the latest...

**Assuming there is no more rain before midnight, we'll finish the month of April with 4.49" (11.4cm) -- the normal amount is just 1.90" (4.8cm).

Thursday, December 31, 2015

time marches on... (pm.31.dec.15)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 47.8F (8.8C)
High temp: 57.4F (14.1C)
Precipitation: none

It's the final evening of 2015, and it's a nice one.  We have scattered high clouds as the western sky darkens, along with temperatures which remain very mild for the December-to-January transition.  In fact, it was evening a couple of degrees (F) warmer than expected, with nearly full sunshine until some more significant high cloudiness started to drift in from the west by about 3:00pm.

A weak upper-level disturbance will move from Pakistan across northern India during the next 24 hours or so, stirring up a considerable amount of mainly high clouds -- but rain chances will remain very small.  Then a better organized and better-equipped disturbance should move into our area on Monday into Tuesday, giving us a more significant chance of some precipitation breaking out here along the Dhauladhars.  At this point, it's looking like the more substantial precip (mainly in the form of snow) will happen in the higher elevations to our north and northeast -- but we've definitely got to keep an eye on developments over the weekend.

Temperatures will cool down a bit by early next week, but unless this approaching system strengthens and we get a few good periods of rain, it seems that we may not even cool down to normal for the first week of January.  Again, we shall watch and wait.

HAPPY NEW YEAR... and a special thanks to those of you (you know who you are) who have kept this blog going by your support/donations this past year.  Your encouragement has meant more than you may realize.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

a quiet end to 2015... (pm.30.dec.15)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 47.7F (8.7C)
High temp: 56.1F (13.4C)
Precipitation: none

We're now eight-nine days beyond the winter solstice and the shortest day of the year, which means there's starting to be a noticeably greater amount of light lingering in the evenings at the time that I normally sit down to compose this blog.  Currently, at dusk, we have totally clear skies, with great visibility in all directions.  There was a bit more cloudiness to deal with today, but the sunshine was still dominant -- and temps were a notch cooler than the last three days or so.

Our weather pattern remains uneventful up here along the outer Himalayan ranges of north India.  Though there are, and will continue to be a few weak little circulation centers moving along the jetstream flow in the mid- and upper-levels of the atmosphere, there's hardly any moisture available, and the most we can expect over the course of the coming several days will be occasional periods of mainly high clouds.  It looks like an episode of that cloudiness could coincide with the 2015 to 2016 transition, but the chance of precipitation -- either rain or snow -- remains remote.  There will be some minor ups and downs with regard to temperatures, but overall, we will stay above normal for this time of year.

Some kind of organized storm system is still being suggested by the various computer models for early next week -- but at this point, it's not looking like much to get all that excited about.  Some periods of rain showers will become more possible on Monday, lasting through Tuesday, with snow in the higher elevations above.  There could be changes in this scenario, so stay tuned day by day as we keep an eye open....

All the forecast details for our immediate area can be found on THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK above.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

mild streak continues... (pm.29.dec.15)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 49.1F (9.5C)
High temp: 57.0F (13.9C)
Precipitation: none

For the fourth day in a row, we've enjoyed temperatures well above normal for the end of December, and for the third day in a row, an abundance of sunshine.  This is indeed a fantastic way to wrap up 2015!!  There were only the slightest traces of either thin cirrus clouds or a bit of feeble cumulus development along the Dhauladhars this afternoon --  otherwise it was bright blue skies and sun for us.  Temps were just slightly below where they were on Sunday and Monday.

I still have nothing very dramatic to report, as our overall weather pattern remains generally calm and quiet... and mild for the season.  There is some slightly cooler air trying to spill in from the north-northwest, but it won't be enough to totally put an end to these unseasonably mild temperatures we've been enjoying.  Also, there are the normal ripples and wiggles in the upper-level flow expected to pass overhead during the remainder of the week, but none of them look substantial enough to stir up anything more than some occasional cloudiness.  Any light precipitation should be confined to higher elevations to our north and east.

Just yesterday I mentioned that the models were trending toward some kind of storm development early next week -- but the last few data runs have again backed off of anything very significant or ominous-looking.  Still, it looks like we could see a slightly better chance of some scattered rain shower action on Monday into Tuesday, with temperatures a few degrees cooler as well.

THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK (tab above) has all the forecast details.

Monday, December 28, 2015

way warmer than normal... (pm.28.dec.15)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 51.2F (10.7C)
High temp: 58.0F (14.4C)
Precipitation: none

It's another gorgeous late December evening, with clear skies during this hour after sunset, and only a few wisps of thin cirrus clouds overhead.  Temperatures today were nearly identical to what we had yesterday, meaning, we are running well above normal for the season for the third day in a row.  With nearly full sunshine and mild temps, it's been another one of those winter days that's much finer than some of the cloudy, damp and colder weather we sometimes get well into the spring season.  It's another reason why the conventional 'low/high tourist season' mythology often baffles me.

Anyway... we should get more of this superb mid-winter weather as we close out 2015.  There are some very weak disturbances in the upper-level flow that will continue to threaten us with some spells of high cloudiness from time to time, but our air mass is very dry, and at our elevation, unusually mild for this time of year.  Some cooling aloft will gradually sink our way by the end of the week, and that will likely shave a few degrees off both our high and low temperatures.  BUT -- the chance of any kind of noteworthy precipitation remains very small.

The extended range computer model data has finally started to converge on some kind of consensus with regard to a potential storm system about one week from now.  That's still quite far away, but we will keep our eyes on a rain/snow event, along with plunging temperatures starting about Tuesday (5 Jan) of next week.

