the latest...

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

Thursday, June 30, 2016

now it's real... (pm.30.jun.16)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 64.9F (18.3C)

High temp: 75.2F (24.0C)
Rainfall: 2.38" (6.0cm) --updated @ 8:00pm

I woke up just before 3:30am and immediately thought, "it's a classic monsoon downpour".  Heavy, steady rain with occasional rumbling thunder continued until just after 5:00am, with just a bit less than two inches (4.8cm) in the rain gauge to show for it.  The rest of the day has featured very high humidity (80-92%), much more clouds/fog than sun, and other scattered rain showers late this morning and again late this afternoon and evening which have not been as heavy (yet) as our pre-dawn deluge.  Currently it is cloudy, foggy, drizzly, showery, and downright dreary.


Monsoon conditions have been threatening -- surging and retreating, ebbing and flowing, moving in and moving out -- for a couple of weeks now.  But I think we'd all agree that the overall trend has been toward a more moisture-laden and borderline saturated air mass, which is exactly what we would expect as we finish off the month of June.  I've recorded about three inches (7.6cm) of rain in the last 36 hours, and that's a sign of things to come as our daily rainfall rates rise rapidly with the arrival of July.


Computer models can be notoriously confounding in our part of the world, and even more so during the monsoon season -- BUT -- they are still indicating some very heavy rains across much of Himachal Pradesh this coming weekend.  Amounts in excess of 5" (12cm+) are showing up on the charts, especially between Friday night and early Monday morning, as deep tropical moisture gets squeezed and condensed by significantly cooler air arriving in the upper-levels of the atmosphere.  The wait is over.


Check out tabs above for other local weather, climate and blog info...


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

still advancing... (pm.29.jun.16)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp:67.3F (19.6C)

High temp: 78.6F (25.9C)
Rainfall: 0.85" (2.2cm) -- thru midnight

It's almost 100% cloudy as I start typing this evening, with a good amount of fog out there as well.  Humidity today was as low as 69% at mid-morning, but then has fluctuated in the 75-85% range from late morning through the afternoon, and is trying to climb even higher this evening.  It's been another day of variable clouds and sun, but the stand-out feature was the short but heavy round of rain showers we had right around the noon hour.  The heaviest rain occurred in a 25 minute period between 11:40am and 12:05pm, with some lighter showers and drizzle lingering until about 12:50pm.


There's not much time left in June 2016, but the month has already done its job, by delivering some extremely warm temperatures during the first part of the month, and spotty/occasional rains throughout the entire month which have pushed us a bit above normal/average.  AND -- it seems we're ending June in a fashion very much in line with the norm.  Monsoon conditions are ebbing and flowing, but continue advancing, pretty much on schedule.


It's time to get used to high humidity, with only short breaks here and there, and also rain chances which will have a hard time disappearing during any particular 24 hour period.  As we've seen lately, we can get a round of showers/thunder pretty much any time of the day or night.  Models have been consistently painting a very wet picture for us this coming weekend -- and I think it's possible that we could receive some very heavy rainfall totals between Friday evening and Sunday afternoon, as tropical moisture battles with some cooler air moving in aloft.


Explore the rest of the blog for lots of other info, including extensive archives and monthly climatological norms...


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

waiting for the real stuff... (pm.28.jun.16)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 62.1F (16.7C)

High temp: 76.5F (24.7C)
Rainfall: 0.30" (8mm)

We have a rich combo of clouds, fog, patches of blue and peeks of sun this evening, with humidity just above 80%.  It's been another highly variable day, with lots of thunder but only light rain showers during the pre-dawn and early morning hours, followed by some nice sunshine poking through around noon.  The afternoon was a continual back-and-forth between sun and clouds, with fog developing again after about 3:30pm or so.  The rainfall total for the day at my location in the upper part of town was almost exactly the same as I recorded yesterday up to this point.


With only two days to go, there's been 8.05" (20.4cm) in my rain gauge for June, which is now just slightly above the norm for the month.  But ironically, the vast majority of that amount occurred during the first 18 days.  Even though the monsoon is now officially underway, our rainfall has not really measured up during the last week to ten days or so.  The moisture is in place -- daily humidity levels are right on the precipice of what we expect as the monsoon season kicks in -- but other dynamics have been rather lackluster.  There have been some heavier rains around the area, but at least at my particular location, I've been missing out, and I think that goes for most of McLeod Ganj proper.


But as soon as we think it's not gonna rain, it will.  In buckets.  So with this kind of air mass in place, and tropical features dominating the weather pattern, we have to remain prepared for the onslaught which is inevitable..  The models, for what it's worth, are looking very ominous for the Thursday night through Sunday morning period.


Tabs at the top of the page contain lots of other local weather info...


Monday, June 27, 2016

humidity reigns... (pm.27.jun.16)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 64.2F (17.9C)
High temp: 73.5F (23.1C)
Rainfall: 0.31" (8mm)

We're getting some glimpses of hazy sun through the extensive patchy cloudiness around the area this evening, as humidity holds right around 82-85%.  It has been one of the most humid days of the season and the year, though rainfall again failed to impress.  During the wee hours of the morning there was almost continuous thunder rumbling, but that only translated into a very light amount of rain, with a bit more in the form of steadier showers between about 8:00 and 11:30am.  We had some thick fog at times during the first part of the day as well, but the sun made some decent appearances during the PM.

A full six days into the official monsoon season of 2016, and we've only had just over an inch of rain -- at least at my particular spot on Tushita Road in the upper part of town.  But the moisture content of the atmosphere is flirting with monsoon levels, with daily humidity averages now attempting to push above 80%.  Genuine tropical moisture continues to invade, and will keep humidity very high into this weekend, at least.  Large areas of rain and thunder will be scattered across Himalayan north India as well, so it's only a matter of time until we find ourselves underneath one that produces a major amount of rainfall -- and that could happen at any time of the day or night.

