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...

Friday, February 28, 2014

wet and cold... (pm.28.feb.14)>

*Update @ 8:03pm...  New rain showers since about 6:30pm have boosted today's rainfall total to 0.18" (5mm).  The temperature is near the coldest of the day -- hovering around 41F (5C).

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Friday's stats:

Low temp: 40.1F (4.5C) -- at 7:00pm*
High temp: 48.7F (9.3C)
Precipitation: 0.18" (5mm)*
*updated

We are socked in with clouds this evening, and have been since the late morning, for the most part.  The rain has been less than impressive today so far -- with a period of drizzle, sprinkles and very light rain showers during the early afternoon hours barely able to register a measurement in my rain gauge.  Temperatures today were much more like what we would expect in late January, as opposed to the final day of February.

The main weather features in play recently are changing only slowly, as a large area of low pressure in the upper atmosphere continues to spin in a counter-clockwise manner across Afghanistan, Pakistan and northern India.  The center of this system is still to our south and west, and will shift into northern India tomorrow (Sat).  There is a good amount of moisture lying in wait, so as spokes of energy rotate around this system, there will continue to be some waves of shower development occurring, along with a chance of some thunder at times as well.  We haven't really seen much precipitation of any consequence since yesterday afternoon, but that doesn't mean much.  Continue to be on guard for rainy weather to reappear sometime between tonight and Sunday, before this system finally starts exiting to the east.

Climatologically, the chance of accumulating snowfall is very small in McLeod Ganj proper by the 1st of March -- but this is such a cold system, with even colder air aloft, that we have to consider the possibility of frozen forms of precipitation in our area, despite the late date.

A period of brighter weather may occur between mid-day Sunday and late Monday, but confidence on that is quite low, since we've got yet another disturbance expected to make its way toward us by Monday night and Tuesday.  But we've got enough to worry about before any of that takes tangible form...

CURRENT FORECAST details can be found on the tab above.

winter's overstay... (am.28.feb.14)>

There is a broken overcast across the area just before sunrise this morning, and the temperature is very near the overnight low of 41.2F (5.1C).  If there were any showers during the night, I slept through them, but it seems I have about 0.02" (less than 1mm) extra in the rain gauge this morning -- so maybe something did move through at some point.  The humidity reading is currently 56%.

Our wet and cold February has reached its final day, and will be bowing out in similar fashion.  It is almost ridiculously cold for this time of year, with temperatures since yesterday afternoon running about 10-12F below normal for the end of Feb.  Even if we get some sunshine on occasion during the coming few days, our air mass is of central Asian origin and still has the character of winter.

A very slow-moving upper-level disturbance remains centered over central Pakistan, and will shift only to Punjab/Himachal by tomorrow (Sat) evening.  There is a healthy amount of moisture lying across northern India now, with colder air continuing to filter in from the north and northwest.  All of these ingredients will keep us dealing with an unstable weather situation that could yield periods of rain showers and thunder all the way into Sunday, which is the first day of Tibetan Losar.  As we saw yesterday, temperatures in the higher levels of the atmosphere are cold enough to produce frozen forms of precipitation, so if we get more convective/thundery development, we could see another round of snow/sleet/hail.  Just be prepared for sudden turns and changes all the way through the coming weekend.

I am very sorry to say that there seems to be yet another disturbance which is expected to sweep into our area by late Monday and Tuesday, increasing the risk of wet weather into the middle of next week.  Temperatures will not be making any kind of a springtime leap, either...

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

Thursday, February 27, 2014

shivratri treat... (pm.27.feb.14)>

*Update @ 8:25pm...  It's currently 41.9F (5.5C) with some high clouds and stars.  It seems that 0.75" to 2.5" amounts of small hail and snow grains/pellets accumulated over a very wide area between roughly 3:30 and 4:15pm -- with the lesser amounts in McLeod, and the higher amounts obviously further uphill towards Tushita, Naddi, Dharamkot and Upper Bhagsu.  There were probably closer to 4 inches even higher.  This is one of the latest accumulating snowfalls I can remember here at my location.

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Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 39.0F (3.9C) -- at 4:00pm
High temp: 52.5F (11.4C) -- at 9:20am
Precipitation: 0.51" (1.3cm) -- melted*
Snow/hail: 1.2" (3.0cm)*
*updated

We're back to partly cloudy skies again this evening, after a very interesting afternoon.  Though we've had a lot of alternations between clouds and sun all day, the clouds really thickened up after 2:00pm, and some thunder started rumbling at 2:30pm or so.  Just after 3:40pm there was a full-blown thundershower in progress, with very cold air aloft producing a very impressive late February dumping of hail and snow grains/pellets.  I had just over an inch of accumulation at my house on Tushita Road, but since surface temperatures were well above freezing, melting began immediately.  Speaking of temps -- the high occurred in the morning, and the low in the late afternoon.

The same factors are in play that we've been anticipating and talking about both morning and evening for the past few days.  1) an upper-level disturbance and circulation to our west (now over central Pakistan) which is going to drift only slowly to the east between now and Sunday.  2) moisture creeping up from the south.  3) colder air in the mid- and upper-levels sagging into north India from central Asia.  This combination of variables is now coming into sync, and will continue to provide us with occasional rounds of showers and thunder for the next few days.  It's not going to rain (and/or snow) continuously by any means -- but our air mass will be threateningly unstable.

Even with some sunshine at times, our temps have been and will remain well below normal for the Feb/March transition.  And as we learned today, there is enough cold air aloft for us not to ignore the threat of some of the icier forms of precipitation.

CURRENT FORECAST specifics are on the tab above.

disturbed for the duration... (am.27.feb.14)>

*Update @ 3:49pm...  There is a heavy thundershower in progress, and it is producing a mix of rain, hail, and snow pellets here in the upper part of town.  The ground is turning white already.  The temp is 42.4F (5.8C) -- but the air in the layers just above us is obviously darn cold.

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There has been some thunder, along with a period of very gusty winds during the past couple of hours, but it is partly cloudy with nearly calm winds here at my location in the upper part of town as sunrise approaches.  Rainfall overnight didn't register a measurement in my rain gauge, so we'll call it a trace since last evening's report.  I've recorded an overnight low of 44.9F (7.2C), and the humidity is currently 47%.

The broad but rather disorganized area of low pressure in the upper atmosphere is still anchored just to our west, and will be reinforced by another upper-level disturbance dropping in from the northwest tomorrow (Fri).  This whole system is going to move very little during the next three or four days, keeping things very unstable as we close down February and move into March.  In addition, there is an impressive amount of tropical moisture oozing northward, as a batch of colder air sinks southward.  This, in combination with the upper-level energy, is going to keep a good chance of several waves of rain showers and thunder in the forecast right through the weekend.  As I mentioned last night, this doesn't look like the kind of scenario for long-lasting persistent rainfall -- it should be more of the scattered, come-and-go variety.

