphere which is right on top of the Swat Valley in northern Pakistan this evening.  It has drawn a very impressive amount of moisture northward ahead of it, which has teamed together with the upper-level energy and very cold air aloft to produce very strong and gusty winds along with areas of showers and thundershowers all along the Himalayan ranges of northern India since very early this morning.  The center of the storm system itself has been weakening steadily since late last night as it lifts north-northeastward toward the northwestern border of Kashmir, but by then the wheels were already in motion and the moisture had already been introduced into the equation.

It's always unnerving to wait and see where the snow line will end up here along the front slopes of the Dhauladhars, but so far, it has remained above the immediate McLeod area --apart from our bouts of sleet and ice pellets.  We're still not out of the woods tonight, as periods of showers should continue on and off -- but I tend to think there will be enough subtle warming in the mid- and upper-levels to keep us safe from significant snow accumulation.  That may not be the case just a few hundred meters above.

Improvement is expected tomorrow... but we can't rule out some scattered rain showers in the midst of partially clearing skies.  Further ahead... major warming is still expected on Thursday and Friday, taking temps above normal for the first few days of January. 

HAPPY NEW YEAR (in spite of the meteorological nastiness)!

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

weather drama... (am.31.dec.13)>

*Update @ 5:07pm... Sleet storm in progress!  Ground is totally covered in main square of McLeod, with heavy rain and sleet continuing...

*Update @ 3:37pm... A thundershower in progress at the moment.  The temp has been very steady nearly all day, near 41.5F (5.2C), as humidity hovers right in the 95-100% range.  This is not cold enough to worry about snow here in town -- though the very cold air aloft has produced some sleet on occasion.  My gauge is showing 0.49" (1.2cm) of rain and melted sleet since this all began early this morning.

*Update @ 9:23am... Current temp 41.4F (5.2C).  Gusty winds, but not much shower action where I am during the past 45mins.  Some peeks of sun trying to break through.  Won't be able to get online for a few hours... hoping things don't get too nasty.

*Update @ 8:14am... Very windy with a rather heavy rain shower and a bit of sleet mixed in.  Currently 41.2F (5.1C) here in the upper part of town.  Rain is blowing almost horizontally, so not sure how much of it is ending up in the rain gauge!

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It has been one heck of a wild ride overnight, as all the awaited meteorological ingredients came together and coalesced into a wet and noisy scenario for us.  It's cloudy and windy at sunrise, with a few sprinkles, currently.  My rain gauge shows 0.27" (7mm) of precipitation, which began accumulating sometime around 1:00am.  I've recorded a low temp of 37.2F (2.9C) sometime during the wee hours of the morning, but my digital thermometer also shows that the temp was as high as 47.3F (8.5C) just after midnight -- so our air mass has obviously been mixing and churning intensely.  There is fresh snow on the mountains, but thus far that rain/snow line has remained well above McLeod.  As a by-product of all this... there is no electricity this morning (no big surprise).

For many days we've been watching that upper-level circulation which had been parked over Afghanistan, and anticipating when it might approach, and what it might stir up for us.  This morning the very center of that system is over northern Pakistan, and as expected, has already showed signs of weakening during the past 12 hours.  You wouldn't know that by our wild weather -- since what's left of the dynamic energy has just moved into northwest India and met up with a good amount of moisture being drawn up from the south.  So -- although the upper-level circulation itself is already in the process of dying, we're going to have to contend with a turbulent atmosphere and a relatively large area of moisture being lifted up against the mountains for the next 24 hours or so.

Expect occasionally strong and gusty winds and periods of rain showers on this New Year's Eve, with some improvement likely before noon on New Year's Day.  It's looking like the line for accumulating snow may remain above us here in town... but I wouldn't bet a lot of money on that!!  We're going to have to keep a close eye on this very angry and usettled atmosphere during the 2013/2014 hours of transition...

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

Monday, December 30, 2013

old year/new year... (pm.30.dec.13)>

*Update @ 9:01pm... Very gusty winds have developed in the last half hour or so, and temperatures here at my location have been fluctuating wildly -- from 39.7F (4.3C) to 43.5F (6.4C) since about 7:30pm.  Humidity is also very up and down -- between 38% and 57%.  The atmosphere is obviously becoming more and more unsettled.

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Monday's stats:

Low temp: 40.6F (4.8C)
High temp: 51.3F (10.7C)
Precipitation: none

The day is ending very much as it began, with clear skies.  Sunshine was absolutely dominant all day long, giving us our mildest high temp of the past five days -- we can't really ask for nicer late December weather.

There certainly doesn't seem to be any hint of a storm system threatening, but we still have that strong upper-level circulation to our west -- now straddling the Afghanistan/northwest Pakistan border.  Also, there has been rapid development of cloudiness well off to our south on the plains of north India this afternoon, as some deeper moisture begins to get pulled northward.  The main features are still in play, but it's going to be a complex scenario coming together over Himalayan north India tonight into Tuesday.

Computer model projections are widely divergent this evening, both with regard to timing and rain/snow development and quantity.  But the broad-stroke picture is that we need to be prepared for deteriorating conditions either very late tonight or during the day tomorrow, as clouds thicken up and rain showers materialize.  Temperature and humidity profiles are favorable for sleet and snow to occur down to the 6000-8000ft (1800-2400m) range, so we'll be precariously close to that wet/white boundary if and when significant precipitation develops.

