Friday, February 26, 2016

Looking Ahead Into March

As we head into the last three days of February, there's not much on the weather horizon except for continued warm and dry conditions. Looks like February will close out with the only measurable rain here occurring during the early morning hours of the 1st. What a month - as the super El Nino continues missing in action for much of the Southwest (see Jim Steenburgh's blog post of February 23rd for current snowpack conditions across the West). There'll not be much to summarize for February, except for cool to cold morning lows. However, our solar panels probably produced close to their maximum possible output for the month, given the serious lack of clouds. A quick look ahead shown below.

The GEFS plumes for temperature (from 06 UTC this morning - above) go out through 192-hours, indicating almost no change day-to-day. The plumes generally keep PW at TUS below 0.25" during this period, so dry and itchy skin weather continues.

The operational GFS version of the model forecasts most of the Southwest to remain dry through 00 UTC on March 4th (above from 00 UTC last evening). The same forecast from the WRF-GFS is of course similar, and is shown below.

After 7-days there are changes in the pattern, as several short waves shift the nasty ridge eastward and allow features to break underneath into the Southwest. The GFS forecast of total precipitation through 336-hours (above, ending at 00 UTC on March 11th) shifts the precipitation action into northwest Mexico, still leaving the Southwest hung out to dry. However, the operational version of this model is notoriously dry relative to other members of the GEFS, and of course things are always very uncertain beyond seven days. So mostly, we'll hope for a pattern change during the first half of March.

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