Sunday, June 25, 2017

monsoon update... (pm.25.jun.17)>


The latest from the India Met Department:

"Favourable conditions are developing for further advance of southwest monsoon into some more parts of north Arabian sea, Gujarat state, Madhya Pradesh, remaining parts of Bihar and some more parts of East Uttar Pradesh during next 48 hours. Also, rapid advance of southwest monsoon is very likely into most parts of northwest India, including remaining parts of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, entire Haryana, Chandigarh & Delhi, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir during next 4-5 days. This is expected, in view of the likely west-northwestwards movement of the low pressure system which is currently located over northwest Bay of Bengal & neighbourhood, towards northwest India and its likely interaction with an approaching Western Disturbance."

Thursday, June 22, 2017

drying out a bit... (pm.22.jun.17)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 58.1F (14.5C)
High temp: 67.6F (19.8C) -- updated @ 840pm
Rainfall: 0.14" (4mm)

This beautiful evening is quite a gift, considering what we have been through the vast majority of the time during the past six days.  It is partly cloudy and pleasantly cool during this hour before sunset, with much drier air in place across our area.  The morning was not great... lots of clouds were still hanging around, along with several periods of very light showers, sprinkles/drizzle... which didn't really break up until the early afternoon.  For the third day in a row, temperatures have failed to reach 70ºF/21ºC.

An expansive pool of unseasonably cool air aloft drifting in from the north-northwest, crashing into the first major push of tropical moisture advancing from the south-southeast has been the main driver of our extremely wet weather since last Saturday.  But that combination of factors is just now starting to fall apart, as much warmer air in the upper atmosphere begins to push in from the west, while the deeper moisture retreats back to the south for a few days.  That should set us up for some better weather as we head into the weekend, and depending on which set of computer model data is to be believed, this relatively drier and calmer and more pleasant weather could last until about Sunday at the earliest, or Tuesday evening at the latest.  That's when we will see another aggressive surge of juicy tropical air heading in our direction.

Temps will probably rebound nicely on Friday and Saturday, as long as we don't get too much cloud development to spoil the show.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

too much too soon... (pm.21.jun.17)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 57.0F (13.9C)
High temp: 65.4F (18.6C)
Rainfall: 5.21" (13.2cm) -- largest daily total of 2017

Today's rainfall was totally off the charts and beyond comprehension  -- most years during the monsoon season we get a calendar day total in the range of what we saw today only a few times.  In fact, last year, the largest daily rainfall amount of the entire season was on the 11th of August when I recorded 6.17" (15.7cm).  And the best part of the story is, according to the India Met Department, IT'S STILL NOT OFFICIALLY MONSOON.!!  Except for a few very short breaks, it rained almost continuously today from 2:20am until about 3:45pm.

There are indications that we'll see somewhat of a stabilizing trend in our atmospheric dynamics between tomorrow (Thu) and Saturday, though we still can't rule out at least a couple of periods of showers/thunder during that period.  This inaugural surge of tropical moisture will be in retreat mode, while temperatures aloft warm up significantly, especially on Friday and Saturday.  However, a fresh push/surge of very moisture-laden air will be heading in our direction again Saturday night or Sunday, and is expected to hang around into at least the middle of next week.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

monsoon flirtation... (pm.20.jun.17)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 60.3F (15.7C)
High temp: 69.0F (20.6C) -- coolest high temp since 10 april
Rainfall: 1.57" (4.0cm)


Largest daily precipitation totals of 2017:

1 -  2.32" (5.9cm)     19 June
2 -  1.78" (4.5cm)     13 June
3 -  1.70" (4.3cm)      7 January
4 -  1.57" (4.0cm)     20 June (today)
5 -  1.54" (3.9cm)     26 January


Today has been the fourth wettest day of 2017.  Officially, the leading edge of this year's monsoon is still very far to our south and east, but we have been getting our first tastes of the incoming season since Saturday.

Monday, June 19, 2017

wettest day since last august... (pm.19.jun.17)

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 60.4F (15.8C)
High temp: 73.0F (22.8C)
Rainfall: 2.32" (5.9cm)

Today's total rainfall was the MOST IN A SINGLE CALENDAR DAY since the 27th of August last year, when we had 5.15" (13.1cm).

Sunday, June 18, 2017

life in late june... (pm.18.jun.17)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 63.5F (17.5C)
High temp: 74.2F (23.4C)
Average humidity: 77%
Rainfall: 0.12" (3mm)

A line has been crossed the last 48 hours, with these much higher humidity levels.  The entire nature and character of our air mass has changed, and I think that is obvious to see.  It's been another murky day, with a lot of cloudiness interspersed with a few periods of hazy sunshine, and a period of light showers which was confined to the noon hour.  There was a little bit of thunder with that, but at least so far, we've seen nothing close to the kind of rainfall we dealt with yesterday (Sat).

By late June, pretty much on schedule this year, the atmosphere across most of central and northern India takes on more tropical characteristics, with a very lazy flow in the upper-atmosphere, and increasingly moist/humid air accumulating in the lower and mid-levels.  Although it always takes a while for the India Met Department to move that official monsoon onset line up in our direction, here along the mountains, we often begin to see monsoon conditions well before the official onset declaration.  So... we are living on the edge at the moment.

Temperatures have underperformed dramatically the last couple of days, due to the very moist atmosphere and very limited sunshine, and will have trouble climbing very much unless we can come up with a more extended period of sun, and at least a temporary reduction in the humidity.  As far as rain showers/thunder are concerned... they are in the forecast pretty much for the duration.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

pre-monsoonish... (pm.17.jun.17)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 62.4F (16.9C) -- at 11:40am during thundershower
High temp: 75.0F (23.9C)
Average Humidity: 72%
Rainfall: 1.19" (3.0cm) -- total thru midnight

June rainfall thus far: 4.27" (10.8cm)
Normal June total rainfall: 8.0" (20.3cm)

Normal July total rainfall: 37.8" (95.9cm)

Normal August total rainfall: 35.8" (90.9cm)

Friday, June 16, 2017

humidity on the rise... (pm.16.jun.17)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 66.4F (19.1C)
High temp: 80.2F (26.8C)
Rainfall: none

For the first time in 12 days, there was not even a trace of rainfall here in McLeod Ganj -- at least not that I witnessed.  We did have a lot of cloudiness to contend with throughout the day, with only occasional mainly filtered sunshine, but I heard no thunder and saw no rain drops... for a change.

