the latest...

**Sunrise Thursday -- we have mostly clear skies, with a pleasantly mild temp near 63ºF/17ºC. Forecast details are on THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK tab above...

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

a wet finish... (pm.30.sep.14)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 58.6F (14.8C)
High temp: 68.2F (20.1C)
Rainfall: 1.20" (3.0cm)

The mountains are visible to the northeast at sunset this evening, but there are still a lot of clouds in all other directions.  In line with the recent formula, our early to mid-morning sunshine was rapidly replaced by increasing clouds and patchy fog again today -- with some random sprinkles of rain appearing even just before noon.  By about 1:00pm, there were some heavier showers developing, with a bit of small hail mixed in as well.  Occasional rain showers and thunder kept up throughout most of the afternoon, and I recorded the greatest one-day rainfall total since the 5th of September at my location in the upper part of town.  The low temperature for the day (see above) occurred during the late afternoon.

We're now just hours away from saying 'goodbye' to the month of September -- a month which has been full of contradictions.  On one hand, it looks like we're going to finish off with barely HALF the normal amount of rainfall.  On the other hand, we still haven't had an official monsoon withdrawal declaration, which is a rarity by the final day of September.  What is normally the third wettest month of the year has been significantly drier than average (at least at my recording spot), but lingering tropical moisture has kept us battling clouds and fog almost every single day.

October last year was nearly spoiled by stubborn leftover tropical moisture... and we didn't really break free of it until the latter week or ten days of the month.  Is that going to happen again?  From where we sit right now, it looks like that is a distinct possibility.  Although some slightly drier air should filter in during the latter part of this week, we could easily see yet another resurgence of moisture, leading to a good chance of scattered showers and thundershowers next week.

Monday, September 29, 2014

still not turning... (pm.29.sep.14)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 58.6F (14.8C)
High temp: 67.1F (19.5C)
Rainfall: none

It's cloudy at sunset this evening, with some patchy fog as well.  There was no rain shower development in the immediate McLeod area today, though isolated thundershowers have been visible on satellite pics both to our northwest and southeast during the past few hours.

The month of September is drawing to a close -- and we still have no official withdrawal of Monsoon 2014 for our area.  Check the AWAITING MONSOON'S END tab at the top of the page for the latest specific info from the India Met Department.

Although we're experiencing some slightly cooler air settling in here in the surface layers of the atmosphere, the upper-air pattern is refusing to shift into a persistent autumn mode.  That's preventing the kind of strong push of dry air from central Asia needed to clear out these remaining dregs of tropical moisture which remain stuck all along the front slopes of the mountains.  We could see some marginally drier air appearing during the latter half of this week, but honestly, it doesn't look like a radical shift.

Do not be surprised by continued cloud/fog development as we push into October, and also be braced for sudden periods of showers and possible thundershowers as well.  Most of that rain potential will be during the afternoon and evening hours, but there are indications that we could even get some overnight and morning action during the coming couple of days as well.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

the struggle... (pm.28.sep.14)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 58.5F (14.7C)
High temp: 66.9F (19.4C)
Rainfall: 0.29" (7mm) -- updated @ 8:06pm

We've had very angry-looking skies since mid-afternoon, and there have been several periods of rain showers, along with some thunder and even a brief period of small hail late this afternoon and evening.  Currently it's cloudy, with a rain shower in progress.  As we've experienced over and over again during most of the past couple of weeks, our morning sunshine wasn't able to hold on for very long.

There has been a significant amount of scattered thundershower activity today from extreme southwestern Jammu & Kashmir through most of Himachal Pradesh, and into Uttarakhand.  As long as we continue to have this lingering tropical moisture draped along the front slopes of the mountains, this volatility will remain an issue.

Although there are signs of a lessening of the average moisture content of our air mass as we move into the middle of this week (and into October), I still don't see a miraculous or dramatic surge of definitively drier air on the way -- and that's going to keep us struggling with a monsoon season that continues to resiliently fight to live on....

Check tabs above for forecast details, monsoon status reports, etc.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

endless limbo... (pm.27.sep.14)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 60.4F (15.8C)
High temp: 67.6F (19.8C)
Rainfall: trace

There has been plenty of variability between sun, clouds and fog today -- and those fluctuations continue as sunset approaches this evening.  We also had a few sprinkles, brief showers, and even some thunder this afternoon, mainly in the 2:00 to 4:30pm range... but though it was enough to moisten the ground, it wasn't enough to register a measurement in my rain gauge.  The high temp this afternoon was one of the cooler ones of the past few months.

The shorter days and gradually cooler air of the autumn season are still being challenged by leftover tropical moisture associated with the (still) dying monsoon season.  We've got a very dull and flat upper-level weather pattern in place across northwest India, but there is still a significant amount of low-level moisture sprawled across the area as well.  Just a couple of hours of morning sunshine is all it takes to get things percolating... causing cloud and fog development, and even a few random/isolated showers or thundershowers along the mountain slopes.

Until we get some kind of significant shift in the upper-level pattern that would funnel much drier air from central Asia into northern India, this limbo stage is going to continue.  Other info on rainfall, monsoon status and forecast specifics can be found on tabs above...

Friday, September 26, 2014

clouds still dominant... (pm.26.sep.14)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 59.5F (15.3C)
High temp: 68.0F (20.0C)
Rainfall: trace

Now that we're pushing into the autumn season, our sunsets are happening earlier and earlier, obviously.  It's nearly dark already, before 6:30pm, and we have thick clouds, haze and fog blanketing the area.  There have also been some sprinkles and very light rain showers scattered here and there... but at least in the immediate McLeod area, there has been nothing measurable as of this moment.  Once again today, the decent sunshine was confined to the early to mid-morning hours.