Follow THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK (located on a tab above) for the latest forecast details.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

november-ish... (pm.27.dec.15)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 51.1F (10.6C)
High temp: 58.2F (14.6C)
Precipitation: none

Our temperatures today were ridiculously mild for the waning days of December -- and I have to go back to the 8th of this month to find anything warmer.  Even then, during the first part of December, those kinds of temps were well above normal for the season.  It has been a strange month all around -- with much warmer than normal temps during the first 9-10 days, followed by a strong storm system delivering our entire normal/average December rainfall in just a couple of days, a streak of just over two weeks of colder than normal conditions, and now this recent quick rebound to above normal temps.  December 2015 thus far has been anything BUT normal.

This evening we have mostly clear skies, apart from a few scattered streaks of high cirrus clouds.  In addition to the very mild temps, we saw a large majority of sunshine today, punctuated by a few periods of mainly high clouds.  It actually felt a lot more like November.

Pleasantly mild and comfortable weather should continue over the course of the coming several days as we finish off 2015.  An unseasonably mild air mass will remain in place across much of central and northern India, with jetstream winds aloft carrying at least a couple of weak circulations across our area.  Recently, we've only been seeing occasional episodes of mid and high clouds in association with these weak disturbances, and I think that will remain the case -- though there is another slight chance of a random light shower somewhere in our vicinity on New Year's Day (Fri).  Although temps may trend a bit downward at the end of the week, we should stay in the 'above normal' department as we greet 2016.

Explore the rest of the blog for more weather info, including THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK located on a tab above.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

a different air mass... (pm.26.dec.15)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 43.7F (6.5C)
High temp: 55.0F (12.8C)
Rainfall: none

There's a fairly uniform layer of high clouds blanketing the area just after sunset this evening, though a sliver of fading light is visible off to the southwest.  We were able to enjoy some fantastic bright and sunny skies with minimal cloud issues all the way until around 1:00pm, but then there was a very rapid increase in that high cloudiness spreading in from the west, giving us rather gloomy conditions for much of the remainder of the day.  The expected rise in temperatures did indeed occur, with the high temp at my location in the upper part of town reaching the warmest since the 9th of this month -- 17 days ago.

As we discussed this time last evening, there are two main things happening at the moment.  One, an extensive mass of much milder air is pressing deeper into India from the southwest.  Two, a rather strong pulse of upper-level energy is moving rapidly into and across the western Himalayan region.  We saw the effects of both today, with the very noticeable bump in temperatures, and also the significant increase in cloudiness during the afternoon.  We still have to be on guard for a couple of random light rain showers somewhere around the area tonight into tomorrow (Sun) morning, but as we've been anticipating, the best risk of some measurable rain/snow will remain in higher elevations to our north and east.

This milder air mass should stick around all the way through the coming week, with temps likely to be a few degrees (at least) warmer than we would normally expect during the tail-end of December.  Weak ripples in the upper-level flow will keep us dealing with periods of clouds from time to time, but there should also be plenty of sunshine to go around, with very little risk of precipitation until after the new year arrives...

Forecast details can be found on THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK located on a tab at the top of the page.

Friday, December 25, 2015

trending milder... (pm.25.dec.15)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 39.9F (4.4C)
High temp: 48.8F (9.3C)
Precipitation: none

Our readers are always checking in from all over the world -- from every time zone -- but here in McLeod, our Christmas Day is coming to a close.  We've had plenty of fluctuations between clouds and sunshine throughout the day, though all told, I would have to say that the clouds were more dominant.  Just after sunset we still have some scattered mid-level cloudiness, though the air is actually pretty much free of haze.  Temperatures, as expected, have begun to trend slightly milder.

An amazingly impressive push of warmer air is starting to show up from the northern Arabian Sea into west-central India, and computer models are indicating this new air mass to become the main weather feature for most of central and northern India during these final several days of 2015.  However, there is also a rather strong pulse of upper-level energy moving from Iran into Afghanistan tonight, which will be racing across the western Himalayas during the coming 36-48 hours or so.  That means we'll have to deal with periodic cloud issues, along with a risk of some random rain light rain shower development, with the risk of light precipitation highest from tomorrow (Sat) evening into Sunday mid-day.  As has been the case with the last few of these upper-level disturbances, better chances of some measureable rain/snow will be further to our north and east.

It's looking unseasonably mild for the majority of next week, with a good likelihood of temperatures rebounding back toward where they were during the first ten days of December. That would be welcome, for sure, after these last two weeks of unseasonably cold weather around here...

MERRY CHRISTMAS to those of you in time zones further west who are just beginning your day... and check out THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK if you're interested in forecast details.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

peace and quiet... (pm.24.dec.15)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 36.0F (2.2C)
High temp: 46.5F (8.1C)
Rainfall: none

Christmas Eve night.... and we have a spectacular clear sky with a nearly full moon rising.  Although we had a very cold start -- the coldest temp I've recorded this season -- abundant sunshine provided us with a very bright and cheerful kind of day.  There was only a minor amount of haze here in McLeod and vicinity, with just a few clouds attempting to pop up over the mountains during the afternoon.

We've still got no major weather drama to be concerned about during the coming week or so, though there will be the battles with occasional clouds, along with another risk of some random shower development somewhere close to us on Saturday night through Sunday.  That shower risk will be in association with a rather strong pulse of energy riding along on very fast jetstream winds, in conjunction with a brief influx of moisture from the southwest.  All of the models are keeping measurable precipitation in the higher elevations to our northeast, but it's something to watch nonetheless.

We should see the first hints of some milder temps on Christmas Day, as a very impressive warming of the air mass throughout all layers of the atmosphere gets underway.  A variety of cloud development issues can easily put a damper on an anticipated warming trend... but if we can hold on to a good amount of sunshine, it looks like we will spend the final several days of 2015 with temperatures running above normal for the season.