The upper-level circulation center itself is still not expected to ever make it this far, as it weakens rapidly and lifts north-northeast across extreme northern Kashmir by the first morning of the New Year (Wed).  Right now I would expect some lingering rain and snow showers here along our mountain slopes as 2014 arrives -- with chances diminishing toward the latter part of the day.  Then, some dramatic warming is in the cards for the end of the week.

Check the CURRENT FORECAST on the tab above for day-to-day details.

ingredients assembling... (am.30.dec.13)>

The sky is totally clear just before sunrise this morning, and the humidity stands at 44%.  I've recorded an overnight low (and current temp) of 40.6F (4.8C), and there has been no precipitation since last report.

It looks like we have one more day of quiet weather before we have to contend with a storm system which is still on approach from the west.  As a strong upper-level circulation moves slowly from Afghanistan into central Pakistan during the coming 24 hours, an area of low pressure near the surface is expected to develop over Rajasthan.  Increasing southerly winds across the plains of northwest India will then transport some moisture-laden air northward, as upper-level energy begins to move in.  However, that upper-level circulation is still projected to weaken dramatically as it nears the Pak/Kashmir border by Tuesday evening -- and that is what may limit the impact this storm system has on Himachal Pradesh.  Computer models are still showing the main batch of rain/snow will occur just off to our northwest.

At any rate -- we should see scattered showers and possibly a couple of thundershowers develop in our vicinity as early as late tonight, with the best chance of wet weather tomorrow (New Year's Eve), and then some lingering rain/snow showers in our area diminishing on New Year's Day.  Atmospheric temperature profiles at the moment would favor precipitation mixing with sleet and snow as low as McLeod during the earlier stages, but then some warming in the mid- and upper-levels could prevent a significant snow event for us.  As always, we'll just have to watch carefully as it all starts to come together during the next 12-24 hours.

The CURRENT FORECAST details can be found on the tab above.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

changes on the way... (pm.29.dec.13)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 40.6F (4.8C)
High temp: 50.4F (10.2C)
Precipitation: none

A spectacular sunset is fading just now, after a day of variable amounts of sunshine and clouds.  It was partly cloudy early, mostly sunny during the mid-day, and then mostly cloudy from mid-afternoon into the evening.  Temperatures today were pretty much dead-on normal for this time of year, and with generally light winds, it was relatively comfortable -- especially in the direct sunlight.

Well, we are now on the brink of some changes which have been talked about over and over again on this blog the last several days.  A very tightly wound upper-level circulation is still spinning around over the middle of Afghanistan (as it has been doing for 36 hours now), and will begin to shift eastward tomorrow into Tuesday and early Wednesday.  This system is still projected to lose most of its dynamic energy as it finally pushes into Kashmir on the dawn of the new year, but the big question mark revolves around the amount of moisture it is able to tap into and force up against the mountains before it fizzles out completely. 

Computer models are showing a burst of heavy precipitation to our northwest, over mainly southwest portions of Jammu & Kashmir, with lighter amounts across much of Himachal Pradesh between late tomorrow (Mon) night and early Wednesday (New Year's) morning.  As precipitation develops, temperatures will cool in response, and that is going to put us precariously close to the rain/snow line here in McLeod -- especially on Tuesday (New Year's Eve).  All the meteorological computer guidance technology can be notoriously inept when it comes to conditions here along the front slopes of the Himalayan ranges, so we'll have to wait until development of precipitation starts to happen before we have a better idea of where that rain/snow line might set up.

Anyway... it looks like we're in for a rather interesting transition from 2013 into 2014 around here.!

CURRENT FORECAST details can be found on the tab above.

gift from afghanistan... (am.29.dec.13)>

We have both sunshine and some high cloudiness across the area on this Sunday morning -- and no wind at the moment.  I've recorded an overnight low temp of 40.8F (4.9C), humidity is between 40-45%, and there has obviously been no rain/snow since last report.

All of these weak upper-level disturbances gliding across north India the past week have kept us on a mini-rollercoaster ride with temperatures, stirred up occasional gusty winds, and allowed alternating sun and patchy clouds.  It's been dry, though... the last measurable precipitation was exactly a week ago, in the form or rain, sleet and snow showers.  It should remain relatively quiet today (and dry), but changes will begin to occur tomorrow in advance of a stronger storm system which will be creeping toward us.

The upper-level circulation center is still located in Afghanistan, but will have moved to northern Pakistan by Tuesday afternoon.  There are no major changes to how the computer models are projecting this system to behave -- meaning it is still expected to weaken considerably and then die out altogether as it pushes into Kashmir Tuesday night and early Wednesday.  Moisture being drawn northward as it approaches will probably be sufficient for the development of rain showers and mountain snows starting as early as Monday night, then diminishing on New Year's Day.  At the moment, precipitation amounts look like they will be rather light in our area (around 0.5"/1.2cm) -- but that's about the same as what the data was showing for last weekend's storm, and we got much more than that.  I'll be updating regularly as new data becomes available, so check back here if you're interested in following along...