At my location in the upper part of town, I've measured less than an inch (2.5cm) of rain in the past 12 days.  I know there's been more than that further downhill and to the east-southeast -- but by and large -- there hasn't been all that much rain since the middle of the month, considering the amount of cloudiness and fog we've had to endure.  Our atmosphere still contains a lot of residual tropical moisture, but it lacks the kind of thermodynamic energy to generate anything more than isolated PM shower development.

I still see no evidence at all of a strong push of drier air from the west-northwest that would be capable of chasing away these dregs of the monsoon season.  Even as we cross into October, there will be very little change in the overall pattern.  You know what that means: more of the same.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

too much gloom... (pm.25.sep.14)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 59.9F (15.5C)
High temp: 68.7F (20.4C)
Rainfall: none

Although we've had thick cloudiness and fog hanging over and around us for much of today, satellite pics show that scattered shower/thunder action has been primarily to our east and southeast... as it was yesterday as well.  Sunshine during the morning was nice, but it was gradually replaced by developing cloudiness by the noon hour.  Here at sunset, we're still totally socked in with clouds and fog.

Waiting and hoping for a definitive end to this residual monsoon moisture here along the front slopes of the Dhauladhars starts to get very tiring by this time of year -- at least to me.  I'll have to be honest and say that the prolonged and seemingly endless waning days of the monsoon season are my least favorite time of year.  This year is starting to seem strangely familiar to the 2013 season, when it seemed we'd never make the turn to drier and sunnier weather.

There is no data forthcoming that would show any kind of drastic long-term changes to these conditions that we've been stuck in all month.  Some morning sun -- lots of clouds by the mid-day -- still the risk of a round of PM showers or thundershowers.

indiscriminate dumpings... (am.25.sep.14)>

I've been away on a trek (and unplugged) way up above Kanyara the last couple of days -- so haven't been able to post updates.  We got hit with several waves of very heavy rain showers yesterday afternoon on the way down the mountain -- mainly between about 2:00 and 4:30pm.  I can't be sure, but it seemed like there could have been at least 2" (5cm) from just above Kanyara down to near Norbulingka.  Surprisingly, by the time I reached home in the upper part of McLeod shortly after 7pm, my rain gauge was barely wet!!  That's a real-time example of how vastly different conditions can be here in our general vicinity.

This morning we have mostly sunny skies, but of course it's not going to last.  The daily build-up of thick clouds along the front slopes of the mountains is surely to happen again today -- thanks to the blobs of lingering tropical moisture that have refused to be displaced.  There is no indication that we're going to see an appreciable or long-lasting turn of events that would change that reality.

Look out for more isolated to scattered shower/thunder development during mainly the afternoon/evening hours for the next several days at least.  And just like what happened yesterday -- some of us could get dumped on, while others miss out.

Monday, September 22, 2014

no clean sweep... (pm.22.sep.14)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 61.3F (16.3C)
High temp: 72.5F (22.5C)
Rainfall: none

There are just enough lingering clouds to provide some nice colors reflected by the setting sun this evening.  Full sunshine didn't last very long this morning, with rapid cloud development along the mountains getting started around 9:00am -- leading to mostly cloudy skies at times by 10:30am.  I was on edge about potential shower development, but that never happened, giving us our seventh dry day out of the last eight.

Although the India Met Department may be declaring Monsoon 2014 officially 'withdrawn' for parts of northwest India during the next day or so, we definitely have no clean sweep of leftover tropical moisture yet.  In fact, computer models are showing a minor resurgence of moisture northwestward along the the front slopes of the mountains as we progress toward the end of the week.  That means we're going to be contending with plenty of cloudiness in the midst of periods of sunshine for the next several days at least, along with an increasing chance of some scattered showers/thunder by Thursday.

It is worth remembering that September is the third wettest month of the year on average -- right behind July and August -- so even if the monsoon season is officially coming to an end, that doesn't mean this place suddenly turns into a desert.

intricacies of the season... (am.22.sep.14)>

A bright and sunny morning is shaping up, with totally clear skies at sunrise.  I'm recording an overnight low temperature of 61.3F (16.3C), and no rainfall.  The humidity reading is currently 73%.

If you've been keeping a close eye on the UPDATED RAINFALL TALLY this season, you've seen that our September rainfall is running way below normal.  In fact, we've received less than HALF the average monthly total, with just eight days to go.  This year's monsoon season has been a strange one -- the total rainfall since the beginning of June is running about 20% below the normal/average amount at my location in the upper part of McLeod, but we've still not been able to bust out into a truly decisively reliable dry weather pattern.  Lingering moisture hangs on.

Things are looking pretty good during the coming two or three days, with a northwesterly flow in the middle and upper-levels of the atmosphere providing a generally dry and stable situation for us.  I am ever-nervous about rogue shower/thunder development over the mountains during the afternoon/evening hours... but we shouldn't let that possibility spoil the show.  There is the potential for a better chance of showers and thundershowers by Thursday, and continuing through the weekend, however.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

a brighter period... (pm.21.sep.14)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 61.7F (16.5C)
High temp: 73.4F (23.0C)
Rainfall: none

It's a beautiful evening -- with partly cloudy skies, relatively low humidity and comfortably mild temperatures.  Our proportion of sunshine today was greater than just about any day since the start of the monsoon season nearly three months ago.  There was some cloud development over the mountains which led to a couple of isolated showers further to our north and east, but we reverted to our recent dry streak after yesterday's setback.

We're set up for some nice late September weather during the coming few days, thanks to a rather dry northwesterly flow in the middle and upper-levels of the atmosphere, combined with some slightly less-moist air in the surface layers.  Although there will probably still be some cloud development in the vicinity of the mountains towards the afternoon hours, I'm hopeful that it won't be as extensive as it was during much of last week.  It's hard to ignore the risk of an isolated PM shower, but at this point, the chances of that happening look to be small.