Wishing you all -- both here in McLeod Ganj and around the world -- a HAPPY, MERRY, JOYFUL, PEACEFUL AND BLESSED CHRISTMAS!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

hovering near coldest... (pm.23.dec.15)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 38.7F (3.7C)
High temp: 46.0F (7.8C)
Rainfall: none

We've got more of that typical haze hanging around early tonight, with a few patches of mainly mid-level clouds as well.  There were some periods of hazy sunshine from time to time today, but also a good amount of cloudiness -- all pretty much what was expected.  We did have that slight chance of a brief light rain shower in the forecast, but as far as I'm aware, if there was any light precipitation at all, it remained further north and east in the mountains.  Our temperatures remain very close to the coldest of the season thus far.

There have been several upper-level disturbances rippling across the area during the past week or so, the latest of which has been affecting us during the past 36 hours with some extra cloudiness, while also delivering this latest dip in temperatures.  The atmosphere should trend toward greater stability tomorrow through Christmas Day, but we'll have to watch for a considerable amount of haze as an inversion layer sets up -- cold air in the surface layers overrun by some slight warming aloft.

Over the weekend, the models are showing an amazing blast of milder air in the mid- and upper-levels of the atmosphere.  BUT -- this time of year the pockets of colder air which have settled into the lowest layers are very hard to scour out.  That means there's going to be a big question mark surrounding just how much actual upward movement on the thermometer we get between Saturday and Monday or Tuesday.  At the same time, there will be a bit of an influx of moisture and another one of those weak disturbances in the upper-levels -- giving us concerns about cloud development, and another slight chance of some isolated light showers on Sunday.

For forecast specifics, check THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK, located on a tab at the top of the page.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

WINTER officially arrives... (pm.22.dec.15)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 39.0F (3.9C) -- at 7:30pm
High temp: 45.3F (7.4C)
Rainfall: none

It's quite hazy this evening as darkness takes over, but there are only a few scattered clouds remaining.  We saw both clouds and sun today, with the clouds definitely the majority player... especially during the early morning and again during the afternoon hours.  You can see from the stats above that the thermometer moved only a few degrees -- and that was due to the predominance of cloudiness, along with a slightly cooler air mass sinking in from the north-northwest.  The high temp at my location in the upper part of town was the coolest of the season, just by a fraction of a degree.

The Winter Solstice occurred just after 10 o'clock this morning, Indian Standard Time, which means we are in the midst of the shortest few days of the year, and have now officially crossed into 'meterological winter', which will last until around the 20th of March here in the northern hemisphere.

The minor wiggles and wobbles in the upper atmosphere that we've been talking about recently are tracking across the western Himalayan region right now -- and that will keep things slightly disturbed into early Thursday.  Models have been threatening some very light precipitation development in our area, but that doesn't seem to have manifested, except perhaps in the high elevations to our north and northeast.  There's still at least a slight risk of a brief shower tomorrow (Wed), before things start to stabilize again.  Right now both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are looking quiet, with a good amount of sunshine returning.

A surprisingly aggressive warming trend is now showing up on the charts starting Friday night into Saturday, but much of that warming energy could translate into cloud development instead of rising temps here along the front slopes of the mountains.  Anyway, it seems we'll see somewhat of an uptick in temperatures over the weekend into early next week.

Keep track of THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK on a tab located at the top of the page.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

minor ups and downs... (pm.20.dec.15)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 39.6F (4.2C)
High temp: 48.0F (8.9C)
Rainfall: none

Other than some light haze in the air, our skies are clear early tonight -- after a textbook "partly cloudy" day.  There was more cloudiness today than on both Friday and Saturday, but not as much as was feared.  Most of those clouds gathered along the mountains during the afternoon, and if there was any precipitation development, it was confined to the higher elevations to our north and east.  All in all it was an acceptable late December day, though our temperatures continue to run on the low side of normal for this time of year.

The disturbance zipping across north India today was indeed a weak one... failing to deliver on our slight chances of getting a few raindrops.  No complaints there.  There will be another couple of wiggles and wobbles in the upper-atmosphere moving across our area later this week, however, and that keeps us from removing the slight risk of some brief light showers at some point -- mainly on either Tuesday or Wednesday.

There are no big storm systems on the horizon, but neither is there a big massive blob of warmer and perfectly stable air coming our way.  That means we can expect the same general pattern to continue through the week and beyond Christmas Day, with temperatures staying either near or a bit below normal for the season.  Extended range weather charts are just starting to hint at a stormy pattern as the New Year arrives... but that is still way in the future.  Stay tuned.

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

Saturday, December 19, 2015

christmas is a comin'... (pm.19.dec.15)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 41.7F (5.4C)
High temp: 50.5F (10.3C)
Rainfall: none

It's a perfectly clear evening out there, with a bright half-moon directly overhead.  Today's temps were 1-2ºC milder than yesterday's -- and the mildest we've seen since back on Monday.  Only a few traces of cumulus clouds attempted to develop along the mountains this afternoon, with mid-December sunshine dominating.  It was still very chilly in the shade, but that nearly unlimited sunshine was welcome indeed.

We've found ourselves 'in-between' little disturbances rippling along the jetstream flow the last two days, and that's allowed us to enjoy these sunny skies.  But a couple of days ago we were talking about both Sunday and Tuesday being candidates for an increase in clouds, along with at least a slight risk of some random light rain shower development.  It's still looking like we'll see a weak disturbance move across northern India tomorrow, and again on Tuesday -- so -- even though a couple of the models are showing virtually no precipitation development, there are another couple of sets of data that are.  That means we have to be prepared for a less abundance of sunshine, along with that mentionable chance of a few raindrops somewhere around the area.  At this point, it appears that we'll lose that shower risk and also see a greater percentage of sunshine by Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

The misinformation with regard to temperatures continues to proliferate on the internet via mobile web-bot weather apps.  It has not been below zero (ºC) here in McLeod proper, though those apps show temps of -2 to -3ºC (27-28ºF).  If our lows were that cold, then we'd be seeing icicles from rooftops in the market instead of dripping water at dawn, and patches of ice in the streets and gutters instead of pools of water.  Not to mention the fact that there would be problems with water freezing in pipes during the pre-dawn hours.  Yes, it's quite cold... but not that cold.