CURRENT FORECAST details can be found on the tab above.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

waning days of 2013... (pm.28.dec.13)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 41.9F (5.5C)
High temp: 50.2F (10.1C)
Precipitation: none

It is clear, calm and quiet just after sunset this evening.  There was some cloud cover along the Dhauladhars today, otherwise we had lots of sunshine -- perhaps even more than the last few days.  The wind was gusting on and off this morning, but managed to calm down during the afternoon hours.  Temperatures were very very close to normal for the waning days of December -- but the comfort factor depends on sun vs. shade.

McLeod Ganj tends to attract a lot of visitors for the New Year holiday, so it would be nice to say that we've got some dry and sunny and mild weather on the way as the calendar flips from 2013 to 2014.  Unfortunately, we've still got to keep our eyes on a storm system over Afghanistan which is going to be very slowly moving in our direction by late Monday and Tuesday (New Year's Eve).  There have been very few changes in the resolution of the computer model data -- which indicates this system will rapidly weaken and die out as it finally reaches northern India.  Even so, there will be an area of low pressure developing over western Rajasthan as the upper-level system approaches, which will be able to grab some moisture and funnel it northward into the mountains of Himachal.  That means there should be enough "fuel" for rain shower development here at our elevation, and some moderate snows in the mountains above -- especially on Tuesday into early Wednesday.

Although temperatures will drop with the onset of precipitation, it looks like any really cold air will be short-lived, with temps rapidly rebounding late Wednesday through the end of the week as what's left of that system moves out of the picture.

Bottom line... if you have plans to be in McLeod over the New Year holiday, just have the rain gear in tow, but don't worry too much about significant snow here in town.  Will do my best to keep you updated.

CURRENT FORECAST specs are on the tab at the top of the page.

sun, clouds, breezy... (am.28.dec.13)>

It is partly cloudy and breezy early on this Saturday morning with a humidity reading of 38%.  It's not as cold as it was this time yesterday morning, as the predawn low temperature was just 41.9F (5.5C) at my location in the upper part of town.

We remain under the influence of an upper-air pattern that is full of little weak disturbances riding across the area.  These small circulations are enough to stir up some patches of cloudiness at times, ignite some periods of gusty winds, and keep temperatures fluctuating with alternating surges of cooler and then slightly milder air.  This pattern will remain in place over the weekend and even into Monday, with little chance of any rain and/or snow.

However, the thing to watch is still the stronger upper-level circulation which continues to spin over extreme northern Afghanistan.  This system will remain nearly stationary until late Monday, when it will begin to shift east-northeastward into Pakistan.  Some moisture will be drawn northward as this occurs, leading to an increasing chance of rain showers for us by Tuesday, along with some snow in the higher elevations.  It still looks like the whole things is going to rapidly disintegrate by Wednesday though, as a ridge of high pressure starts to develop over northern India.  Right now the best chance of precipitation looks to be between very late Monday night and early Wednesday -- but unless there are major changes, we shouldn't see the kind of rain/snow totals that we were blessed with last weekend.  Stay tuned.

CURRENT FORECAST specifics can be found on the tab above.

Friday, December 27, 2013

the nature of winter... (pm.27.dec.13)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 38.8F (3.8C)
High temp: 46.8F (8.2C)
Precipitation: none

It's mostly clear out there as the light fades from the western sky this evening.  Although we had lots of sunshine today, the cold air mass in place across our area kept temperatures very near the coldest of the season thus far, and a period of very gusty winds this morning added to the winter chill.  There were a few clouds around today, but most of them remained confined to the mountain slopes to our north and east.

Climatologically speaking, we're getting into the coldest four week period of the entire year, so these chilly temperatures should come as no surprise.  In fact, even with the dip in temps during the past 24 hours or so, we're still running fairly close to normal/average for the season.  It's going to be another cold night tonight, but then there should be some slight moderation over the weekend into early next week.

All eyes are on a strong upper-level circulation which is just now dropping southeastward into northern parts of Afghanistan.  It will be our next significant weather-maker as it eases toward northern India during the coming four days or so.  Computer models are still showing some moisture being pulled northward in advance of this system, and this will bring us an increase in cloudiness by Monday, and a good chance of some rain showers (and maybe thunder) on New Year's Eve (Tues).  The interesting thing is that all the data continues to indicate that this system is going to rapidly weaken and die as a ridge of high pressure exerts its influence over northwest India by New Year's Day (Wed) -- so right now it looks like we'll be spared a major winter storm situation.  Just check back here for frequent updates as new data becomes available.

Get the CURRENT FORECAST details by clicking the tab at the top of the page.

a cold morning... (am.27.dec.13)>

*Update @ 9:12am...  Lots of sun this morning, but it is breezy out there at the moment, making it feel even colder if you don't happen to be in the direct sun.  My temp currently 43.1F (6.2C).

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It's been one of the coldest nights of the season -- I've recorded a low temp of 38.8F (3.8C) here at my house on Tushita Road just below the mountaineering center, which occurred just before sunrise.  Skies are clear this morning, and humidity stands at 45%.

Surges of colder air continue to occur across the western Himalayas, as weak disturbances in the upper-atmosphere wobble eastward.  The latest such disturbance moved through late yesterday with temperatures cooling off a couple of degrees (C) in its wake.  There's still not much moisture for the atmosphere to work with, so despite the parade of upper-level wiggles and ripples, precipitation chances will remain very slim as we head into and through the weekend.  Temps will remain close to normal for the tail-end of December, but could moderate a bit toward Sunday.