A large mass of tropical moisture is gathering to our south, and will be gradually pressing northward over the coming several days.  This is going to cause a noticeable increase in humidity for us over the weekend into early next week, and will take us into a genuine pre-monsoon scenario.  For all the veterans of our McLeod Ganj monsoon, you know very well that it's the humidity levels and the fog that are the real villains of the season, just as much or moreso than the bouts of moderate to heavy rain which become more frequent and abundant as we press into July.  It will be interesting to watch just how high our humidity might go by the time next Tuesday rolls around.

With the much higher moisture content of our air mass by early next week, temperatures will slide -- but it should remain quite warm for another two or three days.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

gradual transitions... (pm.15.jun.17)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 66.0F (18.9C)
High temp: 80.4F (26.9C)
Rainfall: trace

Well it's been another day with bouts of ugly clouds and a considerable amount of thunder -- but only some sprinkles and very light showers to show for it.  There were also a few extended periods of nice sunshine thrown into the mix as well.  We've had very few totally dry days this June, but we've also had very few days with rainfall above about a quarter of an inch (6mm).

The leading edge of this year's monsoon is hung up across central into extreme northeast India, and has made no further progress the last couple of days.  However, all of the models and various data sets are indicating a rather strong north-northwestward surge of deep tropical moisture early next week, which could give us our first taste of monsoon conditions by late Tuesday into Wednesday.  The moisture content of our atmosphere will increase dramatically by then -- which is pretty much right on schedule.  We hardly ever make it into the final ten days of June without our first preview of what's to come.

In the meantime, we'll have more of this back-and-forth between sun, clouds and roaming thundershowers, with temperatures seasonably warm, as long as we can come up with a few hours of sunshine on any given day.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

just spotty showers... (pm.14.jun.17)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 64.6F (18.1C) -- @ 5:05pm during light shower
High temp: 80.9F (27.2C)
Rainfall: 0.01" (less than 1mm)

Sunshine this morning gave way to very rapid mountain cloud development between 11:00am and noon, with some thunder already rumbling before high noon arrived.  There was a brief light shower around 12:20-12:30pm, but then our skies cleared out again for a little while during the early afternoon.  But two or three more waves of very light showers/sprinkles accompanied by thunder and some gusty winds occurred during the mid-afternoon into the early evening.  Even so, the proceedings today were much less dramatic than what we dealt with yesterday (Tues) afternoon.

By mid-June it is normally quite rare to get many days without at least some precipitation -- and even though June of 2017 has not been an abnormally wet one so far, we have seen at least some measurable rainfall on eight out of these first fourteen days of the month.  There's enough moisture in the air, and enough disparity between colder air aloft and warmer air in the surface levels to keep things perpetually unstable.

We are now less than two weeks away from the normal/average start of the monsoon season here in the Dharamsala area, so a day without at least a moderate chance of showers in the forecast is getting harder and harder to come by...

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

violently assaulted... (pm.13.jun.17)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 52.0F (11.1C)
High temp: 80.0F (26.7C)
Precipitation: 1.78" (4.5cm) -- rain and melted hail

*Today's precipitation amount was the largest single day total of 2017.

*We more than doubled our June precipitation today -- reaching 3.07" (7.8cm) for the month so far.

*The low temperature, which occurred at 12:55pm during heavy hail, was the lowest since the 30th of April.

*The temperature plunged 28ºF/15.6ºC in only 35 minutes, between 12:20 and 12:55pm.

Monday, June 12, 2017

stats update... (pm.12.jun.17)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 63.5F (17.5C)
High temp: 82.7F (28.2C)
Rainfall: 0.10" (3mm)

Lowest temp this June so far: 57.2F (14.0C) on the 8th
Highest temp this June so far: 92.5F (33.6C) on the 4th

Rainfall total for June so far: 1.29" (3.3cm)
Normal rainfall total for June: 8.0" (20.3cm)

Sunday, June 11, 2017

waiting for some warming... (pm.11.jun.17)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 63.3F (17.4C)
High temp: 79.3F (26.3C)
Rainfall: 0.01" (less than 1mm)

Lingering thundershowers continue to cling to the Dhauladhars this evening, otherwise we have partly cloudy skies and some random sprinkles of rain in our general area.  Although there were two distinct periods of thundershowers today, you can see from the stats that the actual rainfall produced was next to nothing.  The first thunder started rumbling around 12:45pm, with a period of light showers between about 1:30 and 2:45pm.  The sun returned in full force for a while during the afternoon, but then the thunder/sprinkles came back during the evening.  Temperatures continue to run significantly cooler than normal for this stage of June.

A warm-up is still expected this week, though so far it has been sluggish about getting going.  It looks like we should be approaching seasonal norms, temp-wise, by Wednesday or Thursday, but the warming trend on the way will probably not be enough to get us to the levels we were experiencing about a week to ten days ago.

Marginal instability will probably not go away...  as a general north-northwesterly flow in the upper-atmosphere overruns increasingly warmer air at the surface.  That means more sun-cloud-sun-cloud swings are on the way, along with the decent risk of mainly PM thundershower development somewhere in our vicinity.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

the variability theme... (pm.10.jun.17)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 63.5F (17.5C)
High temp: 80.0F (26.7C)
Rainfall: trace

Although we've had at least a trace of rainfall on six of the first ten days of this month, the June total thus far of 1.18" (3.0cm) is actually running slightly behind the normal pace.  Today has been the third 'trace' rainfall day of the month, as thundershowers this afternoon in the mountains to our north-northeast threatened, but never delivered right here in the immediate McLeod area.  Otherwise it was a day of mixed sun and clouds, with temps warming up higher than we've seen since Tuesday.

