the latest...

**WEDNESDAY 8:00AM -- I'm surprised to see an additional 0.70" (1.8cm) of rain in the gauge overnight. We also had some thunder, lightning and occasionally gusty winds during the wee hours.

Monday, August 31, 2015

closing august books... (pm.31.aug.15)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 58.5F (14.7C)
High temp: 73.4F (23.0C)
Rainfall: 0.90" (2.3cm) -- updated @ 7:50pm

A hefty thundershower is in progress at the time of this writing -- with some moderate to heavy rain, thunder, and gusty winds at times.  The skies have looked threatening ever since the mid-afternoon, but it took until after 6:00pm for things to finally pop.  We did have abundant sunshine to start the day, with developing clouds and occasional fog not really taking over until after 2:00pm.

There are only a few hours left in the month of August, which looks like it will end with very close to 40" (101cm) in the rain bucket.  That would be roughly 4" (10cm) above normal.  The vast majority of that precipitation occurred during the first half of the month, but we've still been getting very healthy downpours on a regular basis during the past fifteen days, which has kept the rainfall tally ticking upward.

Our thundershowers the last several days have been triggered by a west-northwesterly flow aloft bringing in some upper-level energy -- which has encountered lingering tropical moisture here along the southwest-facing slopes of the Himalayan ranges.  It's a classic 'late monsoon' scenario for us, which also consists of pockets of relatively drier air providing a few hours of sunshine on a daily basis -- along with lower average daily humidity readings.  This kind of variety and variability will be the main theme as we progress into and through the first week to ten days of September.  Overall, the trend will be toward more pleasant conditions... just be aware of the risk of a flare-up of rain and thunder on any given day, especially during the PM hours.

Check tabs above for lots of other info, including THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK and detailed monsoon rainfall data.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

monsoon not dead... (pm.30.aug.15)>

*Update @ 8:52pm... Some intense thunderstorm action developed just to our west-northwest this evening, and is now rolling through the area.  Our rainfall total for the day has increased substantially... and I'll try to get that updated later tonight.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 57.7F (14.3C) -- at 9:00pm during thunderstorm
High temp: 72.1F (22.3C)
Rainfall: 0.88" (2.2cm) -- total for the day

We have cloudy skies with fog, along with occasional mainly light rain showers just before sunset this evening.  Those showers have been occurring on and off since the early afternoon... but it seems that the more significant rain has only materialized during the last couple of hours.  Even then, amounts haven't been heavy at all here in the immediate McLeod area.  Once again there was some sunshine this morning, but not as much as we've enjoyed the past several days.

We're right in the midst of the normal waning period of the monsoon season, as the best alignment of deep tropical moisture and atmospheric dynamics continues to weaken.  There has already been vast improvement in conditions across the plains of northern India, but we've only seen the first and early signs of better things to come here along the mountain slopes.  Although computer model data is showing much lower average daily humidity readings (65-80%) and lower average daily rainfall rates during the coming week to ten days or so, our special set of dynamics here along the front slopes of the Dhauladhars will keep us in a vulnerable position.  Expect periods of sun to be constantly challenged by extended clouds/foggy spells -- with episodes of rain/thunder still a good bet on any given day.

As I've said numerous times over the years I've been doing this blog -- a lot of patience is demanded of us during the month of September (and sometimes even into the first several days of October) as we wait for the last traces of tropical moisture to get scoured out of here.  Check out THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK and monsoon info for both this year and last; available on tabs at the top of this page.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

the variety show continues... (pm.29.aug.15)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 61.0F (16.1C)
High temp: 73.4F (23.0C)
Rainfall: 1.07" (2.7cm) -- as of 4:45pm

Bright sunshine early this morning looked promising -- but was again short-lived, as clouds and fog developed rapidly by 10:30am, with a couple of light rain showers already popping up just before noon.  Then we had a few periods of moderate to heavy rain during the early afternoon, contributing to the largest rainfall total I've recorded since Monday.  There were some feeble attempts at partial clearing during the mid- to late afternoon, but it is cloudy and foggy again at sunset.

Although the large-scale weather features across most of northwest India are not nearly as conducive to the sustenance of widespread active monsoon conditions as they were just a couple of weeks ago, we've still got what it takes here along the front ranges of the mountains to keep scattered downpours of rain percolating.  For many days now we've seen a variable mixture of mainly morning sunshine, followed by a lot of cloud and fog development during the afternoon into the evening hours.  Also there has been measurable rainfall nearly every day.

The computer models are still tempting us with a drying trend coinciding with the arrival of September, and then keeping things relatively dry for the first week to ten days of the month.  At this point, I don't put much stock in that -- but it does look like the general downward trend in average daily humidity levels will be in evidence again by Tuesday or Wednesday, with showers of only the isolated afternoon variety.

Check tabs above for the forecast, along with more detailed monsoon info...

Friday, August 28, 2015

one of the nicest... (pm.28.aug.15)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 62.2F (16.8C)
High temp: 75.5F (24.2C)
Rainfall: 0.23" (6mm)

One of the most pleasant days of the entire monsoon season is drawing to a close, with partly cloudy skies and some patchy fog.  The only rainfall here in the immediate McLeod Ganj area occurred during the very early morning hours -- not long after midnight -- when we had a short spell of thundershowers.  Otherwise, there has been no more rain at all today, at least none that I am aware of, and the sunshine was more prevalent than on any day during the past month.  That allowed our high temp to reach its highest level of the month of August as well.

As we begin to cross from August into September, we enter a time of year that can be highly variable and potentially frustrating.  All of the atmospheric dynamics that team up to produce the monsoon season here across the Indian subcontinent normally begin to weaken by this time -- but there can still be moderate to strong surges of moisture and supporting mid- and upper-level energy features that combine to produce periods of saturation and locally heavy rainfall.  Just last year, many people had written off the monsoon by this time, only to see the Kashmir Valley hit with devastating flooding during the first week of September.  That's why we have to watch how things evolve over the long-term, and resist the temptation to jump to early conclusions.

