the latest...

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

Saturday, January 31, 2015

crossing into feb... (pm.31.jan.15)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 38.7F (3.7C)
High temp: 48.3F (9.1C)
Precipitation: none

There are only a few scattered clouds around the area this evening, here at the end of a fairly nice Saturday.  Although we did have some periods of mainly high cloudiness from time to time, there turned out to be a good amount of sunshine today, which was very pleasant if you had the opportunity to enjoy it.  Temperatures were considerably milder than they've been the last few days, but still just slightly below normal for the final day of January.

Other than a gathering swirl of cloudiness which remains mainly to our west, there is not yet a whole lot of evidence of the storm system which is going to be dominating our weather during the first half of this new week -- and during the first few days of a new month.  A very broad and deep circulation will be developing over southern Kazakhstan during the coming 36 hours or so, and that will set in motion many meteorological factors, leading to a major precipitation event here in north India.  Although clouds will thicken and the risk of some scattered showers will increase on Sunday, we'll probably be waiting until sometime on Monday for the main event to get underway.

There are some slight disagreements between the various sets of computer model data, but it still looks like Monday afternoon through Tuesday night will be the main target time-frame for us to receive several periods of moderate to heavy rain here in our area.  It also still seems like the best snow potential will remain well above us here in McLeod, but of course it is always a challenge to determine where that rain/snow line will eventually settle.

The latter part of the week should be much quieter, drier, and hopefully a bit milder.  Check the tabs above for more weather info of interest....


a decent saturday... (am.31.jan.15)>

Apart from just a few patches of mainly high clouds, we can call it mostly clear just before sunrise on this Saturday morning.  I've had an overnight low temp of 38.7F (3.7C) here on Tushita Road just below the mountaineering center, and there has been no rain or snow to report.

Some milder air is trying to nudge its way into northern India, and will successfully warm us up at least a couple of degrees today -- as long as we don't end up with too much cloudiness to spoil it.  Already there are some extensive patches of clouds showing up on this morning's satellite pics off to our west, in advance of a developing upper-level storm system.  That system is going to be the driver of our changing weather situation as we head toward the latter half of the weekend.

There is consensus among the computer models that we are in for a significant precipitation event -- gradually starting up on Sunday, but reaching a peak late Monday through late Tuesday night.  Clouds will really thicken up tomorrow, with a fairly good shot at getting some scattered rain showers, but right now it looks like the vast majority of our rainfall will happen during that late Monday through late Tuesday period.  As I mentioned earlier, all the data suggests that it's going to be too warm for snow (again) here in McLeod, but very heavy snow will increase the snow pack in the mountains above.

We should see an improving scenario by Wednesday morning, with quiet weather expected for the rest of next week.  Get all the details on THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK tab above.

Friday, January 30, 2015

the next chapter... (pm.30.jan.15)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 33.3F (0.7C)
High temp: 44.0F (6.7C)
Precipitation: none

We have mostly clear skies this evening, at the end of a day which featured a lot of sun.  But all that sunshine didn't succeed in cutting the chill out of the air -- you only had to step into the shade to get a feel for the actual air temperature.  The air mass in place during the past 48 hours or so has been the coldest of the entire winter season.

But the weather is always either changing or in the process of changing, and we'll see that happening as we close out the month of January and welcome February.  Tomorrow (Sat) is looking pretty good, with milder temps expected... but there will probably be an increase in clouds as well, so we may not get the full benefit of a warming air mass.  Those clouds will be a precursor of a developing storm system to our west which is going to be the headline during the first half of next week.

A large-scale upper-level system will be coming together over Afghanistan and Pakistan by Sunday morning, which will cause ingredients to assemble, leading to a rather prolonged period of potentially moderate to heavy precipitation across north India.  The latest data would strongly suggest that it's going to be rain here in McLeod, but very heavy snow is likely in the mountains above -- between Sunday and early Wednesday morning.  As far as our rainfall is concerned, right now it seems like the very core of this system will impact us between Monday evening and very late Tuesday night.

Stay tuned for updates and tweaks as all of this develops...

return of the sun... (am.30.jan.15)>

The sky is absolutely clear just before sunrise -- and I'm recording an overnight low of 33.3F (0.7C).  The temperature has been hovering just barely above freezing all night long.  Just checked the rain gauge again, and it looks like there's been a total of 0.19" (5mm) of precipitation during the past 24 hours -- most of that arrived in frozen form (but almost immediately melted) between yesterday mid-morning and last evening.

