the latest...

**There have been a few very light rain showers in the area early this Thursday morning. Temperatures remain extremely mild -- near 62ºF/17ºC at sunrise...

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

still no thundershower... (pm.30.apr.13)>

Tuesday's stats:

Early morning low temp: 61.3F (16.3C)
Afternoon high temp: 76.1F (24.5C)
Rainfall: none

It's an incredibly nice evening... with sunshine and just a few mid- and high clouds, along with pleasant temperatures and low humidity.  The thundershower development we've been waiting for ever since late Sunday still hasn't materialized, allowing us to finish off the last few days of April with dry and comfortably warm weather conditions.

Computer model guidance has been pretty far off-base the last several days with regard to the impact this latest upper-level disturbance would have on us here in Himachal.  The center of circulation remains well off to our northwest, and has made very little progress in our direction.  This has allowed very warm temperatures in the upper-atmosphere to stay anchored over most of northern India, keeping things calm and stable.  Also, the advertised surge of moisture coming in from the south ahead of this system hasn't shown itself, so even if this air mass was less stable, there is very little fuel to work with.  Having said all that -- there's still time for things to get more juicy and unstable during the coming 24-30 hours as considerably colder air arrives aloft, and the atmosphere moistens up a bit.  It's best not to get complacent about the potential for a round of thunderstorms sometime before tomorrow (Wed) night.

With a pool of cold air aloft, there could be some instability over the mountains which could lead to an afternoon thundershower on Thursday, but a dry early summer air mass is going to be the dominant feature across the western Himalayan region as we approach the weekend.  Right now it looks like temperatures will be very close to normal for early May by Saturday, and remain there into at least early next week.

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

a bit precarious... (am.30.apr.13)>

*Update @ 2:28pm... There is still absolutely no evidence of any thundershower development as of this hour.  We've had sunshine through thin, high clouds all day, with a bit of cumulus development over the mountains.  This air mass remains only marginally unstable, and humidity is still quite low, at 38%.  It's going to take something rather dramatic to trigger any thunder or rain development this afternoon, but we'll have to keep an eye on it anyway.

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It is mostly sunny and pleasantly mild early this morning, with a humidity reading of 45%.  My low temperature here on Tushita Road below the mountaineering center was 61.3F (16.3C), which is one of the warmest of the season.  There has been no rainfall overnight.

We're now going on four days without rain here at the tail end of April, but it's still looking like we may get a final dose before the month officially comes to an end at midnight.  An upper-level disturbance continues to lurk to our northwest, but has so far failed to exert much of an influence on us here in Himachal Pradesh.  Also, our air mass is relatively dry, with no strong evidence indicating it is going to moisten up appreciably as this system swings through during the next 36 hours or so.  These factors are causing me to be less excited about significant rainfall between now and late tomorrow (Wed) -- but all of the computer models are still showing at least one wave of showers and thunderstorms developing during that time frame.  We'll just have to be on alert for potentially rapid destabilization of the atmosphere later today into tomorrow which could stir up a round or two of thunderstorms.

Any moisture that does materialize here will be pushed out again by Thursday, with a dry and generally stable air mass expected to settle in for the first weekend of May.  Although we could have a dose of cooler air in association with thunderstorms in the near term, temperatures will be flirting with their highest levels of 2013 by Friday and Saturday.  Still waiting for the first 80F/27C of the season at my observation station, which may not be too far away...

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

Monday, April 29, 2013

in 'wait' mode... (pm.29.apr.13)>

Monday's stats:

Early morning low temp: 60.6F (15.9C)
Afternoon high temp: 75.7F (24.3C)
Rainfall: none

Skies are mostly cloudy across the area on this Monday evening.  We've had a nearly equal split between clouds and sun today, with no rain at all for the third day in a row.  Despite the expectation of some scattered thundershowers today, we've seen nothing thus far, with humidity remaining quite low.

Upper-level low pressure continues to spin over northern Afghanistan, but up til now, the major instability associated with this system has yet to begin affecting us here in Himachal.  Also, there's very little low-level moisture present at the moment.  Data suggests that we'll have a good chance of a round or two of thunderstorms during the coming 48 hours or so, so we'll just have to keep an eye on how things develop, and be prepared for a turn for the worse.  It still looks like drier and more stable air will move in quickly during Thursday, cutting off the rain chances except for perhaps in the higher mountains -- and setting the stage for a period of dry, pleasantly warm and generally sunny weather for the coming weekend.

If we do get a significant round of showers/thunderstorms we'll have a rather dramatic but short-lived drop in temperatures -- but all indications are that we'll be enjoying a stretch of seasonably warm temps as soon as this system clears out of here.

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

increasing thunder risk... (am.29.apr.13)>

*Update @ 9:18am... As of now, there has been no thundershower development anywhere near us.  It's partly cloudy, and my temp here in the upper part of town is already getting close to 70F (21C)... I may need to bump up the high temp forecast a bit, if we get some decent sunshine going.

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There are lots of clouds clinging to the mountains at sunrise this morning, but some blue sky off to the south and west.  Humidity is currently 41%, and I've recorded a mild pre-dawn low temperature of 60.6F (15.9C).  My rain gauge is dry, but there could have been a couple of sprinkles of rain overnight -- nothing more than that.

The transition from April to May is going to be dominated by yet another period of instability, with a good chance of a couple of rounds of showers and thunderstorms between now and Wednesday evening.  An upper-level disturbance is currently spinning around over northern Afghanistan, and will slide slowly southeastward during the first part of this week.  Our air mass has been fairly dry since Friday, but we'll have one more surge of moisture as this system approaches, providing fuel for some thunderstorm development.  Although it may be hard to believe, we're still a bit below average for April rainfall (1.67"/4.2cm this year vs. 1.90"/4.9cm average), but we stand a good chance of making that up during the next couple of days.

A batch of drier and more stable air will sweep into northern India by Thursday, setting us up for what looks like a nice stretch of generally sunny, dry and warm weather as we move through the first part of May.  I've yet to record 80F/27C this season, so we're behind schedule for a real taste of summer warmth.

The CURRENT FORECAST for the next 5 days is located on the tab above.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

recently rainless... (pm.28.apr.13)>

*Update @ 9:12pm... My temp is 66F (19.5C), which is very mild for this hour of the night.  Humidity is only 44%, but there is an area of thickening clouds just to our west which could start to produce some showers later tonight, as this atmosphere continues to slowly destabilize.  I think any rain we might get during the overnight hours would be very light.

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Sunday's stats:

Early morning low temp: 59.5F (15.3C)
Afternoon high temp: 76.6F (24.8C)
Rainfall: none

We have mostly cloudy skies this evening, but sunshine was in control for the vast majority of the day, boosting my high temp at the top of McLeod Ganj very close to the warmest of the season (which was 76.8F/24.9C on 19 & 20 April).  Humidity has remained low -- right around 40% -- and there has been no rainfall (not even a drop) for the second day in a row.

A large area of cloudiness has been expanding and thickening today across Pakistan, and is now spreading into most of Himachal and Jammu/Kashmir.  This is happening in advance of an intensifying upper-level disturbance over central Asia which is expected to drop southeastward and eventually sweep across Kashmir during the middle of the week.  Although we've been enjoying dry weather since early Friday afternoon, it looks like the chance of showers and thunderstorms will be gradually on the increase once again, especially between Monday and Wednesday.  If I had to pinpoint the best chance of rain, I'd say Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday afternoon -- but just be prepared for rapid changes during the next few days and plan accordingly.

The good news is that there is more and more evidence with each run of the computer model data suggesting that significantly drier air will settle into northern India on Thursday, and stick around for at least a few days.  Although April 2013 hasn't been anywhere close to intolerable, it would be nice to see some extended periods of sunshine and summer-like temperatures in our near future...

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

not too bad... (am.28.apr.13)>

*Update @ 9:18am... It's already 69F (20.5C) up here at my house, which bodes well for our afternoon temps, as long as the sunshine remains in control.  Satellite pics show some patches of high clouds upstream from us, but there is nothing particularly ominous threatening.

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Some bands of high clouds are lifting northeastward across the area early this morning, otherwise there's sunshine lurking as well.  Humidity is 45%, and my overnight low here in the upper part of town has been 59.5F (15.3C), which is exactly the same as I recorded yesterday morning.  There was no rainfall last night and in fact -- it's been dry since early Friday afternoon.

I think we're in for a pretty nice day, as the atmosphere remains fairly stable and on the dry side.  Right now we're 'in between' the series of disturbances we were dealing with for 5-6 days in a row last week, and a final upper-level disturbance which will begin affecting us either tonight or tomorrow (Mon).  Although there's a risk of an isolated thundershower this afternoon, we'll see increasing chances of more substantial thunderstorm activity from Monday into Wednesday, which will correspond with the calendar-flip from April to May.  It's not going to rain for three days straight, but a couple of stormy interludes appear to be a good bet during that time frame.  Temperatures will remain fickle and changeable -- fluctuating wildly with the dance between sun, clouds and showers.