WETTEST MONTHS, MONSOON 2015: RAINFALL TALLY and A LOOK BACK: MONSOON 2014 on tabs above contain some facts that can put it all into perspective.  Also remember that the current forecast can be found on THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

the final weeks... (pm.27.aug.15)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 64.8F (18.2C)
High temp: 75.0F (23.9C)
Rainfall: 0.19" (5mm) -- updated @ 8:10pm

We have a mix of clouds, fog and some blue sky out there at sunset this evening.  The full sunshine early this morning was deceiving again -- but hopefully most of us are not that gullible.  Clouds and fog developed by 10:00am, and played around with peeks of sun until the early afternoon.  We had one or two very brief, light showers during that time, but a few short periods of more moderate rain showers (and thunder) came along between roughly 3:30 and 5:30pm -- though you can see from the rainfall stats above that amounts were far less than impressive.

The monsoon is not over, but we've definitely moved in some positive directions during the past ten days, and especially during the last three days or so.  Our humidity readings have dropped as low as 65% during the mid- to late morning hours, but with a few hours of sunshine, the evaporation process has allowed plenty of clouds/fog to develop, leading to these random to widely scattered showers/thundershowers around the area.  It seems that there may be a little more of an uptick in the moisture content of our atmosphere over the weekend, which may mean a few more subtantial downpours of rain -- which could occur either day or night.

Beyond that, the first week to ten days of September are still not looking all that bad -- considering the fact that the normal/average date of monsoon departure isn't until around the 17th or so.  Remember that we can easily get lulled into thinking it's all over, only to be slammed with a couple of days of moderate to heavy rainfall and thick fog.  It happens every year!!

Lots more information is available on tabs above, including THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK and more detailed monsoon stats for this year and last.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

from sun to fog... (pm.26.aug.15)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 63.5F (17.5C)
High temp: 74.8F (23.8C)
Rainfall: trace

Again, we're ending the day in stark contrast to the way we started -- with thick fog and low visibilities as opposed to bright sunshine.  Up until about 1:30pm, the day was one of the nicest we've seen this monsoon season, with full sunshine early, giving way to a mix of clouds and sun.  I recorded the warmest temperature of the month (see stats above) just before 1:00pm.  But exactly like yesterday, the clouds thicked considerably during the remainder of the afternoon, leaving us fogged in for the late afternoon and evening hours.  I witnessed a few random, brief sprinkles of rain, but not enough to measure.

Satellite pics show some very isolated showers mainly along the mountain ranges here in Himachal Pradesh this evening, but we've escaped any of that in our immediate area -- for now.  There could be a random shower until 10:00pm or so, then our skies should clear out during the overnight hours, with morning sunshine expected once again on Thursday.  The data is pointing to an increasing risk of at least scattered rain showers/thunder as we approach and head into the weekend -- so just continue to be aware that the few hours of sunshine we get will not last.  Sudden downpours could occur at any time.

Extended range data keeps showing an unusually quiet pattern for the first week of September.  Historically and climatologically, it's too early to call an end to the monsoon season by then, but we may get off rather easy compared to what we've dealt with the last few years...

Rainfall reports and THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK can be found on tabs above.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

late monsoon dynamics... (pm.25.aug.15)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 62.8F (17.1C)
High temp: 72.1F (22.3C)
Rainfall: trace

Thick fog is reducing visibilities to less than 100 meters here in the main market of McLeod Ganj at sunset this evening.  It's been yet another day of extreme variety, with a few hours of beautiful, bright sunshine early this morning, followed by a thickening of clouds and fog during the late morning hours... and then pretty much totally cloudy and foggy conditions throughout the afternoon and now into the evening.  However, there's been nothing more than a few brief sprinkles of rain/drizzle this afternoon -- and that may allow us to end up with a day without measurable rainfall as long as something more significant doesn't pop up in the coming several hours.

The humidity reading at my location dipped to 70% during the mid-morning, but has obviously rebounded to the 95-100% range since around 3:00pm, as evidenced by the fog. It's much too early to get anything resembling a clean sweep of the remaining tropical moisture lingering here along the mountain slopes of north India -- so we'll continue to see periods of sunshine in between extended periods of clouds and occasional foggy episodes. The computer model data is showing very little rain development in our area the next couple of days, and only slightly more significant development as the weekend arrives.  BUT -- there could be isolated to widely scattered thundershowers dotting our area on any given day, especially during the afternoon into the evening hours.

The extended range data continues to show a fairly benign situation as we enter and progress through the first week of September; which means a mixture of sunshine, clouds and occasional fog, along with the risk of downpours from time to time.  We may see the lush ferns and mosses begin to yellow a bit and start to wilt during the next couple of weeks... the first signs of the approaching end of the monsoon.

THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK and the MONSOON 2015: RAINFALL TALLY can be found on tabs above.

Monday, August 24, 2015

sun and downpours... (pm.24.aug.15)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 57.7F (14.3C)
High temp: 70.7F (21.5C)
Rainfall: 1.60" (4.1cm) --updated at 8:25pm

We have a pleasantly beautiful evening in progress, with only some scattered clouds leftover from our spells of moderate to heavy thundershowers this afternoon and early evening.  Once again there was major variability between clouds and sun throughout the day, with a few short periods of fog as well.  But the big event was the heavy downpours accompanied by almost constant thunder which got started just before 2:30pm and finally stopped between 5:45 and 6:00pm.  The heaviest rain was between 3:00 and 4:00pm (see stats above) -- more than I've recorded in a 24 hour period in the past nine days.  And by the way -- our low temp occurred during the heaviest rain, and was the coolest since the 25th of June!

