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My Glendale Arizona Weather Station Synopsis...

A low pressure system over northwest Mexico will slowly move north through the Desert southwest the next few days. This will lead to variable cloudiness, cooler temperatures, and a threat of showers and thunderstorms. Best chances for precipitation look to be today and tonight. Dry and stable weather will return Friday through next Monday.

Looking at current radar, areas of showers and scattered convection are located along two different max vortices, one in northern Arizona and another in southern Arizona. For the remainder of the morning, a little nose of higher MUCAPE along with an area of theta-e convection will slowly creep northward towards Phoenix, which will allow shower and storm activity to generate in Pinal county and primarily south of I-10 in La Paz and Maricopa county. This morning, the better chances for storms will be in Pinal county where the main axis and nose of higher MUCAPE values will be. As for the remainder of the day, another batch of instability driven storms will develop in south-central and southeastern Arizona, with convective activity pushing northward (greatest chances for showers and storms from Maricopa county eastward). With the forecast Phoenix sounding for this afternoon and evening showing equilibrium levels no higher than 30kft, not anticipating convection to be too strong, however, with some decent 0-6 km shear and instability forecast, a few stronger storms may develop and produce small hail and strong winds.

Today and tonight... Upper low centered roughly over the northern Sea of Cortez. One of the vort lobes associated with the low is in southern Arizona. It is helping to produce a small batch of thunderstorms. The NCAR ensemble picked up on this development. It goes on to show thunderstorm activity moving northward and nibbling at the Phoenix metro by mid morning but mostly stays south of there. Latest HRRR however keeps it south of the Mexico border but then redevelops activity over Pima County by midday spreading it into northern Pinal and southwest Maricopa County in the afternoon. There is some support for this scenario from other hi-res models (from NCEP and UofA). The main reason for the convection is cooling aloft (given that we`ve already had moist advection) as the low drifts northward. Interestingly, despite the deep southeast and southerly flow, precipitable water is advertised by multiple models to decline over southern AZ the rest of the morning (especially portions of southeast AZ). Despite having similar PWAT values, there are significant differences in the 1000-700mb mean mixing ratios between the GFS and NAM. The NAM is about 2 g/kg more moist and thus it has more CAPE. The RAP agrees with the NAM. The SREF shows increasing CAPE today but median values stay below 500 j/kg over southern AZ. There will be some CIN to contend with though and thus PoPs are relatively conservative. SSEO reflects the presence of the CIN and keeps emphasis of convection south of metro Phoenix today. There will be enough vertical wind shear for longer lived storms with more coherent motion than we often see in the Monsoon. SREF shows median values of 0-6km bulk shear remaining below 30 kts for our area (but close). Best shear mainly over Cochise and Graham counties where there will be less moisture. Anticipate some blowing dust issues with storms moving from Pima County into Pinal and southwest Maricopa this afternoon. Before the afternoon activity though, we may see some weaker shower activity as there have been batches of weak echoes overnight - most noticeably over northern Gila County. With the approaching vort lobe expect we will see more as the morning progresses.

Wednesday through Friday...

During the middle and latter part of the week, models show amplification of the flow pattern over North America and the northeast Pacific such that anticyclones over the interior West and northwest Mexico phase up over the Plains while troughing deepens over eastern North America and the northeast Pacific/western Canada. In the process, the upper low currently to our south will move slowly northward and weaken into a short wave and be followed by another short wave. Lingering moisture and the passing waves keep precip chances going through Thursday with only very slight chances for our easternmost areas Friday. The preponderance of the 00Z (plus the 03Z SREF) indicate that storm activity might be most potent on Thursday but will mainly be limited to the eastern third of Arizona. Highs stay near to below normal.

Saturday through Monday...

Dry southwest and westerly flow aloft is in place over the weekend as the Pacific trough slowly moves inland. Looking at breezy to windy conditions but nothing overly strong looking yet. Near normal high temps Saturday then decreasing several degrees by Monday.


 Winter Solstice begins Wednesday, December 21st at 5:44am   EDT  

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