Temperatures will bounce upward if we can manage to get a couple of hours of sunshine here and there, but any surface warming will just contribute to the unstable nature of this air mass, generating more showers/thundershowers.  Otherwise, expect temps to be much cooler than average for this time of the year.

There are signs of yet another increase in rain potential on Monday into Tuesday, so we've got little chance of any kind of long-term turn to dry, quiet and warm weather anytime soon...

Check the CURRENT FORECAST details on the tab above.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

increasingly unstable... (pm.26.feb.14)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 44.4F (6.9C)
High temp: 55.0F (12.8C)
Precipitation: trace

It is partly cloudy just after sunset this evening, with most of the remaining clouds up along the mountains.  Today has consisted of a nearly 50/50 split between clouds and sun, along with a brief period of thunder and very light rain showers between about 4:00 and 4:30pm.  Temperatures have averaged out a bit cooler than we've enjoyed the last couple of days.

A broad and rather disorganized area of low pressure in the upper atmosphere is loitering just to our west at the moment, and will very slowly and gradually creep eastward over the next three or four days.  In the lower levels, moisture is flowing northward toward the Himalayas of north India, while an unseasonably cold batch of air in the mid- and upper levels sags southward from central Asia.  Although this whole system is rather ill defined so far, and the computer models still haven't settled on a consistent solution, the overall theme is that we're in for a prolonged stretch of unstable weather which could last all the way into early next week.

Already this afternoon we had a brief precursor of some action, in the form of that brief thundershower -- and we'll look for the potential of rain and some occasional thunder to increase incrementally as we head through tomorrow into Friday and Saturday.  We probably won't have long-lasting persistent rainfall, but sudden showers could occur anytime -- some of which could be moderate to heavy -- especially tomorrow (Thu) night into Saturday.  The models are literally flopping back and forth with different scenarios with each data run... so stay tuned for updated info.

Temperatures aloft will be cold enough for some major nose-dives during periods of precipitation, so we'll have to keep an eye out for accumulating snowfall above McLeod -- mainly above 2100m (6900ft).

Check the CURRENT FORECAST details on the tab above.

another realignment... (am.26.feb.14)>

At sunrise this morning we have partly cloudy and hazy skies, with a humidity reading of 70%.  The overnight low temp at my location on Tushita Road below the mountaineering center has been 44.4F (6.9C) -- and that occurred just a few minutes ago.  There has been no precipitation since last report.

Our atmosphere is in the midst of another major realignment phase, as the weak high pressure ridge which was in control during the first part of the week yields to a broad trough of low pressure in the upper atmosphere now easing in from the west.  There are several embedded areas of upper-level circulation in that trough which are going to bring us an extended period of unsettled/unstable weather conditions.  We're also seeing a gradual increase in the overall moisture content of our air mass, while colder air filters in from the north and northwest during the coming few days.  All of this spells out a rather long period of unseasonably cold and potentially wet weather as we cross from February into March, and approach Tibetan Losar.

The computer models are really kind of all over the place with how precipitation patterns are going to develop over northern India.  The general idea is that we'll see an increasing chance of a few rain showers by tonight, with the best chance of significant rain still pegged for perhaps Thursday night through Friday night.  But rain chances will linger through the weekend as well.  Temperatures will drop back into a range that is way below normal for this time of year, and that's going to cause us to be concerned about accumulating snow potential in the higher elevations as this precipitation develops.  Stay tuned for updates...

The CURRENT FORECAST is on the tab above.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

sun/cloud struggles... (pm.25.feb.14)>

Tuesday's stats:

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

Lingering low clouds just after sunset this evening are in the process of dissipating, which should leave us with clear skies shortly.  Today came in two very distinct parts.  Throughout the morning and early afternoon we had unrestricted sunshine which boosted my temperature in the upper part of town to its warmest of the month of February, and the warmest since a rogue mild day back during the first week of January.  But then, clouds literally exploded over the mountains starting around 1:30pm, leading to mostly cloudy skies from about 2:30pm onwards.  The warmth of the soothing morning sunshine was quickly forgotten, as temps dipped again.

There's no hint of a storm system or even any kind of significant upper-level disturbance in our area... this afternoon's clouds were just one of the many manifestations of our mountain micro-climate effects which can be set off by the most subtle changes in the temperature and moisture content of the air mass here along the front slopes of the Dhauladhars.

We do have a legitimate period of disturbed weather on the way as the end of the week approaches, however.  The first in a long series of upper-level circulations will ease into northern India from the west very late tomorrow (Wed) night, as gradually colder air in the upper atmosphere sinks southward.  There will also be a fresh surge of moisture approaching from the south.  All of this points toward an extended period of unsettled and potentially wet weather for us -- from very late tomorrow night all the way through Saturday, and possibly beyond.  The most significant rainfall looks most likely on Friday into early Saturday, but that could change as the computer models attempt to decipher how all of these variables are going to converge.

The bottom line is this:  We are in for some wet and unseasonably cold weather as we make our transition from February into March.

CURRENT FORECAST specifics can be found on the tab above.

small glimpse of spring... (am.25.feb.14)>

*Update @ 2:58pm... Our sunshine which was pretty much unrestricted until the early afternoon has been very rapidly replaced by clouds during the past hour.  This is all mountain-induced, due to the strong daytime heating... but will probably remain with us until sunset.  That's the end of today's nice warm-up!

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Our skies are absolutely clear just before sunrise this morning, after a calm and peaceful night with a low temp of 46.6F (8.1C) and no precipitation.  The humidity this morning is low -- at 38%.

It looks like it's going to be a beautiful day, and most likely one of the mildest since way back in mid- December.  We'll have to be on guard for a bit of cloud development by mid-day into the afternoon hours, but if the sun can manage to hold on, it might even begin to feel a little like springtime.  A weak high pressure ridge aloft along with decreasing amounts of moisture here in the lower levels are the factors on our side today.  But I'll remind you, despite the improvement, it's still going to be a couple of degrees (F) cooler than normal for the end of February.

Unfortunately, this pleasantness isn't going to last.  The upper-level pattern is going to revert to a more disturbed scenario starting tomorrow (Wed), and as a fresh batch of moisture begins to creep northward, we're going to see conditions deteriorate during the latter part of the week.  Although the chance of some rain showers will increase on Thursday, it's now looking like the best chances of rain and thunder will be on Friday into Friday night... with some showers lingering into Saturday as well.  Temperatures will drop back into a zone that is far too cold for the Feb/March transition, with some accumulating snow likely on the hills above.