We should see a general warming trend during the next five days or so, but it's not going to be a totally stable weather pattern... not at all.  Although some warming will be occurring aloft, which usually stabilizes the atmosphere, there will also be considerable warming in the surface layers.  And right now, it looks like the surface warming in the lower levels may outpace that warming higher up, and that could keep us in line for at least isolated shower/thunder development mainly during the afternoon and evening hours.  There's been a lot of back-and-forth between great summer sunshine, gloomy cloudiness, and passing thundershowers the last six days -- and I think that general scenario is going to continue.

Monsoon conditions continue to develop and slowly drift northward across the southern half of India.  Check the progress of this year's monsoon here.

Friday, June 9, 2017

temps well below the norm... (pm.09.jun.17)>

Friday's stats:

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

Click for 2017 Monsoon Progress

Thursday, June 8, 2017

swings and fluctuations... (pm.08.jun.17)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 57.2F (14.0C) -- at 2:00pm during thundershowers/hail
High temp: 75.8F (24.3C)
Rainfall: 0.67" (1.7cm)

It's an incredibly beautiful evening... with mostly clear skies, really good visibility, humidity around 40%, and the temperature hovering close to 72ºF/22ºC.  The morning was fantastic as well, but in the middle, we had quite a rough patch to deal with.  Clouds were actually on the increase by about 10:00am, and it started to look threatening shortly after noon.  Then the wind, thunder, rain showers and even some spotty small hailstones appeared, which lasted off and on for a couple of hours between 1:00 and 3:00pm or so.  Although the rainfall amount for the day was significant enough, it wasn't as big of a downpour as we often begin to see by the first week or so of June.

The pattern we're in now is the pattern we'll stay in for the coming week to ten days or so.  That means there will be plenty of bright and pleasantly warm weather, but also the looming threat of showers and thunderstorms.  Most of the storminess/wetness should occur during the afternoon or early evening hours, but there is a chance of some overnight development as well -- so keep that in mind.  A northwesterly flow aloft transporting little waves/pockets of cooler air into Himalayan north India, overrunning a warmer and moderately moist airmass in the surface layers is the meteorological scenario.

The northern extent of this year's monsoon has now reached a line from Goa to just north of Chennai, with further northward progress expected during the coming several days.  At least as of now, all of that is pretty close to the normal schedule of advance...

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

milder and less stable... (pm.07.jun.17)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 59.7F (15.4C)
High temp: 77.3F (25.2C)
Rainfall: 0.33" (8mm)

After an impressive round of thunderstorms during the predawn hours which featured not a whole lot of rain, but some extremely strong and gusty winds... we saw thick cloudiness begin to dissipate by the late morning.  From mid-day onwards things have turned out favorably for us, with plenty of sunshine and isolated afternoon thundershower development remaining just to our north.  Temperatures were obviously significantly cooler today, in the wake of those early AM thunderstorms, with humidity in the 40-50% range for most of the day.

Our period of stability that lasted over the weekend and into the beginning of this week was accompanied by the highest temperatures of 2017.  Our weather pattern has now definitively shifted into something less stable, and more fickle and changeable once again.  Pre-monsoon moisture  is gathering across much of northern India, and as it occasionally gets drawn up against the mountains it will encounter some much cooler air drifting by in the upper-levels of the atmosphere.  That's a recipe for random periods of showers and thunderstorms which could occur either day or night.  It's not all bad, though, as there will still be some good stretches of sunny weather, while temperatures run in a much more pleasant/comfortable range than we've experienced just recently.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

humidity jumps... (pm.06.jun.17)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 67.6F (19.8C) -- at 6:00pm during shower/hail
High temp: 85.1F (29.5C)
Rainfall: 0.18" (5mm)
*updated @ 8:05pm

We got our first measurable rainfall of the month of June this evening, but it didn't last very long.

As cooler air aloft overruns the very warm and increasingly moist air mass in the lower levels of the atmosphere, we should see a better chance of a few periods of showers and thunderstorms.  The overall weather pattern is starting to look more like a pre-monsoon situation -- not only here, but across most of central and northern India.  Official monsoon conditions have already been declared across the extreme southern and eastern portions of the Indian subcontinent.

Check THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK for forecast specs.

Monday, June 5, 2017

increasingly unstable... (pm.05.jun.17)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 74.3F (23.5C)
High temp: 90.7F (32.6C)
Rainfall: trace

High temperatures the last three days have been the first, second, and fourth warmest of the season and the year -- and among the warmest of the last three years, actually.

An increasingly unstable air mass is developing across our area, however, as this massive ridge of summertime high pressure weakens and breaks down during the next 24 to 48 hours.  That means the risk of showers and thunderstorms will be on the rise, as temperatures start to drop a bit as we head into the middle of the week.  So far there has been no measurable rainfall for the month of June, but that is probably going to change fairly soon.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

temperatures soar... (pm.04.jun.17)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 72.5F (22.5C) -- warmest overnight low of the year
High temp: 92.5F (33.6C) -- hottest of the year
Rainfall: none

The most intense high pressure ridge of the year extends from the Persian Gulf into northern India, and has delivered heat wave conditions to many millions of people the last two or three days.  For us, it's been a rather dramatic change after the very unsettled and unstable situation we experienced during the last two-thirds of the month of May.