I have to say that there are some disturbing-looking signs showing up toward the latter part of the week, as some resurgent low-level moisture creeps back in our direction from the southeast.  That could cut into our sunshine and increase our chance of scattered showers/thunder as early as Thursday...

flipping and flopping... (am.21.sep.14)>

The sky is 100% clear early on this Sunday morning, and the humidity reading is just 57%.  That's one of the lowest I've seen at this time of the morning since June.  There has been no additional rainfall overnight -- but last evening's thundershowers delivered 0.88" (2.2cm) at my location in the upper part of town, most of which occurred between 4 and 7pm.  The overnight low temp has been 61.7F (16.5C).

As is often the case during September, we're getting a lot of mixed signals from the atmosphere, and from the computer models which crunch data and try to understand what the atmosphere is doing.  As I've said over and over, we've still not totally purged lingering pockets of tropical moisture from our air mass here along the front slopes of the mountains, and it certainly looks like we'll continue to go through some minor ebbs and flows as the rest of this month plays out.  At the same time, true monsoon conditions continue to loosen their grip, and the India Met Department is saying an official withdrawal declaration could be coming soon.  You can follow the latest on that by keeping an eye on the AWAITING MONSOON'S END tab above.

We could see increasing clouds and another shot at some thundershower action later today, but generally, the next several days should feature lower daily average humidity readings and greater amounts of sunshine.  Thereafter, there are hints of increasing shower/thunder chances as next weekend approaches...

Saturday, September 20, 2014

temporary setback... (pm.20.sep.14)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 56.5F (13.6C) -- during eve thundershowers 
High temp: 73.9F (23.3C)
Rainfall: 0.88" (2.2cm) -- updated @ 750pm

The afternoon/evening thundershowers we've been doing without for five straight days finally showed up again today.  There was some thunder rumbling as early as 3:45pm, with several waves of rain showers, gusty winds and thunder/lightning after 4:00pm, and even some small hail... with light rain continuing at the present moment.  Up until that action got going, our day was pretty similar to the previous several days.

Last evening I mentioned a batch of colder air aloft which would be moving into north India over the weekend -- introducing some instability, and keeping us from being able to totally ignore PM shower/thunder development.  I'm surprised it's been this robust, though.  And according to satellite pics, we're sharing the action with parts of Jammu and Kashmir as well as other scattered areas across Himachal Pradesh.

Some of the moisture that continues to lingering here along the front slopes of the western Himalayan ranges will be pushed southeast of us during the next 48 hours or so -- and that may set us up for our next phase of improving weather conditions as the new week unfolds.  Additional detailed info is available on tabs above...

Friday, September 19, 2014

same general story... (pm.19.sep.14)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 63.1F (17.3C)
High temp: 73.9F (23.3C)
Rainfall: none

Well here we are this evening with our familiar cloud and fog scenario.  Every single day of this past week has been a minor variation on the early morning sun -- mid-day cloud development -- cloudy/foggy late afternoon and evening -- post-sunset clearing theme.  In spite of the cloud/fog challenges, we've had our fifth dry day in a row.  The last time that happened was during the first half of June.

The population of ferns clinging to tree trunks around our area has gone through a major transformation during the past five to seven days -- from lush green to brittle yellow.  This process is always a tell-tale natural sign that our monsoon season is fading away.

Satellite pics the last several days have shown a narrow band of thick clouds and fog developing right along the front slopes of the Dhauladhars, in response to lingering moisture which gets lifted and condensed by the late morning hours.  Computer models have been consistent in showing a further lowering of the moisture content of our air mass as we move into the new week -- so we shall see if that will make any kind of difference.  At the same time, there is some slightly cooler air expected to arrive in the upper-levels of the atmosphere, which could introduce a bit of instability over the weekend.  That means we still can't totally and absolutely rule out a shower or thundershower popping up at some point.

More specific info can be found on tabs at the top of the page...

Thursday, September 18, 2014

four rainless days... (pm.18.sep.14)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 62.4F (16.9C)
High temp: 73.9F (23.3C)
Rainfall: none

It's become the norm the past several evenings to be immersed in clouds and fog -- just as we've gotten used to glorious sunshine during the first few hours of the morning.  In between, we've been dealing with a mix of clouds, sun, and patchy fog during the mid-day hours.  Today has been no exception.  ALSO -- the rain has disappeared.  Unless some showers happen to develop before midnight, today will go down in the books as the fourth consecutive dry day.

The lingering moisture hanging around here along the front slopes of the mountains has kept our humidity levels from falling to where we'd like them to be, but our air mass has been stable enough to prevent this moisture from being translated into showers and thundershowers the last few days -- at least here in our specific area.  It's been a nice step in the right direction this week, but I think we'd all appreciate a bit more sunshine.

We'll be precariously positioned this weekend, with computer model data still not showing a clean sweep of this leftover moisture.  That means we need to be prepared for more of this sun-clouds-fog variability through Sunday -- with that ever-present risk of an isolated PM shower.  There could be a further drop in the atmospheric moisture content early next week.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

the gradual death... (pm.17.sep.14)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 61.5F (16.4C)
High temp: 71.6F (22.0C)
Rainfall: none

Once again this evening we're dealing with patches of low clouds and fog drifting around the area.  Today was pretty much a repeat of yesterday, with full sunshine during the early morning giving way to gradually developing cloudiness before 10am, then a battle between clouds, patchy fog and sun for the remainder of the day.  Despite the clouds, we've now logged our third totally dry day in a row, which is now on a par with a stretch of 3-4 nearly rainless days between the 27th and 30th of August.  We have to go all the way back to late June to find a longer period of dry weather.

The thing that happens almost every year is happening now -- the thing that most people tend to forget.  And that's the fact that there is rarely (if ever) a sharp and specific moment marking the definitive end of the monsoon season.  Although our daily bouts of showers have sputtered out, we continue to see a considerable amount of cloud/fog development after a couple of hours of strong early morning sunshine.