All computer models are showing a dramatic push of drier air entering the picture by Thursday, with the upper-air pattern also shifting drastically, for the first time in a couple of weeks.

The updated CURRENT FORECAST is always available on the tab above.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

clouds trump sun... (pm.27.apr.13)>

Saturday's stats:

Early morning low temp: 59.5F (15.3C)
Afternoon high temp: 71.3F (21.8C)
Rainfall: none

There's a fairly uniform layer of high cloudiness blanketing the area just before sunset this evening, after a day in which the (mainly) high clouds kept the amount of sunshine to a relative minimum.  There were a few periods of sun which allowed temps to top 70F, while humidity hovered consistently around 50% all day.  I never saw a single drop of rain today, nor did I hear a single rumble of thunder -- rather unusual considering the active weather of the past couple of weeks.

It looks potentially rain-free for another 24 hours or so, as the atmosphere remains in a temporarily stable phase, preventing the development of much in the way of shower/thundershower activity.  Instability will build again by tomorrow night into Monday, as a new surge of moisture tries to push in from the south.  This is going to lead to an increasing chance of thunderstorms during the first part of the new week and the transition from April into May.  There are strong indications that much drier and more stable air will finally move in by Thursday -- but that's still a long way off.

Temperatures the last couple of days, though comfortable, are running several degrees below normal for the very end of April.  This air mass still holds the potential to deliver a significant warm-up, but not if clouds and/or bursts of rain prevent the sun from doing its job.  That's causing me to hedge my bets during the coming few days.

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

variability rules... (am.27.apr.13)>

The sun is attempting to shine through an extensive layer of thin, high clouds early this Saturday morning.  I've recorded an overnight low temp of 59.5F (15.3C) here on Tushita Road just below the mountaineering center, and the current humidity reading is 40%.

Satellite photos indicate that we're going to be dealing with quite a lot of high cloudiness today, riding along on a fast-moving jet stream blowing from the west-southwest.  Although there could be isolated shower/thundershower development this afternoon, it appears that we could have an "off" day in terms of rain... and perhaps an "off" weekend.  Things look a little more stable, and the more significant moisture has temporarily retreated.  Of course be prepared for a sudden thundershower anyway, since our atmosphere has been going through an extremely fickle phase during the past week to 10 days.

The chance of a round or two of more significant showers and thunderstorms will be on the increase again by Sunday evening, and especially on Monday and Tuesday.  A strong upper-level disturbance will ease in from the west -- but the good news is that it looks like this system could be the "pattern changer" we've been waiting for, ushering in a more stable scenario as we transition into May.

Temperatures will remain comfortable for the most part, but will likely continue to balance out on the cool side of late April norms.  Get your CURRENT FORECAST on the tab at the top of the page.

Friday, April 26, 2013

plenty to watch... (pm.26.apr.13)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 54.5F (12.5C) -- 11:40am
High temp: 69.1F (20.6C) -- 4:30pm
Rainfall: 0.17" (4mm)

Once again we've had a day featuring wild swings in weather conditions... but maybe we've gotten used to that during the past week or so.  It's mostly clear and very pleasant this evening, and has been sunny and comfortable since around 2:00pm.  But we had a dark and dreary period between mid-morning and early afternoon, with a spell of rain and a couple of rumbles of thunder from about 10:15am until 12:30pm.  Despite the return of sunshine this afternoon, temperatures stayed well below normal for late April.

I feel a little like a broken record recently, talking about "seemingly endless strings of upper-level disturbances" day after day.  But that's what we're dealing with, and that's what doesn't appear to be changing for another several days at least.  As those occasional disturbances drift in from the west-southwest, heat and moisture from the south continue to ebb and flow.  When the timing clicks, that's when we get a round of significant showers/thunder.  The chances of that "click" may diminish a bit during at least the first part of the weekend, but it's looking potentially volatile again between late Sunday and Tuesday.  Please try to stay on top of developments if you have important outdoor plans.

Honestly, I'm not sure what to say about temperatures.  Computer models have been pathetically worthless for at least a week now, as temps all along the front slopes of the mountains fluctuate wildly according to thundershower development or the lack thereof.   All in all it appears we'll average a bit below normal for the end of April, unless we can get a couple of totally rain-free days in a row, which doesn't look likely.

The latest CURRENT FORECAST can always be accessed by clicking the tab at the top of the page.

fluctuations continue... (am.26.apr.13)>

*Update @ 2:23pm... The sun is back again, after nearly 2 hours of rain between roughly 10:15am and 12:15pm.  Just checked my rain gauge and I'm surprised to see only 0.17" (4mm) -- i was thinking it would have been more than a quarter of an inch.  Anyway, that's our most significant amount since the 1" (2.5cm) we received back on Sunday.  The atmosphere has stabilized nicely for now, and with any luck, we'll be in good shape for the rest of the day.

*Update @ 10:01am... Since 6:30am, we've gone from mostly cloudy, to mostly sunny, and now to very thick clouds and fog.  Insane!!  Still waiting to see if we'll get some showers squeezed out of this.  I won't be able to post updates for awhile, but I think everything you need to know has already been said in discussions below.

*Update @ 8:58am... We've had some nice sunshine during the past 45 minutes or so, but a big area of clouds and embedded showers is still lurking to our west, according to the satellite view. It may all fall apart as it approaches, but be ready for a shower if you're going to be out and about. Current temp: 66.7F (19.3C), humidity: 72%.

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This morning is strangely similar to yesterday morning, as we have the remains of overnight thunderstorms in Pakistan rolling into our area.  It's mostly cloudy just after sunrise, and there may be a few light showers scattered around.  My current temp of 61.0F (16.1C) is also the overnight/early morning low.

The latest in our endless string of upper-level disturbances kicked off a large area of thunderstorms over west-central Pakistan late last evening, and we'll be dealing with that disturbance this morning -- delivering clouds and perhaps a period or two of showers/thundershowers.  As has been the case the last several days, rainfall amounts should be light, but it's something to keep an eye on nonetheless.

I'm still not seeing a major change in this rather active weather pattern through the weekend and all the way into the early part of next week.  The back-and-forth between sun and clouds will continue, with a fairly good chance of a round or two of showers/thunder on just about any given day.  Until we get a definitive push of drier air into northern India and a shift in the upper-level flow, it's going to be pretty much status quo.

This warm air mass will respond quickly to sunshine, but a significant period of rainfall will cool things off considerably... so the thermometer will be fluctuating.  Get your CURRENT FORECAST on the tab at the top of the page.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

moods of april... (pm.25.apr.13)>

*Update @ 9:17pm... Satellite pics show a steadily developing mass of thunderstorms over central Pakistan.  With a relatively warm and moist atmosphere in place between here and there, it could survive and remain intact as it moves east-northeastward overnight.  Whatever is left of it could arrive here during the early morning hours... just a heads-up!

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Thursday's stats:

Early morning low temp: 57.6F (14.2C)
Afternoon high temp: 75.4F (24.1C)
Rainfall: trace

There's a scattering of clouds across the area this evening, otherwise it's very pleasant as we approach sunset.  The day started off cloudy and breezy with a couple of periods of very light showers, but we ended up with a good amount of sunshine from late morning throughout the afternoon... with a build-up of clouds over the mountains only yielding a few sprinkles around 5pm.  Temperatures have been comfortably warm, and only a couple of degrees (F) below normal for the end of April.

Our weather pattern remains touch-and-go, with a moderately moist air mass being overrun by a constant stream of upper-level disturbances drifting through from the west-southwest.  This has been the situation all week long, and it doesn't look like there are any dramatic changes in our near future.  In the grand scheme of things it hasn't been all that bad, with occasional showers and thundershowers only delivering very light amounts of rain since our early Sunday morning downpour.  It looks like we're in line for more of the same in the coming days -- alternating periods of clouds and sun, along with passing showers and some thunder at times.  We may be due for a more substantial round of thunderstorms at some point, but it's almost impossible to predict when that might occur.  Just be aware of the potential.

Barring that potential major blast of thunderstorms, temperatures should balance out near or just slightly below normal for the season -- which means right in the middle of the 'pleasantly warm' range.  We're actually fortunate here at our elevation, because it's now getting miserably hot not too far downslope from us.

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

constant changes... (am.25.apr.13)>

*Update @ 4:25pm... Clouds have been steadily building over the mountains this afternoon, but as of now, there's been no thundershower development.  We could still see something pop up before sunset, however.  Currently: 74.5F (23.6C), humidity: 52%.

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We have cloudy skies at sunrise on this Thursday morning, and it's breezy, with a few sprinkles and light showers in the area as well.  Humidity is currently 51%, and the current temp of 57.6F (14.2C) is also the overnight/early morning low.