I'm watching with interest a rather strong upper-level circulation which will be approaching northwest Afghanistan during the next 12-18 hours.  Computer models are showing this system slowly edging its way toward the Pakistan/Kashmir border by New Year's Eve (Tuesday) -- but then are still showing a rapid dissipation thereafter.  In fact, it is projected to completely fall apart as what's left of it moves across northern India on New Year's Day (Wed).  It does look like there will be a good chance of some rain shower development on Tuesday, with snow in the higher elevation -- so continue to monitor developments here, as new data comes in.

Get the latest CURRENT FORECAST info on the tab above.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

seasonably chilly... (pm.26.dec.13)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 41.9F (5.5C)
High temp: 49.3F (9.6C)
Precipitation: none

There are some lingering clumps of clouds in the vicinity of the mountains just after sunset this evening, otherwise it is mostly clear to the west and south.  Today was pretty similar to the past few days -- with both sunshine and patchy cloudiness, along with temperatures running fairly close to normal for the season.  A fresh surge of slightly cooler air has been filtering in since mid-day, but still nothing dramatically colder than what we've been used to during the past week or so.

The upper-air pattern remains a bit disturbed, with nearly constant weak ripples moving out of Afghanistan and Pakistan, and tracking across Himachal and Jammu & Kashmir.  This is keeping our air mass in flux, with surges of cooler air from the north alternating with resurgences of slightly milder air from the south and southeast.  The difference has only been a matter of a couple of degrees in either direction, though.  If we had some decent moisture in the air, we'd be getting some scattered rain/snow showers -- but that's not the case, so occasional clouds has been all we've been able to come up with.

It looks like it will be status quo during the next three days or so, but then there are signs that a bit more moisture is going to be drawn northward into our area in advance of a storm system approaching the western Himalayas early next week.  Early computer model projections are showing this system flatten out and fall apart as it gets into our neighborhood... but we need to factor the risk of some kind of rain/snow event into the forecast over the 2013/2014 transition period.  Check back here to see how the latest data evolves.

CURRENT FORECAST details can be found on the tab above.

close to normal... (am.26.dec.13)>

I see a couple of clouds clinging to the Dhauladhar peaks early this morning, otherwise the day is dawning with mostly clear skies.  I'm recording an overnight low temp of 41.9F (5.5C), and the humidity is 33%.  There has been no precipitation in the past 24 hours.

Our weather scenario should remain basically stable during the next four or five days, allowing us to continue with sunshine mixed with occasional patchy clouds, near normal late December temperatures, and very little chance of any rain or snow in the area.  Although there are those minor disturbances in the upper-level flow continuing to ripple across northern India, moisture is currently too sparse to allow any rain/snow shower action to develop.

There is a rather strong storm system expected to move into northern Pakistan by New Year's Eve (Tuesday), and computer models show that it will be able to draw some moisture northward into our area as it approaches.  However, most of the data is then indicating the system will crash out and die rapidly as it moves into northern India.  It's still too early to tell for sure what will happen... stay tuned and we'll keep an eye on it.

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

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

christmas peace... (pm.25.dec.13)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 44.1F (6.7C)
High temp: 51.8F (11.0C)
Precipitation: none

There are one or two lingering patches of clouds over the mountains, otherwise it is mostly clear just after sunset this evening.  Christmas Day in McLeod Ganj has featured a mix of sunshine and occasional clouds, along with temperatures which actually moved very little throughout the course of the day.  The high temp occurred around 11am, before some cooler air arrived, knocking us back into the upper 40sF/8-9C for most of the afternoon.  As expected, there was no trace of rain or snow today.

A persistent upper-level circulation is in place just to our west-northwest, and is expected to remain generally stationary during the next several days -- ejecting a few weak disturbances which will wiggle their way across northern India.  As I've been mentioning in every post, the lack of any decent amount of moisture in this air mass will preclude rain/snow shower development, but we should continue to see some patchy cloudiness here and there into the weekend and early next week.  Still -- there should be plenty of sunshine to go around as well.

Temperatures recently have been very close to the target range for the final week of December, and we shouldn't venture too much above or too much below average during the coming several days.  Extended range weather charts are hinting at some kind of storm system potential by New Year's Day... but that's a long way off, and we'll have to watch carefully how it may or may not develop...

Check the CURRENT FORECAST specs on the tab above.

a quiet holiday... (am.25.dec.13)>

Good morning and MERRY CHRISTMAS...

We've got some patches of mid-level clouds around the area at sunrise on this Christmas Day -- but it's relatively mild, with an early morning temp of about 44F (6.7C).  Humidity is 36%, and there has been no precipitation overnight.

I've been mentioning that the upper-air pattern is featuring numerous weak disturbances, which are really more like just some wiggles and ripples in the flow aloft.  Anyway, one of those 'wiggles' has been enough to stir up some areas of cloudiness across not only Himachal Pradesh, but much of the western Himalayan region.  The air mass has been getting progressively drier the last few days though, and that should prevent any rain/snow shower development except perhaps in some of the highest mountains to our north and northeast.

