Saturday, December 21, 2019

Winter Solstice 2019

High clouds and color over the Catalinas before sunrise this morning. Today is the Winter Solstice and the shortest day of the year. Sun will begin shifting northward now, bringing us longer days.

Temperatures around the metro area (above, from MesoWest at 7:30 am MST) are quite variable this morning. Some readings are in the 20s, while a few spots are in the 50s. The warm spots have wind gusts over 10 mph, while the coldest spots are calm. Here at house coldest this morning has been 28 F.

Winds at Mt. Hopkins have been gusty since yesterday evening. Wind speed traces below at one of the telescopes near the summit. Winds down at the RAWS site near the entrance to the observatory have gusted as high as 59 mph after 7:00 pm yesterday.

Models continue to forecast widespread precipitation for the Southwest, as a strong 500 mb short wave swings across the area. All of the GEFS members forecast precipitation for our area, focussed on Christmas eve. Panels above are valid for 5:00 pm on the 24rth, with 12-hour precipitation amounts shown. Forecast below, from operational GFS, is for 48-hour precipitation ending at 5:00 pm on Christmas.

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