Today's afternoon thundershower development was a classic example of what we get to deal with here along the front slopes of the Dhauladhars during the final several weeks of the official monsoon season.  Although our average daily humidity levels have dropped from near 95% to about 75-80% in the last few days, that's still high enough to fuel isolated to scattered thundershower development after a few hours of sunshine-induced surface heating.  The computer models are showing very little rainfall in our area both tomorrow (Tues) and Wednesday, but we're still going to have to brace ourselves for a good chance of more of this rain/thunder action during the PM hours.

SO... although we're not at all out of the woods with regard to occasional moderate to heavy downpours of rain, it is nice that our humidity has trended downward, and we're getting to enjoy at least a couple of hours of sunshine each and every day.  As you know if you've spent many monsoon seasons around here, it is always a slow and tedious process before we completely transition into the autumn season...

THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK and monsoon rainfall information can be found on tabs at the top of the page.


Sunday, August 23, 2015

highly variable... (pm.23.aug.15)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 61.3F (16.3C)
High temp: 70.3F (21.3C)
Rainfall: 0.44" (1.1cm)

This evening at sunset we have partly cloudy skies with some clumps of fog drifting around, at the end of a day featuring lots of variability.  The early morning was stupendous, with almost full sunshine for a couple of hours before the clouds and fog began rapidly developing.  That led to a few periods of light to moderate rain showers during the afternoon which were interspersed with a few random peeks of sun.  And then of course the sun broke out more aggressively again this evening, so there's been plenty of 'back-and-forth' action today.

Total rainfall for the month of August now stands at 34.7" (88.1cm) -- and that's about one inch shy of the average/normal amount for the entire month.  I really thought we'd reach that monthly normal by now, but apart from the last 48 hours or so, the past week has been on the drier side in comparison to the previous 15-16 days.

The week ahead is looking fairly decent for this time of year, as the deepest and juiciest tropical moisture hangs well to our southeast.  A turn to a more west-northwesterly flow in the mid- and upper-levels of the atmosphere won't scour out all of our moisture, but it will dry out those higher layers enough to provide us with some occasional bright and sunny periods.  We will also still have to contend with a good chance of some rain/thunder development on a daily basis -- but that's normal for the last week of August.

There is no really impressive resurgence of the kind of deep tropical moisture we dealt with between late July and the middle of August showing up on the extended range charts... so we may be in for tolerable late monsoon season conditions during the coming couple of weeks.  Check out tabs above for rainfall info and THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

clouds-rain-rainbow... (pm.22.aug.15)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 61.5F (16.4C)
High temp: 69.0F (20.6C)
Rainfall: 1.30" (3.3cm) -- updated @ 8:10pm

Our sky is partly cloudy as the sun sets this evening, and just within the last half hour or so there has been a bright rainbow visible to the east.  The air is very clean and fresh, after our period of heavy rain between roughly 4:40 and 6:00pm.  I haven't had a chance to check the gauge since the rain had barely started, so check back for an update later this evening.  Otherwise we had mostly cloudy skies today with periods of thick fog during the afternoon hours.  The high temp was the coolest I've recorded since back on the 9th of this month.

Here at the end of August we normally start to see the first traces of a change of seasons, but it can take several weeks for that transition to play itself out.  That's starting to happen now, as deep tropical moisture begins to be more regularly challenged by the first tentative encroachments of drier air from the west and northwest.  Our location right on the front slopes of the Dhauladhars can keep us in a vulnerable position for almost daily spells of rain and thunder, mainly during the afternoon and evening hours, in spite of the slight reduction in the average daily moisture content of our air mass.

What this means is that average humidity readings in the 85-95% range should start to tick downward -- perhaps as low as 70-80% on some days.  That may not sound like a big deal, but it can make a big difference in terms of the hours per day that we have to deal with fog.  It will also contribute to gradually lower daily average rainfall totals.  There will still be plenty of episodes of moderate to heavy rainfall in the days and few weeks to come, but they will most likely become fewer and further between.  Stay tuned as we track the transition.

Lots of other info on tabs above...

Friday, August 21, 2015

the return of the rain... (pm.21.aug.15)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 61.7F (16.5C)
High temp: 73.9F (23.3C)
Rainfall: 1.19" (3.0cm) -- through midnight

A wet and gloomy Friday evening is in progress, with cloudy skies, some patches of fog, rain showers and a bit of thunder at times.  We had some moderate rain and thunder off and on last night, but the sun busted out nicely this morning, and hung around for a few hours before the clouds and fog thickened up again.  This latest round of rain didn't begin until around 4:40pm, but there have definitely been some heavy downpours since that time.  Check back for an updated rainfall total later this evening.

This latest surge of more active monsoon conditions began last evening, but the significant rainfall had been rather hit-and-miss until just the last couple of hours.  Even last night there was a great disparity between amounts around the area -- ranging from 0.25" (0.6cm) above McLeod to nearly 2.5" (6cm) down in Dharamsala.

The potential for more periods of moderate to heavy rain will continue overnight, and on Saturday and Saturday night as well.  The deepest tropical moisture will begin to retreat again between Sunday and Monday morning, as some kind of a push of slightly drier air approaches from the west-northwest.  A permanent withdrawal of Monsoon 2015 is still probably three to four weeks away -- but it might be safe to say that we've made it through the peak/climax of the season.

I've posted the rainfall tally for last year's monsoon on a tab at the top of the page, and you can compare that to this year's tally which can also be found on a tab above.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

waiting for more... (pm.20.aug.15)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 65.5F (18.6C)
High temp: 71.9F (22.2C)
Rainfall: 0.10" (3mm) -- through midnight

We'll have to call our sky 'mostly cloudy' at sunset this evening, with some patches of fog drifting around as well.  There's also some thunder rumbling in the mountains to our northeast, with some random very light sprinkles of rain thrown into the mix.  This morning's sunshine was much more limited than yesterday's... with a combination of clouds and fog dominating for the remainder of the day.  But once again -- we've had very little rainfall thus far, with my rain gauge still failing to register a measurement as of about 4:50pm.