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

Monday, February 24, 2014

relatively pleasant... (pm.24.feb.14)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 45.5F (7.5C)
High temp: 56.3F (13.5C)
Precipitation: none

There is still a good amount of scattered high cloudiness around the area at sunset this evening... at the end of day in which sunshine and clouds were in constant competition.  The warmth of the late winter sun was enough, however, to deliver a temperature this afternoon at my location in the upper part of town to match the warmest of this entire month of February.  A temp of 56.3F (13.5C) also occurred back on Sunday, the 2nd of Feb.  That's still a few degrees cooler than it should be this time of year,  but it's progress for us, considering what a chilly month it has been.

A weak high pressure ridge over northern India hasn't been strong enough to squash the occasional cloud development, but has also allowed some nice sunshine to aid in the modest warm-up of our air mass.  We'll be under the influence of this high pressure again tomorrow, but will still be subject to a period or two of high clouds.  It may even be a degree or two milder tomorrow.  By Wednesday some cooler air in the upper-atmosphere will begin to appear, along with an increasingly disturbed upper-air pattern as well.

It will take until late Wednesday night or Thursday to get the right combination of moisture and dynamic energy aloft to bring in our next good chance of precipitation.  Although it's not looking like a particularly heavy rain event, we'll need to be prepared for some off and on periods of rain and possibly even some thundershowers from the wee hours of Thursday morning all the way through Friday into Saturday.  Temperatures are going to drop considerably as well... though the rain/snow line should stay above McLeod once again.

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

this month's mildest... (am.24.feb.14)>

There is some patchy high cloudiness at sunrise on this Monday morning, otherwise it is fairly pleasant.  My overnight low temperature here on Tushita Road just below the mountaineering center has been 45.5F (7.5C), which is one of the mildest of the month.  There has been no precipitation since last report, and the humidity is 40%.

The end of February is the time of year when everyone is anxiously awaiting a dramatic turn to warmer, springtime weather.  But of course we often end up frustrated and disappointed when the large scale weather pattern doesn't exactly line up that way.  It does look like we're in for some nicer conditions during the next couple of days -- in the form of temperatures which may end up being the mildest of the month -- but it won't last long, as another period of disturbed weather and cooler temps is on the way for the latter part of the week.

In the near term, expect a mix of sunshine and occasional clouds, with temperatures struggling to get close to the average for the tail-end of February.  But on Wednesday, we should start to feel the effects of the next shift in the pattern, leading to an increasing chance of some rain showers (with snow above) on Thursday, Friday, and possibly into Saturday as well.  It's likely that it will be much cooler than normal as the calendar flips from Feb to March...

CURRENT FORECAST details are available on the tab above.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

still cool for the season... (pm.23.feb.14)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 43.2F (6.2C)
High temp: 53.8F (12.1C)
Precipitation: none

We've had a fairly thick build-up of clouds here along the southwest-facing slopes of the Dhauladhars this afternoon, which are just now in the process of breaking up and dissipating at sunset.  There was a lot of sunshine during the morning into the early afternoon, however, and that aided a modest warm-up today.

A weak ridge of high pressure is building across northern India, and will keep things calm and quiet for the next few days, while allowing temperatures to continue their moderate upward climb.  The atmosphere will be generally stable through Wednesday, though our sunshine will continue to be challenged by occasional periods of cloudiness on any given day.  Rain chances will be close to zero, the way things look at the moment.

There will be a realignment of the upper-atmospheric pattern for the end of the week, however, and that's going to bring an increase in rain/snow chances, while causing our temperatures to drop yet again as we end the month.  The best precipitation potential right now looks to be between late Wednesday night and early Saturday, but the current computer model projections are keeping rain/snow amounts on the lighter side for our general area.  Still... it's not looking very pleasant for the final couple of days of a month that has been quite a bit cooler and much wetter than normal.

The CURRENT FORECAST specifics are on the tab at the top of the page.

bouncing back... (am.23.feb.14)>

Other than some light haze and a few thin wisps of cirrus clouds, it's mostly clear just before sunrise on this Sunday morning.  My overnight low temp of 43.2F (6.2C) has occurred just recently, and there has been no additional precipitation overnight.  The humidity reading is 48%.

Our now departed and defunct storm system exerted most of its muscle during a six hour period very early on Saturday morning -- providing us with 1.12" (2.8cm) of rain -- and is now out of the picture.  That's going to leave us with a much nicer period of weather during the next two to three days, as some weak high pressure ridging develops across northern India.  We should see consistently milder temperatures from the surface into the upper-levels of the atmosphere, with generally stable conditions during this period.  There will still be some cloudiness on occasion, but I think sunshine will be a little more prominent during the first half of this week.

We've spent nearly all of this month in the below average category, as far as temperatures are concerned -- and though it will be milder the next few days, I doubt whether we'll be able to hit 60F (15.6C), which is the normal high temp as we near the end of February.

Yet another period of potentially wet weather may be on the way for the end of the week, along with a downturn in temperatures once again...

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

Saturday, February 22, 2014

feb total increases... (pm.22.feb.14)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 36.0F (2.2C) -- around 1:30am
High temp: 50.9F (10.5C) -- around 9:45am
Precipitation since midnight: 1.12" (2.8cm)
Snowfall: trace

There's been a lot of variability in the cloud cover late this afternoon and evening, and that remains the case at this hour.  In fact, all day long we've had sudden swings between glimpses of sun and then thick cloudiness and even some fog -- along with several periods of sprinkles and light rain showers.  There was even another rumble of thunder just after 5:00pm.  Nearly all of the measurable rainfall occurred between midnight and 6:00am, however -- and we've barely added to that at all since then.  Temperatures this morning swung wildly with gusty winds mixing this air mass around.

We've still got an upper-level disturbance/circulation nearly right overhead, and that's what has kept us dealing with a very changeable and unstable atmosphere today.  This system has delivered a rainfall total fairly close to expectations, though the fact that nearly all of it occurred during a six hour period very early this morning was surprising.  The February precipitation total at my location in the upper part of town has now reached 8.67" (22.0cm), which is more than double the normal amount.

The risk of a few rain showers remains during the overnight hours, but then that chance will decrease further on Sunday, as most of the remaining moisture gets shunted off to the east and a flat west-to-east flow develops in the upper atmosphere.  That will set us up for moderating temperatures until the middle of the week, with more of our recent trend of alternating sunshine and clouds.  There are no major storms on the horizon, but also no dramatic turn to consistent springtime weather.

CURRENT FORECAST info can be found on the tab above.

the latest delivery... (am.22.feb.14)>

*Update @ 9:25am... It's been nice to see the sun breaking through during the past hour or so.  We'll still have to be on guard for the development of more showers at times, but it could turn out that this system has pretty much blown itself out already.  Current temp: 46.8F (8.2C).