Get a look at THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK for forecast details -- on a tab above.

Friday, December 18, 2015

no significant warming... (pm.18.dec.15)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 38.1F (3.4C)
High temp: 47.8F (8.8C)
Rainfall: none

Our temperatures continue to run several degrees cooler than normal for the middle of December.  NO really significant/major warm-up is on the way, with a further slide downward in temps expected as we get closer to Christmas.!  Only minor disturbances during the next week or so will produce occasional clouds and a risk of some very light precipitation.  No time for more analysis and discussion tonight -- but you can check on THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK for forecast details...

Thursday, December 17, 2015

season's coldest... (pm.17.dec.15)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 39.6F (4.2C)
High temp: 45.5F (7.5C)
Rainfall: none

Our skies have cleared out considerably during the last hour or so, but it's still partly cloudy early tonight, with some light haze as well.  There were only a couple of short periods of sunshine early this afternoon, leaving us with a mostly cloudy day, with lots of haze at times, and even a period of rumbling thunder off and on between about 3:00 and 4:15pm.  Personally, I never saw any rain drops, but there could have been some sprinkles or light showers somewhere around the area, especially during that late afternoon convective activity.  The most significant news of the day is the temperatures -- I recorded the coldest high temp since the 3rd of February, which certainly puts us into the mid-winter league.

Yes, you are right, it is colder than it normally is by this stage of the winter season, with today's temps very close to normal for about the 10th of January.  We're getting pay-back for all the unseasonably mild days we enjoyed for the majority of the season up until about a week ago.  Things really do tend to balance/average out in the long run.

An upper-level low pressure circulation tracking overhead today was responsible for all the cloudiness, the thunder, and this latest drop in temperatures -- but it is now moving east of us.  Unfortunately, the jetstream orientation is going to keep us in line for periods of cloudiness and at least slight chances of some random showers over the next several days, with Sunday and Tuesday being the best candidates for that.  Otherwise we will see hazy sunshine; though the sun's power this time of year leaves much to be desired.  It looks like temps will stay on the cool side of normal/average all the way through Christmas - at least.

Other weather info and an extensive archive of posts can be found by exploring the rest of the blog -- and you can get THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK on a tab above.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

disturbances in the flow... (pm.16.dec.15)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 41.4F (5.2C)
High temp: 49.3F (9.6C)
Rainfall: none

It's partly cloudy and hazy this evening at dusk, with our temperatures hanging in the same range we've seen for the last three days in a row.  Compared with seasonal norms, it's felt more like the very end of December or early January recently, with high temps barely able to nudge the 50ºF (10ºC) mark.  We had a nice amount of sunshine again this morning, but clouds were gradually on the increase during the afternoon hours.

A wintertime jetstream pattern remains on the weather charts -- extending from the Arabian Peninsula all the way into and across northern India.  A rather pronounced low pressure trough is evident in that flow this evening right over the middle of Afghanistan, which is expected to move eastward overnight and wind up virtually right on top of us by mid-day tomorrow (Thu).  Only very light precipitation is showing up on the computer model solutions, but in addition to increased cloudiness, we should be prepared for the risk of a few scattered rain showers in the area on Thursday.  Yet another weak disturbance will zip through on Sunday, and then one more on Tuesday, on this rapid west-to-east jetstream flow.  We could see some very light rainfall amounts on those days as well.

Otherwise expect a lot of back and forth between sunshine and clouds during the next week, with temperatures hard-pressed to rise much at all from where we are now.  In fact, we could even drop another degree or two as we move closer to Christmas.

Forecast specifics can be found on THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK tab, located at the top of the page.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

chill holds tight... (pm.15.dec.15)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 41.0F (5.0C)
High temp: 49.3F (9.6C)
Rainfall: none

Our sky is absolutely clear early tonight -- the first time we've seen that at this time of the evening in at least a week.  The winter sunshine was plentiful today, despite some light haze at times, along with some very feeble cloud development over the immediate Dhauladhar peaks during the afternoon hours.  But this air mass is a cold one, and even with the sunshine, our temps weren't able to make a whole lot of upward progress.  In fact, it was even a degree or so (F) cooler than it's been the last three days.  

I've got no major shake-ups in the overall weather situation to talk about during these 9-10 days leading up to Christmas.  The wintertime jetstream is running generally west-to-east across the southern part of Asia, which is further south than it's normally positioned this time of year.  Embeded in that upper-level flow will be quite a few weak disturbances in the coming days, but none of them appear to be all that significant.  The next one, scheduled for Wednesday night into Thursday, could be the strongest of all, and that's why we should be ready for another increase in clouds, along with at least a slight chance of a period or two of light rain showers as it very quickly swings across north India.  Other weaker jiggles and ripples aloft will come through on Sunday, and again on Tuesday, keeping us from completely falling asleep as far as weather-watching is concerned.

This type of weather pattern lends itself to some very chilly overnight and early morning temps in the valleys and low-lying areas, as dense, colder pockets of air seek out the low spots until we get daytime sunshine generating some circulation.  I'm always bumping into people asking if it's going to warm up soon -- and I am sorry to say that the pattern is looking quite cool -- even cooler than normal -- until maybe a bit of a moderating trend during the very final 3-4 days of the month.

Check out THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK for forecast details.