Although we're dealing with some cold temps, there should be plenty of sunshine on the way for today, which will minister healing to the bones.  The weather pattern is looking quiet at least for the first part of the weekend, and we could even see a respectable warm-up by tomorrow (Saturday).  Clouds may be on the increase again by then, however, as we start to gear up for another storm system -- and this one will probably be much more significant than the last two minor ones we've just experienced.

There's no evidence of it yet on any of the weather charts, but computer models are keeping an eye on an evolution of the upper-level pattern that will eventually lead to the development of a major system just to our west by Sunday.  In fact, we may start to see some scattered rain showers as early as the wee hours of Sunday morning, with some heavy precipitation likely in and around our area between Sunday and very early Wednesday morning.  At this point at least, it seems that significant snowfall would remain well above us -- but there could be 2-3 feet of new snow in the higher elevations if this storm evolves as projected.  Stay tuned.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

just a little snow... (pm.29.jan.15)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 33.8F (1.0C)
High temp: 41.8F (5.4C)
Precipitation: 0.17" (4mm)

There is a "last gasp" snow shower in progress just as the sky goes dark this evening, though we had some promising-looking clearing during the late afternoon and early evening.  Clearing should commence again shortly, leaving us with a quiet night.

Showers of snow and snow grains/pellets were kind of fun to watch today -- most of it occurring between about 10:45am and 1:30pm -- but other than some white on the rooftops which quickly melted away, there wasn't any accumulation to speak of here in McLeod Ganj.  There may have been a few inches of new snow further uphill, but this hasn't been what we would call a major storm.  The weak upper-level disturbance responsible for the light precipitation is on its way out at this very moment, and will leave us with a couple of days of quiet weather.  Tomorrow will still be very chilly, but could end up being the nicest day of the next several, due to a good amount of sunshine.

Unfortunately (or not, depending on your perspective), the computer models are showing an interesting evolution in the pattern starting late Saturday night, which will bring us what appears to be a significant storm system to kick off the month of February.  It's starting to look like we could get heavy precipitation (rain here, snow above) -- with the likely window roughly between mid-day Sunday and very early Wednesday morning.  That timing could shift a bit as we get closer, of course.

Temperatures will try to warm up during the next 48 hours, but increasing clouds and the onset of rain/snow will cause another drop over the weekend.  Check the tabs above for plenty of other info...

cold and gloomy... (am.29.jan.15)>

We're waking up to a cloudy and foggy morning, and though there are a few sprinkles of rain happening at the moment, there is nothing measurable in my rain gauge to report as of yet.  The low temp has been 37.2F (2.9C) -- and that's very close to the current reading.

The latest satellite pics are showing the swirling center of an upper-level circulation over northern Pakistan, pushing toward the west-central Kashmir border.  This is very similar to what we were seeing this time on Tuesday morning, but this system is a shade weaker, and at least so far, we're not seeing as much rain/snow shower activity here in our general area.  The best dynamics for a few periods of rain and/or snow will continue until perhaps mid-afternoon, but then the atmosphere will begin to stabilize, leading to fairly rapid clearing this evening and overnight.  It seems we're forever watching and waiting for some accumulating snow here in McLeod proper... but if we do manage to get any, it shouldn't amount to more than a bit of slush.  Let's see.

Relatively calm and quiet weather is expected on Friday into most of Saturday, thanks to a weak ridge of high pressure, but a more significant storm system is beginning to take shape on the extended range weather charts just in time for the arrival of February.  Moderating temperatures are likely as well -- so at this point it looks like we're still not in the right situation for a big snowfall here in town.

THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK on the tab at the top of the page contains the forecast details.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

wintry... (pm.28.jan.15)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 37.9F (3.3C)
High temp: 46.9F (8.3C)
Precipitation: none

It's hazy just after dark this evening, with variable patches of clouds and fog around the area.  We were able to enjoy a good amount of sunshine until the early afternoon, but then clouds thickened up again during the remainder of the day.

Another upper-level disturbance is going to be easing its way into northern Pakistan during the next 12 hours, bringing with it what looks to be the coldest air of this winter season.  It is also drawing a band of moisture northward ahead of it, which could end up being enough to get squeezed out in the form of some rain and snow between late tonight and mid-afternoon tomorrow (Thu).  None of the computer models indicate more than about 8mm (0.32") of precipitation in our vicinity... but if we do manage to get that much, it would equal 3-5 inches of snow in areas above us that should be cold enough for frozen forms of that precip.  It will be interesting to see what develops, since the models were woefully out of touch with regard to the weak disturbance that moved through here earlier in the week.  Temperatures should be a couple of degrees colder, and that could be enough to bring that snow line further downhill than we've seen yet this winter.