There will be a turn to some slightly cooler temperatures during the coming 24-36 hours or so, but then another slow moderation is expected over the weekend.  Still, the fluctuations won't be too dramatic, keeping us quite close to 'average' for the final week of December.

You can find CURRENT FORECAST specs on the tab above.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

silent night... (pm.24.dec.13)>

*Update @ 6:47pm... By the way, I am still receiving snowfall reports from the storm over the weekend.  It seems that some totals I posted on Sunday evening were on the low side, according to subsequent reports.  I've now heard of just over 1 ft at Galu Temple, and also "much more than 1.5 ft" at Triund.  Intrepid campers had to dig out of their buried tents, apparently.  Hard to confirm/verify these amounts, but wanted to let you know what I'm hearing.  But at least we know that the snow has been melting rapidly during the past few days.  **Just now ran into a reliable local friend/source who went up to Triund today -- he says total accumulation up there was close to 3 feet early Sunday morning before the melting began.  Not hard to believe, based on the 2" of rain/melted snow we measured down here in McLeod.

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Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 41.9F (5.5C)
High temp: 50.9F (10.5C)
Rainfall: none

Many people are heading to St. John's Church for the Christmas Eve candlelight service at the moment, and the weather couldn't really be more pleasant for the season.  It is mostly clear just after sunset, as temperatures dip back into the 40s(F).  There was a bit more cloudiness during the mid-day hours today than I had been anticipating, but it still balanced out mostly sunny as temps topped 50F (10C) for the second day in a row.

Despite the persistent weak disturbances in the upper-levels of the atmosphere lingering across the western Himalayan region, our weather should remain dry and quiet for Christmas, and then through the weekend at least.  There will be enough instability on occasion to produce a few waves of mainly mid- and high clouds during the coming several days, but at this point, it appears that severely limited moisture will prevent the development of any shower action -- with the exception perhaps being the very highest elevations to our north.

We've definitely arrived at the time of year when even 'normal' temperatures are decisively chilly -- but at least there is no indication of any unseasonably cold kind of weather as we close out 2013.

On this sacred night, I wish all of you a joyful Christmas............

CURRENT FORECAST info can be accessed on the tab above.

on the rebound... (am.24.dec.13)>

Skies are clear as the sun rises this morning, though there is a little bit of haze in the air.  It's been a quiet night with no rain or snow, and a predawn low temp of 41.9F (5.5C) up here on Tushita Road.

Temperatures have already rebounded nicely from the bone-chilling cold of Saturday night and Sunday, as a slightly milder air mass nudges in from the west.  There has also been a bit of warming in the upper atmosphere as well, allowing some major melting of snow to occur on the mountains.  Sunshine should be plentiful today, continuing that snow-melting theme, and providing us with an overall pleasant late December day.

A slightly disturbed upper-air pattern is showing up on the data during the coming several days, but it probably won't mean anything for us.  The moisture which provided fuel for the rain and snow a couple of days ago has been swept well off to our south and east, so despite those upper-air fluctuations, we probably won't see anything more than some occasional mainly high cloudiness from Christmas Day through the weekend.  There will be some minor temperature variations, but nothing dramatic in either the up or down direction.

You can find CURRENT FORECAST details on the tab at the top of the page.

Monday, December 23, 2013

back to calm... (pm.23.dec.13)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 39.6F (4.2C)
High temp: 50.2F (10.1C)
24 hour rainfall: 0.09" (2mm)

Temperatures rebounded nicely today, thanks to lots of sunshine -- allowing any traces of snow left anywhere below about 8000ft (2400m) to melt quickly.  There were some very early morning clouds, and an afternoon build-up of cumulus clouds over the mountains, otherwise the sun was firmly in control.

A strong jet stream blasting across northern India in the upper-levels of the atmosphere will keep a progression of weak disturbances moving through -- but the general condition of the air mass is going to be very dry (and getting drier and drier), so it's unlikely that we'll be seeing any rain and/or snowfall during the next several days.

At the moment it certainly seems that Christmas and the final week of December (and 2013) will be uneventful...

CURRENT FORECAST details can be found on the tab above.

much improved... (am.23.dec.13)>

It's partly cloudy at sunrise this morning with a temp of around 41F (5C), after an overnight low of 39.6F (4.2C) here in the upper part of town.  A few off-and-on light rain showers lingered until just after 5am, which was longer than expected, delivering another 0.09" (2mm) to my rain gauge since last report.  That brings the storm total to 2.07" (5.3cm), which is almost exactly the average precipitation for the entire month of December.  This month we've apparently received it all in one shot!

Throughout the year there are weather systems that perform pretty much according to expectations, those that under-perform, and those that over-perform.  This one that brought us the copious amounts of rain and up-mountain snow over the weekend definitely falls strongly in the over-performance category.  Total precipitation amounts turned out to be double to triple the computer models' projections -- and I'm still not sure where that much moisture came from.  It seems that wind vectors throughout the atmosphere were simply oriented perfectly to lift/condense whatever moisture was available, and ring it all out here along the front ranges of the north Indian Himalayas.

At any rate, things have calmed down, and it looks like we'll have a stretch of much quieter weather for Christmas and beyond.  The upper-air pattern is still full of weak ripples and minor disturbances which will continue to flirt with northern India, but a sharp reduction in the moisture content of the air is expected this week, which should keep rain/snow chances very low.  Temperatures will moderate a bit, and average out in the 'near normal' category over the course of the coming week to 10 days or so.