*Update @ 7:59am... Sporadic rain showers have started up again, and I've had a few snowflakes mixed in with the rain in the past few minutes.  Temp has dipped again -- now 41.2F (5.1C)

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It's been quite a night... with a few periods of rain and thunder, along with some very gusty winds at times.  Right now it's cloudy and a bit breezy, but there is no rain falling.  I've recorded a surprisingly cold overnight low temperature of 36.0F (2.2C) which occurred briefly around 1:30am -- but the temp has rebounded to 43.2F (6.2C) just before sunrise.  The big shock of the morning is seeing the 1.10" (2.8cm) in the rain gauge, which is definitely more than I was expecting by this time.  It looks like the snow line dropped fairly low, so I'll look forward to hearing from people in Dharamkot, Upper Bhagsu, Naddi, and points above.

A rather compact upper-level circulation is located close to the Pak/Kashmir border to the southwest of Srinagar early this morning, and is expected to slowly wobble its way across southern J&K and Himachal today into this evening.  There was apparently very good coordination between a stream of moisture being drawn northward and upper-level dynamic energy easing in from the west -- which was able to set off our significant round of precipitation and even some impressive thunder and lightning since just after midnight.  It could be that the majority of our rain/snow is already over... but there is one computer model that is showing some redevelopment right on top of us that will keep us under the gun today into this evening for more occasional rain.

The risk of lingering showers is looking smaller on Sunday, with a fairly rapid warming trend expected for the first few days of the week.  Still, we're not going to see a totally clear and quiet and uneventful pattern taking shape, so there will continue to be a lot of back-and-forth between clouds and sun.  Looking toward the end of the week, our wet and cold February will most likely end on that same note...

Check the CURRENT FORECAST details on the tab above.

Friday, February 21, 2014

no sign of spring... (pm.21.feb.14)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 43.9F (6.6C)
High temp: 55.4F (13.0C)
Precipitation: none

It's partly cloudy this evening -- at the end of another day with alternating clouds and sun.  The sunshine was dominant until around noon, giving us a high temp around that time which was a couple of degrees (F) milder than expected.  But then it became a bit breezy with some thicker clouds at times during the afternoon, making it feel cooler.  We've yet to see any shower development.

I'll have to say that I'm not at all impressed with the way this next system is coming together up to this point, and even less impressed with the way a couple of the computer models are dealing with its development during the next 12-24 hours.  There is some moisture being drawn in from the south and southeast, but the upper-level circulation itself is not very strong... so it seems that we'll be dealing with a much less robust system than we were in the middle of this time last week.  Also, there's not nearly as sharp of a battle line between milder/colder air masses this time around.

Still... some rain shower development is expected to occur in our vicinity overnight, with the potential for some occasional moderate periods of rain tomorrow (Sat) into tomorrow night.  We could get surprised, but I'm thinking rainfall totals will be around one inch (2.5cm) or less by the time Sunday morning arrives.  Of course the rain/snow line will have to be watched carefully, but will most likely remain well above McLeod proper.

Rapid improvement is expected on Sunday, but despite a rebound in temps, we'll stay in this 'below normal' range as we head toward the final few days of February.  No genuine glimpses of spring in sight...

CURRENT FORECAST specifics can be found on the tab above.

gearing up again... (am.21.feb.14)>

It is mostly clear just before sunrise this Friday morning, but there is some light haze and fog in the air.  My low temp of 43.9F (6.6C) occurred just a few minutes ago, and humidity is currently 55%.  There has been no precipitation overnight.

We've seen a whole lot of back-and-forth between clouds and sun since Tuesday afternoon, thanks to a nearly continuous stream of very weak upper-level disturbances which have been traversing across northern India from the west-southwest.  Up to this point, there hasn't been much moisture involved, so there has been little or no rain shower development in our area.  But it looks like that will change during the coming 12-18 hours or so.

The center of a new upper-level system is located over east-central Afghanistan early this morning, and will gradually move eastward and end up pretty much on top of Himachal Pradesh by mid-day Saturday.  Already some south-southeasterly winds in the low-levels of the atmosphere are beginning to transfer deeper moisture northward against the mountains ahead of this system, so as the upper level energy approaches tonight, we'll see an increasing chance of precipitation development here.  At least right now, this isn't looking nearly as ominous as last weekend's rain/snow maker -- but there is the potential for anything between about 1.5cm (0.60") and 4cm (1.6") of rain in our immediate area between tonight and early Sunday morning.

As I've been alluding to all week, the freezing level and snow line will likely remain above McLeod this time, but the further uphill you live, the better chance you have of receiving several inches of snow accumulations.  Best to be prepared.

Some clearing and warming is expected again early next week, but it probably won't last long before yet another batch of wet/colder weather moves in shortly thereafter.

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

Thursday, February 20, 2014

upcoming rain potential... (pm.20.feb.14)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 43.2F (6.2C)
High temp: 53.8F (12.1C)
Precipitation: none

Our skies are partly cloudy just after sunset this evening, as they have been pretty much all day.  It has truly been a shared experience between sunshine and clouds today, with neither really gaining the upper hand for long.  Temperatures, though mild compared to what we've dealt with during the majority of this month, are still several degrees (F) below normal for this time of year.  Although the climatological average high temp is now close to 60F (15.6C), I haven't recorded that temp since the 3rd of December at my location in the upper part of town.

The general weather pattern has been in kind of a limbo state for the past couple of days, as a weak west-southwesterly flow in the upper atmosphere continues to channel a few minor disturbances/circulations across northern India.  There hasn't been enough moisture available (nor much strong upward lift) to get anything more than a few isolated rain/snow showers going over the highest mountain peaks -- but it looks like there will be some changes as we head into the weekend.

A stronger upper-level system now over western Afghanistan is expected to move slowly eastward during the next 48 hours, arriving somewhere over the Pakistan/northwest India border by mid-day Saturday.  Although there is the typical inconsistency in the data at this point, we should see a moisture tap develop by tomorrow night, allowing some rather juicy tropical moisture to flow northward into the western Himalayas as the upper-level system approaches.  All but one of the computer models this evening is less robust with rainfall amounts, but it still looks like there could be something between 1.5cm (0.60") and 5.0cm (2.0") of rain/melted snow in our general vicinity between Friday night and Sunday morning.

More up-mountain locations could see some significant snowfall, but at least right now, it appears that the freezing level should keep snow above McLeod this time.  But of course that's rarely a sure thing... so stay tuned for new outlooks/info.

CURRENT FORECAST details are available on the tab above.

alternating variables... (am.20.feb.14)>

It's partly cloudy at sunrise on this Friday morning, and I've recorded no precipitation overnight, along with a low temp of 43.2F (6.2C).  Humidity remains low, at 39%.