Temperatures are now kind of a non-issue, and will remain so right through the monsoon.  By non-issue, I mean that there won't be much variation between day and night and from day to day, as they hold mainly between about 63ºF/17ºC and 79ºF/26ºC.

Get a look at other info and specifics on tabs at the top of the page...

Sunday, June 26, 2016

the juice... (pm.26.jun.16)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 66.9F (19.4C)

High temp: 77.8F (25.4C)
Rainfall: trace

Humidity today has hovered between about 68 and 78%, with constant alternations between clouds and hazy sunshine.  Although there were some sprinkles just before noon, and then a couple of brief, very light showers during the mid-afternoon, the rain wasn't even enough to measure at my location on Tushita Road just below the mountaineering center.  This evening we have mostly cloudy and hazy skies, and it remains quite muggy.


Our air mass continues to 'juice up', as deeper and richer moisture seeps northwestward up against the outer ranges of the Himalayas.  According to satellite pics, rain/thundershowers were very isolated and hit-and-miss across Himachal Pradesh today, but all of the computer model data still shows us on a trajectory towards better and better rain chances as we move through the first half of this new week.  The potential moisture availability of this atmosphere is immense, and that means that we will get a large amount of rain at some point.  As we finish off June and cross into July, average rainfall amounts radically increase, with more than one inch of rain PER DAY becoming quite easy to accomplish.


Keep track of the monsoon's progress on the SUMMER INTO MONSOON tab at the top of the page... and also you will find up there the JUNE DAILY STATS, and comprehensive climatological info for our area...


Saturday, June 25, 2016

rain chances increasing... (pm.25.jun.16)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 68.4F (20.2C)

High temp: 78.0F (25.6C)
Rainfall: 0.09" (2mm)

It is partly cloudy, hazy and humid this evening during the hour before sunset, at the end of a day which would definitely have to be called variably cloudy.  We had periods of extensive clouds and also extensive sun, with pretty much all combinations and variations in between.  The highlight of the day was a round of rain showers from the late morning into the noon hour which produced just a small measurable amount of rain at my location in the upper part of town.  Small it was, but it was enough to register a measurement, so that prevents us from logging a third dry day in a row.  As far as humidity is concerned, the average was right around 66-68%, though it was as high as 75% for a while during those showers.


According to the models, it might be just about time to get down to business with regard to some actual monsoon conditions around here.  A much more moisture-laden airmass is poised to advance into our area by late tomorrow, with increasing moisture throughout different layers of the atmosphere expected day by day as the week unfolds.  I will be very surprised if we don't see a pretty dramatic increase in intensity and frequency of rain showers (and some thunderstorms) starting as early as tomorrow, but especially into Tuesday and Wednesday and beyond.


In addition to the better chance of rain, we should see some periods of thick clouds and fog as well, as humidity jumps up into the 80-90% range for extended hours at a time.  Yes, it looks like our monsoon season may actually start to behave like it...


Friday, June 24, 2016

rare rainless days... (pm.24.jun.16)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 65.5F (18.6C)

High temp: 81.2F (27.3C)
Rainfall: none

On the first two days of June, we had no rainfall at all.  And now, we've had two days in a row without even a trace of rain -- the first time that's happened since then.  That's the curse of the India Met Department's monsoon declaration just 72 hours ago.  This evening during the hour before sunset, we have mostly cloudy skies, with those cloud bases hanging very low.  Humidity today has been quite variable -- as low as 58% during the mid-morning, but back up to about 73% this evening.  My high temp was the warmest of the last 12 days.


Even though it doesn't fit together well with our recent official onset of the monsoon season, it's actually just fine to be getting a little period of dry weather.  The month of May was more than five times wetter than normal, and right now, our June rainfall total is just about 1.7" (4.3cm) shy of the normal/average amount for the entire month.  AND -- that monsoon declaration was nearly a week earlier than normal anyway.

Our trusty array of computer models continues to indicate borderline stability to prevail over the first half of the weekend, with consistent indications of a major moisture surge on the way sometime between Sunday and early Monday morning.  Once again, the temptation is to go to sleep at the wheel during this quiet period, but I think it would be wise to keep the rain gear handy, in case of some random thundershower development tomorrow (Sat) -- but it looks like the best rain chances will enter the picture as we move through the first half of next week.  We'll of course get a taste of some cooler temperatures once those rains set in again...

Take a look at monthly rainfall averages on the WETTEST MONTHS tab above.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

waning moisture for now... (pm.23.jun.16)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 63.7F (17.6C)

High temp: 80.1F (26.7C) -- updated
Rainfall: none

Today, the second full day of the official monsoon season of 2016, has been distinctive in two ways.  First, I recorded the warmest high temp since the 12th of June, which of course was eleven days ago.  And secondly, this is the first day without even a trace of rainfall since the 11th of June.  I guess we could add a third distinction, as the average humidity was lower than it's been since last Tuesday, the 14th, at 54%.  At the moment we have a broken layer of stratocumulus clouds blanketing the area.


All of the data, charts and models are showing a shockingly quiet and relatively stable pattern both tomorrow and Saturday, with the juiciest moisture remaining well to our south and southeast, and a general ridge of high pressure developing aloft.  Again, it's important to remember that our mysterious mountain micro-climate factors can kick in out of the blue on any given day and put all the computer model output to shame -- so keep that in mind -- but it does look like we could get another day or two without significant rainfall.