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

Sunday, December 22, 2013

debriefing the action... (pm.22.dec.13)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 34.2F (1.2C)
High temp: 42.8F (6.0C)
Rain/melted snow since midnight: 1.23" (3.1cm)
Total 24 hour precipitation: 1.98" (5.0cm)

Snowfall reports:

  • McLeod main market: trace
  • Tushita Road below mountaineering center: 1"
  • Dharamkot market area: 3-4"
  • Galu Temple: 6-8"
  • Triund: 18" (1.5ft)

Well it has certainly been an active 24 hour period, with a nice taste of winter weather coinciding with the winter solstice which occurred at 10:41pm last night.  I had nearly 2" of rain and melted snow/ice at my location in the upper part of town, and check out the snowfall reports (above), which are pretty healthy for December.  In fact, in 11 winters living on Tushita Road below the mountaineering center, I've never observed measurable snowfall during the month of December (nor had it reported to me by fellow housemates on the few years I've been away during that time).  In other words, last night's storm was more typical of something we experience in January or February.  Still, significant snowfall remained above McLeod proper -- as it certainly should this time of year.  A very close call nonetheless.

This weather system has also put an end to a dry spell which had been ongoing since the 9th of November, and given us almost the entire average monthly rainfall for December.  It ended up being much more of a rain/snow-maker than any computer model data predicted, and I'm beyond surprised at how much moisture it was able to gather and squeeze out on top of us.

AND -- my temp of 34.2F (1.2C) which was recorded during snowfall between 3-4am is the coldest of the season thus far, and abnormally cold for December.  Of course the widespread and very long-lasting power cuts around the area from last evening into mid-day today didn't help matters.

It looks like we'll now revert to our previous dry and quiet weather pattern as Christmas approaches.  Although there will continue to be some very weak disturbances riding eastward on a rather brisk jet stream, much drier air is forecast to sweep across northern India this week, keeping rain/snow chances at a minimum.  These way-below-normal temps in place at the moment will modify and moderate gradually during the coming several days, bringing us back pretty close to normal as we finish off the month.

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

on the rain/snow line... (am.22.dec.13)>

Electricity just returned, and I'm finally getting the laptop plugged in/charging again.  Frustrating to have no power for 16 hours in a row.

Precipitation overnight was much heavier than expected... I have 1.91" (4.9cm) in the rain gauge, which includes about an inch or so of melted sleet and snow.  I recorded a low temp of 34.2F (1.2C), which occurred around 3-4am, when there was a good amount of snow falling at my house in the very upper part of McLeod.  Have already heard reports of more than one foot of snow at Galu Temple, and other rumours of close to two feet up at Triund (can't verify that yet).

There are still some showers of rain and sleet around -- but the temp has bounced back to around 40F (4.4C).  With this disturbance lingering in the area through this evening, we'll have to be braced for more scattered showers, and maybe a rumble or two of thunder as well.  Major improvement expected by tonight and tomorrow!

Want to get this posted quickly in case I lose power again... check CURRENT FORECAST details on the tab above.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

officially winter... (pm.21.dec.13)>

*Update @ 3:33am... Snowing here on Tushita Road below mountaineering center.  Still no power... laptop battery nearly dead.  over and out..

*Update @ 8:52pm... Steady light rain continues to fall, and I have about a half inch (1.2cm) in my rain gauge.  That's a lot more than I was expecting by this point, and more than any of the computer model projections as well.  My temp has stabilized, and even risen slightly during the last hour or so... to around 37.8F (3.2C).  Still, anything could happen overnight, so it will be interesting to see where the snow line ends up tomorrow morning.  Still no light... battery power dwindling.

*Update @ 7:48pm... It's raining lightly here in the upper part of town, with some rumbles of thunder as well.  My temp is 37.0F (2.8C), which is the coldest of the season, while humidity is at 81% and slowly rising.  With sub-freezing air above 8000ft (2400m) or so, there is likely to be snow falling up toward Galu Temple already.  NO POWER in many areas of town right now, which is no surprise.  Never available when we need it.  :-(

*Update @ 6:49pm... Rain has picked up in earnest during the past 10 minutes.  Will be watching the temperature and humidity levels carefully during the next hour or so to get an idea of how low the snow line may go... 

--------------------------------------------------------------
Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 37.0F (2.8C) -- *updated
High temp: 49.1F (9.5C)
Rainfall: trace

The winter solstice is arriving this evening, and so is the first spell of wet weather we've experienced here in McLeod in about six weeks.  Glimpses of sun had to struggle against thickening cloud cover today -- and the first light rain showers materialized after 5pm, just before dark.  On top of that, it's turned out to be one of the coldest days of the season, with temperatures remaining in the 40s (F) from start to finish.  Humidity is just now climbing above 50%.

An upper-level disturbance moving toward northern India isn't particularly strong, but very cold air aloft, combined with some moisture-laden air being pulled in from the south and southeast looks like it will be enough to lead to the development of some light to moderate rain and snow showers across much of Himachal Pradesh during the next 24 hours or so.  The latest run of the computer model data remains consistent in painting out an area of 1-2cm (0.4-0.8") of precipitation across mainly the higher elevations -- which translates into at least a half-foot of snow above roughly 8000ft (2400m).  It could turn out that the rain/snow line sets up below that level... it's pretty much impossible to nail it down until it starts happening.  If you live in Dharamkot and Naddi especially, just be aware that you could end up very close to that line!

