It’s been a wild, wet, white and cold start to the new year and the next Winter Storm is already on the horizon.
Friday and Saturday will finally feature high temperatures near average for this time of year as we near the mid 60s. Skies remain mostly sunny through Saturday afternoon,
By Sunday another storm – in a parade of storms – sweeps through the area bringing us more valley rain and mountain snow. The difference with this system is the lack of deep cold air. This means only the summits of our Mountains see all snow while the valleys remain all rain.
The other difference with this weather maker is the amount of moisture it will bring.
Our latest forecast tools paint anywhere from 1/2″ – 1.00″ of valley rain with 5=10″ of snow above 8000′. So rainfall with this one should be more abundant and widespread.
With a couple of days left to fine-tune the forecast, snow levels may fluctuate as the computer models come to more of a consensus. As always, we’ll be watching this closely.
The annual Geminid Meteor Shower is almost in motion. This promises to be one of the most spectacular meteor events of the year.
During the early morning hours of December 14th (~2am) the Earth will travel through the debris of asteroid 3200 Phaethon. Thus viewing at this time will be the best opportunity to observe the meteors.
According to space.com up to 120 meteors per hour are possible under a faint crescent moon with mostly clear skies.
Temperatures will be on the chilly side. 30s southeast of Tucson are in the forecast while 40s can be expected closer to the city limits. Remember to avoid areas of city light for optimum viewing conditions.
For a more detailed explanation on the annual meteor show click here.
TUCSON – With only a few days remaining in November, it seems likely that the month will go into the record books as slightly cooler than average.
October was also cooler than average. The last time Tucson strung together consecutive months with below average temperatures was November 2015 – January 2016. It’s a tight race but with a big pattern change arriving the last day of the month, odds favor another below average.
High pressure will result in mostly sunny and warm conditions Wednesday as highs warm well above average into the mid 70s. Thursday begins warm but then we track a cold front barreling down from the north. This front will pick up our winds and give us the best rain chance we’ve seen in almost a month. Most of our forecast tools indicate light rain – up to a 1/4″ with 1-3″ of snow for Mt. Lemmon.
Rain is likely early Friday morning and highs will top off only into the low 60s. This cooler air mass will stick around through the entire weekend and another shot of light rain is possible through Monday. Sunday through Tuesday look very cold as temperatures struggle to get out of the mid-to-upper 50s.
Snow levels will come crashing to 4500′ early Sunday morning, and some of the higher towns in the region could pick up a dusting of snow.
The Climate Prediction Center keeps well below average temperatures around for much of next week as well.
So giddy up Rudolph, it’s beginning to look – and feel – a lot like Christmas.
TUCSON – Heads up trick-or-treaters, this Halloween will bring a spooky chill to the area and temperatures will quickly fall into the 50s as soon as 8 PM tonight.
Much cooler air has filtered into the region after yesterday’s cold front and a Freeze Warning – the first of the season – has been issued for the coolest sections of SE Arizona. So expect freezing to briefly sub-freezing temperatures in the areas shaded in purple.
Many years we talk about the latest 100 degree day occurring in October: well forget about that. The highest temperature we’ve recorded this month has been a “cool” 89 degrees.
Don’t look now but warmer weather is in the forecast, but even highs on the warmest days look to only be a degree or two above average.
With two weeks still remaining of the month, it would take a major heat wave to put the entire month of October above average…and that isn’t in the forecast. This means October 2018 will be the first below average month we’ve seen since September of 2016.
TUCSON – Rain overspread much of metro Tucson – AGAIN – tonight and more rain is in the forecast tonight through Tuesday. And oh, don’t look now, but more rain is possible this weekend and even into next week if we can tap into Tropical Storm Tara.
Okay back to the big chill: the first 15 days of October have been colder than the first 15 days of November last year. (How is that even possible?)
So halfway through the month, we now rank as the 19th coldest October since records have been kept (1894). What’s more staggering is if you take out most of the colder October’s which occurred at the beginning of the 20th century, this October ranks as the 4th coldest since 1959! Only the first 15 days of October in 1966, 1970, and 1982 were colder!
And by the way, it’s currently snowing on top of Mt. Graham. See the image below.
In addition, for the first time since the early 1980s, Tucson has picked up over 7.00″ of rain in three consecutive years.
Drought conditions remain across much of the State of Arizona and according to chief Meteorologist Matt Brode, this is in part due to fewer Winter storms over the past several years.
Drought conditions still remain for much of the State if Arizona despite abundant monsoon rain. Here's to hoping for more late Fall and Winter storms with good snow pack in the mountains. #AZwx#KVOAwxpic.twitter.com/V4UFwIlv9q
Abundant monsoon rain has the City of Tucson in a small yearly surplus, but we’ll need to pick up about another 3″ of rain through the end of the year to match our annual average of almost 12″ of rain.