Surging moisture by Sunday into Sunday night will return us to monsoon conditions for at least the first half of next week, and possibly beyond.  Humidity will again push above 80%, there will likely be more episodes of fog, and the risk of moderate to heavy rain will be on the increase.  Normally the Indian Met Department waits too long to declare the official monsoon onset here in our area, but this year they may have jumped the gun just a bit.  What we are dealing with is still the extreme back-and-forth stuff of the pre-monsoon period.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

the first day... (pm.22.jun.16)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 62.1F (16.7C)
High temp: 72.3F (22.4C)
Rainfall: 0.75" (1.9cm)

What a gorgeous evening.  It's hard to connect that with the fact that we are about 24 hours into the official monsoon season.  Tonight there are some patches of mid- and high clouds around, but the air is so clean and clear, with visibility better than we've seen in at least the last several days.  Of course it was a totally different story earlier today, with lots of clouds and fog dominating most of the morning into the mid-afternoon hours, and an extended period of rain and thunder between about 12:30 and 3:00pm.  Although it rained for a long time, it really wasn't all that heavy, with the day's total reaching exactly three-quarters of an inch.  Humidity has been extremely variable today -- from 60 to 96%.

Well, we've received our official monsoon declaration, but honestly, we are still only on the fringes of the deepest tropical moisture gathering across the Indian subcontinent.  In fact, most of the model data today is showing some slightly drier air working into the western Himalayan region during the next two to three days.  As we've seen many times before, what the models say doesn't always have very much to do with reality when we've got the micro-scale mountain issues going on.  By the end of June it is hard to string together even a couple of totally dry days in a row, so let's see.

The next major surge of juicy tropical air shows up on the charts starting on Sunday, lasting into at least the middle of next week.  Unless something truly bizarre happens, we should finish off June with a rainfall total well above the normal/average of 8.0" (20.3cm).

Peruse tabs above for other info/items that might interest you...

MONSOON 2016 officially declared... (am.22.jun.16)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 65.1F (18.4C)
High temp: 75.6F (24.2C)
Rainfall: trace
Avg humidity: 76%

Last evening, the India Met Department took that monsoon onset line and dragged it all the way northwestward to the India-Pak border near Pathankot.  That means nearly all of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand are now officially included in Monsoon 2016, with western Uttar Pradesh, extreme northwestern Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat yet to receive the official monsoon onset declaration.  The IMD offers no rationale behind their decision to make such a dramatic move -- but they have certain criteria they use every year that goes beyond rainfall totals.  Speaking of which, we've had just barely over a half inch (1.2cm) of rain in the last three days.

Despite our less than impressive rainfall amounts the last few days, humidity remains very high -- fluctuating between around 70% and well over 90% on most days recently.  This morning at dawn it stands at 79%, with partly cloudy and rather hazy skies.

So it's officially monsoon -- slightly less than a week earlier than the normal onset date in our area.  Periods of rain and thunder can occur anytime, so if you're like me, the time you decide to leave the umbrella at home is the time when a healthy downpour will occur...

Monday, June 20, 2016

closer and closer... (pm.20.jun.16)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 64.2F (17.9C)
High temp: 77.3F (25.2C)
Rainfall: 0.23" (6mm)

Our humidity this morning hit 95%, with a period of fog and light rain showers, but then dropped as low as 72% during the mid- to late afternoon hours.  It was looking and feeling truly like the middle of monsoon season early this morning, but the dramatic clearing and drop in humidity starting during the noon hour shows us that we are not quite there yet.  This evening it is partly cloudy and hazy, with the tops of some thundershowers visible across the mountains to the north.

The moisture content of our air mass will remain quite high throughout the week, and into the weekend.  Any little disturbance in the middle and higher levels of the atmosphere wobbling or drifting overhead will stir up more showers and thundershowers -- which could happen at any time of the day or night.  Rainfall amounts since our big thunderstorm early Saturday afternoon have been light, but that could change at a moment's notice.

The leading edge of this year's monsoon continues to march northwestward at a steady pace, as a juicy tropical airmass gains more and more ground across India and Nepal.  We're still about a week away from the average date for official monsoon onset here in the Dharamsala area, but as we know, we almost always have several days of genuine monsoon conditions under our belt before the IMD catches up.  Check the progress, JUNE DAILY STATS, and other info on tabs above.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

longest days/shortest nights... (pm.19.jun.16)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 65.8F (18.8C)
High temp: 74.6F (23.7C)
Rainfall: 0.32" (8mm)

With the summer solstice just a couple of days away, the sun is rising earlier and setting later than it does all year long.  And this evening at blogging time, the sun is still well above the horizon, as it battles patchy cloudiness and haze.  We've seen another day of variable periods of clouds and sun, with some short spells of fog thrown into the mix as well.  Already there were some thundershowers in the area at sunrise... but those fizzled out leaving us dry until about 2:45pm, when some fresh rain showers developed and hung around until around 4:15pm or so.  At least at my location in the upper part of town, rainfall today was much less than we saw yesterday during our major thunderstorm/downpour that occurred shortly after noon.  Humidity was up, however, averaging in the 75-78% range.

Weather discussions start to get rather repetitive as we tip-toe into the monsoon season, with a nearly dead upper-level flow allowing increasing amounts of tropical moisture to surge northwestward across the India subcontinent.  From here on, it will be just the slightest variations in the moisture-content of our air mass, coupled with little wiggles and circulations at the micro-scale level along the outer Himalayan ranges that determine frequency and intensity of shower/thunder development.  There will be days without measurable rainfall between now and the middle of September, but those will be relatively few and far between.

I'll refer you again to the SUMMER INTO MONSOON tab at the top of the page for more detailed info on the advance of official monsoon conditions.  That line has moved further today, and I'll be updating those specs later tonight.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

something for everyone... (pm.18.jun.16)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 57.4F (14.1C) -- at 12:55pm during thunderstorm
High temp: 76.3F (24.6C)
Rainfall: 1.27" (3.2cm)

It's partly to mostly cloudy this evening, close to the end of a day featuring some very dramatic fluctuations.  The first one occurred between 8:30 and 9:00am, when mostly sunny skies rapidly turned mostly cloudy with some patchy fog.  The second was when a very intense thunderstorm developed just to our west-northwest and brought us a period of heavy rainfall and gusty winds which lasted only 45 minutes or so -- between 12:30 and about 1:15pm.  And the third turn of events was the two to three hour period of steamy sunshine during the middle and late afternoon hours.  Humidity was up and down as well, but averaged around 72% for the day.