Is that going to change soon?  At this point, I don't really think so.  Rain chances aren't looking very impressive at all (though an isolated PM shower is still within the realm of possibility), but a strong push of much drier air capable of shoving this lingering moisture out of here is unlikely during the coming several days...

sun's challengers... (am.17.sep.14)>

We have bright sunshine early on this Wednesday morning.  The overnight low temp has been 61.5F (16.4C), with no rainfall to report.  The humidity reading stands at 84%.

That relative humidity number has crept up again the last couple of mornings, and that's to be our major concern.  It's a measure of how much latent moisture our air mass is holding, and is often a very good indicator of the development of clouds after the morning sun gets a chance to warm up the lower levels of the atmosphere for a couple of hours.

The general weather pattern itself is totally benign, with no storm system in play at all here across the western Himalayan region.  However, whatever moisture that is still lingering here is not going to allow us to get away with fully sunny days -- continue to expect gradual cloud development toward the mid-day hours, with some PM fog at times, too.  Also, the risk of a period of showers during the afternoon is still worth mentioning.

Remember that you can access lots of other info, including the 7-DAY OUTLOOK on tabs above.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

minor battles... (pm.16.sep.14)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 60.4F (15.8C)
High temp: 71.8F (22.1C)
Rainfall: none

Today has been the second day in a row without any rain at all in McLeod Ganj -- at least not any that I've observed.  There are big clumps of clouds and fog drifting around the area at sunset this evening, but those should dissipate gradually after dark.  Our full sunshine early this morning started to give way to developing clouds before 10am, leading to an all-day battle between sun and clouds.

It's easy to see that we still have enough latent moisture in this mid-September air mass to be lifted and condensed into cloudiness and fog here along the front slopes of the Dhauladhars.  This is no surprise, really, since it's a regular occurrence not only during the last days of the monsoon season, but at other times of the year on occasion as well.  It takes a very strong and deep push of bone-dry air from the northwest to sweep this moisture away for good -- and it doesn't look like that's going to happen in the near future.  Still, things are getting better by increments.

I'm dying to remove the risk of isolated PM showers or thundershowers from the 7 DAY OUTLOOK... but I know from past experience that it's not very wise to do that just yet.  Expect more of this early sun - developing clouds - risk of a shower business as we push deeper into the later half of the month...

mid-september issues... (am.16.sep.14)>

The sky is 100% clear at sunrise this morning, but humidity is a bit higher than it was this time yesterday morning -- currently 78%.  I'm recording an overnight low of 60.4F (15.8C), and there has been no new rainfall to report.

Yesterday (Mon) was the first totally rain-free day since way back on the 29th of August.  Although there have been three or four days since then that I've recorded only trace or scanty amounts of rain, there was at least something to report every day.  We'll see if yesterday was truly the beginning of something new, or if it was just a rogue dry day in the midst of this dying phase of our monsoon season.

There are no significant large-scale features on the weather charts for the rest of this week, or even into early next week for that matter.  Our main issues will concern the subtleties of lingering pockets of latent moisture here along the front slopes of the mountains, and what kind of cloud/fog development we'll face, mainly during the afternoon and evening hours.  Also, isolated PM shower development along the mountains remains a possibility. 

Our situation has definitely moved in a more positive direction, but we've still not reached the point where we can be assured of totally sunny skies...

Monday, September 15, 2014

towards liberation... (pm.15.sep.14)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 59.9F (15.5C)
High temp: 72.7F (22.6C)
Rainfall: none

We're immersed in rather thick cloudiness and fog at the moment -- which stands in stark contrast to what we were enjoying for the vast majority of the day.  Sunshine totally dominated until just a few cumulus clouds started to develop over the mountains during the late morning.  Those clouds never looked threatening at all throughout the afternoon... and it's only been since about 5:00pm that the bases have lowered enough to put us in the soup for awhile.  We should return to mostly clear skies not long after sunset, though.

Overall, today has been a vast improvement over anything else we've experienced during the month of September thus far.  Humidity readings were in the 55-70% range  for most of the day -- an indication that our air mass has dried out considerably in the past 24 hours or so.  As I said this morning, literally ALL of the available computer model data is showing dry, calm and quiet weather for us this week, with the average moisture content of our air mass remaining lower than it has been since before monsoon season began (apart from a few unseasonably dry days in late August).

Mid-day cloud development over the mountains will be something to watch carefully, and there could still be some isolated PM shower/thunder development -- otherwise it seems we could be embarking upon a tangible shift toward post-monsoon conditions.  Pretty much right on schedule.

sunshiny morning... (am.15.sep.14)>

It's absolutely clear at sunrise on this Monday morning, and my current temp of 59.9F (15.5C) is also the overnight low.  The big news this morning is the humidity reading -- at 67%, it's the lowest at this hour of the day that I've seen in a while.

The anticipated drying-out of our air mass is already underway, with a fairly steady northwesterly flow in the middle and upper-levels of the atmosphere driving much of the recent lingering tropical moisture well southeast of us.  Weather charts and computer model data -- on the large scale -- are showing a very calm and quiet pattern for us here in northern India this week.  Daily average humidity should be much lower, allowing the sun to hold on longer than it has been able to in past weeks.

However (and there always seems to be a 'however'), it's tough to totally erase pockets of moisture loitering here along the front slopes of the mountains... and with morning sunshine setting surface heating in motion, we'll have to keep an eye on cloud development toward the noon hour.  Also, there could be a thundershower popping up in our vicinity on any given afternoon this week.  SO -- things are looking much better, but we're not totally 'home free'...