Monday, December 14, 2015

nothing too frightening... (pm.14.dec.15)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 41.7F (5.4C)
High temp: 50.5F (10.3C)
Rainfall: none

Apart from a bit of light haze, we have clear skies across our area early tonight, with a nice view of the waxing crescent moon visible in the southwest.  It was nice to get nearly full sunshine until just after 11:00am this morning, but then we saw the expected build-up of cloudiness over the mid-day hours, with a period of mostly cloudy skies between about 2:00 and 4:30pm.  Our temperatures during the last three days have been fairly steady -- as we continue to run a little cooler than normal for the season.  Humidity was slightly lower today, but we've yet to drop below 50% after the passage of our big storm late last week.

There are still no major storm systems showing up in the data or on the charts during the coming several days -- and perhaps for even longer than that.  The flow aloft at the jetstream level will remain quite brisk, with a few fast-moving weak disturbances expected to zip across northern India this week and next.  Our air mass has been trying to steadily dry out the last 24 hours, and that trend should continue during the next 48 hours or so, which means we may see less mid-day and PM cloud development tomorrow (Tues) and Wednesday.  However, one of those weak disturbances is scheduled to move through late Wednesday night into Thursday, and that could give us an increase in mid- and high cloudiness, and also bring at least a slight chance of a quick period or two of light rain showers.  Otherwise, the only excitement for us in the days ahead will be watching the fluctuations between winter sunshine and periods of haze and clouds at times.

I see no noticeable or extended periods of milder/warmer temperatures in our future... so 'what you see is what you get' as far as that's concerned.  There will be minor ups and downs, but in general we should be hanging close to normal, or maybe even slightly below, temp-wise, for mid-December.

Other information is available if you have time to explore the rest of the blog, including THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK details on a tab above.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

dhauladhar surprises... (pm.13.dec.15)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 43.3F (6.3C) -- updated @ 9:00pm
High temp: 50.5F (10.3C)
Rainfall: 0.06" (2mm)

There are some stars visible in the midst of partly cloudy and hazy skies early tonight.  Today has definitely been a disappointment, with much more cloudiness, fog and thick haze than expected -- not to mention the crazy surprise sprinkles and brief light rain showers between 2:00 and 3:00pm, and again right around 4:30pm.  There were occasional periods of sunshine interspersed, but not enough for us to call it a nice day at all.  Humidity remains in the higher range of 60-75%.

Mountain micro-climate features here along the leading edge of the north Indian Himalayan ranges are almost always totally overlooked by the computer models, which is what makes forecasting weather conditions here a big pain in the petunia at times.  None of the models had a handle on the weak ripple in the upper-level flow which interacted with the lingering moisture and very cool air mass here along the Dhauladhars to produce the murkiness and spotty showers today.  But we will have to continue to be aware of a rippling flow at the jetstream level all week long, with the potential for wildcards in our forecast from time to time.  Right now it seems that the next chance of us getting some random/scattered light rain showers will be on Wednesday night through Thursday -- with a mix of sun, haze and periods of clouds otherwise.

Temperatures may try to moderate just a bit during the mid-week, but maybe not enough for us to notice, before another reinforcing shot of slightly cooler air slides in Thursday into Friday.  Short days... long nights... this is December.

Get a look at other info including THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK on tabs at the top of the page.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

entrenched chill... (pm.12.dec.15)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 41.4F (5.2C)
High temp: 50.6F (10.3C)
Rainfall: trace

Clouds have been rapidly dissipating during this hour after sunset this evening, leaving us with hazy skies.  We saw roughly equal parts sunshine and cloudiness today, but even during the sunny spells there was a lot of haze to deal with.  Temperatures were a bit milder than yesterday, but not by very much -- leaving us on the cool side of normal for this stage of December.  Humidity hovered in the 60-70% range for much of the day.

The early winter jet stream is howling directly overhead -- keeping minor fluctuations in a rapid west-to-east flow rippling across northern India during the coming week or more.  There are no major storm systems on the weather charts at all, not only during the next week, but all the way into the weekend after Christmas.  However, it's not out of the question that one or two of these little ripples in the upper-level flow could squeeze out a random shower or two as we head into the latter half of the month.  Otherwise, get used to alternating periods of sun, haze and cloudiness, along with humidity probably trending downward again during the next few days.

That blast of central Asian air that accompanied our recent storm system is not going to be easily displaced... so that means although we could see some minor moderations in temperatures on odd days here and there, it's going to be hard to get any significant or long-lasting warming.

Explore tabs above for plenty of other info, and archives on the right column of the page for detailed day-by-day weather history from the past five and a half years........

Friday, December 11, 2015

a memorable day... (pm.11.dec.15)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 38.3F (3.5C)
High temp: 47.6F (8.7C)
Rainfall since midnight: 2.25" (5.7cm)
Storm total rainfall: 2.47" (6.3cm)

THE 9TH OF MARCH -- That's how far back we have to go to find a day with colder temperatures than we had today.

THE 2ND OF SEPTEMBER -- That's how far back we have to go to find a greater one-day precipitation total than we had today.

So it's clear that today has been one for the books, as we've been slammed with the first significant storm system of this new winter season.  It was very impressive, as December storms go... it felt to me more like a February system... delivering more rainfall than we normally get during the entire month of December (see WETTEST MONTHS above for month-by-month rainfall stats).  The snow line was uncharacteristically low for this early in the season as well, reaching down below Magic View, but remaining above Galu.  The amount of rain we received here in McLeod would translate into nearly two feet of snow up around Triund.

Most of the rain was over before noon, though there were a couple of brief and random light showers during the early to mid-afternoon.  There was some sun trying hard to bust out as well, which was a nice surprise.  Early tonight it's mostly cloudy with patches of fog drifting around the area.