Thunderstorms over Pakistan last night have been falling apart, but what's left of them is what we're dealing with this morning.  The west-southwesterly flow in the upper-atmosphere continues to steer disturbances across northern India, causing the back-and-forth between sun and clouds and thundershowers, which seems to never end.  The disturbance overhead this morning should move out later today, but expect changeable weather conditions, along with the ever-present risk of a thundershower to remain in the forecast -- not only today, but for the coming several days as well.  We'll also have some sunny breaks, but always closely followed by increasing clouds and that chance of showers.

Yesterday's big rebound in temperatures was great -- but again, the inconsistency of this weather pattern puts those warm temperatures in jeopardy if/when we get hit with a significant round of thundershowers.  Right now I'm holding on to generally warm temps over the course of the coming five days, but the forecast scenario feels a bit fragile to me!  Stay tuned.

Your CURRENT FORECAST is located on the tab at the top of the page.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

temperature recovery... (pm.24.apr.13)>

*Update @ 9:24pm... There are some large thunderstorms over central Pakistan at this hour which are moving to the east-northeast.  Although they will probably die out before they reach us, I am leaving a chance of thundershowers in the forecast overnight -- just in case.  It's very mild right now... near 64F (18C) with humidity around 45%.

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Wednesday's stats:

Early morning low temp: 57.6F (14.2C)
Afternoon high temp: 75.2F (24.0C)
Rainfall: trace

The sun is visible in the western sky just before sunset this evening, but there are still scattered thundershowers along the mountain slopes to the north and east. We've enjoyed more sunshine today than since last Saturday, but there have been a couple of periods of thunder and some sprinkles and very light showers in the area -- the first during the noon-1pm hour, and the second during the late afternoon/early evening.

We finally got our big rebound in the temperature department today, thanks to a modest drop in humidity (to the 40-50% range) and the prolonged hours of sunshine.  But there is still enough atmospheric instability to cause a build-up of mountain clouds and those thundershowers during the afternoon.  Warmer and slightly drier air (both at the surface and aloft) should continue to filter in during the latter part of the week, contributing to a more stable air mass -- but I think we're still going to have to be on alert for mainly PM thundershowers, thanks to a seemingly never-ending train of upper-level disturbances moving in from the west-southwest.

As long as we don't get nailed with a major round of long-lasting thunderstorms, we should continue to see a steady warm-up right into the weekend.  The normal high temp for the last few days of April is around 78-79F (25-26C) -- that's warmer than I've recorded so far this year, but not at all out of the realm of possibility by Saturday.

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

more variety... (am.24.apr.13)>

*Update @ 10:05am... We're in much better shape so far today than by this time of the morning on the last three days.  Cumulus clouds are just now starting to develop over the mountains, so it'll become evident in the next few hours just how much instability we'll be dealing with.  Enjoy the sun, but be prepared for that thundershower potential to manifest itself.

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Other than some patches of high clouds, skies are mostly sunny early this morning, with humidity slightly lower at 52%.  I've recorded an overnight low temp of 57.6F (14.2C) here in the upper part of town.

Well... our late April Variety Show continues.  We still have a persistent west-southwesterly flow in the upper-atmosphere dominating weather proceedings, as it steers occasional disturbances across northern India.  At the same time, a rather moist air mass remains in place at the surface, providing fuel for random thundershower development.  Heat continues to build just down the hill from us, but most of that energy has been converted into cloudiness over the mountains after only a couple of hours of morning sunshine.  Although I'm fairly confident that we'll be getting a steady warm-up during the coming several days, I also think we're going to have to contend with periods of cloudiness along with the development of scattered showers and thundershowers on just about any given day -- right through the weekend.

Rainfall for the month is now only a bit below normal for April here in the Dharamsala area, but it shouldn't be too much of a task for us to make up for that deficit during the week remaining.  As far as temps go, we've slipped to several degrees below normal, but will likely get back on track by Saturday.

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

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

struggling... (pm.23.apr.13)>

Tuesday's stats:

Early morning low temp: 55.2F (12.9C)
Afternoon high temp: 68.5F (20.3C)
Rainfall: 0.07" (2mm)

We have a combination of sun, high clouds, and lingering cumulus clouds over the mountains just prior to sunset this evening.  There's been some back-and-forth between sun and clouds today, along with a period of thundershowers during the early afternoon which delivered only brief, light rainfall.  Temperature were a bit warmer today, but are still struggling to get back anywhere close to where we were last week.

Ingredients remain in place for more of this cloud-sun-cloud-sun scenario along with some scattered thundershower action.  Weak upper-level disturbances continue to move from the west-southwest across the very moist air mass in place across northern India, and there doesn't seem to be any kind of significant shift in the pattern during the coming several days.  Slightly drier air may displace some of this moisture by the end of the week, lowering our thundershower chances, but there will remain at least a slight chance of some rain nearly every day.

Although there is plenty of heat just downhill from us, instability-generated cloudiness over the mountains has kept us from getting the robust warming trend we've been waiting for.  Warming of the air mass will be occurring gradually between now and Saturday, but if we keep getting extended periods of clouds during the middle of the day, it'll be hard for us to fully take advantage of that.

The CURRENT FORECAST for the next 5 days is on the tab at the top of the page.

ready for anything... (am.23.apr.13)>

*Update @ 3:18pm... Mid-day/early afternoon thundershowers produced just 0.07" (2mm) of rain here on Tushita Road just below the mountaineering center.  The clouds which developed very rapidly during the mid-morning have cleared out, leaving us with a good amount of sunshine as of this moment.  Could yet be more sudden changes before the day is done.

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We're starting off with hazy sunshine early on this Tuesday morning -- looking good.  Humidity is 62%, and I've recorded a pre-dawn low temperature of 55.2F (12.9C), with no rainfall recorded overnight.

High pressure is trying to rebuild across northern India, but will be hampered by occasional upper-level disturbances drifting in from the west-southwest during the next few days.  The first disturbance triggered our rain/thunder on Sunday, as it coincided with the arrival of this rather moist airmass.  The second disturbance brought us the cloudiness and brief sprinkles yesterday, and it looks like the next one will begin to move in this afternoon.  Moisture is still in place, but as temperatures aloft continue to warm up, the amount of instability is going to be questionable.  Just be aware that this atmosphere and overall weather pattern remain fickle and changeable, with the risk of thundershower development virtually anytime, but most likely in the afternoon/evening hours.

We've been languishing in unseasonably chilly air since the rain on Sunday morning, but we should break through today, as a nice warming trend kicks in for the remainder of the week into the weekend.  In fact, it's looking like most of this moisture will retreat by Saturday, with temps rising to their warmest of the season.

Keep up with the CURRENT FORECAST on the tab above.

Monday, April 22, 2013

very fickle... (pm.22.apr.13)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 52.7F (11.5C) -- around 6:00am
High temp: 65.4F (18.6C) -- 4:45pm
Rainfall: trace

Challenging weather to keep on top of today, as clouds thickened up here along the mountain slopes this morning, and didn't really break up and yield to sunshine again until after 3:00pm.  There were a few sprinkles and very light showers during the early afternoon, but not enough to measure in the rain gauge.  Humidity has remained high all day -- in the 60-75% range.  Now, as sunset approaches, we have partly cloudy skies with temperatures near their warmest of the day (which hasn't been all that warm).

Satellite pics this evening show a scattering of showers and thundershowers from eastern Afghanistan all the way into northwestern India, courtesy of an unusually moist air mass for this time of year, along with an upper-level flow that contains numerous weak disturbances.  This general pattern is not expected to change until perhaps the end of the week, and that's going to keep us on guard for the sudden appearance of a period of thundershowers on any given day or night.  There is no major storm system responsible for this... just a marginally unstable atmosphere that is in flux and determined to be fickle.

Temperatures since yesterday (Sun) morning have been quite a bit cooler than normal for late April, and considerably cooler than expected.  I've been frustrated waiting for the warmer air to flow back in after being chased out by yesterday morning's major round of thunderstorms -- but it will definitely be returning as we get more help from the sun during the rest of the week.  It's hard for intrusions of cooler air to stay around for long this time of year...

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

moist air mass... (am.22.apr.13)>

There's a lot of moisture in the air at sunrise this morning -- humidity is 79% and it's partly cloudy with some patchy fog.  I recorded an overnight low temp of 52.7F (11.5C), and the total rainfall since early Sunday morning stands at 1.12" (2.8cm).

The atmosphere is in a major state of flux, as different variables and ingredients keep realigning themselves.  Yesterday morning's big thunderstorm brought a batch of chilly air from the higher levels of the atmosphere down to the surface, but now there is significant warming occurring in the upper-levels, creating a bit of a temperature inversion this morning.  Also, the air mass is much more moist than it was up until late Saturday night.  Throw in the influence and effect of strong late April sunshine assisting the heat build-up down on the plains (not to mention a few upper-level disturbances and the always-present mountain micro-climate issues!), and it makes for lots of factors playing out on the weather stage during the coming several days.