The moisture supply for this system should get cut off tomorrow night, and that will cause rain/snow chances to diminish rapidly by Monday.  Dry conditions are in the forecast from that point through Christmas Day, but another chance of some rain/snow showers in our area enters the picture by Thursday.

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

solstice & some moisture... (am.21.dec.13)>

Today and tomorrow are the shortest days of the calendar year, as the winter solstice occurs tonight at 10:41pm.  That's when the direct rays of the sun fall on the Tropic of Capricorn, in the southern hemisphere, providing us with the lowest sun angle here in the northern hemisphere.  The good news is that the days will slowly and gradually start to get longer very soon!!

Still watching an upper-level disturbance getting organized just off to our west-northwest.  At the same time, an area of low pressure at the surface is beginning to form over the plains of northwest India.  This means there will be some moisture being drawn northward into our area during the next 24 hours, as some upper-level energy passes overhead -- providing us with our first decent chance of precipitation in a long time.

The best chance of rain showers and mountain snow will be between tonight and Sunday evening, when it is possible that some areas could pick up 0.2-0.5" (0.5 -1.2cm) of liquid-equivalent precipitation.  Right now I think the rain/snow line should be above McLeod -- around 7500ft (2300m) or so -- but my confidence is low at this point.  Will update again this evening.

I'll get the CURRENT FORECAST back up soon -- on the tab at the top of the page.

Friday, December 20, 2013

december disturbances... (am.20.dec.13)>

The latest batch of colder air is in place across the mountains of northern India, underneath an upper-level flow that remains very progressive and changeable.  There have been numerous wiggles and ripples aloft these past few weeks, and the latest is what has ushered in this recent surge of chilly winter air.

Another upper-level disturbance is on schedule for late Saturday into Sunday, and this one is looking a bit more potent than the last few.  Computer models are hinting that it may be able to generate an area of surface low pressure over northwest India, which could bring in a bit of moisture into the equation.  That means we may see some scattered rain and snow showers across Himachal Pradesh -- especially between Saturday night and Sunday night.  It's not looking like much to get excited about, but there could be a fresh coating of snow on the Dhauladhars before the weekend is finished, and there could even be some (barely) measurable rain in McLeod.

The overall pattern will continue to be moody, fickle and changeable next week as Christmas approaches, but there's still no evidence of a significant storm system for us.  Temperatures will average out near or even a bit below normal for this time of year -- nothing really out of the ordinary for the latter half of December...

Regular forecasts and updates will resume in a couple of days as I return home from recent travels..........

Monday, December 16, 2013

turning colder again... (pm.16.dec.13)>

Pretty phenomenal weather conditions have been parked over northwest India the last few days, as an unusually strong high pressure ridge holds sway.  Temperatures have bounced back nicely after a period of unseasonably cold weather during much of last week, while sunshine has been easy to come by.

Unfortunately, the upper-level flow continues to be very progressive and changeable, and that's going to allow the next batch of much colder air to sweep into the area as this week unfolds.  At this point, there remains a dramatic lack of moisture available here in our part of the world, so despite the air mass change, precipitation will be unlikely.  Just be mentally prepared for the lowest temps of the season by the latter part of the week -- which will most likely stay below 10C (50F) for daytime highs.

If all goes according to plan, I'll be back in McLeod this weekend.  Not looking forward to the bone-chilling bus ride from Delhi :-(

Thursday, December 12, 2013

dry dry dry... (pm.12.dec.13)>

Probably the coldest air of this early winter season has been in place recently, and as this cold air mass shifts eastward this weekend, it will bring much below normal mid-December temperatures to much of northcentral and northeast India.

The upper-level pattern is very progressive, however, which will allow a surge of warmer air to begin nudging into northwest India a bit earlier than previously expected.  It looks like we'll be seeing a decent warming trend by Saturday, which should continue into the early part of next week.

There's still a major lack of moisture available, with no indication whatsoever of an end to our very dry weather scenario that we've been dealing with for many weeks now.  Extended range computer models had been hinting at some kind of a storm system in the western Himalayas by 20-21 December, but now those prospects aren't looking impressive at all.  Unless there are some seriously dramatic changes in the overall pattern, December is going to end up being a very dry month.........


Monday, December 9, 2013

cooler air coming... (pm.09.dec.13)>

Still keeping an eye on the weather charts for the western Himalayas, making sure we don't get surprised by some kind of sudden winter storm development.  This time of year is normally quiet, and that's what we've been seeing for several weeks now.  There have been many weak upper-level disturbances riding eastward on a strong west-to-east jet stream flow in the upper atmosphere, but the lack of moisture from Arabia into northern India is preventing any outbreak of precipitation.

As I mentioned earlier, there have been occasional periods of high clouds drifting through in conjunction with these weak disturbances, but there have also been long stretches of sunshine as well.  All in all, acceptable late autumn/early winter weather.