This is now the end of the fifth day in a row with sub-par rainfall amounts across our immediate area.  Just proof that things tend to balance out over the long haul -- considering our excessive rainfall totals during the first half of this month.  We are right on the brink of a turn to another wet period, it appears, and according to all of the available computer model data it should have already kicked in.  Let's see if the model projections hold any truth to them at all, as they are all forecasting periods of moderate to heavy rain between tonight and late Saturday night.

Sunday could possibly end up being a very wet day as well, but then there are signs of a batch of drier air working its way in from the west-northwest early next week.  We're not talking at all about an end to the monsoon season, but we could see humidity levels drop into the 70-75% range for a while next week, with a greater percentage of sunshine.  The latest model data is in flux, so we'll watch the evolution (as we always do...).

THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK and other info can be found on tabs above.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

on hold... (pm.19.aug.15)>

*Update @ 7:54pm...  Scratch that.  I just arrived home here on Tushita Road below the mountaineering center to find the ground generally dry, and nothing in the rain gauge!  Another example of the randomness factor.

*Update @ 7:20pm...  Well it appears that our chance for a day without measurable rainfall has been squashed.  Heavier showers have just begun here in the middle of town. WIll check the rain gauge and update later this evening...
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 63.0F (17.2C)
High temp: 71.6F (22.0C)
Rainfall: trace

We have thick fog here in the immediate McLeod Ganj area just before sunset this evening, and there have been some light sprinkles of rain within the past hour.  Other periods of drizzle and random rain drops this afternoon and early evening have not been enough to register a measurement in the rain gauge -- and that's the first time that has happened since the 28th of June.!  If we make it until midnight without measurable rainfall, it will be a noteworthy achievement.  This morning's bright sunshine didn't hang around long, however, with the expected clouds and fog rapidly developing by 10:00am.

It kind of snuck up on us, but this is the longest reprieve we've been able to string together this entire monsoon season.  Rainfall since Sunday has amounted to only 0.72" (1.8cm), allowing us to dry out a bit after the extremely heavy totals this month.  We're at close to 32" (81cm) for August, and it will only take another 2-3" to reach the normal/average amount for the entire month.

It looks like the next surge of heavy rain-producing dynamics will be knocking on the door very shortly, with better and better chances of our rainfall tally rising significantly as we head into the weekend.  The models are in disagreement, as they usually are, but suffice it to say that we could see the development of significant rainfall at any time... and especially by late tomorrow (Thu) night into Friday.

There still seems to be some kind of push of drier air from the west-northwest on the way early next week, but it doesn't seem like it will last more than a few days.  Check out the latest forecast and other local weather info on tabs above.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

a weak phase... (pm.18.aug.15)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 63.7F (17.6C)
High temp: 71.8F (22.1C)
Rainfall: 0.07" (2mm)

There are broken layers of mainly mid- and high clouds across the area this evening, but visibility is quite good at the moment.  Although we had a few rain showers this afternoon, today has been the third day in a row of relatively light rainfall totals -- in fact -- the total rain amount since Sunday has been barely three-quarters of an inch (less than 2cm).  We also were able to enjoy some sunshine mainly during the morning hours, as has been the case during the last few days.

This latest "mini-break" is turning out to be more substantial than anticipated, which for us here along the rain-soaked mountains has to be classified as good news.  There is still evidence of an aggressive return of deep tropical moisture as we head into the latter half of the week, but it's possible that we could get another day or two of tolerable conditions for this mid-monsoon time of the year.  Right now the models are highlighting late Thursday through Saturday night or early Sunday for the best chance of an onslaught of very heavy rainfall.

By Monday or Tuesday of next week there looks to be a push of drier air coming in from the west and northwest -- so as of now, we may still be in line for a quieter, drier and more pleasant end to this month of August.

Check tabs at the top of the page for more info...

Monday, August 17, 2015

less rain for now... (pm.17.aug.15)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 64.6F (18.1C)
High temp: 71.4F (21.9C)
Rainfall: 0.13" (3mm) 

It is absolutely and totally foggy just before dark this evening, with visibility only a couple of hundred meters at best here in the middle of town.  For the second day in a row we've had rather light rainfall amounts, after the heavy daily totals of the previous week or more.  There's been a lot of variability between clouds, sun and fog today, as expected, along with those brief and light periods of rain.

We're in the midst of a minor retreat phase of monsoon conditions right now, which may  continue to provide us with lower rainfall amounts through Wednesday or so.  Slightly drier air has been attempting to work its way into the northwest quarter of India, but here along the mountains, it's not having much of an effect on this entrenched moisture-laden air mass.  Still, we can hope for occasional glimpses of sunshine tomorrow (Tue) and perhaps again on Wednesday.  Thereafter, the models/data seem to agree that we'll be contending with yet another major surge of moisture coming in from the southeast.  That's going to increase our risk of heavy rainfall for the latter part of the week.

Everytime I check the extended range charts I am anxious to see the status of this significant drying trend which has been hinted at for around the 24th of August and beyond.  It is still there, but seems that it may not last more than about four or five days before the deep tropical moisture creeps back in.

Remember to check the MONSOON 2015: RAINFALL TALLY on the tab at the top of the page, along with THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

another short respite... (pm.16.aug.15)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 63.0F (17.2C)
High temp: 70.8F (21.6C)
Rainfall since 6:30am: 0.18" (5mm)
Rainfall since midnight: 0.52" (1.3cm)

We have a variety of broken/patchy cloudiness around the area this evening, but it is dry for now.  Although there were some fleeting glimpses of sunshine today, it was much less bright than yesterday -- but ironically -- we had much smaller rainfall amounts as well.  In fact, if we don't get much more rain before midnight, today will go into the books with the lowest total of the past nine days.