The pre-monsoon weeks are always full of fun and games, as tropical air flirts with the relatively cooler and drier air hanging along the higher elevations of the Himalayan ranges.  We've got more of that to come -- with periods of decent summer sunshine alternating with thick clouds and some spells of fog, and also that risk of a round of rain and thunder which could get stirred up at any time.  The models continue to show a wave of deeper tropical moisture moving our way starting Sunday night into Monday, and then hanging around our neighborhood throughout the majority of next week.  Already we've had about 6 inches (15cm+) of rain for the month of June, so it looks like we'll easily surpass the normal amount which is just over 8 inches (about 21cm).

After a slow start, it seems the leading edge of this year's monsoon is advancing almost on a daily basis, so be sure to follow the SUMMER INTO MONSOON tab at the top of the page for the latest info, if you're into that sort of thing...

Friday, June 17, 2016

weekend concerns... (pm.17.jun.16)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 63.0F (17.2C)
High temp: 78.8F (26.0C) -- updated
Rainfall: trace

A broken layer of clouds is hanging very low along the mountain slopes this evening, as we move within a few days of the summer solstice, which is the longest day of the year.  There's also some hazy sunshine happening, as has been the case since morning, in the midst of the patchy/occasional clouds.  As far as I'm aware, there was nothing more than a few brief sprinkles of rain this afternoon in the immediate McLeod area.

Today's humidity level fluctuated between 59% and 72% at my location in the upper part of town -- far from saturation, but there's obviously enough moisture in the air to make it feel quite muggy, in spite of the relatively mild temperatures.  A warming air mass aloft, coupled with the slight decrease in the overall moisture content of this air mass has delivered a bit of rare stability for us today.  Areas of showers and/or thundershowers could still develop/erupt at any time of the day or night... but the data is still pointing to a smaller risk of rain over the weekend.  Temperatures will probably climb a couple of degrees both Saturday and Sunday, so it's going to feel quite steamy and sultry during episodes of sunshine.

There's a brand new surge of deeper tropical moisture scheduled to begin pushing into our area from the south-southeast by Sunday night, and right now it looks like it will stay with us for most of next week.  We can look forward to rising humidity once again, along with a higher risk of some spells of moderate to heavy rainfall next week... which is pretty much exactly what should be happening as we pass the summer solstice and move into the latter days of June.

Follow the monsoon's progress across the Indian sub-continent on SUMMER INTO MONSOON -- located on a tab above.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

the transition continues... (pm.16.jun.16)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 59.7F (15.4C) -- at 6:20pm during rain
High temp: 77.9F (25.5C)
Rainfall: 1.61" (4.1cm) -- almost all between 4:55 and 6:40pm
*updated @ 7:50pm

Robust thundershowers are in progress right now, and have been occurring on and off since shortly before 5:00pm.  I haven't been able to get to the rain gauge yet, but will update later this evening with what should be a fairly hefty amount.  The day started off with a good dose of sunshine, but cloud development got going very early -- by mid-morning -- and kept the sun under cover for the majority of the rest of the day.  We got grazed by some light showers well before dawn, but then it wasn't until very late this afternoon that the real rain started up.  Humidity wasn't as high as it was yesterday, but still averaged very close to 70%.

All of the elements necessary to maintain pre-monsoon conditions are assembled now, and have been for the last couple of days or so.  It's a transition period we're in, as our air mass moves more and more toward a state of long-term saturation.  That means the humidity level will be up and down over the remainder of the month, but the general trend when it's all said and done will be upward.  As I've mentioned many times before, the monsoon season isn't only about rain -- and there is plenty of that-- it's about the moisture content of the atmosphere.  Obviously, saturation means 100% humidity, which means the particular parcel/layer of air holds all the water it can possibly hold.  Just because it's raining it doesn't mean that the humidity is 100% at our elevation -- but we know that it's 100% up higher in the atmosphere at the saturation level, which is where clouds have formed and precipitation has actually developed.  This is why the prevalence of fog is the tell-tale sign of saturation and near 100% humidity.  So much for the mini-meteorology lesson.

Models are hinting at a slightly less moisture-laden airmass between tomorrow and mid-day Sunday, with another surge of moisture heading our way by Sunday night into Monday, lasting into at least the middle of next week.  At this stage of the game, we can't really remove the moderate risk of thundershowers from the forecast on any given day, but rain chances will decrease a bit over the weekend -- for what it's worth.

Check tabs above for forecast details, monthly stats and monsoon progress.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

the first taste... (pm.15.jun.16)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 65.8F (18.8C)
High temp: 73.1F (22.8C)
Rainfall: 0.42" (1.1cm)

It's drizzling at the moment, with mostly cloudy skies and patchy fog.  We've experienced a rather vivid preview of the monsoon season to come -- with clouds, rather thick fog at times, and humidity in the 80-95% range throughout the day.  Surprisingly, rainfall hasn't been heavy at all here in our immediate area (as of this evening), but there have been clusters of showers and thundershowers in all directions since late last night, so there have likely been some heavier rainfall totals than we've seen here in McLeod.  The thermometer moved little -- as we would expect with the high humidity and prevalence of cloud cover.

If you've been following the advance/onset of this year's monsoon (SUMMER INTO MONSOON tab above), you know that the leading edge of official monsoon conditions is still very far away from Himachal Pradesh, but since late yesterday we've started to get the first taste of what will become the norm during most of July, August and at least the first half of September.  This current and first surge of deep tropical moisture will retreat as we head into the weekend, but then it looks like that juicy moisture will slosh right back up against the mountains again early next week.  It's time to get prepared for the new realities.