Temperatures have been gradually dipping... as we would expect as we approach the winter solstice and the shortest days of the year.  It looks like there will be a fresh surge of colder air arriving during the latter part of the week, and lasting through the weekend.  This will likely be the coldest of the season thus far, with highs struggling to get much above 50F (10C) by Friday and Saturday.

Looking way way way ahead... there is an indication of some kind of storm system developing in our vicinity after the 20th of December.  That's very far away for any kind of an accurate resolution of computer model data... but something to anticipate nonetheless.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

rapid upper flow... (am.07.dec.13)>

Although I'm out of India right now, I'm keeping tabs on the weather charts and computer model data when I get a chance.  

A persistent and rather strong westerly flow in the upper atmosphere continues from the Middle East all the way into the western and central Himalayan region.  This is the channel for a progression of numerous weak upper-level disturbances moving across extreme northern India.  There have been a few waves of mainly high cloudiness recently, and it looks like that will remain the case over the course of the next several days or more.  It still appears that the potential for any rain and/or snow showers will remain in the higher elevations to our north and east, but I won't be too shocked if there is a stray rain shower somewhere around the area with one of these disturbances.

Sunshine will make appearances between periods of high clouds as well, but it won't be as dominant and unlimited as it was back during the latter half of November.  Temperatures will continue to fluctuate a bit, but the general trend will be toward a cooler scenario -- perhaps averaging out slightly below normal for the first half of December during the coming week or so.

Still no evidence of any significant winter storm system taking shape in the near future.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

out of station... (pm.03.dec.13)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 46.6F (8.1C)
High temp: 56.8F (13.8C)
Rainfall: none

I am on my way out of town this evening, so there won't be regular blog posts for a couple of weeks.  I hope I'll be able to get online and peruse the data occasionally, and if it looks like any significantly nasty weather threatens, I'll do my best to post some general info.!!

Monday, December 2, 2013

disturbance hovering... (pm.02.dec.13)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 48.9F (9.4C)
High temp: 56.2F (13.4C)
Rainfall: none

Scattered clouds dot the sky after sunset this evening, and it feels chillier than it has in a while.  My high temp on Tushita Road below the mountaineering center (see stats above) was the coolest I've recorded since the 9th of November -- though it is just barely below normal for this time of year.  That's an indication of the kind of relatively mild weather we've been dealing with during the past few weeks.  Although there was a good amount of sun, it had to share space with a considerable amount of high cloudiness off and on throughout the day.

The center of a small but vigorous upper-level circulation is approaching the Pak/Kashmir border just southwest of Srinagar this evening.  Its main feature is the much colder air associated with it -- primarily in the middle and upper-levels of the atmosphere.  The lack of moisture available to feed this system is the only reason it's not able to stir up some significant rain and snow showers, and even some thunder and lightning across much of the western Himalayas.  Instead, it's only the surge of cooler air and high cloudiness we've had to contend with.

By mid-day tomorrow (Tues), this disturbance should weaken and shoot off to our east-northeast, but it looks like the upper-atmosphere will remain vulnerable to a series of weak disturbances over the course of the coming week or so.  That means we should see some back-and-forth between sun and occasional high clouds, along with fluctuating temperatures as we progress through the first week to 10 days of December.

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

cooler with some clouds... (am.02.dec.13)>

There's quite a lot of high cloudiness across the area just after sunrise on this Monday morning.  Temperatures are cooler than we've seen in several days -- my early morning low temp here in the upper part of town has been 49.1F (9.5C).  Humidity is currently 40%.

The upper-level disturbance that was just beginning to move into northwestern Pakistan last evening is strengthening and deepening as it moves slowly eastward.  There is still very little moisture to speak of associated with this system, but some extensive patches of mid- and high-level clouds have developed all across the western Himalayan region.  There could be some light rain/snow showers in the highest elevations, mainly to our north, but any precipitation still looks unlikely here.  Cooler air began to filter in yesterday, with temperatures expected to remain rather chilly for the next couple of days before a slight moderating trend on Wednesday into Thursday.  Still... it will only be average or slightly below average for early December.

The jet stream pattern looks a bit fickle and changeable toward the end of this week and beyond.  We'll likely be dealing with a weak disturbance or two -- but with a continuing lack of moisture, significant rain or snow potential should remain low.

Check the CURRENT FORECAST details on the tab above.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

a dip in temps... (pm.01.dec.13)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 52.5F (11.4C)
High temp: 59.6F (15.3C)
Rainfall: none

There's a bit of high cloudiness showing up on the western horizon at sunset this evening, and we had some scattered high clouds early this morning, otherwise we've had lots of sunshine once again across our area today.  It started off rather mild this morning, with my high temp occurring around 11:00am -- then some slightly cooler air started filtering in, keeping it below 60F on this first day of December.

An upper-level disturbance is making its way into extreme northwestern Pakistan this evening, and will be moving across the western Himalayas during the next couple of days.  Significantly cooler air will be dropping southeastward as this system passes, but there remains a serious lack of moisture available -- and that means we probably won't see any precipitation (either rain or mountain snow).  Cooling temperatures and occasional high clouds will be the main effects for us, it appears.

We may see a minor and brief rise in temps during the mid-week period, before another weak disturbances arrives with yet another shot of cooler air on Friday into Saturday.  All in all, uneventful -- which is pretty normal for this time of year.

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