Looking further ahead... the next potential weather-maker begins to affect us on Sunday, with what looks to be an increasing chance of rain and snow lasting through Tuesday.  If you're interested in specific info, you can check out THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK on the tab above.

a short respite... (am.28.jan.15)>

It's mostly clear just before the sun comes up this morning.  I've recorded an overnight low temperature of 38.1F (3.4C), and there has been no precipitation since yesterday afternoon.

We're in the midst of a respite between fast-moving upper-level disturbances at the moment, and that should allow us to enjoy some sunshine (in the midst of occasional clouds) today.  But the next weak circulation and pool of colder air aloft will swing across northern India tonight and Thursday, causing clouds to thicken up again... leading to another risk of a period of rain and snow showers.  Temperatures throughout all layers of the atmosphere may be a couple of degrees cooler this time, so if we're going to get even a little bit of snow on the ground here in McLeod before January 2015 comes to an end, this will be our last chance.  Computer models significantly underestimated the disturbance on Monday night and Tuesday... so we'll see what we can come up with tonight and tomorrow.

Rapid clearing should occur on Thursday evening, leaving us with another short period of fairly nice weather during the first part of the weekend.  Then... there are hints of a more organized and longer-lasting period of rain/snow beginning late Saturday night, and lasting perhaps all the way through Tuesday.  Stay tuned for more on that.

THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK is always available on the tab above.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

one of the coldest... (pm.27.jan.15)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 35.6F (2.0C)
High temp: 43.5F (6.4C)
Precipitation: 0.48" (1.2cm)

There are a few breaks in the clouds just after sunset this evening, but we could still call it mostly cloudy -- with some patchy fog as well.  We had about 12-14 hours of off-and-on rain showers today, which began not long after midnight.  Although the changeover to snow made a valiant effort during the late morning just above us, it never quite made it down to McLeod proper.  There were a couple of brief episodes of sleet and very small hail during the early afternoon, but then we've been able to get some partial clearing late this afternoon and evening.  Today's been one of the colder days of this winter season.

A weak upper-level circulation spins over central Kashmir this evening, but it's moving off to the east, allowing us to escape from it's influence.  Precipitation amounts ended up being much more significant than any of the computer models were projecting -- though they were far less than during the storm system we experienced late last week.  Another half-foot or more of snow was added to the building snow pack in the mountains above... which is good news for our springtime water supply.

Our overall pattern remains in a kind of 'in-between' phase.  There are no major storm systems spinning up, but it's not at all a fair weather pattern either.  We will see another couple of disturbances move from west-to-east across northern India during the coming week, keeping us in and out of the clouds, and flirting with the risk of a few periods of rain and/or snow showers.  The best chances of precipitation look to be on Thursday, and again on Sunday into Tuesday.

over-performing disturbance... (am.27.jan.15)>

A light rain shower is in progress at dawn this morning, and I'm showing a temp of 37.2F (2.9C), which is also the overnight low.  Off-and-on rain showers have been occurring since the wee hours of the morning, and there have even been a couple of claps of thunder.  The rain gauge shows 0.22" (6mm) of precipitation as of 7:00am.

We've been anticipating this disturbance to sweep across northern India during the Monday night through Tuesday period, but I'll have to admit I'm a little surprised that it is amounting to this much.  The compact center of circulation is located over extreme northern Pakistan this morning, and though it's not a very robust system, it is accompanied by some much colder air aloft, and has also been able to lift what little moisture is available up against the mountain slopes and produce these scattered showers.  It looks like the rain/snow line is in a similar position to what it was during our storm system last week, which has kept accumulating snow well above McLeod Ganj once again.  We'll see if it stays there, or if it might manage to creep down a bit before things dry out later today.

The next disturbance in the rapid west-northwest flow in the upper atmosphere will ripple through here late Wednesday night into Thursday, but at this point, it also looks like it will bring only minor amounts of precipitation to our area.

Temperatures will remain fairly close to normal for the end of January, with a slight warm-up anticipated this weekend.  Check THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK on the tab above for specifics.

Monday, January 26, 2015

plenty chilly... (pm.26.jan.15)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 37.0F (2.8C)
High temp: 46.2F (7.9C)
Precipitation: none

There is a variety of scattered/broken cloudiness out there just after sunset this evening, at the end of a day which has featured everything from sun to clouds to fog.  It felt quite a bit colder today -- confirmed by the actual temperature readings, but also due to the fact that there wasn't a whole lot of opportunity to enjoy any lasting sunshine.  Still our temps were fairly close to where they should be during the waning days of January.