Sunday, September 14, 2014

slow shifts... (pm.14.sep.14)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 55.2F (12.9C)
High temp: 70.0F (21.1C)
Rainfall: 0.45" (1.1cm)

It's a gorgeous Sunday evening... with lingering cloudiness off to the east, but clear skies overhead and westward.  Once again there were some radical fluctuations between clouds, fog and sun today, just as we've seen nearly every day this month.  There was also a short but intense period of rain, thunder and gusty winds during the early afternoon -- roughly between about 1:45 and 2:20pm.  During that thundershower, our temperatures plummeted to the coolest levels of this entire summer/monsoon season.  Signs of the coming of autumn!

As we arrive at the middle of September, we still have no official declaration of the withdrawal of Monsoon 2014.  That's because a fairly respectable amount of tropical moisture remains entrenched across Himalayan north India -- we've had at least a trace of rain every single day since the 30th of August, and more than one-tenth of an inch on all but four of those days.  You can check this monsoon season's rainfall details on the UPDATED RAINFALL TALLY tab at the top of the page.

For many days we've been looking forward to improving conditions as this new week unfolds, with average daily humidity dropping considerably, which should lead to a greater percentage of sunshine for us.  At the same time, we're going to have to watch out for the development of clouds and perhaps some fog by the afternoon hours here along the mountain slopes... still!  Isolated showers and thundershowers remain a possibility as well, the chances of which we'll be reassessing day-by-day.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

glimmers of hope... (pm.13.sep.14)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 59.5F (15.3C)
High temp: 70.0F (21.1C)
Rainfall: 0.01" (less than 1mm)

At this moment it is mostly cloudy, with some patchy fog and and scattered sprinkles and light rain showers around the area.  Once again we've had a great variability in sky conditions today, with short periods of sunshine alternating with longer periods of clouds and occasional fog.  Although there have been some sprinkles, drizzle, a few brief rain showers, and some rumbles of thunder since just after 1:00pm, the rain has been barely measurable up until now.

The effects of lingering, residual tropical moisture continue to plague us... preventing any real and lasting clearing trend from taking hold.  A couple of hours of early morning sunshine in combination with a marginally unstable atmosphere is all it takes to generate lots of cloudiness and these random rain/thunder showers.  If you are a regular follower of this blog, you've heard it all many times before.

The latest computer model data is still showing a trend toward decreasing moisture content of our air mass as we progress into the middle of the new week -- but computer models are notoriously incompetent when it comes to picking up the intricacies of our Dhauladhar micro-climate effects.  I'm optimistic about a gradual lowering of daily average humidity levels as the coming week unfolds, but I still think we're going to have to be braced for daily doses of clouds/fog (though less pronounced) and perhaps some isolated PM thundershowers.

Friday, September 12, 2014

more patience required... (pm.12.sep.14)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 59.9F (15.5C)
High temp: 69.1F (20.6C)
Rainfall since midnight: 0.30" (8mm)

It's partly cloudy at the moment, here at the end of another day of extreme back-and-forth swings between sun, clouds and fog.  That early morning sunshine did indeed quickly give way to thick clouds/fog again -- well before the noon hour -- and there have been a few sprinkles and brief periods of light rain showers mainly during the PM hours as well.  At least at my location in the upper part of town, this afternoon's rainfall didn't contribute much to the leftover total from our thundershowers just after midnight.

We've been in a fairly predictable pattern for most of this past week, with things looking pretty bright during the early morning hours, only to turn gloomy and damp by the mid-day into the afternoon.  This kind of situation is pretty much par for the course as we approach mid-September.

Lingering tropical moisture sloshing around and up against the mountains of northern India will continue interacting with some slightly cooler air aloft --keep us dealing with these fluctuations between sunshine, clouds, fog, and occasional showers/thundershowers.  However, there are still some positive signs that our air mass will dry out considerably as we head toward the middle of next week.  Time will tell if those computer models solutions are in touch with reality.

repeat cycle... (am.12.sep.14)>

It's looking very nice at sunrise this morning, with just a few scattered clouds as the sun starts to peek over the top of the mountains.  We had another round of thundershowers in the middle of the night -- I wasn't entirely lucid at the time, but I think it happened mostly in the midnight to 1:00am range.  My rain gauge shows an additional 0.28" (7mm) from that episode.  I'm recording a low temp of 59.9F (15.5C), and the humidity reading this morning is 83%.

Well we know very well that these sunny starts don't amount to much, since they don't last very long.  It's fairly likely that we'll be experiencing more thick cloudiness and some patchy fog by the noon hour, with a risk of the development of more scattered shower/thunder action during the afternoon hours.  That same scenario should repeat itself tomorrow (Sat), and perhaps on Sunday as well.

It's dangerous to get too optimistic during the middle of September, unless you want your hopes dashed against the rocks -- but things are still looking more promising for a more significant retreat of lingering monsoon moisture as next week unfolds.  Stay tuned...

Thursday, September 11, 2014

variability continues... (pm.11.sep.14)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 59.5F (15.3C) -- at 3:30pm
High temp: 71.4F (21.9C)
Rainfall: 0.95" (2.4cm)

Our skies are partly cloudy at sunset this evening, and there's actually been a pretty good amount of sunshine during the last couple of hours.  Before that, our day featured totally sunny skies until the usual cloudiness started to develop not long after 9:00am.  Clouds, fog, and a few peeks of sun during the mid-day hours then yielded to very thick cloudiness and a period of fairly heavy thundershowers between 2:30 and 3:30pm.  The rain didn't last very long, but I measured nearly an inch (see stats above) at my location on Tushita Road just below the mountaineering center, along with a brief but steep dip in temperatures.

Obviously we're still dealing with the extreme variability of a late monsoon season air mass across our area -- from sunshine to clouds to heavy showers in a very short period of time.  As I've been saying for days now, there is still no decisive and definitive departure of lingering tropical moisture expected during the next few days at least.  That means we have to remain prepared for rapid changes and deterioration of conditions, despite some sunny starts to our days.