But -- this is not going to last for much longer, as gradual cooling in the upper-levels of the atmosphere will be chipping away at this high pressure ridge starting late tomorrow (Mon).  Also, some significantly more moisture-laden air will be sneaking in from the south-southeast at the same time.  That will re-introduce the chance of some shower and thunderstorm action, while getting rid of these extremely warm temperatures by the middle of the week.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

stats catch-up... (pm.03.jun.17)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 68.0F (20.0C)

High temp: 89.1F (31.7C) -- second-warmest of 2017
Rainfall: none

During the previous six days...

SUN.28.MAY  
low: 65.7F (18.7C)
high: 77.9F (25.5C)
rainfall: trace

MON.29.MAY
low: 58.1F (14.5C)
high: 76.4F (24.7C)
rainfall: 0.22" (6mm)

TUE.30.MAY
low: 57.0F (13.9C)
high: 80.3F (26.8C)
rainfall: 0.41" (1.0cm)

WED.31.MAY
low: 57.2F (14.2C)
high: 73.2F (22.9C)
rainfall: 0.27" (7mm)

THU.01.JUN
low: 58.8F (14.9C)
high: 80.1F (26.7C)
rainfall: 0.08" (2mm)

FRI.02.JUN
low: 64.6F (18.1C)
high: 84.3F (29.1C)
rainfall: none

The heat has been building dramatically the last 48 hours or so, with the hottest weather of this summer season expected during the next couple of days.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

rare thunderless day... (pm.27.may.17)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 68.5F (20.3C)
High temp: 86.0F (30.0C)
Rainfall: none

WHAT??  No shower(s) today?  And no thunder?  It's quite an accomplishment, considering the fact that we have had at least some mountain thunder on every single day since the 9th of May, except for the 19th -- that's 17 of the last 19 days (including today).  There wasn't rainfall on all of those days, but rumbling thunder up-mountain has had us on our toes for a long time.  The first cloud development along the Dhauladhars got started very late, around the noon hour, and never really progressed -- and that allowed us to enjoy a mostly sunny Saturday.  My high temp was the warmest I've recorded since the 15th of the month.

Here across Himalayan north India we are stuck mid-way between a swirling area of low pressure aloft which is centered over northern Tibet, and a strong area of high pressure aloft which is parked over eastern Saudi Arabia.  The upper-level flow between these two dominant weather features is keeping north-northwesterly winds in the higher levels of the atmosphere in play across our area.  Random pockets of cooler air embedded in weak circulations in that upper-level flow overrunning a very warm summertime air mass in the lower levels is a recipe for fluctuating instability along the Himalayan ranges.  This situation is not going to budge much before the latter part of next week -- so though we got a much-welcomed break in the action today, I'm afraid we're going to have to remain braced for scattered shower and thunderstorms anyway.  Very honestly and frankly, thunderstorm development right here along the Dhauladhars in this kind of pattern is best predicted with the flip of a coin.

Temperatures have been slightly above normal the last couple of days, but we will likely cool off a few degrees again during the first part of next week, before the next surge of heat pushes in by the following weekend.

Friday, May 26, 2017

stats update... (pm.26.may.17)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 62.4F (16.9C) -- at 3:05pm during rain/hail
High temp: 85.6F (29.8C) -- at 1:20pm
Rainfall: 0.33" (8mm)

Thursday, May 25, 2017

weekend warming... (pm.25.may.17)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 64.2F (17.9C)
High temp: 83.4F (28.6C)
Rainfall: 0.12" (3mm)

It's been a weird day, temperature-wise, with the low occurring around 2:30pm during our thundershower, and the high temp just an hour before that -- and this evening as we get closer to sunset, the temperature has rebounded to within 2ºF/1ºC of the day's high.  We had full sunshine until the late morning when the customary mountain cloud development began, and then we were back to mostly sunny skies by about 3:30pm after our rather brief period of thundershowers.  As you can see from the stats above, I only received a small amount of rain at my location in the upper part of town.

Today's high was exactly the same as yesterday's, thanks to that blast of thundershowers which occurred right at the time of maximum heating, keeping temps at least 2-3ºF/1-2ºC cooler than they would have been.  But we've still got some impressive warming on the way during the coming three days, as a full-on summertime air mass continues to build across northwest India.  Of course our atmosphere refuses to stabilize completely, so the almost daily thundershower risk along the mountains is hard to remove from the forecast -- but really, the bigger news will be the borderline HOT temps expected over the weekend.  In fact, it still looks like we could be challenging the highest temps of the season and the year.

A large batch of moisture will creep in from the southeast by Monday and Tuesday, as slightly cooler air aloft seeps in... and that will bring in the risk of more significant rainfall for a few days next week.  Thereafter, another major warming trend is being hinted at by extended range models as the first week of June unfolds...

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

himalayan summer... (pm.24.may.17)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 64.9F (18.3C)
High temp: 83.4F (28.6C)
Rainfall: none

Cloudiness associated with clusters of thundershowers from western Kashmir into northern Himachal Pradesh can be seen to our north and northwest this evening, but those thundershowers are in their dying phase as the sun sets.  We had another day of nearly full morning sunshine, followed by increasing mountain cloudiness, and then off-and-on rumbles of thunder through the majority of the afternoon.  I never saw so much as a drop of rain, but there could have been some trace amounts of rainfall somewhere around our area.  Temperatures continued their upward climb, as we were expecting.

Today's high temp was just a fraction of a degree shy of the normal high for this date -- and if this weather pattern continues to progress according to plan, we should be rising above normal tomorrow, and stay there all the way through the weekend.  We are right on the eastern fringes of a large area of summertime high pressure which continues to strengthen from eastern Saudi Arabia into Pakistan.  There's still a marginally unstable atmosphere across the western and central Himalayas, however, which keeps us from being able to totally ignore the risk of some mainly PM thundershower development in the vicinity of the mountains.   Friday through Sunday might be our best opportunity to escape that afternoon/evening thunder potential, but even then we're talking about a 10-20% chance of something popping up.