Significant storm systems are lacking during the coming several days -- at least according to the current charts and data.  However, the pattern is not really stable at all, as a few disturbances in the upper atmosphere ripple through from the west-northwest.  One of those is starting to move in now, and could stir up a few rain and snow showers around the area during the next 24 hours or so.  I'm not seeing much in the way of notable precipitation totals, but a few inches of snow is not out of the question in the higher elevations.  Yet another such disturbance may bring us a repeat performance on Thursday.

It's going to be hard to get any kind of decent warm-up until maybe the very end of this week... with the pattern remaining on the unstable side.

trending cooler... (am.26.jan.15)>

The sky is mostly clear here at my location/elevation in the upper part of town, but there is widespread fog and low clouds visible in the valleys down below on this REPUBLIC DAY morning.  That's due to a shallow layer of cold air which has been spilling in from the north since last evening.  I've recorded a low temp of 37.6F (3.1C), and there has been no precipitation overnight.

There's nothing even remotely resembling an organized storm system on the weather charts -- not only in the near term, but all the way into the first several days of February as well.  A rapid upper-level flow will transport a few weak disturbances across northern India, but with very little moisture available, nothing more than some isolated rain and/or snow showers will occur -- and that mainly in the higher mountain ares.

As I've been saying for a few days, we will have to deal with this shot of cooler temperatures for much of this week.  There will be alternating periods of clouds and sun, but when we DO get that sunshine, it will still feel quite nice, considering it is the middle of the winter season...

Forecast details can be found on THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK tab above.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

nice and easy... (pm.25.jan.15)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 42.8F (6.0C)
High temp: 50.9F (10.5C)
Precipitation: none

Our weekend is drawing to a close, and it's been a very nice one.  Although there have been some patches of clouds here and there... now and then... sunshine has still been the dominant feature the last couple of days, and temperatures have risen back to slightly above average levels for the end of January.  There has been no rain/snow anywhere in the area since Friday afternoon.

The models have been doing a bit of flip-flopping recently, with regard to the series of weak disturbances which will be gliding across northern India this week.  It still doesn't look like there's going to be enough moisture available to fuel anything more than a few isolated rain and/or snow showers between late tomorrow (Mon) and Thursday, but we could see some periods of cloudiness as temperatures drop a bit.  If you are venturing higher in elevation, there will be a little better chance of a few snow showers... but we're not talking about a major storm.

By the end of the week (and the end of the month) we may see a push of milder air.  Seems like we'll be getting to the end of January 2015 without experiencing the kind of weather drama that can easily occur this time of the year.

worry-free... (am.25.jan.15)>

Some high clouds are visible off to the east-southeast, otherwise we have clear skies early this morning.  I'm recording an overnight low temp of 42.8F (6.0C), and there has been no precipitation since last report.

There's not much to talk about -- with a generally flat upper-level pattern preventing the development of any significant storm systems for about the next week or so.  There are a few weak disturbances embedded in the flow, however, which could stir up some cloudiness and even a few random rain/snow showers.  Tuesday, and then late Wednesday into Thursday would be the best days to get an isolated shower somewhere around the area -- but even then I think it would be mostly confined to the higher elevations.

A cold mid-winter air mass is anchored to our north and northwest across central Asia, and  some slightly cooler air could be seeping across and draining through the mountains into our area as the week goes on.  But still, it doesn't look like anything particularly out of the ordinary for the very end of January.

Get forecast details and other info on tabs above.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

no major storms... (pm.24.jan.15)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 40.1F (4.5C)
High temp: 49.4F (9.7C)
Precipitation: none

There has been a considerable increase in high cloudiness across the area late this afternoon and evening, but sunshine was still the dominant force on this Saturday.  It was nice to have a dry day for the first time since Tuesday -- and temperatures were near or perhaps just slightly above normal for late January.

Earlier this week it had looked like we might be dealing with another wet spell from late Monday through Tuesday, but the system which will start to drop in from the west-northwest by tomorrow evening doesn't look like it's going to be able to muster up much in the way of moisture.  There could be some scattered snow showers in the higher mountains, but I'll be surprised if we see anything more than a brief isolated rain or snow shower here.  Slightly colder air will be seeping in, however, so we're going to be dealing  with temperatures dipping just a bit below average.