Most of the computer model data is showing us entering another one of these "mini-breaks" between now and Tuesday evening, but once again, I'm not sure if that's going to translate into any kind of substantial improvement in our overall weather scenario.  Even if we do get some partial clearing from time to time, there's still a very good chance of occasional rain and thunder development, along with some periods of fog.  And THEN -- it's looking like another strong surge of monsoon conditions will be on the way for the latter half of the week.  It's almost assured that we'll reach the normal/average rainfall total for the entire month of August (35.8"/90.9cm) before this next weekend arrives.

There are some very hopeful signs on the extended range charts -- indicating the first genuine retreat of tropical moisture by roughly the 24th of August.  As I've said before, it won't be permanent, but it could allow us to end the month with a taste of some drier and more pleasant weather.

There are tabs at the top of the home page linking you to more info, including THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK and the MONSOON 2015: RAINFALL TALLY.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

independence day action... (pm.15.aug.15)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 61.2F (16.2C)  -- at 5:15pm, coolest temp of the month
High temp: 73.0F (22.8C)
Rainfall: 3.11" (7.9cm) -- updated at 8:00pm

A lot of thick, dark cloudiness dominates our evening sky, but most of the rain has ended... at least for now.  The sunshine we were able to enjoy for a few hours this morning was deceptive, as it usually is during the middle of the monsoon season.  All it did was heat up the lower layers of the atmosphere and trigger tons of evaporation which fed major rain/thunder development by the mid-afternoon.  Up until about 3:00pm we only had a few sprinkles and brief light rain showers, but by 3:30pm it was raining heavily, and it didn't really taper off until nearly 5:30pm.  The rainfall total (see stats above) is another very large one, which has been the case for the last several days in a row.

It's Indian Independence Day -- a holiday which is synonymous with "monsoon" across virtually all of the Indian subcontinent.  That certainly is the case here along the front slopes of the Himalayan chains, as deep tropical moisture continues to ebb and flow, providing us with daily doses of moderate to heavy rainfall.  The sunny breaks of late have been some consolation, but with all the moisture in the ground and in the air, it ends up exacerbating the situation and just creating more instability.

I have no major changes in the overall scenario to report to you -- this extremely wet period shows no signs of coming to a definitive end during the coming week or so.  Enjoy the breaks in the action now and then, but it's best to stay prepared for sudden intense downpours which could occur anytime of the day or night.

On tabs above you will find THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK, along with the MONSOON 2015: RAINFALL TALLY page.

Friday, August 14, 2015

it continues... (pm.14.aug.15)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 64.8F (18.2C)
High temp: 70.3F (21.3C)
Rainfall: 2.69" (6.8cm) -- updated @ 7:45pm



We've got it all this evening... a gorgeous, vivid rainbow in the eastern sky, glimpses of the setting sun in the west, a predominance of clouds, and a few sprinkles of rain.  All of this at the end of another day featuring very heavy rainfall.  It came in two or three distinct doses during the afternoon and early evening hours, causing more localized flooding around the area.  There were also some fleeting peeks of sun in the midst of it all.

The last few days of July and this first half of August have been incredibly wet, with staggering rainfall amounts over the course of the past 16-17 days or so.  We're already within striking distance of the normal amount of rain for the entire month of August, and it's not even half-way over!!  Remember to keep track of the details on MONSOON 2015: RAINFALL TALLY on the tab at the top of the page, if you're interested.

Although there will continue to be some sporadic periods of drier weather here and there, with the occasional sunny break, periods of moderate to heavy rain should continue to plague us through the weekend and even through most of next week.  I've been keeping a close eye on the extended range data which keeps indicating a marked retreat of deep tropical moisture during the final several days of the month.  It most likely won't be a permanent end to this year's monsoon, but it could be the first signs of improving conditions over the course of the coming five to six weeks.

Check THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK and other info on tabs above.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

deluge in progress... (pm.13.aug.15)>

*Update @ 8:12pm... The internet data flow seems to be cruising along now.  Great.  Just updated the day's rainfall (below).  All but about one-tenth of an inch (2mm) of that amount occurred between roughly 5:40pm and 7:10pm.  That's a heck of a lot of rain in an hour and a half.  Please be careful as there are rumors of washouts and landslides in our vicinity.
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Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 65.8F (18.8C)
High temp: 73.0F (22.8C)
Rainfall: 2.90" (7.4cm) -- updated @ 8:00pm

We're in the midst of a very heavy deluge here in the middle of the main market of McLeod Ganj at the moment, with a lot of rocks and debris visible in the main square, and the water running and rushing quite heavily and deeply.  

There have been internet issues all over town since mid-afternoon, and I am barely hanging on with an Air Jaldi wifi connection at the Snow Lion.  I will do my best to update the rainfall total later this evening, as the one above does not reflect this evening's downpour -- but that will depend on the status of the internet.

LANDSLIDES, ROAD WASHOUTS IN THE AREA...

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

ahead of the pace... (pm.12.aug.15)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 64.0F (17.8C)
High temp: 70.1F (21.2C)
Rainfall since 6:30am: 1.80" (4.6cm)
Rainfall since midnight: 5.46" (13.9cm)

Today will go down in the books as having the heaviest rainfall total of the entire monsoon season up to this point.  We had several bursts of extremely heavy rain between late last night and mid-morning, with sputtering light rain showers lasting into the mid-day hours, and even a few sprinkles on and off during the afternoon.  It was nice to see the sunshine briefly appear a few times this afternoon -- and even now as sunset approaches, there are some patches of blue sky visible in the midst of clouds and fog.

