Thursday, March 02, 2017

March Starts Out Dry

March is starting out in a dry synoptic pattern, with the weather action staying north of most of Arizona and New Mexico. The 00 UTC WRF-GFS forecast above (on the 5.4 km grid) is of total precipitation through 05:00 pm MST on March 9th. Most concerns for immediate future will be focused on wind, dust, and pollen. Many folks are already suffering from allergies, aggravated by low humidity.

The model forecasts are indicating two windy periods during the next week or so. The first will bring gusty east winds later today and tomorrow. The 06 UTC WRF-GFS 10-m wind forecast above is valid at 11:00 pm tonight. Looking at the evolution of the wind forecasts, I suspect that winds in the metro area will be strongest tomorrow - gusts along the Rillito may reach 30 to 40 mph. 

Down at the Mt. Hopkins RAWS station the winds will peak earlier, probably reaching into the 40 to 60 mph range during the night tonight, but then weakening as the easterly wind layer becomes shallow tomorrow. Forecast sounding below is valid at 10:00 pm tonight, when model forecasts deepest layer of strong easterlies.

Second windy period, with south-southwest winds, will likely occur on the 5th to 6th. 

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