The overall picture points to a regular variation between clouds and sun, along with a fairly good chance of a few scattered showers and thundershowers between today (Mon) and Wednesday.  There is some indication that the rain risk will diminish during the latter half of the week, but those hints are subtle at the moment.  Temperatures should be on the rise throughout the week, as we climb out of yesterday's deficit -- and will most likely wind up on the warm side of late April norms by Friday/Saturday.

The CURRENT FORECAST is located on the tab above.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

a calm finish... (pm.21.apr.13)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 49.6F (9.8C) -- around 6:30am
High temp: 71.6F (22.0C) -- shortly after midnight
Rainfall: 1.12" (2.8cm)

Our skies have cleared out nicely this evening, with just a few patches of high clouds as we approach sunset.  Today's rainfall total was the most I've recorded since the 24th of March (exactly 4 weeks ago), when we picked up a massive 2.47" (6.3cm).  It's by far the most we've received during April, and gets us a lot closer to the average April total of 1.9" (4.9cm).  The temperature forecast was a total fail for today, as clouds and showers kept us way cooler than expected -- the high for the day actually occurred in the wee hours of the morning before the thunderstorm erupted.

The first in what could be a significant series of upper-level disturbances was the trigger for our thunderstorm development around 4:30am, as a bubble of moist air surged northward.  After a few days of very dry air, we now have a more humid air mass in place, providing fuel for more shower and thundershower development during the next several days.  The upper-air pattern has now shifted into a more volatile phase for us, steering occasional disturbances across northern India, and up against the mountains.  It's going to be really hard to get the timing of individual waves of energy, and the computer models are really no help at all -- so just be aware that we could get hit with a few periods of rain and thunder in the midst of alternating clouds and sun this week.

This air mass is warm enough to support temperatures well into the 70s(F), but as we saw today, that potential can't be realized if/when clouds and showers dominate the daylight hours.  We'll have to watch it on a day by day basis!

The latest CURRENT FORECAST can always be found on the tab at the top of the page.

sunday drama... (am.21.apr.13)>

*Update @ 2:08pm... Off-and-on showers since early this morning have been very light -- only an additonal 0.07" (2mm) since about 730am.  We're not getting a break as far as these clouds are concerned, and the latest satellite pics continue to show nothing more than perhaps just a few fleeting glimpses of sunshine for the remainder of the afternoon and into the evening.  That means temperatures are making very little upward progress... it turns out our high temp for the day occurred just after midnight (71.6F/22.0C)!  Currently: 58.1F (14.5C).

*Update @ 9:27am... The sky is trying really hard to brighten up a bit, after another period of light showers during the past half hour or so.  Satellite pics show a lot of mid- and high cloudiness to our south and west, but there are a few breaks in the overcast appearing as well.  Current temp: 57.4F (14.1C), humidity: 70%.

*Update @ 7:39am... This round of thundershowers seems to be tapering off rapidly now -- leaving a total of 1.02" (2.6cm) in my rain gauge since 4:30am.  The rain-chilled air is also moderating fairly quickly -- current temp: 56.7F (13.7C).  Now that we've had some much-needed rainfall, hopefully we'll be able to salvage some nicer weather later today.

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What a thermodynamic explosion we've had since about 4:30am!  I have 0.87" (2.2cm) in the rain gauge as of 6:40am, and the temperature has dropped as low as 49.6F (9.8C) during the past hour.  That rainfall amount is more than we had received during the entire month of April up to this morning -- and the low temp is the coldest I've recorded for April, which follows on the heels of yesterday's high temp (76.8F/24.9C) which matched the warmest of the month and the year so far.  How's that for some weather drama on this Sunday morning?

A surge of moisture-laden air has moved in from the south, as the first in a series of upper-level disturbances drifts in from the west.  This is the main cause of the extreme instability that has erupted during the early morning hours, and a sign of the more active weather pattern we've been anticipating.  I don't expect the rain to continue all day, but we're going to be dealing with a good chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms all the way until at least the middle of the week, thanks to a consistently disturbed atmosphere.

At the same time, there should still be some nice periods of sunshine during the coming several days -- and when that occurs, temperatures will quickly rebound to where they should be for late April.

Check the CURRENT FORECAST tab above for the latest 5-day outlook, and watch for updates on this page throughout the day.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

action potential... (pm.20.apr.13)>

Saturday's stats:

Early morning low temp: 61.7F (16.5C)
Afternoon high temp: 76.8F (24.9C)
Rainfall: trace

It is partly cloudy just before sunset this evening after another seasonably warm day with alternating sunshine and clouds.  We even had a couple of brief periods of thunder as big cumulonimbus clouds attempted to get going over the mountains -- first right around noon, and then again during the mid-afternoon, when I actually had a couple of sprinkles of rain at my location in the upper part of town.  Humidity remains very low, however -- just 20-35% all day.

We're now knocking on the door of what we call the 'summer' season here in Himachal, as the warmest temperatures of the entire year occur in May and June, ahead of the cool-down which accompanies the arrival of the monsoon by the 1st of July.  The weather pattern is morphing into alignment with that, as a west-southwesterly flow establishes itself in the upper atmosphere.  Embedded in that flow will be regular ripples/disturbances between now and at least the middle of next week, giving us an increasing chance of scattered showers and thundershowers as more moisture-laden air surges in from the south.  It will be interesting to see whether we can come up with any significant rain during the coming several days, since we remain way way below normal for April rainfall up to this point.

Temperatures should remain quite warm unless we can get a good round of thundershowers to deliver a shot of temporarily cooler air.  All the CURRENT FORECAST details can be found on the tab at the top of the page.

another warm one... (am.20.apr.13)>

It's a gorgeous Saturday morning out there, with mostly sunny skies and 30% humidity.  My overnight low temp, which occurred just before sunrise, was 61.7F (16.5C).

I've been recording some of the lowest humidity levels in many months during the past three days or so.  Clothes hanging on the line can dry very quickly when the humidity dips to 20%, which is what happened yesterday afternoon.  It looks like this super-dry air mass isn't going to be hanging around for much longer, however.  As I've been mentioning, the overall weather pattern is going to be undergoing a shift during the next couple of days, allowing more moist air to surge northward, while a few upper-level disturbances approach from the west-southwest.  We're not looking at an organized storm system of any kind, just more favorable conditions for the development of scattered showers and/or thundershowers mainly during the afternoon and evening hours -- especially between Sunday and Wednesday.

Our temperatures are now at their warmest of the spring/summer season, and right in line with late April averages.  If thundershowers start popping up during the coming few days we'll see a bit of a dip in temps, but there is no significantly cooler air expected to displace this warm air mass for long.

The CURRENT FORECAST is available on the tab above.

Friday, April 19, 2013

bone dry, new high... (pm.19.apr.13)>

Friday's stats:

Early morning low temp: 60.4F (15.8C)
Afternoon high temp: 76.8F (24.9C) --warmest of the year
Rainfall: none

We've reached yet another new high temperature for 2013 this afternoon, while humidity remains very very low (15-30% today).  Although there have been occasional high clouds, and even some scattered cumulus clouds in the vicinity of the mountains, the sun had no problem remaining the dominant force of the day.

A ridge of high pressure has been providing the generally stable conditions we've seen during the past 72 hours or so, as building heat on the plains contributes to our gradually rising temperatures.  There are some changes on the horizon, however, as we begin to undergo a rather significant shift in the upper-air pattern.  An evolving southwesterly flow aloft will begin to carry a string of weak upper-level disturbances into northwest India starting as early as late tomorrow (Sat), and lasting through most of next week.  A better chance of mainly afternoon and evening thundershowers is on the way, as much more moist air establishes itself across the majority of south Asia.  There will still be a good amount of sunshine in the midst of occasional periods of clouds and that thundershower risk, so don't expect a wash-out of a week by any means.

We've actually risen slightly above normal for this stage of April in the temperature department, but our recent warming trend will be stifled in the coming days as scattered thundershowers cool the air mass down a bit.  Still, it should remain pleasantly warm for this time of year.

Check the CURRENT FORECAST tab above for details.

comfortably warm... (am.19.apr.13)>

The newly risen sun is having to contend with a few bands of high cloudiness early this Friday morning.  Humidity remains very low -- at 33% -- and I've recorded a mild overnight low temp of 60.4F (15.8C), which is one of the warmest of the season so far.

Weak high pressure has been trying to become established across northern India the last couple of days, and has provided us with lots of sunshine, steadily climbing temperatures, and low humidity.  The mountain thunder machine has been a factor, but the very limited action it has produced during the afternoon hours has remained in the higher elevations.

It looks like the pattern in the upper-atmosphere (which drives weather systems) is going to be gradually shifting into a little more active phase over the course of the coming three or four days.  Computer models are showing several weak disturbances drifting east-northeastward into northwestern India between late Saturday and the middle of next week.  At the same time, the moisture content of the air is going to be on the increase across a wide area of south Asia.  All of this spells a better chance of some scattered thundershowers, mainly during the afternoon and evening hours, as we head toward Sunday and Monday.  Our total rainfall for the month of April remains pitifully small (0.31"/8mm), so it would actually be a good thing for us to pick up some more significant rain during these last 10 days of the month.