Our rainfall amounts since the last two or three days of July have been incredible, as you can see from the MONSOON 2015: RAINFALL TALLY tab at the top of the page.  But we have been in the bull's eye center of the historical/climatological dates of the monsoon season here in Himalayan north India, so this really is the time to get the heaviest rains of the year.  Still, we've been running well ahead of the normal pace the last couple of weeks, and will end up with an August total way above normal if this keeps up.

There will be the normal pulses of periodic rain, punctuated by some dry hours and even some brief partial clearing at times -- into the weekend and early next week.  The way things stand, there is still no evidence of a significant retreat of tropical moisture until perhaps the 24th-25th of this month.  Even then, it won't be a permanent withdrawal.  We've got at least four or five weeks before that can be considered.

Check tabs above for further info...

over the top... (am.12.aug.15)>

Exactly four inches (10.2cm) of rain fell overnight -- much, much more than any of the computer model data was suggesting, and much more than I would have ever expected!  It is still raining lightly at the moment, with cloudy skies and patchy fog.  I'm recording an overnight low of 64.0F (17.8C).

We've had a huge amount of rain in the last two weeks -- on the order of 28-30" (71-76cm) -- and that's putting us in a vulnerable position for landslides and road washouts all around the area.  You never know when or where they might happen, so just be very careful, take it slow, and be very observant if/when you are traveling in the midst of these oversaturated conditions.

Our 'mini-break' certainly was a small one.  We're in the kind of full-on monsoon pattern that just doesn't make room for little pockets of slightly drier air to hang around for very long.  A featureless mid- and upper-level pattern containing deep, rich tropical moisture will continue to dominate the atmosphere across Himachal Pradesh into the weekend.  That means we can expect more periods of healthy rain each and every day, punctuated by some brief partial clearing if we're fortunate.

Check out the MONSOON 2015: RAINFALL TALLY on the tab at the top of the page -- and if you notice discrepancies between amounts there and amounts posted on morning and/or evening blog entires here on the main page, it's because I try to calculate midnight-to-midnight totals for the TALLY page.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

only minor relief... (pm.11.aug.15)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 65.8F (18.8C)
High temp: 74.1F (23.4C)
Rainfall since midnight: 0.74" (1.9cm)

Our Tuesday is ending much differently than it began, with totally overcast skies and thick fog -- as opposed to the bright sunshine we enjoyed up until 9:30am or so.  In between, we've had a few periods of rain, a couple of which were quite heavy during the 11:30am to 2:00pm range.  The temperature spiked just above 74ºF (23.4ºC) during the mid-morning, which was the warmest of the month thus far.

Some slightly drier air has managed to work its way into northwest India during the past 30 hours or so, but as expected, it's not firmly taking hold, and will probably be swamped by the next surge of tropical moisture by tomorrow evening, if not before.  It's obvious that we're desperate for some kind of relief when we make a big deal of just a few hours of partial sunshine like we had yesterday afternoon and again this morning.

Our August rainfall tally is running ahead of the normal/average rate up to this point, after close to normal June and July totals at my location in the upper part of McLeod.  Right now it's looking like we'll continue to see active monsoon conditions over the course of the coming ten days to two weeks, with still some hints of a slow-down during the final five days of the month or so.  Of course projections going that far into the future are notoriously bad ---- but we'll keep following what the data/charts are saying day-by-day.

Check tabs above for the rainfall tally, forecast, and other info.

Monday, August 10, 2015

rain vs. sun... (pm.10.aug.15)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 64.2F (17.9C)
High temp: 71.2F (21.8C)
Rainfall since 6:15am: 0.72" (1.8cm)
24-hour rainfall: 1.92" (4.9cm)

The fog and low cloudiness has returned this evening, after our spell of partly sunny skies this afternoon, which began just before 2:00pm.  It was fantastic to see the sun busting through for a couple of hours, considering the fact that it had been completely absent since last Wednesday.  Earlier in the day, we had to contend with numerous periods of rain, moderate to heavy at times, with the heaviest downpours occurring right at dawn.

The "mini-break" we've been talking about and wondering about tried to appear this afternoon -- and it looks like we might get more of it during the coming 48 hours or so.  I think it's unlikely that there will be no rain at all during that time, but slightly lower humidity levels (80-85% instead of 95-100%) are within the realm of possibility, along with a good chance of some occasional peeks of sunshine.  We're not talking at all about a genuine retreat of monsoon moisture -- just a lessening of the intensity for a couple of days or so.

By Wednesday night or Thursday, ingredients will come together once again for another very active phase of the monsoon to kick in, which should last well into the weekend.  According to extended-range prognostications, we may have to wait about two weeks (24 August or so) before we see the first signs of a more substantial retreat of this very juicy and tropical air mass.  More on that as the days progress...

Follow the MONSOON 2015: RAINFALL TALLY and THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK on tabs at the top of this page.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

entrenched gloom... (pm.09.aug.15)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 64.6F (18.1C)
High temp: 68.1F (20.1C)
Rainfall since 6:20am: 0.17" (4mm)
24-hour rainfall: 0.80" (2.0cm)

It's still gloomy out there this evening, with our humidity remaining very close to 100%, which has been the case for days in a row now.  We seem to be in a pattern of getting very heavy rainfall every other day, with only light to moderate amounts on the off day.  Today was one of the off days, with just less than one inch of rain during the past 24 hours.  Still, it's been cloudy and foggy with plenty of periods of drizzle and light rain to deal with.

Computer model projections have been teasing us with some kind of a decrease in the moisture content of our air mass for several days now -- like a carrot dangling just a little way down the road.  But none of that has even remotely materialized as of yet.  We remain saturated and socked in with deep and juicy tropical moisture, with no evidence of the brief respite being advertised.  I still think there's a chance of some kind of "mini-break" during the coming two or three days, but at this point, I wouldn't bet much on it.  Let's see if we can get at least a few glimpses of sunshine, along with a slight drop in humidity sometime before late Wednesday rolls around.