After a very warm weekend, we could see some slight cooling during the first half of next week, along with shower/thunder chances increasing temporarily.  All in all things are not looking terribly out of the ordinary for our mid-summer along the edge of the north Indian Himalayas... in anticipation of pre-monsoon conditions which will start to build during the month of June.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

time for another warm-up... (pm.23.may.17)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 63.1F (17.3C)
High temp: 80.7F (27.1C)
Rainfall: trace

We're in the midst of a beautiful evening, and we also had a beautiful morning... but in between there was a flare-up of thundershowers over the mountains which just barely grazed us here in town.  At my location on Tushita Road just below the mountaineering center there was only a trace of rainfall -- in the form of about 20 minutes worth of sprinkles and drizzle -- right around 3:30pm.  There was also a good amount of thunder preceding that.  Otherwise we had a lot of sunshine up until about 1:30pm, and have had more nice sun this evening.  My high temp today was the warmest since Saturday.

Our overall weather pattern is showing strong signs of improvement over the course of the coming several days -- and that should take us through the weekend into the very first part of next week.  A big ridge of high pressure is trying hard to nudge its way into northwest India from the southwest, and that's already triggering a warming trend that should become even more aggressive by the end of the week.  However, lingering pockets of cooler air aloft, and the ever-present weak ripples and wiggles floating through in the upper atmosphere will keep us concerned about at least a slight chance of some thundershower development during the PM hours.  Some of the data is also suggesting we could get some nocturnal thundershower action as well.  Despite all that, we should have a majority of dry hours and intense summer sunshine during the days ahead.

The highest temperature I've recorded this season/year so far was 89.6ºF/32.0ºC back on the 8th of this month.  There is a chance we could be making a return to temps in that general category by the weekend.

Monday, May 22, 2017

perhaps some improvement... (pm.22.may.17)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 58.3F (14.6C)
High temp: 74.8F (23.8C)
Rainfall: 0.09" (2mm) -- as of 4:50pm

There have been a few sprinkles of rain around the area this evening since around 5:40pm, but it's been barely enough to wet the pavement.  Otherwise it is mostly cloudy as sunset approaches.  The only other rain we've experienced today occurred during the wee hours of the morning, and even that was quite light, as you can see from the stats above.  In between, we had a few fluctuations back and forth between clouds and sunshine -- but there was more sun than yesterday, though the actual temperature didn't reflect that.  My high temp in the upper part of town was about 9ºF/5ºC cooler than normal for the date.

It's now been nearly two weeks since we began this phase of very unsettled, unstable and frequently changeable weather -- I have recorded measurable rainfall on nine of the past fourteen days.  That rainfall has not been particularly heavy, but it seems we're dodging showers here and there, now and then, nearly every day.  The latest disturbance responsible for this recent bout of showery weather is nearly right on top of us this evening, but will continue to weaken as it pushes east-northeast overnight into Tuesday.  Although we're not going to stabilize completely, there are some positive signs that we'll be moving toward a more settled pattern as the rest of the week progresses.  But you know the story... even in the midst of summer sunshine and a return to warmer temperatures, we'll have to be aware of some rogue (mainly PM) thundershower development.

On average, the 20th of May through about the 15th of June is the warmest period of the entire year here in the Dharamsala area.  We're into that window now, and it is indeed looking like we're going to see temperatures rise significantly as we head toward the weekend...

Sunday, May 21, 2017

chronically unstable... (pm.21.may.17)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 58.1F (14.5C)
High temp: 75.9F (24.4C)
Rainfall: 0.20" (5mm)

It is mostly cloudy this evening, but at least it's quiet and pleasant now.  We had quite the rocky and turbulent afternoon, with rapidly increasing clouds, gusty winds and falling temperatures during the noon hour, thunder right around 2:00pm, and then a period of thundershowers accompanied by more gusty winds and very cool temps between roughly 3:00 and 4:15pm.  There was some sunshine during the morning, but it was the dim/filtered kind of sun, due to lots of high clouds in the area.  My high temp was the coolest I've recorded since the 4th of May.

A weak but broad area of low pressure in the upper-levels of the atmosphere is centered right along the Punjab/Pakistan border right now, and is expected to move only slowly eastward during the coming 24 hours as it gradually dissipates.  That means we've got more unstable weather in the forecast through tomorrow -- with more development of scattered showers and thundershowers quite likely from northern Pakistan into Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh.  By tomorrow night into Tuesday there should be some semblance of stabilization occurring, but all throughout the coming week our atmosphere is going to remain marginally unsettled, with the risk of an isolated thundershower or two not out of the question.

We should remain cooler than normal for the latter part of May for another day or two, but it's still looking like a fairly dramatic warming trend will be underway during the latter half of the week -- and that could take us back above seasonal norms/averages by Friday or Saturday.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

active and changeable... (pm.20.may.17)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 59.4F (15.2C)
High temp: 82.6F (28.1C)
Rainfall: 0.17" (4mm)

It's partly cloudy and pleasantly warm this evening as the sun goes down, at the end of a Saturday which turned out fairly well.  I don't know about you, but I was rudely awakened by sharp cracks of thunder around 1:30am, and that thunder and lightning was accompanied by some fairly brief light to moderate rain showers.  Thunder was still rumbling at sunrise this morning, with a lot of cloudiness lingering until nearly 9:00am.  But after that... the skies cleared nicely, with a build-up of clouds over the mountains during the mid-day and a few minutes of light sprinkles of rain around 3:45pm.  We had a huge range in temperatures today -- the low occurring during those overnight thundershowers, and the high occurring late this afternoon during a strong blast of sunshine.

The disturbed upper-level pattern which has been dominant for the last twelve days is going to stay with us -- at least into the first part of the new week.  In fact, more dynamic energy aloft is scheduled to drop southeastward into our neighborhood later tonight, and hang around through Monday.  It should become more unstable during the coming 24 hours, as a batch of moisture gets pulled northward at the same time.  The model data has been pretty useless in predicting the specific development of shower and thundershower activity, but I'd say we stand about a 60% chance of getting some significant action before Monday evening rolls around.  Be on the lookout.  Clouds will also probably be more prevalent tomorrow (Sun) and Monday.