If we can get a few hours of sunshine, it can get uncomfortably warm and muggy this time of year, but with clouds, occasional fog and periods of rain, it's actually quite pleasant.  In my opinion, pleasantly mild temps are one of the great positives once the monsoon season gets entrenched.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

humidity creeping upward... (pm.14.jun.16)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 67.6F (19.8C)
High temp: 76.1F (24.5C)
Rainfall: trace

We have mostly cloudy skies this evening, it's hazy and quite muggy, with a few sprinkles of rain lurking here and there.  The sun never made much of an impact today, with large patches of cloudiness hanging around since the early morning.  For that reason, temperatures were hard pressed to move very much, as you can see from today's temps stats.  It was dry the whole day, however, until a couple of brief periods of very light rain showers got going just after 5:30pm.  The average humidity crept up ever-so-slightly... right around 54-55%.

It's not difficult to sense and feel the change in our air mass characteristics recently.  That's because it is time to say goodbye to the days of relatively lower humidity levels, as tropical moisture begins to invade -- not only at the surface, but throughout all layers of the atmosphere.  Even though we had a very wet May, humidity levels always dropped back into the 20-30% range after a bout of heavy thunderstorms, so there was still plenty of pleasant weather to go around.  But now, there will only be brief moments of any kind of noteworthy reverse in an ever-increasingly humid air mass here along the mountain slopes of north India.

There still seems to be a good chance of some substantial rainfall developing in our general vicinity as we head into the latter part of the week, as the most moisture-laden air mass of the season surges north-northwestward into Himachal Pradesh.  We can now start the countdown until genuine monsoon conditions start to appear in our area -- most likely within the next couple of weeks.

Check out the tabs above for plenty of other local weather info, including the this year's monsoon progress on SUMMER INTO MONSOON.

Monday, June 13, 2016

awaiting a moisture surge... (pm.13.jun.16)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 63.0F (17.2C)
High temp: 80.0F (26.7C)
Rainfall: 0.15" (4mm)

As mid-June evenings go, this one is spectacular.  We have patchy mid-level clouds around, but we'd have to call it mostly sunny as we get into the final hour before sunset.  The day started off with unlimited sunshine, but the cloud development was rapid and dramatic during the late morning hours, leading to some thundershowers building over the mountains by shortly after noon.  Rainfall was quite light, but we did get a couple of decent showers mainly between 1:30 and 3:00pm -- then it cleared out again for the late afternoon and evening.  Humidity for the day averaged very close to 50%.

The main event during the coming several days will be a surge of tropical moisture that is gathering to our south and southeast, which is projected to gradually increase our humidity levels between now and late Wednesday into Thursday.  All the model data is showing more widespread shower/thunderstorm development starting on Wednesday, and lasting at least into Friday.  This is not the leading edge of the monsoon itself, but it is the first in what will likely be a few surges of pre-monsoon conditions that we'll experience during the next couple of weeks or so.

It might be safe to say that our warmest temps of the season are now behind us, since a more moisture-laden air mass is conducive to more cloudiness, and thus, lower temperatures.  So far, my high temps that I've recorded in the upper part of town are averaging very close to normal for the first half of June -- a few days above, but also a few days below.  Unless we end up with a surprise late season heat wave, this year's temperatures have not been all that unpleasantly warm, compared to what we've had to endure during late May to mid-June during several years of the past decade or so.

THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK has forecast details, and SUMMER INTO MONSOON is where to find updates on the monsoon's progress -- both on tabs above.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

pre-monsoon elements... (pm.12.jun.16)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 66.6F (19.2C)
High temp: 82.2F (27.9C)
Rainfall: trace

It's mostly cloudy this evening, and I've just heard some thunder rumbling to the north-northwest.  Our sky condition has been all over the place today -- periods of sun, periods of clouds, and every combination in between.  Just before noon it was already looking like we were going to get some thundershower action, but there was only a bit of thunder and some brief very light rain showers and sprinkles until around 1:00pm.  I was in Dharamkot at the time, so I don't know if there were any raindrops here in McLeod proper - or not.  At any rate, it's been a rather quiet Sunday up til now.  Humidity averaged right around 45%, with temps a little bit below normal for the middle of June.

There's no way to ignore the threat of scattered shower/thunder development, now that we are tip-toeing into the pre-monsoon weeks.  The moisture content of our atmosphere is expected to be on the increase during the coming several days, giving us the first taste of a tropical air mass this season.  The upper-level pattern is very diffuse and ill-defined, but that's what we expect this time of year as the jet-stream flow gets forced very far to our north.  Hit-and-miss thundershowers could pop up any time of the day or night, but it's still looking like we're going to see a better chance of more significant rain sometime during the Wednesday to Friday time frame.

Even more so than those increasing chances of rain, rising humidity is really the tell-tale sign that the monsoon season is on its way -- so that humidity reading will be the thing to watch as we move into the latter part of the month.

Check tabs above for more detailed info...

Saturday, June 11, 2016

normal june issues... (pm.11.jun.16)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 66.4F (19.1C)
High temp: 83.4F (28.6C)
Rainfall: none

As has been the case virtually all day, it is partly cloudy during this hour or so before sunset this evening.  We've had a quiet day, with warm temperatures and moderate humidity... along with that mix of sun and clouds.  It's been dry (so far), for only the second day of this entire past week.

And again for only the second day of this past week, there was very little if any thundershower development along the Himalayan ranges from Kashmir through Himachal and Uttarakhand.  The pulse between thermodynamic stability and instability was at an ebb, allowing us to enjoy a nice June Saturday.  With all the same variables in place that we've been dealing with for the last week, however, thundershower development could get going again at any time, so don't be fooled by the quiet we've been able to take advantage of today.  Showers and thundershowers should continue to be mainly hit-and-miss into the middle of the coming week, though, as temps fluctuate based on the sun/cloud combo.  Overall, we should remain close to normal for this time of year.

Computer models are showing a very impressive surge of tropical moisture by late Wednesday, with the potential for our first taste of some preliminary monsoon conditions during the latter part of the week.  I think we could see humidity rising above 60% for the first time this season -- a sign of things to come.