If you're not excited about winter wetness (or whiteness), you'll be pleased to know that rain chances will diminish to almost zero after midnight, with a dry and quiet weather pattern taking shape for the next several days, or even longer.  Temperatures will moderate a bit with the return of some sunshine, but the persistent winter chill may have arrived now, with little chance of a return to the mild temps we've seen up until just recently.

Of course THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK has all the details, above.

storm update... (am.11.dec.15)>

*Update @ 9:29am... Just over 2" (5cm) of rain in the gauge!  Temperature has bounced back to 42ºF (5.5ºC).  Clouds, fog, light rain.  

*Update @ 8:43am... The temp here has dipped to 39.4ºF (4.1ºC) during the last half hour, in the midst of a downpour of heavy rain with a bit of sleet mixed in.

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My rain gauge shows 1.42" (3.6cm) since our first light showers materialized yesterday, and 1.33" (3.4cm) of that has fallen since 9:30pm.  We've had numerous periods of moderate to occasionally heavy showers, with lots of thunder and lightning off and on all night into the early morning.  There has even been a little sleet mixed in with the rain -- I heard it clattering against my window a few times during the wee hours.

The low temp here at my location has been 41.4ºF (5.2ºC), which is almost exactly what was expected.  As I type, the temperature is hovering right around 43ºF (6ºC).

It's very difficult to get a view of the snow line right now -- still too dark and lots of low cloudiness around.  But based on the temp at my location in the upper part of town, I would guess there is snow on the ground well below Triund to the vicinity of Magic View Café.  That's just a guess at this point.

According to the latest satellite pics, our upper-level circulation will be pushing into southwestern Jammu & Kashmir by mid-morning, and then zip across northern Himachal Pradesh by late afternoon.  That means we should continue to see a good chance of more periods of rain, occasional thunder, gusty winds, and a fluctuating snow line just up-mountain from us.

Marked improvement is expected sometime early tonight, though temps will be at their coldest of the season.  Still expecting sunshine to return for the weekend....

THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK is on a tab above.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

more like winter... (pm.10.dec.15)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 46.6F (8.1C)
High temp: 54.7F (12.6C)
Rainfall: 0.09" (less than 2mm) -- as of 9:30pm 

A few light rain showers are scattered around the area early tonight, with mostly cloudy skies.  We had the first wave of gusty winds and some brief light showers during the pre-dawn hours, though there wasn't enough to measure in my rain gauge in the upper part of town until another brief period of light showers during the mid-afternoon.  Even then, you can see from the stats above that we haven't really gotten started in terms of significant amounts of rain.  Today featured some periods of thick cloudiness, but also several peeks of sunshine, along with the isolated showers and occasionally gusty winds.

The atmospheric dynamics moving into northern India right now are very impressive -- with an evolving low-pressure circulation now centered just northwest of Kabul, Afghanistan, accompanied by the coldest air of the season by far.  There's a sub-par amount of moisture available for this system to work with, but the dynamic environment is so intense that whatever moisture IS available is going to be lifted and condensed here along the mountain slopes, it appears.  It's still looking like the best potential for a significant period of precipitation will occur between later tonight and around midnight tomorrow (Fri) night.  It's always a little nerve-racking -- waiting for things to manifest -- but it's looking likely that will happen shortly.

The air mass accompanying this system is colder than normal for this early in the winter season, and that means we could see a significant accumulation of snowfall well below Triund, and possibly even down to the vicinity of Galu Temple and that neighborhood.  In terms of rainfall, more than one inch (2.5cm) seems possible for us.

Sunshine should return on Saturday, but temperatures will stay on the chilly side all the way through the forecast period.  That's going to be our new reality, as it appears this relatively mild prelude to winter comes to an end.

As always, get the forecast specs on THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK tab at the top of the page.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

drama potential... (pm.09.dec.15)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 52.2F (11.2C)
High temp: 56.0F (13.3C)
Rainfall: none

Our air quality is quite good this evening, as this air mass starts to get mixed and churned up a bit in advance of an incoming storm system.  We can call it partly cloudy as the sky turns dark -- there's some scattered mid-level altocumulus out there.  You can see from the stats above that temperatures moved very little today, thanks to a predominance of cloud cover along with some cooler air in the middle layers of the atmosphere starting to filter in.

Interesting times are ahead for us during the next couple of days, as we await the impact of a complex upper-level storm system now easing in from the west-northwest.  A preliminary wave/disturbance is already affecting us with the increased cloudiness and slightly cooler temps today, but the main event, in the form of a broad low pressure trough now just east of the Caspian Sea, could deliver some drama by this time tomorrow (Thu) evening.

By far the coldest air of this new winter season is waiting in the wings across central Asia, while a moderate amount of moisture is being pulled up from the south, against the north Indian Himalayan ranges.  According to the latest data, ingredients should coalesce and converge by Thursday afternoon or evening, leading to an outbreak of precipitation which should last into Friday night.  The models are not in total agreement, but there are some impressive precip totals hinted at -- possibly in the 1-2" (2.5-5cm) range.  That translates into around a foot (or more) of snow across elevations above 8000ft/2400m or so.

For those of you who've tracked these winter systems with me over the years, you know there are a variety of ways the whole thing can tip significantly one way or another!  So -- let's watch it come together.  THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK (tab above) has the forecast details.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

storm system organizing... (pm.08.dec.15)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 52.2F (11.2C)
High temp: 60.6F (15.9C)
Rainfall: none

It's an unseasonably mild early December evening, with quite a lot of high cloudiness overhead.  Today's temps have been a bit above what was expected, in spite of the fact that the sunshine struggled fiercely with the numerous waves of high clouds trekking from west to east across the sky.  Humidity at my location ranged from 33% to 50%.