The remainder of the coming week will feature a marginally unstable atmosphere, with some periods of cloudiness eclipsing the sun from time to time... and at least a mentionable risk of an isolated rain/snow shower.  No significant storms will threaten for at least the next seven days or so...

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

very little of interest... (am.24.jan.15)>

We have a totally clear sky just before sunrise this morning, and I'm recording a low temp of 40.1F (4.5C) which has just occurred within the past hour or so.  There has been no rain or snow since yesterday afternoon -- leaving us with a precipitation total of 2.24" (5.7cm) from our recent storm.

January 2015 has not been all that difficult to deal with.  Although there's now quite a snow pack in the mountains above, we've yet to get any accumulating snow in the immediate McLeod area, and the chances of that happening before the month is finished aren't looking that great.  Temperatures have also been easy to handle.  January is an interesting month... from year to year it can swing radically from one extreme to the other.

There is a new upper-level disturbance dropping in from the northwest, and that could bring in some clouds at times this weekend.  But the way things are looking at the moment, chances of rain or snow are small, except perhaps in the highest elevations above.  There does appear to be a re-inforcing shot of colder air on the way for early next week, but the precipitation chances we were talking about for late Monday through Tuesday don't seem to be very impressive.  All in all, it should be a rather uneventful final week of January ahead...

Friday, January 23, 2015

a quiet weekend... (pm.23.jan.15)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 35.8F (2.1C)
High temp: 44.9F (7.2C)
Precip since 7:00am: 0.08" (2mm)
Storm total precip: 2.24" (5.7cm)

The setting sun cast a beautiful glow on the freshly snow-covered hills and mountains to our northeast this evening.  Though we had some relatively short-lived rain/sleet/snow showers lingering until the early afternoon, the sun was desperately trying to flex its muscles... and clearing has finally been decisive as the day draws to a close.

A heavy dumping of snow has definitely occurred in the mountains above, but we never had more than a few random snowflakes here in McLeod.  I was told there were 5-6" of new snow as far downhill as Galu temple... mostly late yesterday and overnight... while Triund has had at least 2 feet of snow.  I heard a report of 4 feet, but I can't confirm that.

As we say 'goodbye' to this recent storm system, it looks like we can expect some fairly pleasant mid-winter weather over the weekend.  With a rather unstable upper-level flow, we may not get the kind of sunshine we enjoyed earlier this week, but at least it should be dry for the most part.  Temperatures will be running fairly close to average for late January.

A weak disturbance will be dropping in from the west-northwest by Monday evening, bringing in a shot of colder air.  There shouldn't be much moisture available for this system to take advantage of, but still we may see a period or two of mainly light rain and/or snow showers on Tuesday.  Beyond that -- there's not much of interest showing up on the weather charts as we head toward the end of the month.

lots of snow above... (am.23.jan.15)>

*Update @ 8:33am...  Some big snowflakes have started to mix in with the rain during the past 10 minutes or so up here at my location.  Maybe we'll finally get some of that white stuff here at the tail end of all this.  Temp now near 36F (2.2C).

--------------------------------------------------------------------
My thermometer says 37.6F (3.1C) here in the upper part of McLeod Ganj -- just before sunrise this morning.  I've had a low temp of 36.5F (2.5C), and there has been another 0.36" (9mm) of precipitation since 8pm last night.  That brings the total since our first showers materialized on Wednesday afternoon up to 2.16" (5.5cm) -- which is right in line with expectations.

It has cooled off a bit more in the past 12 hours or so, but not enough to bring that snow line down into McLeod proper.  It's still rather dark and the visibility isn't very good at the moment, but it looks like there's some white on the hills not far above town.  Based on how much precip we received down here at our elevation, it is safe to say that 2-3 feet of new snow has fallen up in the vicinity of Magic View and Triund.

This storm system that's been with us for the past more than 36 hours is now winding down, and should continue to lose its grip on us today.  Lingering moisture and some "lift" in the mid-levels of the atmosphere may keep occasional light showers of rain and/or snow in the area -- perhaps into the afternoon -- but we may even see some semblance of clearing before the day is through.  That sets us up for a decent-looking weekend.  Temperatures should be close to seasonal normals (or maybe slightly above) both Saturday and Sunday, with a mix of clouds and sun.

Recent runs of the computer model data have been trending toward a colder and wetter scenario returning by late Monday through Tuesday night.  This next system shouldn't produce nearly the amounts of moisture/precipitation we've just dealt with, but it looks quite a bit colder...