A seasonably warm air mass is firmly in place, and seems like it might be here to stay.  Expect temperatures to remain in the normal range for the latter half of April -- plenty warm when the sun is shining, but becoming temporarily chilly during a period of showers.

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

Thursday, April 18, 2013

temps on track... (pm.18.apr.13)>

Thursday's stats:

Early morning low temp: 58.5F (14.7C)
Afternoon high temp: 76.3F (24.6C) -- updated at 7:43pm*
Rainfall: none

Skies are partly cloudy just before sunset this evening, as a few weak mountain thundershowers that developed during the late afternoon continue to dissipate.  There were never any raindrops that I'm aware of in McLeod Ganj, but it was looking dark and ominous up-mountain from us for a couple of hours.  The sun maintained control for the vast majority of the day however, and my high temp in the upper part of town was the warmest of 2013 thus far (updated*).

We've definitely reached the time of year when it doesn't take much to get the clouds and random thundershowers cranking up in the higher mountains during the afternoon hours.  But in spite of the instability, moisture is severely limited, and measurable rainfall is hard to come by.  There are really no major changes in our general weather pattern expected during the next couple of days... but there will be some gradual shifts by the latter half of the weekend that will cause our chance of scattered thundershowers to be on the increase.  It looks like our current very dry air mass is going to be moistening up, as a few weak upper-level disturbances drift through from the southwest during the first part of the new week.  Yes, seasonal changes are ongoing.

Temperatures are close to normal for the middle of April, but we have yet to get a surge of really warm air that gives us a taste of the summer temps to come.  Still, we should be consistently enjoying pleasantly warm conditions most of the time during the coming several days.

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

much drier than normal... (am.18.apr.13)>

*Update @ 3:51pm... Rapid cumulus development has occurred over the Dhauladhars in the past hour or so, and it looks like it could be close to reaching the thundershower stage up there.  Keep in mind the risk of something drifting downhill during rest of the afternoon/early evening!

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We have full sunshine this morning after a calm and peaceful night with a low temp of 58.5F (14.7C).  Humidity stands at 44% to start the day.

April Precipitation so far:

01 - zero
02 - zero
03 - trace
04 - zero
05 - zero
06 - zero
07 - zero
08 - zero
09 - zero
10 - 0.16" (4mm)
11 - 0.02" (less than 1mm)
12 - zero
13 - trace
14 - trace
15 - zero
16 - 0.13" (3mm)
17 - trace

Although we had at least a trace of rain on 7 of the first 17 days of April, my total rainfall for the month thus far is only 0.31" (8mm).  That's only 16% of the normal monthly total of 1.9" (4.9cm) for this second-driest month of the year.  By contrast, I recorded 4.94" (12.5cm) during April 2012, which was much more than double the normal amount.  Of course the reason we rely upon "historical averages" is due to the fact that weather conditions can fluctuate significantly from year to year, and we have to take a step back and put it all into perspective.

Our prospects of picking up significant rainfall still aren't looking all that great during the next several days.  A weak ridge of high pressure will dominate our weather through early Saturday, keeping things generally stable apart from an isolated afternoon mountain thundershower.  It's looking a little more questionable thereafter, as a series of weak upper-level disturbances are expected to move across northern India, increasing our risk of some scattered shower and thundershower action -- but at this point, heavier rain doesn't look likely at all.

Temperatures should be very close to normal for the middle of April, only dipping in the event of a period of showers moving through.  By this time next month we'll be having some uncomfortably "hot" days (by our standards), so this is the time to relish!

Your CURRENT FORECAST is available on the tab above.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

generally great... (pm.17.apr.13)>

Wednesday's stats:

Early morning low temp: 58.1F (14.5C)
Afternoon high temp: 73.6F (23.1C)
Rainfall: trace

There are some patches of thick clouds hanging on along the front slopes of the mountains this evening, and there have even been a few light sprinkles in the McLeod area during the past hour.  Otherwise, sunshine was plentiful today, with the afternoon cloud build-up waiting until the latter part of the afternoon to really get going.

It looks like we're in for a stretch of typically nice April weather during the next few days, as a weak high pressure ridge builds across northern India.  The lingering instability evident this afternoon/evening is expected to diminish a bit during the latter part of the week, although there could still be an isolated late-day thundershower popping somewhere along the Dhauladhars.  Temperatures have been running just slightly below normal for mid-April the last few days, but should quickly get back to normal, and perhaps even a bit above between tomorrow (Thu) and early next week.

By late Saturday and Sunday the upper-air pattern is going to start acting up again.  Right now it doesn't look like we have a significant storm system to deal with, just a series of weak disturbances floating in from the west which will give us a little better chance of some springtime thundershowers as we head into early next week.

The latest version of the CURRENT FORECAST can always be found on the tab at the top of the page.

atmosphere unresolved... (am.17.apr.13)>

Our Wednesday morning is dawning with clear skies, pleasant temperatures and low humidity.  My overnight low here in the upper part of town was 58.1F (14.5C), and there has been no additional rainfall since the last batch of showers moved out just before 5pm last evening.  Total rainfall from all of yesterday's action was just 0.13" (3mm) -- not much to show for all the trouble!

Although it's bright and sunny early this morning, the air above 15,000ft or so is unusually cold for this time of year, and that's going to bring the instability issues into question by the afternoon.  As the sun warms things up, we'll likely see a build-up of clouds over the mountains, which could lead to a round of thundershowers.  This whole routine is actually more frequent than not during this time of the year -- just be prepared to run for cover if necessary during the mid- to late afternoon hours.

A ridge of high pressure should take over on Thursday and Friday, however, with a more stable atmosphere expected to provide us with plenty of sun and only a slight chance of one of those PM thundershowers.  Temperatures are running slightly below normal for mid-April, as the average high is now approaching 76F (24C), but we'll most likely be close to that once again by the end of the week.

Your CURRENT FORECAST is always updated and available on the tab above.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

is it over?... (pm.16.apr.13)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 56.3F (13.5C) -- 4:45pm
High temp: 70.0F (21.1C) -- 11:50am
Rainfall: 0.13" (3mm) -- updated at 8:05pm

The sudden swings between sun, thunder, clouds, showers, and back again today have been dizzying.  It's mostly clear at sunset, as our earlier thundershower activity dissipates and shifts eastward.  The most interesting moment of the day for me occurred around 2pm when I had bright sun, thunder, a briefly heavy rain shower, small hail, and a small rainbow visible from my balcony -- all at the same time.  Definitely an active Tuesday we've had.

A batch of much colder air in the upper-atmosphere has been swinging across northern India during the past 12 hours.  As sun-warmed air at the surface surged northward from the plains, very unstable conditions erupted right on top of us, triggering the frequent spells of thundershowers.  However, apart from some very brief periods of more moderate rain, the precipitation was generally light -- not doing much more than wetting the streets, and not doing a whole lot to get us closer to the 1.9" (4.9cm) we get on average during the month of April.

This system has been progressing faster than expected, so rain chances should be diminishing through the night.  With that colder air aloft, we could see enough instability for a period of thundershowers on Wednesday, but then it's likely we'll see a few days of very dry, generally stable, and warmer conditions during the latter part of the week.  Then, another chance of thundershowers will creep back into the forecast by late Saturday and Sunday with the approach of our next upper-level disturbance.

Check the 5-day outlook on the CURRENT FORECAST tab above.

turbulent tuesday... (am.16.apr.13)>

*Update @ 2:37pm... Thundershowers have been fairly numerous but brief so far today.  My rain gauge here on Tushita Road shows only 0.10" (2mm) in spite of it all.  At one point (right around 2pm) I had sunshine, thunder, rain, and even some very small hail all happening simultaneously.  This atmosphere should remain extremely unstable into this evening.

*Update @ 9:27am... Turbulent indeed.  Sunshine overhead at the moment, but also increasing thunder to the southwest as things change on a moment-by-moment basis.  I won't be able to post updates for the next few hours, but be prepared for sudden changes today.

*Update @ 8:31am... Still lots of clouds around, but no sign of any thunder or rain.  The latest satellite pics indicate that the early morning thundershowers to our west have dissipated.  We may have to wait until the afternoon for re-development, which was the initial expectation anyway.  Currently: 64.9F (18.3C).

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Skies have quickly become mostly cloudy early this morning, with some thundershower development lurking off to our west.  I've recorded a mild overnight low temp of 59.5F (15.3C), though it's up to 63.6F (17.6C) as of 7am.  The humidity level has been fluctuating, but remains rather low at 37%.