I'm watching with great interest the extended range computer model data, which has been showing hints of a more significant retreat of monsoon moisture, along with a stabilizing atmosphere as we move into the middle of next week.  Right now I'd say there is a possibility of an ON TIME withdrawal declaration of Monsoon 2014 during the next week to ten days or so...

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

sputtering phase... (pm.10.sep.14)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 63.0F (17.2C)
High temp: 71.4F (21.9C)
Rainfall: 0.01" (less than 1mm)

A very pleasant evening is in progress, with partly cloudy skies and comfortable temperatures.  It's been another day of wildly swinging extremes between sunshine, clouds, fog, light rain showers and even some thunder.  The rain barely registered a measurement in my gauge in the upper part of town, but it did look threatening for a while during the early afternoon.

Yet again today, we saw how quickly early morning sunshine can get eclipsed by cloudiness and fog.  That's what happens when there remains a good amount of latent moisture in the air -- condensed out by rapid warming from the sun for just an hour or two.  It doesn't look like our air mass is going to dry out enough to put an end to this phenomenon during the next few days... so we'll continue to have to be braced for the development of clouds, patchy fog and some random rain shower/thunder action by the mid-day and afternoon hours.

The good news is that there is no indication whatsoever of another strong surge of monsoon moisture -- even on the extended range data which gives us a glimpse all the way into the final week of September.  Of course there could be twists in the plot, but it seems that this year's monsoon season will continue to sputter out and dissipate as we move into the latter half of the month.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

tropical moisture lingers... (pm.09.sep.14)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 63.5F (17.5C)
High temp: 71.6F (22.0C)
Rainfall: 0.14" (4mm)

Our beautiful early morning sunshine didn't last very long -- giving way to a lot of thick cloudiness and occasional fog before 11:00am.  There were even a few brief sprinkles of rain around noon, with a brief but heavier shower (with thunder) right around 4:00pm that actually delivered a quick few millimeters of rain.  Here at sunset, we've got a mix of clouds, fog, and peeks of sun.

The tail-end of the monsoon season is often characterized by lingering latent moisture in the air mass that can quickly turn a sunny day into a cloudy, foggy and showery one.  Every year we go through this -- everyone has a passionate desire to be able to say a final GOOD-BYE to the monsoon, but it can tend to linger on and deceive us a few times before it finally departs for good.  And honestly, the 9th of September is still too early!

The weather charts and data look fairly encouraging as far as the trend over the course of the next week to ten days is concerned.  But I'm still not seeing the definitive and decisive push of dry air from the northwest (throughout the multiple layers of the atmosphere) that is necessary to permanently displace this left-over tropical moisture.  Stay mentally prepared for the development of clouds, patchy fog, and mainly afternoon rain showers as we wait out this transition period...

Monday, September 8, 2014

monsoon still here... (pm.08.sep.14)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 64.4F (18.0C)
High temp: 70.9F (21.6C)
Rainfall: 0.32" (8mm)

The day is ending much like it began, with a broken layer of mid-level cloudiness across the area.  But in between start and finish, we had a long period of cloudy and foggy conditions, with a few hours of drizzle, light to moderate rain showers, and even a bit of thunder.  The most consistent rains occurred between about 10:00am and 2:00pm -- but as you can see from the stats (above), there wasn't much of an impressive amount in the rain gauge to show for it.

The waning weeks of the monsoon season can be a frustrating time.  Just like what happened today, weather charts and data often show improving conditions, when the ground-truth reality doesn't line up.  As long as there is a good amount of latent moisture lingering in the air, we can easily get periods of rain showers popping up -- normally during the afternoon and evening hours, but as we saw today, it can happen earlier in the day as well.  

We'll try to come up with a bit more sunshine during the next few days, but cloud and fog development is still likely, with the risk of mainly PM showers/thunder nearly every day.  Extended range data is still looking promising by the 14th-15th of the month, with at least a shot at permanently retreating monsoon moisture by that time.  Of course we'll keep an eye on it day-by-day.

not much happening... (am.08.sep.14)>

There's a lot of mid-level cloudiness around this morning at sunrise, and I'm surprised to see that we've also had a few light sprinkles of rain in the last hour or so.  I'm recording a low temp of 64.9F (18.3C) along with that trace of rainfall.  Humidity is currently 82%.

Although we've got no absolute and decisive clearing trend to look forward to, we should be seeing relatively quiet weather throughout this new week.  It takes a brisk west-northwesterly flow in the lower and mid-levels of the atmosphere to completely sweep any lingering moisture out of here -- but that's not going to be happening anytime in the near future.  That means we can expect alternating periods of sun and clouds, along with some patchy fog on occasion.  A few isolated/random rain showers (and possibly some PM thunder) can't be ruled out.

Monsoon season isn't officially over, but what remains of it should be very much on the weak side from this point onwards -- but of course we always have to be braced for sudden reversals and surprises during this transitional month of September!  Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

very little drama... (pm.07.sep.14)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 62.2F (16.8C)
High temp: 74.5F (23.6C)
Rainfall: trace

Patches of clouds and fog are drifting around at sunset this evening, with some thunderheads visible at times, especially off to our southeast.  Today has turned out pretty close to expectations, with a mixture of clouds, sun and fog, and temperatures moderating a few degrees above what we've been dealing with during most of the past week or so.  Up until now, we've managed to avoid any rain shower/thunder activity, though there have been a couple of random sprinkles this evening.

Cloud and fog development today has been confined mainly to the mountains -- with lots of sunshine throughout the day just downhill from us.  Most of the deep monsoon moisture has retreated to the southeast, but all of the computer model data which shows atmospheric moisture profiles indicates that it's going to remain a bit too close for comfort during the coming week.  That will keep us from being able to confidently say that we're "in the clear".  We should be able to enjoy a good amount of sunshine on a daily basis, but that cloud/fog development should occur daily as well -- with a mentionable risk of isolated to widely scattered shower/thunder development in the vicinity of the mountains during the afternoon/evening hours.