We're still in the midst of a moderately active upper-level pattern, as weak disturbances and circulations move from the west-southwest across northern India.  There is also a weak southeasterly flow at the lower levels, so we're continuing to see occasional cloudiness -- though there is not nearly enough moisture to aid in the development of any significant precipitation near us.  There could be an isolated/random light rain shower somewhere today, but I think the chance of that happening will be slightly better to our north and northeast in the higher elevations.  Hopefully we can get a few periods of nice sunshine as well.

A stronger storm system is waiting in the wings for the weekend, with the best chance of significant rain scheduled for Friday night into mid-day Sunday.  The upper-level system itself won't be all that dynamic, but there is going to be a moisture stream being drawn up from the south, and everything will be moving rather slowly.  Computer models are offering a wide range of solutions for precipitation amounts -- from less than 2cm (0.8") all the way up to 7cm (2.8") -- so we'll have to wait to see if there might be more agreement as tomorrow night gets closer.  At this point, it still looks like accumulating snow will remain above McLeod, but maybe not above parts of Dharamkot and Naddi.

Temperatures for the next five days, along with other CURRENT FORECAST details can be found on the tab above.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

wiggles and ripples... (pm.19.feb.14)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 44.2F (6.8C)
High temp: 51.3F (10.7C)
Precipitation: none

There are patches of mainly mid- and high clouds around the area just after sunset this evening.  Our sunshine this morning was relatively short-lived... replaced by rapidly increasing high clouds again well before noon.  Temperatures peaked during the late morning, then dipped again with the loss of good sunshine by mid-day and throughout the afternoon.  There may have been a few sprinkles of rain somewhere around the area, but I never personally saw even a single drop.  Humidity hovered in the range of 45-60%.

It looks like this marginally disturbed pattern is going to be the rule for the next couple of days, as a few weak upper-level circulations ripple and wiggle and wobble their way across northern India from the west-southwest.  We'll have to deal with these extensive periods of cloudiness from time to time, but there will also probably be some peeks of sunshine as well.  Rainfall is unlikely, but we can't totally rule out a slight chance of a random light rain shower or two sometime between late tonight and Friday.

There is basic consistency in the computer model projections of a stronger system developing in our area on Friday night, providing us with a much better chance of significant rainfall through Saturday into at least Sunday morning.  A conservative estimate right now would be about 2cm (0.80") of rain/melted snow here along the front slopes of the Dhauladhars between very late Friday night and sunrise on Sunday, but of course we'll have to keep a close eye on things as new data comes out.  I still feel confident that we will remain on the liquid side of the rain/snow line this time, at least here in the immediate McLeod Ganj area.

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

sun/cloud combo... (am.19.feb.14)>

We've cleared out again early this morning, as the large area of high clouds that had been with us since yesterday afternoon pushes off to the east-southeast.  My current temperature is also the overnight low -- 44.2F (6.8C), and there has been no precipitation since last report.  Humidity is 41% just before sunrise.

The big ridge of high pressure that had provided us with about a day and a half of totally sunny weather has now broken down, and is being replaced by an upper-level flow that is embedded with weak ripples and disturbances.  There will be very little to get excited about, since moisture is very limited, and will remain so until late Friday.  However, be aware of the likelihood of some extended periods of cloudiness on occasion between now and Friday, along with a slight chance of one or two isolated/random light rain showers at some point.  Although temperatures are milder than they were over this past weekend, our air mass will be generally cooler than normal for this time of year, with occasional clouds keeping us from getting the full benefit of the late winter sun.

A stronger storm system is still being forecast by the computer models to come together over northern India by Friday night, bringing us a good chance of some significant rainfall all the way into Saturday night and perhaps Sunday as well.  Temperatures will drop, but there shouldn't be enough cold air associated with this system to bring the snow line down as far as McLeod Ganj.  Of course we'll be watching all of the assembling variables as the end of the week approaches...

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

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

the next disturbances... (pm.18.feb.14)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 43.9F (6.6C)
High temp: 54.9F (12.7C)
Precipitation: none

We have an extensive deck of high, thin cirrus clouds across the area just after sunset this evening, which actually began developing during the early afternoon.  Up until about 2:00pm there was almost unlimited sunshine --  boosting my high temp to its warmest since the 2nd of February.  It was still a few degrees (F) cooler than average for this time of year, but after the unseasonably cold weather we've dealt with most days this month, it certainly felt nice.

These high clouds rapidly developed from central Pakistan into northern India this afternoon in advance of the first in a series of upper-level disturbances which will be dominating our weather pattern for the rest of this week.  Between tomorrow and Friday evening there will be very little moisture available for these minor disturbances to work with... so occasional periods of cloudiness with perhaps an isolated light rain shower or two will be the only threats.  But by Friday night, some deeper moisture being drawn northward will get wrapped into a stronger upper-level circulation -- leading to a better chance of some significant rainfall (and snow higher up), which could last through Saturday into perhaps early Sunday.

Unfortunately, it looks like our recent warming trend has come to an end -- at least for the next several days.  Although we shouldn't drop back into the frigid range of temps we had over the past weekend, it's going to be significantly cooler than normal for the latter half of February.

Check the CURRENT FORECAST info on the tab above.

melting mode... (am.18.feb.14)>

A superb February morning is shaping up, with clear skies and mild temperatures at sunrise.  I've recorded a predawn low temp of 43.9F (6.6C), which is warmer than our HIGH temps were on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  There has been no precipitation overnight, and humidity is low, at 37%.

The strong high pressure ridge which has been dominating our weather since late Sunday night is providing an even more robust warm-up than anticipated... and I'm sure there are very few complaints about that.  As long as not too many high clouds creep in from the west-southwest today, we should enjoy enough sunshine in combination with this much milder air mass to boost our high temp close to the warmest since the 2nd of Feb (56.3F/13.5C).  That's still a couple of degrees (F) below normal for the date, but it's certainly a huge improvement over our recent much colder than normal temps.  The snow melt theme will continue in earnest today.

It still looks like we'll have a change in the weather pattern again starting tomorrow, as this high pressure ridge breaks down and gets replaced by a wobbling flow of upper-level disturbances.  Rain chances are looking minimal for us, but there will likely be some periods of significant cloudiness on Wednesday, and occasional clouds on Thursday and Friday as well.  Temperatures will slide downward a bit in response to these changes.

Our next chance of significant precipitation is in the forecast for Friday night through Saturday night, as a stronger system eases in from the west and some juicier moisture is drawn northward ahead of it.  That will be our main thing to keep track of during the coming several days...