Our latest weather system is moving in faster than expected.  An upper-level disturbance bringing in a pool of much colder air in the upper-atmosphere is centered in extreme northern Pakistan, and will sweep across Kashmir and Himachal today and tonight.  Slightly warmer air at the surface is surging northward as this colder air aloft moves in -- creating some significant instability.  Scattered showers and thunderstorms are already occurring to our west and north, so we'll have to be on the lookout for some of that action during the coming 12-18 hours or so.  I'm still concerned about the lack of decent moisture available to produce much in the way of significant rainfall, but computer models this morning are hinting at 1cm (0.40") as a possibility.

A couple of thundershowers are still possible on Wednesday, but very dry air will be sweeping in quickly, even if the air mass remains slightly unstable.  This dry air intrusion should set us up for very nice conditions during the latter part of the week, with another shot at some passing thundershowers perhaps by late Saturday.

Temperatures today will be entirely dependent on the sun vs. rain battle, but should settle back into a very pleasant and near normal range after this system moves out.

Your CURRENT FORECAST is always available on the tab above.

Monday, April 15, 2013

one of the best... (pm.15.apr.13)>

Monday's stats:

Early morning low temp: 57.0F (13.9C)
Afternoon high temp: 73.9F (23.3C)
Rainfall: none

A beautiful evening in progress... we have mostly clear skies, apart from some haze down in the valley and a few leftover cumulus clouds over the mountain peaks.  As I look over my daily records for April, I see that today has been one of the sunniest, and also the fifth warmest of the month.  Humidity has been low as well -- averaging mainly in the 35-40% range all day.

A bubble of slightly warmer air aloft associated with the weak ridge of high pressure over northern India today kept things quite stable over the mountains for the first time in several days.  But, a disturbance bringing a broad area of colder temperatures in the upper-atmosphere is dropping southeastward, and will sweep across our area tomorrow (Tues) into Wednesday.  Although there will be increasing instability by tomorrow afternoon, it looks like there will be very little moisture for this system to work with.  So, though there is a good chance of some scattered thunderstorm development, at this point I think it's going to be difficult to come up with much in the way of significant rainfall.  The best chances for that happening now look to be Tuesday afternoon and overnight, with our air mass drying out quickly on Wednesday.

A classic dry season air mass will settle across most of northwest India during the latter part of the week, making it hard for afternoon thunder development over the mountains to lead to more than just a few sprinkles of rain.  Unless something radically changes, this April really is shaping up to be the driest month of the last year or more.

Check the CURRENT FORECAST tab above for the latest 5-day outlook.

starting with sun... (am.15.apr.13)>

It's a bit hazy, otherwise skies are totally clear early this Monday morning.  The humidity is hovering right around 45%, and I've recorded an overnight low temp of 57.0F (13.9C).  There has been no precipitation since the trace amounts late yesterday afternoon.

A weak high pressure ridge is set up across northern India this morning, and should keep things clear, calm and stable until perhaps mid-afternoon, when the mountain instability could start percolating again.  We're still waiting for a more substantial shot at some thunderstorm activity late tomorrow (Tue) into Wednesday, as an upper-level disturbance dropping in from the northwest delivers a batch of colder air in the higher layers of the atmosphere.  Right now the best window of opportunity for a period or two of rough weather appears to be between early tomorrow evening and late Wednesday afternoon.  There's not a whole lot of moisture to work with, but since we're well below normal for April rainfall, it would be good to get something going.

Even drier air should sweep in by Thursday, with generally stable conditions lasting into at least the early part of the weekend.  As far as temperatures are concerned, we could be on a minor roller-coaster ride this week, depending on whether or not the thunderstorms materialize -- but all in all temps should balance out fairly close to normal for the season.

Details on the CURRENT FORECAST tab above.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

lots of variables... (pm.14.apr.13)>

Sunday's stats:

Early morning low temp: 58.6F (14.8C)
Afternoon high temp: 70.9F (21.6C)
Rainfall: trace

It's quite hazy this evening, with other scattered clouds around the area as well.  We had another round of thunder and some sprinkles/very light showers between about 2:45 and 4:15pm, but the rain was not enough to measure once again.  Although we've had some periods of sun today, the clouds hung around enough to hold our temps down a bit... compared to the last few days.

As if it isn't obvious, we're in the midst of a rather changeable and unsettled weather situation, as the upper-air pattern can't seem to decide what it wants to do.  There has been just enough instability to trigger widely scattered thundershowers during the afternoon/evening recently, but not enough moisture in the air to produce significant rainfall.  We could see another round of thunder and perhaps a light shower or two on Monday, but then it still looks like we stand a chance of getting a more substantial round of thunderstorms from late Tuesday into Wednesday.  Computer models have been backing off a bit on the intrusion of colder air aloft arriving from the northwest to create major instability during the coming several days, but the evolving scenario will have to be watched closely.

I've only recorded 0.18" (5mm) of rain for the entire month of April thus far, which leaves us with 1.72" (4.4cm) left to receive by the 30th if we expect to reach the normal amount during this second-driest month of the year.  As far as temperatures are concerned, we continue to run just barely on the cool side of normal for April.

Get your CURRENT FORECAST details on the tab above.

still unstable... (am.14.apr.13)>

We have a combination of sun, haze and some clouds around the area early this morning, with humidity at 44%.  My pre-dawn low temp here in the upper part of town was 58.6F (14.8C), and there has been no rainfall since our few sprinkles last evening.

There are no organized storm systems in the area, but we're still dealing with the prospects of an unstable atmosphere by the afternoon, as sun-warmed air in the low-levels rises and condenses into clouds and possibly a few thundershowers over the mountains.  This is very common during the late spring and early summer season but during April, there is rarely enough moisture in the air to get more than minor amounts of rain.  Just keep an eye on the sky and be prepared for a period of thunder and/or some showers by mid-afternoon.

By late Tuesday and Wednesday we could see a better chance of more substantial thunderstorm action, as a stronger disturbance accompanied by much colder air in the upper-levels of the atmosphere drops southeastward into northern India.  Right now computer models are projecting that the warm air at the surface will tenaciously hold on right through next week, but if we do get some longer periods of clouds and thunderstorms, it will be temporarily cooler during mid-week.

We're way behind normal rainfall for April so far, so a few downpours would do us good.  Stay tuned, and get your CURRENT FORECAST on the tab above.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

mountain turmoil... (pm.13.apr.13)>

*Update @ 6:57pm... Maybe there are surprises yet to come tonight, but I think all of that mountain thunder action is steadily dissipating, with measurable rain looking unlikely in McLeod.  Despite all the ugly clouds, we never got more than a few sprinkles.

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Saturday's stats:

Early morning low temp: 59.4F (15.2C)
Afternoon high temp: 74.5F (23.6C)
Rainfall: trace

Threatening skies are all around us this evening, thanks to a long chain of thundershowers which developed along the Himalayan front ranges from northern Pakistan all the way into western Nepal.  So far we've only had gusty winds, a few sprinkles of rain, and a bit of thunder and lightning here in town, but we could get hit with a more substantial shower before all of this falls apart.  Earlier today we had partly to mostly sunny skies with the thermometer getting close to 75F during the early afternoon.

Classic springtime instability is responsible for the mountain cloud/thunder development this afternoon, with warmer air in the lower elevations rising into the colder air aloft and rapidly condensing.  The only thing keeping us from getting some major downpours of rain is the lack of available moisture in this April air mass.  We could see a repeat performance tomorrow, and possibly again on Monday, before an even more unstable situation develops starting on Tuesday.  It still looks like we could have a period or two of more significant thunderstorms during the mid-week period as colder air in the upper-atmosphere sinks into northern India, encountering the building summer heat just south of us.

Our temperatures during the coming several days will be almost entirely dependent on sunshine, and whether or not we get some rain.  If the sun can hold on, we'll remain rather warm -- but a thundershower with an hour or so of rainfall will cool things down very quickly.  Yes, typical April behavior for the most part.

Check the CURRENT FORECAST on the tab above.

weekend issues... (am.13.apr.13)>

*Update @ 5:46pm... Late afternoon thundershowers all along the mountain ranges are starting to fall apart this evening, producing a few sprinkles and some very strong and gusty winds at the moment.  Evening forecast info coming shortly...

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It is mostly clear as the sun comes up this Saturday morning.  I've recorded a mild overnight low of 59.6F (15.3C), and the humidity stands at 55%.

There are some slight changes in the forecast this morning, as we watch a couple of weak upper-level disturbances drift across northern India this weekend.  It had looked earlier as if the best chance of some random thundershowers would be on Sunday afternoon, but based on data this morning, it seems there could be just as good a chance of some development this afternoon as well.  Nothing widespread or long-lasting is expected, but the atmosphere may be unstable enough to trigger a cluster or two of thundershowers along the front slopes of the mountains, so keep that in mind as you make your weekend plans.  Otherwise, we'll still see plenty of sunshine, along with temperatures right in the normal range for mid-April.

Colder air in the high levels of the atmosphere over central Asia is threatening to make a move toward the south by Tuesday of next week.  At the same time, the heat is building on the plains of north India.  This combination looks like it could give us a better chance of more significant thunderstorm action during the middle of next week, while ushering in some temporarily cooler air as well.  Stay tuned as we watch how that comes together.