By Tuesday and Wednesday, the risk of thundershowers will be decreasing again, and it looks like we'll be poised for a fairly dramatic warm-up during the latter part of the week.

Friday, May 19, 2017

pleasant for the season... (pm.19.may.17)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 64.0F (17.8C)
High temp: 80.6F (27.0C)
Rainfall: none

For the third evening in a row we've got some fine weather in progress -- there are scattered clouds around, with temperatures quite comfortable for this time of year.  It's been another day of sunshine and mainly mountain cloudiness, but I never heard any thunder, and by the look of it, the instability along the mountains was a bit less pronounced than it has been in several days.  We're still running just slightly cooler than normal, though it was the warmest day since Monday.

Well we've managed to dodge most of the scattered thundershower activity all along the western and central Himalayan ranges the last three days, but it's looking like our chances of measurable rainfall will be on the increase again by the mid-point of this weekend.  The next in a very long series of upper-level disturbances will be dropping in from the northwest by late tomorrow (Sat), and will slowly wobble its way across extreme northern India on Sunday and Monday.  This incoming system will contain another batch of cooler air aloft, with an even more impressive amount of moisture being pulled in from the south by Sunday.  So -- the risk of a few periods of showers and thunderstorms will be back above the 50-60% category by the latter half of the weekend, with rain chances decreasing to about 20-30% again by Tuesday.

With the increasing shower/thunder risk will also come another dip in temperatures for a few days.  BUT -- there are still some strong hints at a significant warming trend by the latter part of next week, which could take us back to seasonal highs during the last few days of May...

Thursday, May 18, 2017

comfortable, but unstable... (pm.18.may.17)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 63.0F (17.2C)
High temp: 78.2F (25.7C)
Rainfall: trace

Our evening sky is partly cloudy, and it is pleasantly, comfortably mild as the day comes to an end.  Today featured pretty much equal parts clouds and sunshine, with mountain thundershowers lurking to our north and east from just before noon onwards.  Twice I heard thunder... once just shortly before noon, and the second time right around 2:00pm.  Then, at least at my location, there was a very brief smattering of light rain drops between 3:30 and 3:45pm.  And that was that.  Temperatures continue to run a bit below normal for mid-May, for the third day in a row.

Yes, you've heard it all before -- the upper-level flow remains very unsettled, with all kinds of weak circulations and random pools of cooler air aloft meandering across Himalayan north India.  This pattern/scenario will stay with us over the weekend, and the way it looks, into at least the first few days of next week as well.  That means we'll have to continue to be prepared for sudden shower/thunder development, at least on a random basis around our general area... with a better chance of some significant rainfall sometime during the period between late Saturday night and Monday evening.  I hate to try to nail that down, but at least according to the latest model data, our shower/thunder chances should peak during that time.

Extended range models have been hinting the last few days at a significant turn to more stable and warmer weather by the latter part of next week -- but that is still very far away, and we'll just have to wait and watch how things evolve.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

the ups and downs... (pm.17.may.17)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 64.2F (17.9C)
High temp: 79.4F (26.3C)
Rainfall: none

This evening as sunset approaches there are still some thundershowers, in various stages of dissipation, visible along the mountain ranges to our north and east, but everything is quiet and fine here in town.  I heard a few rumbles of thunder late this afternoon, starting around 3:45pm, but that activity up-mountain from us stayed there, and allowed us a break after the very active day we had yesterday.  Sunshine was plentiful today, but my high temp was nearly 3ºF/2ºC cooler than normal for this stage of May.

I'm craving a new weather pattern and something different to talk about, but that's just not the case.  For the past eight days we've been locked in a pattern that is fickle and changeable and moody -- as a disturbed upper-level flow overruns a warm summertime air mass in the lower levels.  With a moderate amount of moisture thrown into the mix, this is the recipe for chronic instability, with pretty much unpredictable fluctuations between sun, clouds, and thundershower development all across the western and central Himalayan region.  It looks like we are roughly a week away from any kind of notable shift in this general scenario, so we'll just have to keep riding these ups-and-downs, and be prepared for sudden bouts of thundershowers.

It's really not all that horrible, though.  As we experienced today, there will still be some very nice summer weather for us to enjoy in between the rounds of showers and thunder that appear to be inevitable.  And temperatures will be generally pleasant, and probably averaging near or even a bit below mid-May norms all the way into the early part of next week...

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

may's heaviest showers... (pm.16.may.17)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 54.7F (12.6C) -- during heavy shower at 5:40pm
High temp: 76.4F (24.7C)
Rainfall: 0.69" (1.8cm) 
*stats updated @ 8:00pm

This evening we're in the midst of wave after wave of thundershowers developing just to our south-southwest and moving north-northeastward up against the Dhauladhars.  I haven't been able to check the rain gauge since late this afternoon, but I'm sure there will be a lot more in there than what is currently listed in the stats above, as some of the showers since 5:15pm have been quite heavy.  Otherwise, we did have a bit of sunshine early this morning, but all of that was over by about 10:00am, with the first showers/thunder materializing a few minutes before noon.  The lack of sunshine and the rain have of course held temps way down today.

The latest in a long series of upper-level disturbances has turned the winds up around 12 to 15,000ft to the absolute perfect trajectory for precipitation development here along the Dhauladhars today.  Those winds are pretty much perpendicular to the mountains, and that has been dragging warm and moisture-laden air northeastward, and right up against the higher mountain ranges here in our part of Himachal Pradesh.  This particular disturbance will depart very late tonight or early Wednesday, but the upper-level flow remains full of minor to moderate circulations, wiggles and ripples, all the way into the early part of next week.  I am confident that we'll still see plenty of hours of sunshine over the course of the coming week, but at least a moderate risk of shower and thunderstorm development will never be far away.  Friday and Saturday could be our best bets of getting away with dry weather, but it's far from a sure thing.