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

Monday, February 17, 2014

upswing in progress... (pm.17.feb.14)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 35.2F (1.8C)
High temp: 48.6F (9.2C)
Precipitation: none

What a day it has been.  From start to finish, we've had sunny skies, with only one or two very short-lived cumulus clouds attempting to build over the highest mountain peaks during the mid-afternoon.  Although temperatures are still way below normal for this time of year, it was much milder than the last three days, and very pleasant and refreshing in the direct sunshine.  The sky remains clear just after sunset.

The building ridge of high pressure we've been talking about and anticipating is definitely doing its job, and should continue to provide us with some quiet, bright and milder weather for another day or so.  We'll probably get an even bigger bump in temperatures tomorrow, and if there isn't much high cloud intrusion, the sunshine combined with this warmer air mass should get us a bit closer to the norm for the middle of February.

The first in our next series of upper-level disturbances will move in on Wednesday.  Right now it seems like rain chances won't be great -- at least here on this side of the Dhauladhars -- but we're likely to see more cloudiness as the latter part of the week unfolds, with this recent warming trend coming to a halt.  It also looks like we could see a stronger system develop across northern India by Friday night, bringing us an increasing chance of some significant rainfall (with snow likely remaining above us this time) through Saturday into perhaps early Sunday.

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

something nicer... (am.17.feb.14)>

It is totally clear as the sun begins to brighten up the eastern sky on this Monday morning.  The temp is up to 37.0F (2.8C) at the moment, but I've recorded an overnight low of 35.2F (1.8C).  There has been no precipitation overnight, but about one inch of snow and ice pellets during the past 24 hours, thanks to our impressive period of thundersnow late yesterday afternoon.  The humidity this morning has dropped to 40% -- the lowest in a few days.

After what will probably go down in the record books as the coldest and snowiest days of this winter season, we're in line for a little bit of a treat today and Tuesday.  A very robust ridge of high pressure is already building across northern India, with much milder temperatures arriving throughout all layers of the atmosphere.  High pressure ridges are stable weather features, preventing much upward/convective motion and thus, keeping cloud and precipitation development at a minimum.  The way it's looking right now, we should see a lot of sunshine today, with the potential for some high clouds spreading in from the west on Tuesday.  Temperatures will warm up dramatically from our recent icebox conditions -- but will probably still remain a few degrees below normal for this stage of February.  Believe it or not, high temps on average should be getting close to 60F (16C) by now.

A new series of upper-level disturbances will start showing up on Wednesday, putting us back into a phase of unsettled weather which will last through the weekend.  The extended range data is hinting at a significant storm system with more rain and snow potential for late Friday through early Sunday, so we'll have to be keeping an eye on that development this week.

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

Sunday, February 16, 2014

a positive transition... (pm.16.feb.14)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 32.5F (0.3C)
High temp: 43.3F (6.3C)
Snow/ice pellets: 0.9" (2.3cm) 
Melted precipitation: 0.32" (0.8cm)

It is becoming partly cloudy at sunset this evening, with the clouds gradually breaking up after our nearly two hour period of snow and ice pellets between 3:30 and 5:30pm.  There was even some serious thunder and lightning a few times during that time.  The morning dawned promising enough with lots of sunshine, but clouds began building just before the noon hour, and by 3:00pm it started to look pretty threatening up-mountain from us.  Today's high temp occurred just after 11:00am, with temperatures falling again throughout the afternoon.

Well, we knew there would be some instability around this afternoon, due to the leftovers of our recent storm system -- in the form of a weak bit of circulation and some extremely cold air in the upper-levels of the atmosphere.  The warming of the surface thanks to morning sunshine was all it took to set things off, with that classic Dhauladhar instability effect kicking in.  With the loss of the daytime heating, we've seen our atmosphere begin to stabilize again as the sun sets.

A ridge of high pressure will start to build in tonight and tomorrow, with frigid temperatures aloft gradually being replaced by a milder air mass during the coming 24 to 36 hours.  This should provide us with stable conditions for the next couple of days, along with a fairly dramatic warming trend.  Our temps are so far below normal right now, it's going to take a heck of a lot of warming to get us up to where we should be during the latter half of February -- and I doubt that we'll make it that far.  Still, it's going to feel much nicer during most of this coming week than it has during the past few days.

Unfortunately, there will be more disturbances approaching northern India from the west by the end of the week, bringing another increase in clouds along with a chance of few rain showers starting on Wednesday.  In fact, it's now looking like we could have another risk of some significant precipitation in our area by late Friday and Saturday, as temperatures dip yet again.

Check the CURRENT FORECAST details on the tab above.

a freezing start... (am.16.feb.14)>

*Update @ 4:14pm... Instability created by our lingering weak circulation and extremely cold air aloft is certainly making its presence known late this afternoon.  A few showers of snow and ice pellets began just before 3:30pm, and there has even been some thunder in the last few minutes.  I'm getting a light accumulation of snow/ice up here at my house, and the temp has dipped to 36.4F (2.4C).  Satellite pics show this narrow line of snow showers all along the Dhauladhars... but as the daytime heating fades away, we should see all of this diminish rapidly by evening.

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It is clear and very cold at sunrise on this Sunday morning.  My low temp here in the upper part of town has been 32.5F (0.3C), occurring around 6:15am -- and that's the coldest temperature I've recorded this winter season.  It is likely a degree or two below freezing in some of the low spots around the area, since cold air sinks and pools near the surface at night.  There may even be some partially frozen water pipes to deal with this morning before the sun gets a chance to warm things up a bit.  I've recorded no additional precipitation overnight, leaving us with a grand total of 3.90" (9.9cm) of rain and melted snow from our biggest winter storm of this season.

Here at my location on Tushita Road just below the mountaineering center, the total precipitation for the month of February has reached 7.23" (18.4cm), which is nearly double the 4" amount which is the climatological average for Feb.  There have only been three calendar days (midnight to midnight) totally devoid of precipitation this month, while temperatures have averaged out considerably below normal so far.  But we've now got a fantastic snow pack up on the mountains, thanks to the periods of very heavy snow during the past 10 days or so, erasing the worries and concerns about our future water supply, back in late January when it was so dry and mild.

On to the present scenario -- we still have an upper-level circulation center overhead, along with a pool of super cold air (around -25C) in the mid- and high atmosphere.  With sunshine heating up the surface this morning, there is a decent chance that we'll see cloud development, and even some isolated snow showers around the area this afternoon.  Any snow shower action should be relatively brief, but don't be surprised if something does pop up this afternoon.

A ridge of high pressure starting to build in late tonight will signal some stable and much milder weather starting on Monday.  Temperatures should warm up nicely by Tuesday, with little chance of any precipitation until perhaps late Wednesday.  The next phase of disturbed weather is in the forecast for the latter part of the week, but at this point it's not looking like a major storm system.