Remember to check tabs above for lots of other info on monsoon status, climatological averages, and forecast details...

Friday, June 10, 2016

gradual evolutions... (pm.10.jun.16)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 59.7F (15.4C) -- around 4:10pm
High temp: 81.3F (27.4C)
Rainfall: 0.16" (4mm)

Clouds are breaking up to the north this evening, as the scattered showers we've had throughout the afternoon hours drift south of us.  Sunshine was abundant this morning, but there was rapid convective development over the mountains by noon, as we were expecting, with the first rain shower materializing at about 1:15pm.  There was then another nice period of sunshine during the early afternoon, but more showers and thundershowers moved in from the northwest just after 3:00pm, sticking around until just recently -- and also causing our temps to briefly plunge to the day's low.

What you see is what you get -- that would seem to be the reality now that we're getting into the middle of June.  Scattered shower and thundershower development will occur on most days from this point on, with an increasingly moisture-laden air mass here along the front slopes of the mountains of north India.  There will also be varying degrees of instability on any given day, with periods of strong summer sunshine warming up the surface layers, and then interacting with relatively cooler air aloft.  June rainfall so far has been about 2.60" (6.6cm), which is actually very close to where we should be one-third of the way into the month.

If you are interested in following the advance of the monsoon, I am updating the progress on the SUMMER INTO MONSOON page, located on a tab above.  The official onset was quite late this year across South India, but there has been a more aggressive push northward during the past several days.  Also, you can explore other tabs across the top of the HOME page for plenty of other local weather and blog info.  Of course more than six years of archived weather chronology can be found along the right-hand column...

Thursday, June 9, 2016

a slice of stability... (pm.09.jun.16)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 64.8F (18.2C)
High temp: 80.2F (26.8C) -- updated
Rainfall: none

Well lo and behold, our atmosphere has indeed stabilized this afternoon.  For the first time since last Saturday we did NOT have thunderstorm development in our immediate area.  There was a cluster of thundershowers which slipped by just to our south early this morning, leaving a lot of patchy cloudiness in its wake, but then the sun broke free by the noon hour, providing us with some calm and quiet PM weather conditions for a welcome change.  Humidity averaged in the 40 to 50% range throughout the day, with temps a few degrees cooler than normal for the first half of June.

More micro-climate mysteries.  The overall pattern has not really changed at all over the course of the past few days, but today, there was only the most isolated shower development all up and down the outer Himalayan chains.  So obviously, the interactions between differing temperature and moisture profiles across the various layers of the atmosphere here along the mountains was in more of a state of equilibrium and stability today.  Computer model data has been bordering on useless lately... a coin toss might be a better forecasting strategy.

Those models continue to show isolated to scattered thundershower development mainly during the afternoon and evening hours, but perhaps some activity during the overnight and morning hours as well -- for the duration.  This means that we have now reached the time of year when it's very difficult to totally remove rain chances from the forecast.  On the other hand, as we saw today, periods of steamy summer sunshine are also likely, as our temps fluctuate based on that dance between sun, clouds and showers.

We finally have an official declaration of monsoon onset in extreme southern India -- check out SUMMER INTO MONSOON (above) for details on that.  Get a look at other info on tabs above as well.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

temperamental and moody... (pm.08.jun.16)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 62.8F (17.1C) -- during rain/hail @ 3:50pm
High temp: 78.8F (26.0C)
Rainfall: 0.82" (2.1cm) 
*all updated @ 8:05pm

Things are looking rather bright and feeling pleasant out there at the moment, with thundershowers having rapidly dissipated during the last hour or so.  The back-and-forth swings between clouds, sun, and showers/thunder/hail have been frequent and numerous today.  The clouds and sun were battling it out all morning, but it wasn't until shortly after noon that there was a little thunder, along with just some spotty sprinkles of rain.  More substantial showers kicked in right around 2:00pm, with the heavier downpours and short periods of small hail mainly between about 3:30 and 5:00pm.  But even then, we had peeks of sunshine.  Definitely a jumbled mess.  Humidity was up -- averaging just above 50%, while temperatures were down -- the first time I've recorded a high temp below 80ºF (27ºC) since the 30th of May.

Today was the fourth day in a row, and the fifth out of the last six, with measurable rainfall.  Our atmospheric components are obviously in a major state of flux, as the moisture content of this June air mass increases, in conjunction with the strong heating associated with the approach of the summer solstice.  Extremely hot air not far at all downhill from us (96ºF/36ºC in Gaggal, for example) is being lifted upward along the mountain slopes after just a few hours of daytime heating, and condensed into rapidly building cumulus, which in turn become cumulonimbus (thunderheads).  Whatever semblance of stability that the models were hinting at during this latter part of the week may not materialize at all -- so be aware of the good chance of more of this off-and-on, hit-and-miss thundershower development.

Even with the shower threat, there will still be some periods of steamy sunshine.  If we can cobble together a few hours in a row of that, then temps will still have no trouble rising well into the 80s(F)/near 30ºC.  With the increased humidity of late, our mugginess factor is and will be on the rise.

THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK is located on a tab above, and you can also follow this year's delayed monsoon advance on the SUMMER INTO MONSOON tab.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

the weather buffet... (pm.07.jun.16)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 63.1F (17.3C)
High temp: 81.3F (27.4C)
Rainfall: 0.07" (2mm) -- updated @ 8:05pm

This evening we are again dealing with a batch of thundershowers hovering just to our north, with hazy skies but much less cloudiness to the south.  It's been a day consisting of a few relatively short periods of rain showers, some thunder, and occasional clouds, but also a lot of sunshine from late morning through mid-afternoon.  After several days of temperatures running in the range of the warmest of the season and the year, we cooled off a few degrees today -- mainly due to the clouds and showers this morning which gave the thermometer a late start.  The average humidity has been right around 40% -- not too high and not too low for this time of year.