Temperatures today have been an anomaly, compared to what we've been dealing with during most of the past week to ten days -- but both highs and lows will remain totally dependent on the battles between sunshine, clouds, and showers...

Monday, May 15, 2017

the variety show continues... (pm.15.may.17)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 65.8F (18.8C) -- updated @ 8:15pm
High temp: 86.9F (30.5C)
Rainfall: 0.06" (2mm) -- updated at 8:15pm

This Monday has unfolded pretty much according to plan, with full sunshine this morning yielding to increasing mountain cloudiness by the mid-day, and then isolated to widely scattered shower/thunder action in the area since mid-afternoon.  Before the clouds took over, temperatures were very warm, with my high temp in the upper part of town among the top three warmest of the season thus far.  As sunset approaches this evening we have mostly cloudy skies, rumbling thunder, and off-and-on showers of light rain near the main market of town.

A few significant disturbances in the upper-level flow will dominate our weather pattern for the rest of this week, and even into the first part of next week -- according to the latest model data.  That's going to keep us flirting with thundershower development in and around our area, in the midst of periods of strong May sunshine.  It looks like we could see an increase in the risk of showers/thunder during the overnight into the morning hours as well, as we head into the middle of the week.

Temperatures have remained on the plus-side of normal the last few days, but we'll probably fall a bit below normal by Wednesday or Thursday, with only a slight recovery expected over the coming weekend.  Here at the mid-point of May, our temperatures have so far averaged out slightly above normal, with precipitation slightly above normal as well...

Sunday, May 14, 2017

daily threats... (pm.14.may.17)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 61.0F (16.1C)
High temp: 85.4F (29.7C)
Rainfall: 0.10" (3mm)

It's mostly cloudy this evening, with still some faint rumbles of thunder now and then, along with a random drop or two of rain.  We started off our Sunday with full sunshine once again, but just like a finely-tuned machine, cloudiness began to develop along the Dhauladhars during the late morning, leading to a bit of thunder by around 12:45pm, and then some rather brief periods of showers between about 3:45 and 5:15pm or so.  The amount of rain in my gauge in the upper part of town was quite small... but it was the first measurable amount since very early Thursday morning.  It was very warm again before those thundershowers got going, but then the low temp for the day occurred during a shower shortly after 4:00pm.

Unstable, unstable, unstable.  How else can we describe this current weather situation?  And it looks like we are in for much more of this during the week ahead.  Some of the warmest air of the season remains entrenched across central and northern India, at least in the surface layers, while minor disturbances containing little pools of colder air ripple across in the upper-levels of the atmosphere.  Even with just a marginal amount of moisture in this air mass, this simple equation leads to random shower/thunder development during the PM and even into the overnight hours -- especially in the vicinity of the steep elevation gradient along the mountains.  There are no major changes in this pattern expected during the coming several days, so we'll just have to accept the fluctuations and back-and-forth between sun, clouds and the threat of thundershowers.

Even with the lurking showers, temperatures have been well above normal the last three days or so... but may drop back to normal or even slightly below during the latter half of this week.  The normal high for the middle of May is 82ºF/28ºC, just for the record.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

randomness is the story... (pm.13.may.17)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 67.1F (19.5C)
High temp: 86.7F (30.4C)
Rainfall: none

Much like yesterday afternoon and evening, there has been a lot of attempted thundershower development around our area, in spite of the fact that nothing has happened here in McLeod itself.  Yesterday there were a few sprinkles of rain during the early evening, but today (at least as of 6:30pm) there hasn't been a single drop.  We started off with full sunshine once again this morning, but our sky turned partly cloudy before noon, with alternations between sunshine and clouds for the rest of the day.  It was warmer -- as expected -- my high temp was the third-warmest of 2017.

Our weather scenario and forecast remain in the same mode as we move into the new week.  We're dealing with a fairly typical mid-May air mass, though the risk of scattered showers and thundershowers is a bit more pervasive and prevalent than it normally is this time of year.  But it is a hit-and-miss kind of situation -- we've had no measurable rain for two days now -- with randomness and irregularity the main feature.  It does look like the risk of getting hit with some significant thunderstorms will increase into Tuesday and Wednesday, however, as temporarily cooler air arrives in the upper-levels of the atmosphere.

Models are hinting at a notable drop in temperatures by the latter half of the coming week, with the overall weather pattern remaining on the unstable side even into the following week...

Friday, May 12, 2017

mixed messages... (pm.12.may.17)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 66.7F (19.3C)
High temp: 85.1F (29.5C)
Rainfall: trace

Thundershowers have been trying desperately to get going all this afternoon and evening, but at least here in the immediate McLeod area, I've seen only a few random sprinkles of rain -- since about 5:10pm.  We started the day off with unlimited sunshine, but already clouds were sprouting over the mountains by shortly after 10:00am, and that mountain instability is what has kept the sky looking a bit threatening all through the PM hours.  Still, sunshine held the majority for us, with temps today back above normal for this stage of May.

The weather pattern all across the western Himalayan region is a fickle and changeable one, and will most likely stay that way for the foreseeable future.  We still have a weak ridge of summertime high pressure hanging on, but there are minor disturbances galore, drifting by in the upper-levels of the atmosphere -- along with a respectable amount of moisture in the air for this time of year.  That means our weather will continue to be full of variety, ups and downs, sun and clouds, periods of dryness and periods of showers.  This is one of those times when we can't count on total sunshine and a complete absence of rain, but neither will it be a total washout and/or outdoor-activity disaster.  In other words, just be prepared for sudden changes.