Specifics can be found on THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK tab at the top of the page.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

not finished yet... (pm.22.jan.15)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 39.0F (3.9C)
High temp: 43.5F (6.4C)
Precip since 7:30am: 0.82" (2.1cm)*
Storm total precip: 1.80" (4.6cm)*
*updated @ 8:10pm

For one of the very few moments during the past 24 hours or so, there is nothing falling from the sky at the time of this writing.  It's been overwhelmingly wet, otherwise, as you can see from the precip totals above.  Here at our elevation, it's all been rain with a couple of brief spells of sleet mixed in... but there are reports of around two feet of snow already near Triund.

We're still in the thick of it, with regard to this storm system.  What's left of the upper-level circulation is over northern Pakistan this evening, and will continue weakening as it moves across Kashmir during the next 24 hours.  There is plenty of moisture still in place however, as temperatures throughout all layers of the atmosphere steadily drop.  That combo is keeping most of the computer models showing a few more waves of precipitation between now and Friday afternoon.  It may seem that we're out of the woods in terms of snowfall potential here in McLeod Ganj and surrounding areas, but I still think it's too soon to turn our backs on that possibility as we cool down a few degrees overnight into Friday morning.

Much-improved conditions are on tap for the Friday night through Monday morning period, but then yet another system dropping in from the west-northwest will increase the rain/snow risk from roughly noon Monday through Tuesday night.  There are indications that colder air may accompany that system as well.

winter wetness... (am.22.jan.15)>

*Update @ 7:35am... Just as I got this posted, there has been some sleet falling here at my house.  So... with some colder air moving in aloft, that rain/ice/snow situation is a bit precarious.

--------------------------------------------------------
It's raining early this morning, and the temperature at my location on Tushita Road just below the mountaineering center is 40.6F (4.8C).  I just checked the rain gauge, and there is 0.98" (2.5cm) in there since the precipitation began yesterday afternoon.  A little over half of that has occurred in the last 12 hours or so.  From what I could tell, periods of rain happened off and on all night long, with some thunder and lightning thrown into the mix as well.

The center of our upper-level storm system is located over northwest Pakistan this morning -- and the circulation itself is beginning to shear apart as it encounters the high Himalayan ranges.  That doesn't really make much difference anymore, though, since there has already been a massive amount of moisture drawn into the guts of this system, as a southwesterly mid-level flow keeps pushing it up against the mountains where it gets lifted and condensed into widespread precipitation.

Temperatures are even a bit warmer than expected, so at least in the near term, it's going to take a lot of cooling to get this rain to turn to snow here at our elevation.  That can't be ruled out later today and especially overnight into early Friday... so I guess we'll just have to keep an eye on the progress of that snow line during the coming 24 hours or so.

Improvement should occur gradually tomorrow, but most of the models keep a good chance of some pockets of rain/snow showers in the forecast for most of the day.  Right now the weekend is looking dry, but another chance of rain and/or snow enters the forecast on Monday (Republic Day).

Forecast specs can be found on THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK tab above.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

it begins... (pm.21.jan.15)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 39.6F (4.2C)
High temp: 49.8F (9.9C)
Precipitation: 0.42" (1.1cm)  *updated @ 7:45pm

Steady rain is falling this evening, at the end of a day which has been going steadily downhill, weather wise.  Clouds have been thickening up since the early morning hours, and we had our first light sprinkles of rain (and even a few flakes of snow) by about 2:30pm.  Temperatures were a few degrees cooler than we've seen recently - but it seemed A LOT cooler, due to the lack of sunshine.

The biggest precipitation event of this winter season is just now getting underway, and if the computer model data has any handle at all on this situation, we could end up with at least 2" (5cm) of rain and melted snow by noon on Friday.  The upper-level circulation which is the dynamic machine of this weather system is just moving into west-central Pakistan this evening, and is expected to drift in our direction during the coming 36 hours.  Plenty of moisture is being drawn in already, and with southwesterly winds in the upper-levels driving it right up against the mountains, periods of moderate to heavy rain/snow will be likely in our general area.

Subtleties of temperature profiles in the mid-levels of the atmosphere are well out of the range of computer models' resolution... but the data is showing temperatures remaining a bit too warm for much snow accumulation in McLeod itself.  There have been plenty of times in the past when I've seen the ground truth contrast sharply with what that computer model data tells us, so we're going to have to be on guard and prepared for the potential of  rain mixing with and changing to snow somewhere very close to us before this is all over.  For elevations above, however, there is little doubt that a very heavy dumping of snow is on the way...


deterioration... (am.21.jan.15)>

It looks quite cloudy out there as the sky begins to brighten early this morning.  My current temp of 45.1F (7.3C) is also the overnight low -- which is of course an extremely mild low temp for the middle of the winter season.  There's been no precipitation... yet.