Overall, I have to say that things are looking rather pleasant for us as we approach the middle of the month.  What's left of Monsoon 2014 may not deliver much more drama, the way things are looking at the moment...

variable elements... (am.07.sep.14)>

It's partly cloudy early on this Sunday morning, with a humidity reading of 87%.  I'm recording an overnight low of 62.2F (16.8C), and the rain gauge is showing 0.07" (2mm) since I last checked it.  I think that's left over from the random light showers received last evening.  Check the UPDATED RAINFALL TALLY (above) if you're interested in detailed rainfall info for this monsoon season.

We've got a mixed bag of weather conditions in store during this new week.  On one hand, our atmosphere has stabilized considerably during the past 12-24 hours or so.  On the other hand, there is still plenty of lingering moisture in the air that can easily be condensed into significant cloudiness and fog by the mid-day and afternoon hours, here along our mountain slopes.  There is a also a good chance of some random and widely scattered shower/thunder development during the afternoon hours.  But all in all, things should balance out considerably more pleasant than what we dealt with for several days in a row during the past week.

Extended range computer models are looking remarkably tame and even dull as we look ahead through the middle one-third of September.  Right now it appears that we may revert to something similar to what we experienced during much of the latter half of August -- a mix of sun, clouds and fog, with some isolated mainly PM thundershower action.  Maybe we won't see another huge blast of monsoon nastiness this year??  No guarantees on that yet...

Saturday, September 6, 2014

spared the worst... (pm.06.sep.14)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 60.2F (15.7C)
High temp: 68.9F (20.5C)
Rainfall since midnight: 0.54" (1.4cm)

There is some sunshine visible down in the valley below, but it's cloudy and foggy here in McLeod this evening, with a few light showers roaming the area during the past hour and a half or so.  Unless something else gets going very soon, we can say that nearly all of our measurable rainfall today occurred between about midnight and 9am -- with the vast majority of that during a heavy downpour right around 3:30am.  The sun managed to make a decent appearance today, however, mainly during the mid-day period, but cloudiness and some fog thickened up again shortly after 3:00pm.

It's been a very soggy and damp several days (since Tuesday), with very little sunshine at all until earlier today.  This latest period of active monsoon conditions has brought devastating flooding to parts of Jammu & Kashmir, as well as some areas of extreme eastern Pakistan.  We got off fairly easily, with our rainfall remaining below the kind of rates that can overwhelm the run-off system and cause significant flooding, washed-out roads and landslides.  Still, I've measured between four and five inches (10-13cm) of rain since Monday, getting us off to a strong start for the month of September.

Although there isn't a super-dramatic withdrawal of monsoon moisture expected during the coming several days, there should be some noticeable improvements.  The deepest tropical moisture will retreat just enough to our southeast to allow us to see more sun, slightly lower humidity readings, and less hours of rain and drizzle during most of next week.  We'll still be subject to quite a lot of mainly PM cloud/fog development, along with the risk of an hour or two of showers/thunder, though.

Friday, September 5, 2014

not breaking yet... (pm.05.sep.14)>

There's no rain falling at this particular moment -- but that could change again in a matter of seconds.  Once again, we've had numerous periods of light to moderate rain during the past 24 hour period, with only some brief drying-out moments in between.  Since midnight, I've measured 1.28" (3.3cm), bringing the total since Tuesday up to 3.74" (9.5cm).  The rainfall intensity has never been all that heavy, but the persistence and consistency of the precipitation has kept rain gauges ticking upward for four days in a row.

As computer models were projecting, the heaviest rainfall totals have ended up being concentrated just to our west -- from the Punjab/Pakistan border up into the heart of Jammu & Kashmir, where some serious flooding has been occurring.  Although both the dynamic and thermodynamic factors in this atmosphere are beginning to ease up a bit, there is still a good chance of some significant rainfall development overnight, and into Saturday as well... though it should be more random and scattered as time goes on.

There are some positive signs appearing as we head into early next week.  We may not be able to totally remove the risk of rain showers from the forecast -- especially during the afternoon and evening hours -- but our air mass should dry out quite a bit, with some periods of sunshine returning and temperatures moderating.

You can find more info on various topics on tabs at the top of the page...

Thursday, September 4, 2014

rainy days and nights... (pm.04.sep.14)>

We've had many periods of light to moderate rain and drizzle during the past 24 hours, and we're in the middle of one of those right now.  I'm keeping track of rainfall amounts in the McLeod main market area as well as on Tushita Road below the mountaineering center, and it seems that there's been just over an inch (2.5cm) since last evening, with about 0.75" (1.9cm) since midnight.  Those aren't really such big amounts, but it's been spread out over many hours.

This morning I mentioned that computer models were showing the heaviest rainfall potential just to our west, along the India/Pak border, and that seems to have been the case thus far.  More than 8" (20.3cm) of rain fell in and around Lahore, Pakistan earlier today -- here at the end of a monsoon season that has failed to bring them much rain at all up til now.

A pipeline of moisture-packed air continues to flow into extreme northwestern India, as a weak disturbance and a pool of slightly cooler air drifts across the western Himalayan region.  That's going to keep things ripe for more waves of rain shower development tonight through Friday.  We could still end up getting some heavier rainfall amounts here in our immediate area during the coming 24-30 hours, so keep that in mind.

There could be some improvements in the overall weather scenario starting to show up by Saturday, but each successive run of the data is showing more and more lingering moisture hanging around here -- even into early and middle parts of next week.

soggy times... (am.04.sep.14)>

Light rain is falling early this Thursday morning, after a night of nearly continuous rain.  It hasn't been heavy, at least not up til now, but there's been roughly a half-inch (1.2cm) during the overnight hours.  Still not much fog around, but we've got a lot of heavy clouds blanketing the area.