We're in an 'in-between' phase right now, as the high pressure ridge of the past week continues to weaken and break down, and a brand new storm system continues to organize well to our west.  The center of a rather strong upper-level low pressure circulation is over extreme northeastern Iran this evening, and will be moving slowly in our direction during the coming 48 hours or so.  This time of year there's not a huge amount of moisture to be found, but this system will gather whatever is available as it approaches, and push it up against the Himalayan ranges of northwest India between Thursday and very early Saturday.  It's also bringing with it the coldest batch of air of this new winter season.

All of that means we may be facing some dramatic changes as we move into the latter part of this week.  I think we're safe tomorrow (Wed), but things start to go downhill on Thursday -- or even by Wednesday night according to one rogue set of computer model data.  From what I'm seeing tonight, I think our best chance of rain and mountain snow breaking out will occur sometime on Thursday afternoon, with good precipitation chances staying in the forecast until roughly midnight Friday night.  Temperatures will plummet during that period, and I think there's little doubt we'll experience the coldest temps of this season so far.  Fortunately the sun will return in earnest starting on Saturday, and stay with us at least through early next week.

Check out THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK tab above if you're interested in all the forecast details.

Monday, December 7, 2015

a week of transition... (pm.07.dec.15)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 49.8F (9.9C)
High temp: 57.7F (14.3C)
Rainfall: none

There are very few clouds overhead just after dark this evening, but we're dealing with a moderate amount of haze in the air.  The haze was fairly thick off and on throughout the day, with a mixture of sunshine and a few clouds otherwise.  Humidity averaged 45-50%, with temperatures still running a bit above normal for this stage of December.

A transition period is underway, and will probably deliver a rather dramatic change in the way our weather looks and feels as we head through the rest of this week.  First, the high pressure ridge in place for the last week is breaking down, as an upper-level low pressure circulation located over western Iran starts to push eastward.  Right now it seems that there is going to be a considerable increase in cloud cover during the coming day or two, and then a risk of some rain shower development by Thursday.  The upper-level system itself is projected to weaken considerably by the time it reaches north India on Friday, but much colder air will be accompanying it, and what little moisture is available is going to be forced up against the mountain slopes.  That means we stand a good chance of seeing some wet, windy, and considerably colder weather between Thursday and Saturday -- with the best chance of rain (and snow above 8000ft/2400m) during the Thursday afternoon through Friday evening period.  It would not be a good idea to be heading into the higher elevations/passes anywhere in Himachal Pradesh after Wednesday night.

Temperatures will drop considerably, especially by Thursday night into Friday, though we should rebound a bit by Sunday into Monday.

THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK located on a tab above is where you can find forecast details.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

changes this week... (pm.06.dec.15)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 50.2F (10.1C) -- updated @ 8:30pm
High temp: 60.0F (15.6C)
Rainfall: none

It's become hazy again early tonight, with only a few high clouds scattered in the southwestern sky.  Our Sunday featured a mixture of sun and high clouds, as has been the case the past few days, with temperatures pleasantly mild for this stage of the winter season.  However, the low temp of the day (so far) occurred during the late afternoon, which is an unusual thing to happen -- due to a fresh surge of cooler air which tumbled down from the north and northwest with the passage of a weak disturbance aloft.  Humidity has remained generally in the 30-45% range.

The sprawling ridge of high pressure which has dominated our weather pattern for most of the past week is in the early stages of breaking down, as some minor ripples in the upper atmosphere start to chip away at it from the west-northwest.  A general westerly flow aloft will continue into Wednesday, keeping us dealing with this back-and-forth between sunshine and periods of high cloudiness, as temperatures begin to trend ever so slightly downward.

By Thursday, our attention will turn to a rather vigorous early winter storm system which is now taking shape over extreme northwestern Iran.  This system is projected to roll across Himalayan north India between Thursday and early Saturday, with a variety of scenarios being advertised by the various computer model data.  Those models are far from any kind of consensus yet -- but we could be looking at measurable rainfall, a decent dose of snow above 8500-9000ft (2600-2700m), and the coldest air mass of the season as we end the week.

Get a look at forecast details on THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK tab, located at the top of the page.  Monthly temp/precip averages can also be found on those tabs above.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

good fortune continues... (pm.05.dec.15)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 52.7F (11.5C)
High temp: 60.2F (15.7C)
Rainfall: none

As December evenings go, this is a user-friendly one -- with only a few scattered high clouds just after dark, along with temperatures that continue to run on the mild side for this time of year.  Patches of high clouds dimmed the sun quite a bit this morning, but we broke out into mostly sunny skies by mid-day, and the sun remained dominant throughout the afternoon hours.  My high temp was the second-wamest of the last ten days, as humidity again averaged close to 40%.

The influence and effect of a big ridge of high pressure sprawled from the Arabian Sea into central and northwest India is now peaking, as it provides stable weather conditions across the vast majority of South Asia.  There are still inversion issues in the lower elevations to our south, however, thanks to pockets of shallow cool air that are being overrun by relatively warmer temperatures in the higher levels of the atmosphere.  Also we're still contending with occasional patches of high clouds moving across Himalayan north India in the rapid west-to-east flow aloft.  But this stable high pressure situation will be on its way out over the course of the coming 4-5 days or so.  In the meantime, expect alternating sun and mainly high clouds, along with pleasantly mild temps for the season.

Computer models are struggling with the evolution of a fairly vigorous upper-level low pressure system approaching from the west by the latter part of the new week.  There's total disagreement amongst the various models at this point -- but we've at least got to be prepared for the potential for some shower action as early as Thursday, lasting into Saturday.  It also looks like our temps will take a nose-dive by the time next Friday rolls around.  Stay tuned as we watch...

Specific forecast info can be found on THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK tab above.