The upper-level circulation driving our approaching/developing storm system is centered over Afghanistan at the moment, and will shift into western Pakistan by this evening.  Moisture being drawn northward in advance of this system is going to be lifted and condensed during the next 12-18 hours or so, and that's going to trigger the onset of several waves of significant precipitation across our area.  A few light showers could start to develop by mid-day, but the better chance of some rather persistent moderate to occasionally heavy rains still looks like it will be between this evening and very early Friday morning.

Everything I am seeing suggests that temperatures are going to remain too warm for snow here in the immediate McLeod vicinity, but as always, we're going to have to watch the snow line carefully -- especially by Thursday evening.  Regardless, there will likely be a couple of feet (or more) of snow in the mountains above, which will be by far the most significant dumping of this winter season thus far.

Improving conditions are expected by late Friday, but some isolated rain/snow showers could occur around the area even into Saturday.  Get the forecast details on THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK tab above.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

system on approach... (pm.20.jan.15)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 43.5F (6.4C)
High temp: 53.0F (11.7C)
Precipitation: none

The crystal clear air that we've been enjoying the last few days is obviously on its way out.  We've seen the expected increase in high clouds throughout the day today, with some lower clouds developing along the mountains as well.  There was enough sun, however, to give us another very comfortable high temperature for the latter half of January.

The arrival of those clouds today is the very first hint of the storm system which continues to approach northern India from the west.  The center of circulation has now shifted into extreme southern Afghanistan, and will lift east-northeastward during the next couple of days.  The anticipated surge of moisture from the Arabian Sea is already beginning to occur, which will provide fuel for rather widespread precipitation development across Himachal Pradesh, starting tomorrow (Wed).

There's still a degree of disagreement among the computer model data as to the onset of rain and snow in our immediate area -- but it looks like it could occur sometime between about mid-day tomorrow and 8-9pm tomorrow evening.  The best chances of a few periods of moderate to heavy precipitation will continue through Thursday, then start to diminish on Friday morning.  It's interesting that here in McLeod we always seem to be in a precarious position with regard to the rain/snow line... and we're going to have to wait until the action gets going to be able to have a clue which side of it we end up on.


big changes ahead... (am.20.jan.15)>

Interesting looking at all the charts and data this morning, concerning our storm system which is still scheduled to move in for the latter half of the week.  One thing that stands out to me is the very slow movement of the system as a whole.  The upper-level low pressure center itself is swirling around in southcentral Iran, and has only inched eastward since last evening.  It's going to take all the way until Thursday night for what's left of that dynamic center to reach northern India.

In the meantime, there will be a gradual increase in the moisture content of the air mass, as the counter-clockwise circulation around this system draws moisture northeastward from the Arabian Sea.  As we know, deep moisture being pulled uphill, up against our steep elevation gradient here on the front slopes of the Dhauladhars can often lead to some fairly heavy precipitation totals.

It is now looking like the best chances of rain development may hold off until late on Wednesday, or even overnight... though one model is insisting on the first showers developing as early as noon on Wed.  Initially, it is likely that the snow line will remain well above us here in McLeod Ganj, but with persistent moderate to heavy precipitation lasting into Friday, the mid-levels of the atmosphere may eventually cool down enough to allow the rain to change to snow at our elevation.  There's plenty of time before that happens though...

Check THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK tab above for forecast details.

Monday, January 19, 2015

calm and quiet... (pm.19.jan.15)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 41.9F (5.5C)
High temp: 51.6F (10.9C)
Precipitation: none

It's been another day of incredible January weather for us, with nearly unlimited sunshine and temperatures which continue to run on the plus side of normal.  The few people in town right now are definitely enjoying the fine weather... along with virtually empty streets.

This evening's set of data remains pretty much on track with the scenario we've been talking about the last couple of days.  A fair weather high pressure ridge remains in control across the Indian subcontinent, while a rather vigorous storm system gains strength as it tracks across southern Iran.  We'll be seeing that approaching storm system make its presence known as we head into the middle of the week.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) will still be fairly nice, though we could be dealing with an increase in clouds as the day wears on.  Clouds will thicken up by Wednesday, with computer models in disagreement about the onset of precipitation.  Suffice it to say that rain chances will increase significantly by the afternoon and evening hours, and especially overnight into Thursday.  One model even keeps a rain/snow mixture lingering through Friday.