Looking further ahead, right now it appears that even if we do get a little break in the action, the deeper moisture will be back by Thursday into the weekend.  But honestly, this is just the way things usually are as we push into mid-August, so the best course of action is to embrace and accept it!!

Get THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK details, along with the MONSOON 2015: RAINFALL TALLY info on tabs at the top of the page.

over 13 inches... (am.09.aug.15)>

There's another 0.63" (1.6cm) in the rain gauge as of 6:20am this Sunday morning.  That's not very much in comparison to the huge amounts we received on Saturday morning, but it pushes us well above 13 inches for the month of August, which is just entering its ninth day.  It's cloudy and moderately foggy early this morning, with just a few sprinkles of light rain happening at the moment.  I'm recording an overnight low of 64.6F (18.1C).

The latest satellite pics show an area of rain and thunder developing just to our west-southwest which could continue developing and expanding into our area this morning.  I'm becoming less and less optimistic about any kind of significant push of drier air making its way into Himachal -- though some of the computer model data is still hinting at a decrease in the moisture content of our air mass during the first few days of this new week.  Perhaps the best we can hope for is a little less fog, and perhaps a couple of peeks of sunshine at some point between this afternoon and Wednesday.  But if it does brighten up a little bit, it won't last for long.

We've been in a very active phase of this year's monsoon ever since about the 29th of July, and I don't see a major shift away from that during this coming week.  Last year we had a major break in the action for about 10-12 days during the latter half of August before things cranked up again -- let's see how August 2015 plays out.

Remember to check tabs at the top of the page for lots of other info.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

it's been hardcore... (pm.08.aug.15)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 64.0F (17.8C)
High temp: 69.0F (20.6C)
Rainfall since 6:15am: 2.92" (7.4cm)
24-hour rainfall: 3.63" (9.2cm)

Those rainfall numbers (above) are fairly impressive, are they not?  And the even more impressive fact is that the vast majority of that 24-hour total occurred between roughly 7:30 and 10:30am.  Yes, it was an extremely wet Saturday morning around here... keeping a lot of people in bed, I'm sure.

We still have thick clouds and fog just before sunset this evening, though there's been only a bit of very light drizzle in the air throughout the afternoon and early evening.

It's looking like we could have another episode of moderate to heavy rainfall overnight into early Sunday morning -- before some slightly drier air tries to work its way in from the west for a couple of days.  I am not feeling very confident about a significant 'drying out' scenario for us, but there are still hints that the average moisture content of our air mass may decrease a bit between mid-day Sunday and mid-day Tuesday.  Let's see if we get any tangible results from that.  Unfortunately, very deep moisture will surge in again by Tuesday night, and be entrenched through at least Thursday night of next week.  Any brighter/drier hours will be short-lived, as a noteworthy and longer lasting retreat of genuine tropical moisture is not going to happen anytime soon...

THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK and MONSOON 2015: RAINFALL TALLY are located on tabs at the top of the home page.

Friday, August 7, 2015

moisture abounds... (pm.07.aug.15)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 66.2F (19.0C)
High temp: 69.8F (21.0C)
Rainfall: 0.34" (9mm) -- updated @ 8:10pm

Thick clouds, fog, and drizzle.  That's the story this evening, and it's been the story for much of the day, actually.  We did have a period of slightly more substantial rain during the mid-afternoon, but so far the rainfall tally has been very much on the light side today -- at least here in the immediate McLeod vicinity.  Temperatures have barely moved.

Computer models are keeping a wide swath of periodic rain development across most of Himachal Pradesh south and west of the main Himalayan ranges this weekend, though there is some evidence of a slight drying trend kicking in by late Sunday through Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.  Our average daily rainfall rates may not be affected very much, but it is possible that we could see some brighter skies at times early next week, along with a dip in humidity levels for two or three days.  BUT -- retreats of the deepest tropical moisture usually don't last very long during the first half of August, so even if we get out of the soup for a couple of days, a return to saturation (fog/thick clouds) probably won't be far away.

Take a look at the MONSOON 2015: RAINFALL TALLY and THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK on tabs at the top of the page.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

impressive amounts... (pm.06.aug.15)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 65.3F (18.5C)
High temp: 69.6F (20.9C)
Rainfall since midnight: 2.02" (5.1cm)
24-hour rainfall: 2.42" (6.1cm)

Skies are cloudy as sunset approaches this evening, with patchy fog in the area.  It's been a pretty dismal day, with no sunshine at all and some periods of very thick fog at times.  Steady moderate rain overnight finally started to taper off during the mid-morning, though we did have periods of light rain and drizzle off and on throughout the day.

One of the major characteristics of the monsoon season which I've failed to mention recently is the propensity for huge disparities in rainfall amounts across relatively short distances.  We had a case of that yesterday afternoon, as I am learning about very heavy rain amounting to 2-3" (5-7.5cm) just downhill from us, mainly from the Library and Delek Hospital on down to Dharamsala and over to Norbulingka.  All the while, we were only getting barely measurable light rain here in McLeod Ganj.  Of course there are plenty of instances when the situation is reversed -- we get a very heavy downpour up here in McLeod while points further downhill miss out.  The moral of the story is this:  Just because it's not raining at your specific location doesn't mean that a neighbor nearby isn't getting hit.

I'm still keeping an eye on a push of relatively drier air coming in from the west early next week, which could provide us with a drop in daily average humidity levels, temporarily.  This could decrease our fog potential and maybe allow a bit more sun for at least a couple of days before deeper moisture oozes back in from the southeast.  We'll watch...