Most likely, our temps will be averaging above normal for mid-May during the next two or three days, but we could drop a bit below normal by the middle of next week.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

poised for more warming... (pm.11.may.17)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 57.6F (14.2C)
High temp: 77.9F (25.5C)
Rainfall: 0.76" (1.9cm)

This evening we have only a few lingering clouds along the mountains which are rapidly dissipating, and a very comfortable temperature close to 75ºF/24ºC.  We've seen quite a lot of fluctuations in weather conditions during the past 24 hours, which included an extended period of showers and thunderstorms during the wee hours of the morning that really didn't entirely finish until around sunrise.  Rainfall was fairly significant for this time of year, and definitely more than expected.  It took a few more hours, but the sunshine finally appeared in abundance somewhere around 11:00am, and stuck around for the remainder of the day.  But even with that strong May sunshine, our temps lagged behind, with my high temp the coolest I've recorded since exactly one week ago.

You can probably tell that humidity levels have been higher the last couple of days -- averaging 45-50% since early this morning.  There's been just a taste of tropical juice in the air, which in part aided that thunderstorm development during the overnight hours.  Most of the data is pointing to a period of stabilization during the next 48 to 72 hours, as a new surge of warmer air aloft replaces the cooler air in the higher levels that has kept things unstable since Tuesday.  I can't say that the chance of rain is ZERO, but I think we stand a chance of a couple of days of generally drier weather during the first part of the incoming weekend.  Temperatures should rebound rather dramatically tomorrow (Fri) and Saturday as well.

Gradually, shower and thunderstorm chances will increase again as early as Sunday... with at least a 20-30% chance of a period of thundershowers each and every day next week.  Temperatures will most likely stay on the sultry side, and should average pretty much normal or a bit above as we press into the middle and latter parts of May.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

mid-may variables... (pm.10.may.17)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 63.1F (17.3C)
High temp: 80.9F (27.2C)
Rainfall: 0.11" (3mm)

As May evenings go, this one is pretty close to perfect, I'd say.  The day is ending as it began -- with clear skies and comfortable temperatures -- but right in the middle of the day, we again had to contend with a bout of thundershowers.  Sunshine boosted temps to the 80ºF mark this morning by noon, but rapidly increasing clouds and and that round of mainly light showers between about 1:30 and 2:10pm caused the temp to drop to the day's low.  Then, almost full sunshine returned by 3:00pm or so, sending the thermometer back above the 80ºF mark.  A bit of a roller-coaster of a day, but when all is said and done it's been a pretty good one.

Our weather pattern is not totally settled and stable, obviously, with still a risk of some isolated shower/thunder development again overnight into Thursday.  But another surge of warmer air aloft should give us a bit more stability on Friday and Saturday, lowering the chance of thundershowers, and also boosting temps back into the range we were experiencing earlier in the week.  We could be pushing 90ºF/32ºC once again over the weekend.

Disturbances aloft will begin knocking on the door again as early as Sunday evening, but more likely on Monday into Tuesday of next week -- and that will again bring us a mentionable chance of some random/roaming showers and thunderstorms somewhere in our vicinity.  But as I've said a few times lately... summertime temps are here to stay, apart from some temporary relief during and just after a round of thundershowers.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

a bit of heat-relief... (pm.09.may.17)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 57.7F (14.3C)
High temp: 84.3F (29.1C)
Rainfall: 0.19" (5mm)

Quite a day it has been, with lots of sunshine and very warm temperatures during the morning being replaced by rapidly developing thundershowers to our northwest during the noon hour.  Those thundershowers swept through during the early afternoon with some gusty winds, a few periods of small hail, and a minor amount of rainfall.  The vast majority of my precipitation total for the day occurred between 1:15 and 2:15pm, with only a few sprinkles and spritzes of rain thereafter, which lasted off and on into the early evening.  And take a look at the temperature stats -- the high occurred shortly after noon, with the chilly low temp only an hour and a half later in the midst of rain showers and hail.  Those temps have rebounded dramatically during the afternoon/evening, however.

We'll have to remain in thundershower-dodging mode during the next day or two, thanks to a marginally unstable atmosphere across Himalayan north India -- but this air mass remains a very warm one, so with a few hours of sunshine and an absence of showers, temperatures will continue to be in the mid-summer range.  We'll see fluctuations in temps through the rest of this week and on into the weekend, but on average, we'll stay above normal for this stage of May.

Friday and Saturday could be thundershower-free, but then the risk of more shower/thunder action re-enters the forecast as early as Sunday, as fresh disturbances wobble in from the west.

Monday, May 8, 2017

from warm to hot... (pm.08.may.17)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 70.2F (21.2C)
High temp: 89.6F (32.0C)
Rainfall: none

It's not very often in a typical summer season that we hit 32ºC, but that's exactly what happened today at my recording location in the upper part of McLeod Ganj.  That's only a bit below 90ºF -- a temperature that was reached only twice last summer, and wasn't reached at all during the summer of 2015.  So... if you thought it was hot today, you were absolutely correct.  There was even less cloud development over the mountains today than yesterday, allowing us pretty much unlimited sunshine to boost those temps.  This evening just before sunset, we're seeing some increasing cloudiness spreading in from the west, however.

Actually today we've been in an oasis of calm and quiet, with clusters of afternoon/evening thunderstorms evident on satellite pics literally in all directions from us.  We've had no precipitation at all since last Thursday, but it looks like the risk of some random shower and thunderstorm activity is going to be on the rise again between tonight and Wednesday evening.  Some slightly cooler air in the higher levels of the atmosphere is oozing in from the northwest, even now, and that's going to introduce a more unstable situation during this mid-week period.  A period of rain is really our only chance to get our temperatures to drop, which would probably not be such a bad thing.

So... there is the risk of some shower/thunder action, otherwise, expect alternations between clouds and sunshine through the rest of the week and even into the weekend.  Temperatures will remain in peak summer mode, on average, with the exception of the break(s) we might get during a round of thundershowers.