A southeasterly flow of moisture-laden air in the lower levels of the atmosphere is teaming up with a south-southwesterly flow in the higher levels to create very good conditions for widespread rain shower development across much of northwestern India.  A wave of upper-level energy with an associated pool of colder air aloft is also expected to drift through during the next 24-36 hours or so, and that's going to enhance our potential for significant rainfall.

This morning's computer model data is actually projecting the very heaviest rain to fall slightly to our west -- along the India/Pakistan border from Punjab northward through extreme western Jammu & Kashmir.  We'll see if that turns out to be true, or if it's just a glitch in the resolution of the various sets of model data.  At any rate, it looks like a wet couple of days ahead -- with any brighter/drier periods likely to be temporary and brief.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

action-oriented... (pm.03.sep.14)>

*Update @ 9:20pm... More mainly light rain showers this evening have boosted our rainfall total for the day just a bit -- now 0.23" (6mm) since midnight.

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Thanks to some heavier rainfall late last evening, we ended up with 1.15" (2.9cm) for a Tuesday total.  Today's rain has been a bit sparse so far, with showers limited to the very early morning hours, the mid-day, and then a recent increase in light rain since about 5:45pm.  The amount received since midnight has been just 0.11" (3mm), but I have a feeling that's going to change before midnight rolls around again.  Here at sunset, we have cloudy skies with light rain and drizzle in progress.

If the computer model data I'm seeing is correct, we're in line for some very significant rainfall during the coming 48 to 72 hours.  The atmospheric flow throughout all layers of the atmosphere has been serving to channel a large amount of tropical moisture northward and upward against the front ranges of the north Indian Himalayas.  Already this evening, satellite pics are showing impressive development of widespread rain shower activity (and some thundershowers as well) extending all the way from western Rajasthan and western Punjab into western HImachal and parts of Jammu & Kashmir.  Increasing amounts of moisture will flow northward against the mountains tonight, tomorrow (Thu) and Friday, with the risk of very heavy rainfall totals somewhere in our general vicinity.

Of course we often get misled by computer models, but this situation bears watching -- at least between tonight and Friday night.  There are hints of some kind of a drying trend beginning over the weekend, but honestly, tonight's data looks less promising than the info/data that was coming out earlier in the week.  Still, we can perhaps look forward to some kind of improvement by the early part of next week.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

clouds and showers... (pm.02.sep.14)>

*Update @ 8:49pm... It has come slowly, but rather steadily today.  The total rainfall as of now is 0.75" (1.9cm) -- not heavy, but a respectable amount.

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It's raining lightly at sunset this evening, at the end of a day that has featured numerous periods of mainly light rain showers.  We actually had a brief period of heavier rain very early this morning -- around 2:00am -- which delivered a quick 0.35" (9mm).  I'll try to get an updated rainfall amount for the day posted later this evening.

The prolonged recess in active monsoon conditions which we dealt with for the better part of the second half of August has obviously come to an end.  A return to a general southeasterly flow in the lower and middle layers of the atmosphere, combined with a south-southwesterly flow in the higher levels has erased the vast pockets of drier and more stable air which were in place across much of Himalayan north India during the previous 15 days or so.  Although there has been a lot of mainly light rain shower action today, we still haven't seen very much fog yet, but I expect that to change as we continue progressing through the week.

Computer models are still showing the potential for some very heavy rainfall from Haryana into Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and parts of Jammu & Kashmir by Thursday and Friday -- with heavy rain potential lingering into early Saturday as well.  Some drying out of the atmosphere is anticipated for early next week, but extended range data shows yet another surge of tropical moisture waiting in the wings.  Contrary to what you may have heard elsewhere, Monsoon 2014 is not over.

Monday, September 1, 2014

wetter scenario ahead... (pm.01.sep.14)>

It's a calm, peaceful and rather beautiful sunset out there on this first evening of September, with just a few patches of mid-level clouds hovering around.  We had to deal with quite a lot of cloudiness today, however, and even a few periods of mainly light rain showers which were mostly confined to the 8:00am to noon range.

All of the data and weather charts continue to show a very interesting evolution as we move into the middle of this week, as a fresh surge of monsoon moisture pushes up against the front slopes of the north Indian Himalayan ranges.  It's always difficult (if not impossible) to nail down all the specifics, but increasing humidity during the coming 48 hours will lead to more persistent cloudiness and the development of some rather widespread fog -- with heavier rain showers becoming more likely.  As of right now, it appears that Wednesday night through early Saturday will be the prime time for us to pick up some potentially very heavy rainfall.  Tonight's computer model data is showing impressive totals of at least 4" (10cm) in our immediate area during that period.

A shot of drier air will chase much of the moisture away during this coming weekend, but it looks like we're still not talking about a permanent withdrawal of monsoon conditions just yet...

september to bring changes... (am.01.sep.14)>

September has arrived, and we now stand on the brink of a much more active phase of monsoon conditions which will be threatening us as this new week and new month unfold.  It's partly cloudy early this Monday morning -- there's been no rain here in McLeod Ganj overnight, but a few clusters of showers and thundershowers have been drifting by to our south, across central parts of Himachal Pradesh.

At my specific location on Tushita Road in the upper part of town, the August rainfall total was just 65% of the normal/average amount -- that means it was 35% below normal.  This comes after totals during both June and July which were slightly above normal.  Check the UPDATED RAINFALL TALLY tab at the top of the page to see day-by-day details.

If you've been following along, you know that we've been anticipating a return to much more typical monsoon weather as the new month arrives .  Very deep, rich and juicy moisture is already beginning to flow back northwestward along the front slopes of the mountains, and that's going to become more and more apparent as we head into the middle of the week.  Readjust your mind and will to be ready for a much more humid/saturated atmosphere, along with increasing daily rainfall rates over the course of the coming several days...