First, let’s look back and think of all the things we could have done better. Its always great to mope around about things you did, but can’t change, but then, after a good mope, jettison those thoughts, push ahead and vow to do better in the coming year, maybe fill in your weather diaries more completely, not miss that Altocumulus lenticularis in the lee of the Catalinas this year, learn a new language, thoughts that lift our spirits, for a time, anyway.
What could our weather have done better in 2012?
Check this annual chart out, kind of depressing except for July, August, and December (green bars are the observed totals):
OK, got that said, now let’s look at January, a month that is not beginning on a rainfull note. Here is the daily occurrences of measurable rain over the past 36 years, the first 32 from Our Garden’s garden near Columbus and Stallion here in Catalina; and the years after that, a bit to the SE close to the water tank up at Swan and Wilds. There will be slight differences between the two locations as a rule, and once in a great while, large ones, as this past July when the Garden got clobbered with over 6 inches that month!
There’s some SLIGHT indication, after 36 years of data, that the chances of rain might increase after the 15th, but, like the early peaks in the first week, they might just be “noise”, statistical flukes that disappear with time, a lot more time.
What are the chances of a wetter than normal January, and even a wetter than normal first few months of the year (into May)? Not that bad, surprisingly. We had a dessicating January through May last year, and climate/weather doesn’t repeat those kinds of things very often on a year to year basis in the Southwest. End of reasoning.
If you want something official, and not satisfied with my statement, here’s the Climate Prediction Center’s three month outlook for January, Febuary, and March of this year. Remember, they also told us an El Nino was coming, then said it wasn’t…
The weather ahead
While the US WRF-GFS model run from last night (00Z run, 5 PM AST) still has us rainless for the next FIFTEEN days, the superlative Canadian Environment Canada model, while looking at the very same upper low center in the US model that passes to the south of us on the afternoon of the 8th, says it will have rain in it for us! US mod says it stays dry here as it goes by over northern Mexico. Here are the forecast panels from our Canadian friends for 5 PM January 8th:
Spaghetti maps guarantee a substantial upper level low/trough will affect us on the 7th-9th, too. Not sure why its so DRY in the US model as it goes by on the 8th-9th. I am guessing that will change over the next few model runs.