**Yesterday there were just over 1000 hits on the blog -- not only from India, but from all over the world -- which is a new one-day record for the most visits during the nearly four year history of the mcleodganj weathergeek.  I know a big portion of that huge number of hits came from some of you hardcore weathergeeks checking in multiple times :)) -- but thanks to everyone for visiting and following the action!

Get the CURRENT FORECAST details on the tab above.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

highlight of the season... (pm.15.feb.14)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 34.2F (1.2C)
High temp: 37.4F (3.0C)
Precipitation since midnight: 1.45" (3.7cm)  -- rain and melted snow
Precipitation since Thursday night: 3.90" (9.9cm) -- rain and melted snow
24 hour snowfall: 5.5" (14.0cm)

Although there's been some clearing this evening, our skies are still partly to mostly cloudy after sunset, with evidence of more snow showers threatening to our west.  The stats above give the details on what has been a very interesting day, and what has turned out to be a very wet and white period beginning late Thursday night.  Today has been the coldest calendar day of this entire winter season, and we've also had the snowiest day of this winter -- by far.  In addition, the total rain and melted snow since Thursday night is nearly 4 inches, which isn't far from the average total for the entire month of February.

The heaviest snow occurred between mid-morning and noon, with huge flakes creating very low visibility for a couple of hours, and delivering widespread 2-5 inch totals right across McLeod Ganj -- with reports of more than a foot of snow a bit further uphill in Naddi, Dharamkot and Upper Bhagsu.  Based on normal rain:snow ratios, it makes sense that there has been more than 3 feet of snow between Magic View Cafe and Triund.  We've now got the thickest and heaviest snow pack of the season on the higher slopes and mountains above us, which is very great news.  It may turn out that the last 36-48 hours will end up being remembered as the highlight of the 2013/2014 winter season.

A huge pool of very cold air and a broad (though weakening) upper-level circulation remain right over northern India this evening, and will shift only slowly eastward tonight into Sunday.  Although the deep moisture supply has now been pretty much cut off, there will be enough instability to keep a good chance of a round or two of snow showers in the forecast overnight -- and even a mentionable risk of a snow shower in the area tomorrow as well.  In other words, we're not entirely out of the woods just yet.

Major improvement will kick in in earnest on Monday into Tuesday, as a building ridge of high pressure provides a big bump in temperatures and what should be a couple of days of reliable sunshine.  There are signs of another period of disturbed weather toward the end of next week, but right now it doesn't look like anything compared to what we've just been through.

CURRENT FORECAST info can be found on the tab above.

on and on it goes... (am.15.feb.14)>

*Update @ 1:29pm... I think we can safely say that the 'main event' is behind us, but there could still easily be some occasional snow showers (even heavy ones?) this afternoon into this evening, since the upper-level circulation is basically overhead.  Current temp is 35.4F (1.9C).


a view northward from my balcony

the overworked weathergeek rain gauge, showing about 4" of rain and partially melted/melting snow

*Update @ 12:20pm... The sky is definitely attempting to brighten now, though there are still snow showers (briefly heavy) occurring.  I have about 5" here just below the mountaineering center.

*Update @ 11:18am... Classically beautiful heavy snow continues to fall up here, and from what I'm hearing, further downhill as well.  Just got a report of about 2" of accumulation in the main market, and my total is now going above 3" (not including the earlier slushy stuff).  Satellite pics show a nearly stationary band of convective-looking clouds from near Una, northward into the Dhauladhars.  If it stays on top of us for much longer, we're going to end up with some very impressive snowfall totals.  Current temp -- 34.3F (1.3C).

*Update @ 10:25am... Snowing heavily, with big, thick flakes.  There are certainly no signs that this is going to be over very soon.  If anything, the snow has been more steady than ever during the past hour plus.  Ever since early this morning the newest batches of computer model data have been showing precipitation diminishing rapidly, but there has been no evidence of that.  In fact, from the satellite vantage point, it seems we are still caught up in a favorable part of this system's circulation to continue getting significant snow.  I would estimate about 2" of fresh snowfall up here just in the last hour and a half, in addition to the layer of icy slush left over from before.  The temp remains steady -- 34.7F (1.5C).

Kind of miraculous that the power came back (a couple of hours ago), at least in my part of town.

*Update @ 9:24am... Visibility is only a few meters in dense, thick, heavy snow -- it looks eerily like Minnesota up here at the moment.  Current temp: 34.5F (1.4C).

*Update @ 8:54am... Light snow falling, with occasional more moderate bursts during the past half hour.  There are also some patches of fog being drawn upslope, as we continue to have a southeasterly moisture feed in the lower levels.  Although we should be getting toward the back side of this whole large-scale system by this afternoon, we probably won't be seeing much improvement.  The temp here at my spot continues to hold very close to 35F (1.7C).

*Update @ 7:59am... I've just ventured onto the roof to get a better perspective around the area, and it looks like the snow line cuts right through McLeod, with very little accumulation down toward the middle of town (at least that I can see).  My temp here is holding fairly steady -- now 34.7F (1.5C) -- with both light drizzle and some snowflakes.

*Update @ 7:28am... It's now snowing moderately here in the upper part of town, with some fresh accumulations starting to happen.  Satellite pics and data show the axis of our upper-level trough of low pressure over eastern Pakistan, slowing edging toward the east.  All of the deep moisture is in the northeastern quadrant of that low pressure trough -- basically right on top of Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh, and Uttarakhand.  Simultaneously, the most frigid temperatures in the mid- and upper-levels are now sagging southeastward into Himachal... and that's why the snow line has dropped significantly since just before dawn.

Oh yeah... how could I fail to mention the lack of light/power?  It's been out since shortly after midnight in my neighborhood.

*Update @ 7:03am... Just cleared the heavy slush so I could get to my rain gauge.  It shows almost exactly 3" (7.6cm) of rain and melted snow since this all began late Thursday night.  Actually, there is some partially melted snow in the upper part of the rain gauge, so I can't really get an accurate measurement until that eventually melts.  But anyway -- this is far over and above even the most ominous-looking computer model projections we were discussing before this storm materialized.

My current temp has dipped to 34.3F (1.3C), and it is snowing lightly.

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There is so much happening and so much to talk about, I'm going to post bite-sized updates this morning, with the latest info at the top.  

It's been another night of fitful sleep, as I was waking up and checking the temperature, then looking out the window almost every hour.  My location in the upper part of town has remained right on the rain/snow line all night -- with the temperature fluctuating between 35-37F (1.5-3C).  The trees were loaded up with snow at 10:30pm, but then most of it melted and/or slid off the branches during periods when the snow turned back to rain.  It is snowing again at the moment, and the temp is 34.9F (1.6C).  I have a couple of inches of slushy snow on my terrace, but not really any more than was there late last night, due to the alternating rain and snow.  Will check the rain gauge and the latest weather charts then update shortly...