As we push closer toward the middle of June, we're entering the pre-monsoon season, when it becomes very difficult to string together more than two or three dry days in a row.  Rainfall this month so far has not been excessive, but we have had measurable precipitation on four out of seven days so far.  Most of the models had been trying to work in a brief period of stability late this week -- tomorrow (Wed) through Friday, but recent data runs have shown that window of potential stability closing.  As we've seen recently, our hours of dry weather far outnumber the wet hours, but we've been having to listen to thunder and then dodge various intensities of rain showers quite a lot -- in between periods of strong summer sunshine.  Expect that variable combination to continue, but it looks like we could see a surge of deeper moisture this coming weekend which could bring us some more substantial rainfall totals than we've seen thus far this month.

Temperatures will be entirely dependent on the amount of sunshine we can get, and could still be flirting with the above-normal range for the season.  However, as we've seen, a quick plunge into a cooler zone is likely during a period of showers/thunder.  Not all bad, actually.

More detailed forecast and local climatological info can be found on tabs above.

Monday, June 6, 2016

all variables in play... (pm.06.jun.16)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 60.8F (16.0C)
High temp: 86.5F (30.3C)
Rainfall: 0.23" (6mm)
*all stats updated at 8:14pm

The sky is rather dark and threatening from the west through north and northeast this evening, as scattered thundershowers lurk.  Most of the day has been bright and sunny, with cloud/thundershower development lagging way behind yesterday's pace.  I first heard some thunder rumbling around 3:30pm, but there haven't been more than a few brief, random sprinkles that I have witnessed up til now.  That doesn't mean something more substantial hasn't occurred in other parts of our general area, however -- and some heavier activity is knocking at this very moment.  Temperatures today were just barely on the plus-side of normal for early June, with humidity running between 28 and 35%.

These roaming thundershowers this evening should diminish well before midnight, and then we'll start the whole cycle over again.  The upper-level pattern is not changing dramatically, with very warm air remaining entrenched in the middle and lower layers of the atmosphere.  This will keep us dealing with at least a mentionable threat of mainly PM thundershowers tomorrow -- but there's a chance we could even leave out the thundershower risk from Wednesday through most of Friday.  That's the kiss of death, I know, but we may get away with a couple of days without this convective development before the next thundery phase enters the picture over the weekend, lasting into at least early next week.

In the absence of showers, temperatures will stay very warm -- even relatively warm during the overnight hours.  But of course brief periods of natural air-conditioning will accompany an episode of thundershowers.  There's evidence of a more lasting cool-down starting on Sunday, as deeper moisture attempts to push in from the south-southeast.

This year's monsoon is getting ready to advance into extreme southern India, a late arrival this year, and you can keep track of that by checking the SUMMER INTO MONSOON tab above.  Also THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK and other info can be found on those tabs at the top of the page..

Sunday, June 5, 2016

fluctuations and battle zones... (pm.05.jun.16)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 59.9F (15.5C) -- at 2:15pm
High temp: 86.3F (30.2C)
Rainfall: 0.69" (1.8cm)

It's been another one of those days that could be split into two completely different halves.  We had nearly 100% sunshine and rapidly warming temps all the way until the noon hour, but explosive cumulus development occurred along the mountains in a very short period of time, with thunder already rumbling by about 1:20pm or so.  By 1:40pm, it was raining moderately in the upper part of town, with some impressively large hail stones mixed in as well.  It looked several times as if things were trying to calm down and clear out a bit, but thundershowers continued to redevelop overhead along the mountains throughout the afternoon, and even now into the early evening.  As I type, it is still mostly cloudy, with scattered showers mainly to the south-southwest.

Our morning low temp of 70.3F (21.3C) was close to the warmest overnight low of the season and the year, but the rapid thundershower development caused my temp to plunge right around 2:00pm, giving us a new low temp for the day, only about an hour after the day's high.  Definitely a dramatic roller-coaster early this afternoon.

Satellite pics this afternoon and early evening have shown numerous clusters of thunderstorms all up and down the outer Himalayan ranges -- from Kashmir to the Uttarakhand/Nepal border.  The extreme heat lurking just to our south combined with relatively colder upper-level temps along the mountains created a fierce battle zone over a wide area today -- something largely ignored by most of the computer models, which always have trouble resolving the micro-scale features along the extreme elevation gradients of the front slopes of the mountains.  BUT -- the same features were in place yesterday as well, and we didn't see such extensive thunderstorm development.  We all know well that there are deep mysteries with regard to cloud/thunder triggers in our part of the world.  I guess (?) that's what makes it so challenging and fun and maddening.

As we've been reiterating over and over, thunderstorm development can occur on any given afternoon this time of year, here along the battle zone between heatwave conditions to our south, and relatively cooler mountain air just to our north.  By the same token, we should also continue to take part in periods of strong summer sunshine and very warm temps, which can still push toward the highest of the season and the year as this new week unfolds.

Keep up with this year's monsoon advance on SUMMER INTO MONSOON on a tab above, as well as JUNE DAILY STATS and the THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK .

Saturday, June 4, 2016

maximums... (pm.04.jun.16)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 69.1F (20.6C)
High temp: 90.3F (32.4C)
Rainfall: none

My high temp this afternoon, measured on Tushita Road just below the mountaineering center, was only 0.1ºF lower than the previous warmest temperature for the season, and for all of 2016 -- so I think that qualifies as a tie!  Yes, back on the 19th of May I recorded 90.4F (32.4C), but on that evening we had a shower which gave us a cooler low temp than we've had today, so technically, that makes this the warmest day of the season and the year.  Sunshine has been abundant all day, with moderate cloud development mainly along the mountains remaining under control.  This evening there are some isolated thundershowers to our north, but those should fizzle out as the sun goes down.