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

Friday, April 12, 2013

extremely pleasant... (pm.12.apr.13)>

Friday's stats:

Early morning low temp: 57.6F (14.2C)
Afternoon high temp: 74.7F (23.7C)
Rainfall: none

Some flat cumulus clouds are hovering in the vicinity of the mountains this evening, while it is mostly clear but hazy further down in the valley.  Today has been extremely nice, in all departments, thanks to plentiful sunshine and pleasantly warm temperatures.

The weekend ahead is looking very close to typical for mid-April, with a good amount of sunshine, but also an increasing chance of a thundershower or two as we reach Sunday afternoon.  This time of year, it's a very delicate and complex balance to keep the atmosphere stable over the mountains, and that's the main issue we'll be watching over the course of the next few days.  Temperatures should be very much on track, with average highs holding in the mid-70s(F).

An upper-level disturbance dropping in from the northwest on Sunday will be the precursor of a significant shift in the upper-air pattern which could hold consequences for us as next week unfolds.  We've got a bit of a "clash of the seasons" ahead of us, as increasingly warmer air in the low levels is over run by a batch of unseasonably cold air aloft.  It remains to be seen exactly what will come of this, but right now it looks like a recipe for some potentially strong thunderstorm development starting late Tuesday, and lasting into at least Thursday.  Our temps will likely drop below normal as well during the latter half of the coming week.

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

typical stuff... (am.12.apr.13)>

There are some patches of high clouds drifting through, otherwise it's mostly sunny to start our Friday.  Those scattered showers which developed just after sunset last evening fizzled out by 9pm -- and I only recorded 0.02" (less than 1mm) here in the upper part of town.  My low temp since midnight has been 57.6F (14.2C).

There must have been a random pocket of colder air in the higher levels of the atmosphere passing overhead last evening which triggered that surprise round of showers -- just an example of how fragile our air mass can be here along the front ranges of the Himalayas.  The overall weather pattern, however, is expected to remain quiet for the next couple of days.  We'll have sunshine and occasional periods of clouds, along with the off-chance of an isolated/random shower or thundershower (mainly over the mountains), with a little better chance of thundershowers on Sunday afternoon.  Temperatures will remain right in the normal range for this stage of April, and close to the warmest we've experienced all year.

Potentially ominous signs are appearing for Tuesday through Thursday of next week.  Warmer and warmer air building on the plains to our south is going to be overrun by a batch of colder air in the upper-atmosphere sinking southward from central Asia.  Computer models are hinting at some significant thunderstorm development here during the middle of next week... so stay tuned as we watch how that scenario evolves.

The CURRENT FORECAST, as always, is on the tab above.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

calm and comfortable... (pm.11.apr.13)>

*Update @ 8:22pm... There are light showers in progress at the moment, and there has even been a rumble of thunder in the last 15 minutes or so.  Satellite pics show an area of clouds and showers which has developed along the southwest-facing slopes of the mountains here in Himachal after sunset -- even though there is no recognizable disturbance in the area.!  I would expect all of this to diminish and fall apart well before midnight.

*Update @ 7:34pm... It has turned mostly cloudy again since sunset, and there are a few light sprinkles around the area.  Weird... I really have no idea why, apart from some strange mountain micro-climate effect this evening.  Currently 70.2F (21.2C) -- very mild.

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Thursday's stats:

Early morning low temp: 56.5F (13.6C)
Afternoon high temp: 73.0F (22.8C)
Rainfall: trace

We're in the midst of a very pleasant evening, with partly cloudy skies and low humidity.  The sunshine did give way to a major build-up of clouds over the mountains this afternoon, with some clouds temporarily forming further down in the valley as well, but it appears there was nothing more than some very isolated shower action up along the Dhauladhars.  The high temp was exactly what was expected.

Close to perfect mid-April weather is in the forecast for the next couple of days, as a weak ridge of high pressure controls the pattern across northern India.  We should enjoy sunny to partly cloudy skies, with the only risk of rain confined to the higher elevations as some moderate instability triggers some clouds and perhaps a few isolated showers up there.  A fast-moving upper-level disturbance will sweep through on Sunday, increasing the chance of a thundershower here in the immediate McLeod area, but it looks like a better chance of some significant rain and thunderstorms will enter the picture on Tuesday.  There are still hints of an active pattern for several days next week, so stay tuned for updates.

As far as temperatures are concerned, we're in very good shape through the next several days.  Both overnight low and daytime high temps should be very close to normal for the season.

Get the CURRENT FORECAST on the tab above.

quick recovery... (am.11.apr.13)>

We have mostly clear skies early on this Thursday morning -- it is already 59.0F (15.0C), after an overnight low temp of 56.5F (13.6C).  There was no more rainfall overnight, which leaves the total since very early Wednesday morning at 0.16" (4mm).

The upper-level disturbance responsible for our cooler and occasionally showery weather yesterday is quickly becoming a thing of the past, as its circulation center encounters the higher mountains and gets sheared apart.  Warming aloft is already occurring in its wake, and we'll have a rapid rebound in temperatures which should last into the weekend.  Potential mountain instability is really the only thing that needs to be watched during the next few days, as sunshine heats up the lower layers of the atmosphere while pools of colder air hover over the Himalayan ranges.  If you'll be hiking or trekking, just be aware of the chance for conditions to change very rapidly in the higher elevations during the afternoon hours -- which is normal almost any time of the year, but especially during the warmer seasons.

Looking further ahead, the weather pattern looks like it will be in a state of transition during the first part of next week.  Warmer air will continue to build on the plains to our south, but colder air in the higher levels of the atmosphere threatens to spill southward as well... so we could find ourselves in a battle between.

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

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

minor moisture... (pm.10.apr.13)>

Wednesday's stats:

Early morning low temp: 51.6F (10.9C)
Afternoon high temp: 68.2F (20.1C)
Rainfall: 0.16" (4mm) -- as of 8:00pm*

It is mostly cloudy just before sunset this evening, and there are still some rain showers in the area.  We had a couple of sunny interludes today, but the day was dominated by clouds and a few mainly light rain showers, which kept temperatures several degrees cooler than we've seen during the past 5 day or so.  As I mentioned this morning, even though April is typically the second driest month of the year, we still receive nearly 2" (5cm) on average, so a handful of days like this are not out of the ordinary.

A steadily weakening upper-level disturbance is centered to our west over central Pakistan this evening -- and what's left of it will be almost right on top of us by early tomorrow morning.  These scattered showers should taper off overnight, with rain chances diminishing even further tomorrow (Thu).  A weak ridge of high pressure will try to build back in during the end of the week, allowing our temperatures to warm back up pretty close to mid-April normals; but I don't think we're in for anything resembling an early summer heat wave.

The overall weather pattern into the middle of next week will favor a mix of sunshine and occasional clouds, along with a fairly significant chance of some afternoon thunder development over the mountains.  Right now Sunday looks to be the most potentially unstable, so keep that in mind if you're one of the many venturing uphill over the weekend.

Details can be found on the CURRENT FORECAST tab above.

scattered showers... (am.10.apr.13)>

Skies are cloudy at sunrise this morning, after a period of thunder and light rain showers which began around 3:45am and ended here at my location just after 6am.  I've recorded 0.12" (3mm) of rain, along with a cooler low temperature of 51.6F (10.9C) which has occurred in just the past half hour.

This rainfall is the first measurable of April.  Although April is the second driest month of the year, it still averages 1.9" (4.9cm) -- so this morning's showers have barely made a dent in that. 

A rapidly weakening upper-level disturbance is located over central Pakistan this morning, and is expected to be near the southwestern Kashmir border by late tonight.  This set-up will keep us eligible for more scattered shower and/or thundershower activity today into tonight as bands of energy and moisture swirl around the center of that disturbance.  Sunshine doesn't look very promising at the moment, but we could see some significant breaks in the clouds from time to time as the day progresses.

This system will be pretty much out of the picture by tomorrow (Thu), with rapid warming expected from the surface into the upper-levels of the atmosphere once again.  It won't take long for temperatures to rebound nicely.  We'll have to be on the lookout for PM instability-induced thundershowers over the mountains over the weekend, otherwise things are looking very nice and comfortable in the days ahead...

Your updated CURRENT FORECAST is on the tab above.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

a new high... (pm.09.apr.13)>

Tuesday's stats:

Early morning low temp: 61.2F (16.2C)
Afternoon high temp: 75.6F (24.2C) -- warmest of 2013
Rainfall: none

We have patchy high clouds across the area this evening as sunset approaches, after a day of sunshine and occasional mainly high clouds.  Today was the fourth day in a row above 70F, and the second consecutive of 75F or more.  It seems we have finally moved beyond the lingering early-mid March chill that hung on bit longer than normal this year.