Friday, February 14, 2014

the wet/white dilemma... (pm.14.feb.14)>

*Update @ 10:21pm...  The temperature has dipped to 34.7F (1.5C) during the last half hour, and I still have moderate snow falling.  There is nearly 2 inches of accumulation on my terrace.  That's the most of this winter season so far.

*Update @ 9:56pm... The transition from rain to snow seems to be complete here at my location.  There is moderate snow in progress, low visibility, and rapid accumulation occurring on the trees, railings, terrace, etc... despite the fact that the temp is still a bit above freezing at 35.2F (1.8C).  It still looks from satellite pics as if precipitation is going to continue on for another couple of hours... or more.  Are we finally getting a snow storm??

*Update @ 9:09pm... There's still a little bit of rain mixed in, but mostly I have snow here at my location just below the mountaineering center on Tushita Road.  Minor accumulations are just beginning on trees, and on my balcony railings and open terrace.  Temp holding at 35.4F (1.9C).  From what I can surmise from satellite pics, precipitation is not going to end soon.

*Update @ 8:37pm... Roughly half rain and half snow here now... some large flakes.  Temp has dropped to 35.4F (1.9C).

*Update @ 7:47pm...  As I was making my trek from the main market back uphill toward home during the past half hour, I saw quite a lot of wet snowflakes mixed in with the rain.  We'll see if this is the beginning of a transition to snow, or just a temporary event.  It is 36.5F (2.5C) at my house in the upper part of town, and there has been an additional 0.49" (1.2cm) of rain/melted snowflakes since 4:30pm.  Check below for the updated storm total.

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Friday's stats:

Low temp: 34.7F (1.5C)
High temp: 41.5F (5.3C) -- at midnight
Total 24 hour precipitation: 2.24" (5.7cm) -- as of 7:40pm
Snowfall: trace

Not much has changed all day long -- with thick clouds, nearly continuous light to moderate rain, and temperatures holding steady around 38-40F (3-4C).  There is still steady light rain falling at sunset, with the snow line remaining a few hundred meters above McLeod proper.  I heard several reports today of snowfall amounts ranging from about 3 inches to more than 10 inches -- between Naddi, Dharamkot, Upper Bhagsu, and then on up to near Galu Temple.  And on another note, my high temperature on Tushita Road below the mountaineering center occurred at midnight, and was the coldest high temp of this entire winter season.

A broad and very slow moving trough of low pressure in the upper atmosphere is centered over central Pakistan this evening, and is expected to shift into northern India tonight into early Saturday, and be centered right over Himachal Pradesh by late tomorrow afternoon.  There is quite clearly an amazing amount of moisture that has been drawn northward in the counter-clockwise circulation ahead of this system, and with gradually colder air aloft seeping southward into our area, there have been moderate to heavy rain and snow amounts over a very wide area.

It seems like there has been an invisible barrier somewhere between Dharamkot and the upper part of McLeod Ganj that has prevented accumulating snowfall from occurring this season here in town -- but as long as the precipitation doesn't diminish completely later tonight into Saturday, there is still a very good chance that we could get a layer of white.  It looks like we will indeed see the deeper moisture begin to depart by tomorrow morning, but with colder and colder air arriving at the same time, there could be enough overlap between available moisture and near-freezing temperatures to see that snow line drop further down the mountain.  Why does it always have to be a 'pins and needles' situation for us??

We should get a few hours of dry weather in between periods of rain and/or snow on Saturday into Saturday evening, but then precipitation chances will go way down on Sunday -- apart from the risk of an isolated (mainly PM snow shower).  Temperatures are going to remain at the very coldest of this winter season all the way through the weekend, but then we can look forward to some rapid warming on Monday and Tuesday. 

Stay tuned for updates on the rain/snow situation tonight and tomorrow, and check the CURRENT FORECAST specifics on the tab above.

valentine's day special... (am.14.feb.14)>

*Update @ 3:04pm...  My rain gauge is now showing 1.72" (4.4cm) for the total since late last night.  Current temp: 39.6F (4.2C).  We've had fairly persistent light to moderate rain since the previous update, but still no immediate sign that temps are going to drop enough to bring the snow line further downhill.  We'll have to watch what happens as evening sets in.

*Update @ 11:48am...  Occasional light to moderate rain has been falling all morning, with no further downhill advance of the snow line at this point.  Have received some snowfall reports -- Naddi: 10cm (4"), and Upper Dharamkot: 15cm (6").  Will update temps and the rainfall total later.

*Update @ 8:40am... Light to moderate rain falling here, and I've seen no more snowflakes mixed in recently.  The temp is now 39.0F (3.9C).  I won't be able to get online for a few hours, but will update later today when I get a chance...

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**Just as I'm about to post this, there is snow mixing with the rain at my house on Tushita Road below the mountaineering center, and snow is collecting on the trees just barely uphill from me.

Waking up to lots of excitement this morning -- though 'waking up' doesn't exactly describe it, since I feel like I've been awake off and on all night.  It is cloudy, breezy and rainy before sunrise on this Valentine's Day morning, and from my glimpse of the mountain slopes to my east, it appears that the snow line is just barely above my location here in the upper part of town.  I've had a low temp of 36.0F (2.2C) which occurred shortly after 6am -- and it is 38.1F (3.3C) now as I write.  I was flabbergasted to see 1.20" (3.0cm) in the rain gauge as of 7am!

It is rare to see the kind of overhaul of the atmosphere that happened so rapidly last night -- from mostly clear skies to thick clouds and rain showers in a matter of just a couple of hours.  The precipitation development here along the mountains occurred about 6 to 8 hours ahead of computer model projections, as that strong moisture stream flowing northward ran up against the mountains and was quickly lifted into the much colder air aloft.  Thus far, this storm system is falling into the overachiever category.

We've still got a broad upper-level low pressure area and circulation lingering to our west across Pakistan, which will be moving ever-so-slowly eastward and even strengthening somewhat over the course of the next 36 hours or so.  The moisture supply has obviously already shown up, earlier than expected.  And now we have to watch carefully what a very cold air mass still hovering to our north and northwest is going to do, and how it will influence temperatures and obviously the freezing level and rain/snow line during the coming hours.  Remember that the basic rule of thumb for rain:snow ratio is 1:10... meaning one inch of rain/melted precip = 10 inches of snow.

There is still one computer model that seems to be out to lunch -- missing everything that has been occurring since last evening.  The other models seem to be in basic agreement that we're pretty much in the target zone for more periods of moderate to heavy precipitation -- 3-4cm (1.5") in addition to what we've already received -- by Saturday afternoon.  There will likely be some breaks in the action which could last several hours at some point, but stay prepared nonetheless.

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