During the summer of 2015, the temp at my recording location never hit 90ºF (32.2C), and this year it's happened twice (so far).  We can thank this massive ridge of high pressure strung out across northwest India for this latest surge above the 90ºF mark, and also the lack of a random pocket of cooler air overhead today, which prevented us from seeing the thundershower development that happened yesterday afternoon.  The overall pattern is not expected to change all that appreciably during the coming several days, so apart from the risk of a random thundershower during mainly the afternoon/evening hours one of these days, we should continue to see a good amount of hazy sunshine, with temperatures running above normal, and very close to the warmest of the summer season.

Unless we can get one of those random thundershowers to blast through here, our overnight temps will continue to be on the rise as well.  This is the time of year when we can get a few nights of not-so-comfortable sleeping weather, and that looks like what we're faced with at least through the middle of the coming week.

All kinds of local climatological info, as well as THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK, can be found on tabs at the top of the page.

Friday, June 3, 2016

the dramas of the season... (pm.03.jun.16)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 57.4F (14.1C) -- at 4:00pm during heavy rain shower
High temp: 85.8F (29.9C) 
Rainfall: 0.62" (1.6cm) -- updated total for the day

It came and went so quickly, but the intensity!!  I first heard thunder rumbling around 2:45pm to our north and northwest, and then there was a quick period of rain showers at my location in the upper part of town between about 3:15 and 3:35pm.  But then just before 3:50pm, it really unleashed... a 15-20 minute period of very heavy rain, a bit of small hail, and some strong and gusty winds -- at least where I was at the time, trying to get from Pema Thang to Kirti Gompa.  But even more quickly than it swept in, it was gone.  And we've been back to mostly sunny skies late this afternoon and evening.  I need to check both thermometer and rain gauge later this evening for updates to those stats above.

This afternoon's events are a confirmation as to why I am almost always on edge during the mid-day and afternoon hours during the warm seasons.  In spite of the massive ridge of high pressure sprawled across northwest India, the unique interactions here along the outer ranges of the western Himalayas tend to write their own rules.  Humidity right now is low -- averaging 30-35%, but extremely warm air being forced upward along the mountain slopes during the maximum heating hours of the day can turn explosive if it happens to encounter a pocket of much cooler air up around the 15-20,000ft level.

The big summertime high pressure ridge in place is not going anywhere this weekend, and will only gradually start to break down during the first part of next week.  There is no major influx of moisture on the way, either.  BUT -- even with the sunshine and very warm June temps, continue to be aware of the shenanigans going on up-mountain from us, mainly during the PM hours.  Also, we could still see temps challenging the warmest/hottest of the season during the coming few days or so.

THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK has forecast details, located on one of the tabs across the top of the page.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

mid-summer temps... (pm.02.jun.16)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 68.4F (20.2C)
High temp: 88.0F (31.1C)
Rainfall: none

There are some patches of flat, lifeless altocumulus clouds mainly in the vicinity of the mountains this evening, otherwise the trend is toward clearing skies.  It's been a very warm early June day, with humidity averaging around 30-32%, and a predominance of sunshine.  The build-up of clouds over the Dhauladhars looked a bit threatening for awhile, especially between about noon and 2:00pm, but any isolated thundershower development remained east-northeast of us.  My high temp was the warmest I've recorded since last Friday.

The turn to stability that was advertised several days ago, and that we've been nervously anticipating, has indeed materialized.  There are still the nail-biting issues of clouds/thunder development along the mountains by mid-day into the afternoon hours, but the relatively warmer air that has set up shop in the upper-levels of the atmosphere has so far done an efficient job at squashing any significant action.  Models show this high pressure ridge strengthening even further over the weekend, and perhaps even into Monday, so our overall situation should remain on the stable side.  Having said that, isolated PM thundershower development is not out the question, so keep an eye to the sky and be prepared for sudden changes -- especially if you plan to be hiking/climbing/trekking up toward Triund and beyond.  All bets are off up at those elevations.

Temperatures will be capable of reaching or maybe slightly exceeding 90ºF/32ºC over the next few days as well -- IF cloud formation doesn't get too out of control.  If those clouds do manage to get a majority of the daytime heating hours, then it will be several degrees "less hot", in other words, more comfortable.

Explore tabs across the top of the page for THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK, along with plenty of other local weather and blog info...

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

the june package... (pm.01.jun.16)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 64.8F (18.2C)
High temp: 83.6F (28.7C)
Rainfall: none

For the first day of June, this one is pretty much par for the course.  Although there was quite a lot of cloud development here along the foothills of the Dhauladhars starting late this morning and continuing throughout the afternoon, we also were able to get a good amount of sunshine this morning, and between the patches of clouds this afternoon and evening.  Temperatures were only slightly warmer than they were yesterday, but that's something to say, considering the challenge posed by the cloudiness.  Humidity ranged from about 35 to 50%.  And now, during this hour before sunset, we have partly cloudy skies and comfortably warm temps.

Even after many years monitoring, following and obsessing on the weather here, I still get very anxious about cloud development from the late morning onwards.  No matter what the pattern and no matter what the season, there are so many mysteries revolving around what makes for a sunny, or not-so-sunny day, along the front slopes of the mighty Dhauladhars.  If you've been following lately, you know we're watching a massive high pressure ridge build and spread into west-northwest India from the west and southwest.  A high pressure ridge consists of relatively warmer air flowing into the mid- and upper-levels of the atmosphere, which tends to induce stability.  However, any flow of air and/or new air mass bumping up against the outer ranges of the Himalayas can create a unique micro-climate effect -- giving us clouds and even showers/thunder up here, while it's sunny and warm down below Dharamsala, to Gaggal and Kangra.

So far, this influx of warmer air has had only minor adverse effects on us... and it still looks like we'll be the recipients of a continuing warming trend over the course of the coming several days.  But I've seen this kind of pattern go belly-up many times before, so we need to be aware of the wild card cloudiness factors, along with at least a small chance of some random thundershower development one of these afternoons/evenings.  Be watchful and aware, which is always the rule around here, to be frank.

Forecast details and the finalized MAY STATS, along with other info can be found on tabs above.