May to continue into November

Sure, there’s a bit cooler weather heading our way in the next few days, but “May” will reappear after that, and people will be complaining again that they evacuated their domiciles in northern climes or high altitude sites too early when they returned to their winter homes in Arizona.  I am hearing a lot of that kind of complaint.

Heat,  devoid of thunderstorms,  is truly tough to take here in AZ.

Unfortunately the little troughs so well predicted to occur in NOAA spaghetti plots at the end of October did not bring any rain, and this next one, which slipped from late October into the first of November, looks like its going to be dry, too.


October will end with but 0.01 inches of rain here in The Heights.  Our average is 1.13 inches (1977-2015).   Last year we had over two inches in October AND November, setting the stage for a good spring wildflower display!  Below, a reminder:

2015-16 monthly water year totals vs average
The light bars are the averages; red bars the observed.


But, “hey”, looks like southern New Mexicans will get a lot of rain, so let us be happy for them this coming week, and not sad for ourselves when we read about all the rain THEY are getting so close to us.  Its only right.

But here’s the killer plot, just out from the NOAA spaghetti factory.  I couldn’t believe how bad it was for us.   You, too, I am sure will be frustrated and mad when you see it:

Valid at 5 PM AST November 12, 2016
Valid at 5 PM AST November 12, 2016 for about 18, 000 feet above us.  Notice how the blueish lines pretty much the heart of the jet stream)  are way up there in Canada, and our area is devoid of lines (see yellow line and south of there).  This strongly suggests an  upper level, warm high center or at least a bulge of high pressure aloft will sit on top of us and the adjacent states, maybe some jet flow way down around Mexico way.  This may be one of the worst forecast maps for AZ of all time, considering the time of year.  Warmth,  with desiccated air,  dead ahead right into mid-November after our little, brief cool down this coming week.  Note, too, the indications (blue lines) that a big trough will populate the East,  bringing cold conditions there.

In the meantime , we can rejoice at the bountiful October rains they are having in California.  Some records will fall.   Some stations in the extreme north will approach 30 inches for the month of October by the time the month ends, and many stations south of those, including ones in the Sierra Nevadas will log 10-20 inches for the month.

Outstanding.  But, it needs to continue, not dry up….to take a real bite out of drought.

The End


By Art Rangno

Retiree from a group specializing in airborne measurements of clouds and aerosols at the University of Washington (Cloud and Aerosol Research Group). The projects in which I participated were in many countries; from the Arctic to Brazil, from the Marshall Islands to South Africa.