Friday, December 4, 2015

a mild weekend... (pm.04.dec.15)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 50.5F (10.3C)
High temp: 59.6F (15.3C)
Rainfall: none

There are numerous streaks of high thin cirrus clouds across our sky early tonight, at the end of yet another very pleasant early December day.  Our sunshine wasn't as unrestricted today as it had been the previous three days, as we had to contend with batch after batch of those cirrus clouds being carried along on a rapid westerly flow aloft.  There was also a bit of haze, as has been the case all week.  My thermometer in the upper part of town nearly reached 60ºF between 2:00 and 3:00pm, with humidity hovering in the 40-45% range for most of the day.

Our weather pattern is now dominated by a very large ridge of high pressure aloft which continues to build from the Arabian Sea across northwest India.  This is a very stable scenario for us which, along with a dry air mass in place, prevents even the slightest probability of precipitation development.  The exception during the next few days could be in the very highest elevations to our north and northeast as a few weak ripples of energy ride along the northern fringes of that high pressure ridge.  Expect alternating sunshine and high clouds right through the weekend into early next week, with temperatures perhaps rising a bit more -- into a range that is significantly warmer than normal for this time of year.

Some kind of upper-level low pressure system is showing up on the charts for the latter half of next week, which introduces at least a moderate risk of rain showers by Thursday into Friday.  It also looks like our temperatures could plummet if/when that system arrives.

Check tabs above for other info, including THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

our personal secrets... (pm.03.dec.15)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 48.9F (9.4C)
High temp: 57.3F (14.1C)
Rainfall: none

In spite of the abundant sunshine, today averaged out to be one of the cooler days of this autumn/winter season so far.  But still, both high and low temps at my location on Tushita Road in the upper part of town were slightly above normal for early December.  There was the expected light haze at times today, along with a few barely noticeable wisps of high, thin cirrus clouds -- otherwise the sun was unhindered.  Humidity averaged 40%.

The latest surge of dense, cool early winter air which started flowing in from central Asia about 36 hours ago has been creeping southward and downhill.  At the same time, a ridge of high pressure in the upper atmosphere has been building in, providing some fairly aggresive warming aloft.  This has caused the classic inversion situation to become established again across northern India, with that layer of smog accumulating in the lower elevations below us and down onto the plains.  As I've mentioned numerous times before -- this is one of the best kept secrets around here -- ignored and overlooked by the robot weather apps that are so 'slick and convenient'.  During stable weather patterns during the winter season, our conditions are much brighter and more pleasant up here along the Dhauladhars than further downhill.  Don't tell anyone... let's keep the truth to ourselves(!).

This quiet and pleasant pattern looks like it will continue for the next several days, and here at our elevation there's a pretty good chance that we'll experience at least a moderate bump in temperatures over the course of the weekend.  There's a hint of some kind of more active weather scenario by the latter half of next week, according to one or two of the computer models, so we'll keep an eye on that.

Click around elsewhere on the blog for more info.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

the next inversion... (pm.02.dec.15)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 50.7F (10.4C) -- updated @ 9:30pm
High temp: 58.6F (14.8C)
Rainfall: none

The actual air temperature didn't move very much today, since a cooler air mass was flowing in even as we enjoyed mostly sunny skies.  Our sky was very pristine and clear until the early afternoon when a bit of haze started to develop, along with a scattering of cumulus clouds along the mountain peaks.  Just after dark there's some haze in the air, otherwise it's clear.  The humidity reading averaged close to 35% today.

The slighly cooler air mass in the wake of a weak upper-level circulation which passed overhead during the past 36 hours or so is not going to last very long.  Already there is another very large ridge of high pressure over the northern Arabian Sea which will be poking into northwest India effective immediately.  Here we go again with another inversion situation -- as shallow cooler air gets trapped in the lowest levels of the atmosphere while much warmer air flows in aloft.  That means during the next three nights or so, temperatures will likely be cooler downhill from us, with more of that unsavory dust and smog stuck down there in the inversion layer.  Apart from the haze concerns, there should be a lot of sunshine during the next couple of days, with temperatures attempting to rise back toward or even a little above the 60ºF (16ºC) mark over the weekend and maybe into early next week.

Some ripples in the upper-level flow will reappear as early as Monday into Tuesday, but more likely later next week.  BUT -- according to the latest data, our atmosphere will remain too dry for any precipitation to develop during the foreseeable future.  Let's see if that holds.

Remember that forecast details are available and upated both morning and evening on THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK tab at the top of the page.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

ridiculously nice... (pm.01.dec.15)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 53.1F (11.7C)
High temp: 60.6F (15.9C)
Rainfall: none

What a gorgeous first evening of December we are enjoying.  Skies are perfectly clear, with the last sunset colors fading along the west-southwestern horizon.  Today's sunshine was abundant and plentiful, with only a short episode of hazy skies during the mid-afternoon, along with some very random cumulus development along the Dhauladhars for a few hours.  Both high and low temps at my location on Tushita Road just below the mountaineering center were actually warmer than I've recorded since last Wednesday.  Humidity ranged widely -- from around 25% this morning, to just over 50% during the mid-afternoon.

It's hard to believe we've actually had an upper-level disturbance overhead today, but it's true.  The circulation is very weak, but its center has been gliding from northern Pakistan into southwestern Kashmir today, and will continue its course over Himachal tonight into Wednesday morning.  Our air mass is so dry, however, that there's very little cloudiness being generated, much less any precipitation.  The main thing happening is we'll be getting the next influx of drier air, along with a temporary slight dip in temperatures as this little system moves east of us.

But then by Thursday, yet another ridge of high pressure will start to build into northwest India, and that should usher in a period of moderating temps for the end of the week, which looks like it could last even into early next week.  Precipitation chances continue to look very slim for the coming 5-6 days at least.  Not a bad way to kick off the new month...

Check forecast details on THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK tab above -- and explore other tabs for info on normal/average conditions (temps and precipitation) for December.