The strong ridge of high pressure that has been driving our weather pattern the last few days is going to be breaking down during the next 24-36 hours.  An upper-level storm system over Afghanistan will move into Pakistan overnight, and then be centered near Jammu by early Thursday morning.  This system is already in the process of falling apart, and will continue to weaken rapidly as it approaches.  Nevertheless, there will be enough instability developing to trigger some scattered shower and thundershower activity from later tonight through Wednesday, and perhaps into Thursday as well.  Computer models are offering divergent solutions -- most are calling for barely measurable rainfall, but one model shows the potential for 1-2cm (0.40-0.80") by early Thursday.  April thus far has been almost totally dry, so it wouldn't hurt to pick up some moisture if we can.

The latter part of the week will feature a weak upper-level flow across northern India, embedded with a couple of minor disturbances.  The air mass near the surface will remain seasonably warm, so with some pockets of colder air aloft, we may see some mountain thunder during the afternoon hours.  All of that is pretty much on course for the season...

Your CURRENT FORECAST can be found on the tab above.

variety in the sky... (am.09.apr.13)>

Our mornings keep getting milder and milder.  My overnight low has been 61.2F (16.2C), which is the first time this year the low has remained above 60F.  Skies are partly cloudy at sunrise, and the humidity is 39%.

A steep ridge of high pressure remains overhead, providing warm temperatures from the surface well into the upper atmosphere, while keeping things relatively stable for now.  There are many patches of high cloudiness across northern India however, in advance of a storm system which is centered over the middle of Afghanistan this morning.  This system is still expected to weaken dramatically as it shifts eastward during the next two or three days, but could stir up a few scattered showers and thundershowers nonetheless.  One set of computer model data is a little more aggressive with measurable rainfall between late tonight and Thursday, but the other models are much less impressive.  The atmosphere should become only marginally moist, but lets see if we can squeeze out a little rain, which is always nice to get during the dry season.

Temperatures may drop a few degrees on Wednesday and Thursday with the passage of this system, but should rebound again by the weekend.  I'm not seeing any indication that we'll lose these pleasantly warm, seasonable temps anytime soon.

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

Monday, April 8, 2013

genuine warmth... (pm.08.apr.13)>

Monday's stats:

Early morning low temp: 58.8F (14.9C)
Afternoon high temp: 75.0F (23.9C) -- warmest of 2013
Rainfall: none

Apart from a thin layer of high clouds and some haze, skies are mostly clear just before sunset this evening.  Our high temp of 75F was exactly on target, and a couple of degrees warmer than our previous high of 2013 which occurred on Saturday.  After a cooler than normal start to the month, today's temps have actually been slightly above average for this stage of April.

We have a broad and strong ridge of high pressure across much of India to thank for this stellar weather.  The atmosphere is stable, humidity is low, and temperatures warm -- which is the normal state of circumstances this time of the year.  On average, the only drier month here in the Dharamsala area is November.

There are some changes on the way, but right now they are not looking terribly dramatic.  A storm system lurking to our west, centered over extreme southern Afghanistan, is moving in our direction.  It will sweep across northern India on Wednesday into early Thursday, but will have weakened considerably by then -- only providing us with a chance of a few scattered (and generally light) showers and/or thundershowers.  If we get anything close to 1cm (0.40") of rainfall, I'll be surprised.

Temperatures will dip slightly as this system passes, but should rebound fairly quickly during the latter part of the week.  There are plenty of obvious reasons that April is one of the most popular months of the year in McLeod Ganj!

Check the CURRENT FORECAST tab above for the latest 5-day outlook.

april's progression... (am.08.apr.13)>

There are a few thin patches of high clouds early this morning, otherwise it is mostly clear as the sun comes up.  My overnight low of 58.8F (14.9C) is a new warmest of the season, as we continue to erase what remains of any lingering late winter/early spring early morning chill.

We've had two days in a row of 72F and above for the first time this year -- and it looks like we'll be adding another few degrees onto that during the next couple of days.  A ridge of high pressure continues to strengthen across northern India, allowing temperatures to warm throughout all layers of the atmosphere, and keeping things generally stable.  Warming aloft is what triggers patches of high clouds (which we experienced for several hours yesterday), and we may get another round or two of those high clouds during the next 36 hours or so.  Otherwise, the April sun will do its thing and keep us pleasantly warm.

The remnants of a storm system now pushing into extreme southwestern Pakistan will roll into northwest India starting tomorrow (Tue) night, but is still expected to fall apart rapidly as it does so.  The risk of scattered showers and thundershowers will be with us between then and Thursday, but I still don't think we stand much of a chance to pick up any significant/extended rainfall.  In fact, although our temperatures will dip a bit on Wednesday into Thursday, they should rapidly recover... remaining in the normal range for early April.

Check the CURRENT FORECAST tab above for all the details.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

sun vs. clouds... (pm.07.apr.13)>

Sunday's stats:

Early morning low temp: 57.9F (14.4C)
Afternoon high temp: 72.0F (22.2C)
Rainfall: none

Skies are partly cloudy just before sunset on this Sunday evening after a day of rather wild swings between sun and clouds.  Although there was at least dim sun shining through most of the time, we did have an extended period of high cloudiness from about 11am until 4pm or so -- and that kept temperatures from going quite as high as expected.  Still, the high temp was very close to yesterday's warmest of the season.

Those high clouds today were the result of a burst of energy along with some warming in the upper-levels of the atmosphere which is occurring as our ridge of high pressure continues to build across northern India.  There's still a good chance of occasional periods of mainly high clouds during the next couple of days, but the air mass will continue to warm up, so a few hours of sunshine here and there will boost temperatures ever higher.  April is behaving pretty much like April is supposed to behave, actually.

A strong storm system continues to roll across southern Iran, the center of which will be located over the middle of Pakistan by Wednesday morning.  It still looks like it will be unable to survive as it crashes into the high pressure ridge over India, so it will weaken dramatically and rapidly as it gets closer to us.  The chance of a few scattered showers and thundershowers is still in the forecast for the mid-week period, but at this point, it doesn't look like we'll see much appreciable rainfall.

The CURRENT FORECAST tab at the top of the page has all the details.

breaking through... (am.07.apr.13)>

*Update @ 9:50am... Those early morning high clouds have disappeared for now, leaving us with tons of sunshine.  There could be more cloud development later this afternoon, and I'm still a bit concerned about thunder over the mountains.  Currently: 70.2F (21.2C).

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We have some high cloudiness around the area early this morning, otherwise the sun is shining and temperatures are already very mild.  My overnight low of 57.9F (14.4C) is the warmest I've recorded this season.  Humidity remains low -- at 35%.

It seems we've finally broken through the barrier that had kept our temperatures in the same general range since the beginning of March -- we've been late getting some consistent 70F+ temps, but looks like we've now arrived.  A high pressure ridge is still building over much of India, and will continue to do so until Tuesday.  Temps will keep warming up and will easily rise a few degrees above normal for early April, as long as we can keep enough sunshine in the equation.  That is questionable, as some upper-level energy and a bit of moisture are coming across the top of this high pressure ridge, providing us with occasional cloudiness and even the risk of a mountain thundershower, especially today.

The storm system way off to our west that we've been talking about is now located in southern Iran.  It will attempt to break down our strong high pressure ridge as it approaches late Tuesday and Wednesday, but still looks like it will lose the battle and pretty much fall apart before it reaches us.  The chance of some scattered showers and thundershowers will increase during the mid-week period, however.  Stay tuned as we keep an eye on how that unfolds.

The updated CURRENT FORECAST can always be found on the tab above.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

major seasonal shift... (pm.06.apr.13)>

Saturday's stats:

Early morning low temp: 53.6F (12.0C)
Afternoon high temp: 72.5F (22.5C) -- warmest of 2013 
Rainfall: none

Another nearly perfect evening is in progress, with clear skies and pleasant temperatures just before sunset.  Today turned out to be the warmest of our new spring/summer season, with our warming trend kicking in a little more rapidly and aggressively than expected.  Humidity has remained very low -- generally in the 35-45% range all day.

Major seasonal changes are in progress, as a rather strong ridge of high pressure continues to build across India.  At the same time, an intense upper-level storm system over the northern Persian Gulf will be moving eastward.  This combination of factors will cause warmer and warmer air to be pumped northward, bringing us the highest temps of this year by far, but also increasing the moisture content of the air by fits and starts.  A preliminary burst of energy and moisture is still expected to move across northern India on Sunday, and that will probably generate a few more clouds than we've seen in the last few days, while giving us a chance of a couple of thundershowers mainly higher up in the mountains.

That Persian Gulf system itself will die out almost completely by the time it nudges into northwest India on Wednesday.  However, we will see an increase in shower potential for the mid-week period, even if it doesn't look like a notable amount of moisture at this point.  I can't say with absolute certainty just yet, but it seems that we may be safely into a pattern that will keep our temperatures close to where they should be for this time of year for a while.

CURRENT FORECAST details can be found on the tab above.