Check tabs above for lots of other info.

mid-point of the monsoon... (am.06.aug.15)>

We're waking up to thick clouds and fog on this Thursday morning, along with steady light rain and drizzle.  There's even been a bit of thunder rumbling during the last few minutes.  Rain which began falling shortly before 8:00pm last evening has been fairly consistent throughout the night into the early morning hours, and I'm measuring 1.60" (4.1cm) since last night's update at 8:15pm.  Humidity is (obviously) very close to 100%, and the low temp here at my location has been 65.7F (18.7C).

The weather charts and data are very monotonous, as the overall pattern remains exactly as we would expect during the first week of August.  We are right in the middle of the historical average dates of the monsoon season here in Himachal Pradesh, and our atmosphere is behaving accordingly.  The best we can hope for will be some periodic hours of dry weather here and there, and perhaps some brief periods of sunshine once in a while in the midst of a predominance of clouds and fog.  

Early next week there could be a more notable (though temporary) retreat of the deepest tropical moisture -- but even then it's likely that we'll continue to see measurable rainfall almost every day.

Check tabs above for more detailed weather information for our area, including the MONSOON 2015: RAINFALL TALLY and THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

the tropical soup... (pm.05.aug.15)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 64.9F (18.3C)
High temp: 70.8F (21.6C)
Rainfall: 0.22" (6mm) -- as of 8:10pm

*Update @ 8:15pm -- Rainfall has increased during the last half-hour or so.  Updated total above.
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It's about as cloudy and foggy as it can possibly get out there this evening, with a bit of drizzle occurring off and on as well.  Today's rain has been very light, with most of the little that has accumulated in the rain gauge falling between about 4:00 and 5:00pm.  We have had a predominance of clouds, however, with only a couple of very brief glimpses of sun during the early afternoon.

The tropical soup remains firmly entrenched here along the front ranges of the Indian Himalayas, and that scenario is not going to change appreciably in the near future.  We will continue to see the normal ebbs and flows, surges and retreats of the deepest and richest pockets of moisture, as numerous weak mid-level circulations drift through.  Computer model data/projections are almost worthless in terms of tracking the development of individual episodes of rain -- and as we've seen the last several days, they can occur anytime of the day or night.  This air mass is so packed with moisture that when the right ingredients line up, it's not difficult to get more than two inches (5cm) of rain in a relatively short period of time.

THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK remains very repetitive, but you can check it out on the tab above, along with the MONSOON 2015: RAINFALL TALLY, which I am trying to keep updated on a daily basis.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

another big downpour... (pm.04.aug.15)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 64.4F (18.0C)
High temp: 72.8F (22.7C)
Rainfall: 2.34" (5.9cm) -- as of 7:00pm

Total rainfall for the past seven days is now 15.47" (39.3cm) after this afternoon's very heavy downpour.



Monday, August 3, 2015

it's only temporary... (pm.03.aug.15)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 62.2F (16.8C)
High temp: 73.5F (23.1C)
24-hour rainfall: 0.11" (3mm) -- as of 6:45pm

We've had an 'off' day in terms of rainfall.  At least up til now.  There's been very little rain since the wee hours of the morning, with even some glimpses of sunshine until the noon hour.  With those peeks of sun, our temperature jumped higher than it has in several days.

So, we're in the middle of a temporary break in the action, but how long will it last?  All indications point to a return of the rain at any time.  It could happen overnight, or tomorrow, or tomorrow night, but it definitely won't be very far away.  All of the same dynamic and thermodynamic ingredients are in place, so it's just a matter of time before we cash in on another moderate to heavy dumping.  These are just the normal ebbs and flows that we experience as waves of tropical moistures slosh back and forth up against the Himalayan ranges of north India.

We've had more than 13 inches of rain in the last six days -- and you can check tabs at the top of the page for detailed rainfall info and THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

typically august... (pm.02.aug.15)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 63.1F (17.3C)
High temp: 68.1F (20.1C)
24-hour rainfall: 2.09" (5.3cm) -- updated @ 8:15pm

It's a typical early August evening out there, with clouds, fog, and steady light to moderate rain in progress.  Rainfall amounts have been lighter since last night than we've seen during several previous 24-hour periods, but the intensity has picked up again during the last couple of hours, so check back for an updated rainfall tally later tonight.  Notice (stats above) the very sluggish movement of the thermometer, as temps remain stuck in the same tight range both night and day.

A massive tropical air mass is sprawled across the Indian subcontinent, and it's not going anywhere.  That's what we'd expect during the first week of August, which is pretty much smack in the middle of the normal/average dates during which the monsoon season prevails.  Some of the computer model data shows that we could get some short breaks in the action during this coming week -- a couple of which could last 12-18 hours or so.  But I'll be very surprised if we get any longer respite from significant rainfall in the near future.  Honestly, weather forecasting is pretty dull and monotonous this time of year, and will remain so until further notice...!

Check the repetitive 7-DAY OUTLOOK on the tab at the top of the page.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

extremely wet... (pm.01.aug.15)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 64.4F (18.0C)
High temp: 68.9F (20.5C)
24-hour rainfall: 2.21" (5.6cm) -- as of 8:45pm

Moderate rainfall is happening at the moment, here at the very end of the first day of August.  Clouds, fog and occasional rain have been the full story today, with only a few hours during the mid-afternoon into the early evening hours when we had somewhat of a respite.  Nearly eleven inches (27.9cm) of rain has been registered in my rain gauge here in the upper part of town in the last four days.  Now THAT'S what we would call a robust phase of the monsoon.

The data is not showing any kind of major shift in the general pattern during the coming few days.  That doesn't mean we won't end up with a few hours of rainless weather here and there, but it is highly likely that we'll continue to see moderate to heavy rainfall totals each and every 24-hour period all the way into the middle of the week.  I'm still seeing some kind of a weakening of this latest surge of very deep tropical moisture during the latter half of the coming week, but it remains to be seen whether it will turn out to be very noticeable or not.  

Yes, we are in the thick of it, aren't we???