There is going to be significant snowfall in areas above McLeod during the Wednesday evening through Friday timeframe... but how far downhill that snow line advances isn't at all clear yet.

Check the tabs at the top of the page for forecast details and other info.

another sunny one... (am.19.jan.15)>

It's a crystal clear and chilly morning again.  I've got a low temp of 41.9F (5.5C), but of course there are pockets of colder air pooled in some of the valleys and low spots around the area, which is typical of a winter morning.

It looks like we've got another sunny day on deck, as a general area of high pressure dominates the pattern all across the Indian subcontinent.  At our elevation, the bright sunshine feels nice and warm, but you only have to step in the shade to get a feel for the actual air temperature.  Temps are running a few degrees above normal for this time  of the year, however, as we break into the low 50s(F) once again.

The main event for us to turn our attention to this week is the storm system which is very slowly making its way across the northern Persian Gulf into Iran this morning.  During the next 24-36 hours it's going to begin tapping into a moisture source, courtesy of the Arabian Sea, and drawing that moisture north and eastward.  We'll likely start to see an increase in clouds on Tuesday, with precipitation chances rapidly on the increase on Wednesday.  Computer models are showing periods of rain and/or snow for our area through Thursday night, and possibly into Friday as well.

We all know that it's next to impossible to nail down that rain/snow line here along our steep elevation gradient, but late January is definitely the bull's eye time for us to get accumulating snow here in McLeod.  Of course we'll keep close watch.

Specific forecast info is available on the tab above.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

mid-winter bliss... (pm.18.jan.15)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 42.6F (5.9C)
High temp: 51.2F (10.7C)
Precipitation: none

Our gorgeous January weather continues on.  It was almost 100% sunny today, with no wind to speak of, and temperatures running a few degrees above normal for the middle of the winter season.

It looks like there are some changes on the horizon though, as an upper-level storm system currently over southern Iraq shifts gradually eastward to central Pakistan by Thursday morning.  Moisture will be drawn northward as it approaches, with cooler and cooler air showing up in the middle and upper levels of the atmosphere.  That combination should lead to significant development of precipitation across northern India as early as Wednesday morning -- with the risk of wet weather lasting into at least the first part of the weekend.

The best chance of rain and snow in our immediate area will come between Wednesday afternoon and Thursday night... but of course we'll have to keep an eye on developments during the next couple of days.  One thing's for sure -- it's going to be much less pleasant around here by the latter part of this week.

Specific forecast info can be found on the 7-DAY OUTLOOK tab at the top of the page.


Saturday, January 17, 2015

very mild for now... (pm.17.jan.15)>

I've been trying to re-familiarize myself this evening with some of the random weather models and batches of data that I rely on to watch the weather in our part of the world.  The trouble is, the data flow over my internet connection the last couple of hours has been crap.  To be honest.

Anyway, from what I am seeing, we still have some very nice January weather to deal with during the next two or three days.  I was amazed at how mild it is, having just arrived from week after week of Arctic cold and brutal wind chills in Minnesota. Felt a bit like the tropics today, to me.!!  Temperatures should continue to run above normal, with a good amount of sun -- probably through Tuesday.

Things start to change on Wednesday.  The upper-level pattern becomes more complex by that time, with an organizing storm system located just to our west.  Right now it looks like clouds will thicken, rain/snow chances will increase, with temperatures falling rather dramatically during the later half of next week.  Mid- to late January is 'prime time' for major winter storm events in our area... so we'll have to watch how this one is going to evolve.


Thursday, January 15, 2015

transit: usa to india... (pm.15.jan.15)

I'm on approach to McLeod Ganj after my most lengthy "away" period since 2002.  It's been about three months!  I've been busy enjoying being with family and friends in the US, but as always, very happy about returning to my Himalayan home.

Honestly, I hardly checked the weather situation in northern India during most of my time away, but have been keeping an eye on the charts and data during the past week as I anticipate getting back into the groove.  Looks like there was a brush with a bit of winter weather earlier this week -- and more than just a brush in areas above McLeod like Naddi and Dharamkot.  A few inches of snow fell in those locations, but other than a brief spell of snow in the immediate McLeod vicinity, the precipitation was mostly rain further downhill.

There is another storm system on the horizon -- showing up as a developing area of low pressure in the mid- and upper atmosphere over Afghanistan and Pakistan by Monday.  This is going to give us a chance of another episode of rain/snow in our area next week.

I'll be easing back into the mode of composing regular blog updates as I get settled back in town during the coming few days.......