Temperatures expected to warm up.
A ridge of high pressure is now rebuilding over the Southwest, bringing a warming trend today through Wednesday. By Thursday, however, a fast-moving short-wave trough will approach Arizona in the upper atmosphere, along with a jet of moist low-level wind followed by a weak front. The system will not generate much lifting, but there will be plenty of wind and a chance of light rain showers from Thursday – Friday morning. Precipitation amounts, if any, will likely be less than about a tenth of an inch.
Following the passage of the trough on Friday, the weather will remain unsettled for a couple of days, leading to periods of possible high clouds and breezes. Temperatures will hover near normal levels for much of this week.
In the past two months, we have had about 12 days with measurable rainfall in the Prescott area. However, the precipitation totals have been very light, with total precipitation around the Prescott area generally between 0.5” – 2.5”. Our precipitation totals for the winter are still well below normal, and much of the light precipitation that we have received of late has been evaporating off of the surface of the soil rather than soaking deep into the ground to water the shrubs and trees. This drier-than-normal weather is typical for a La Niña winter. Currently, La Niña is anticipated to end by late spring and become somewhat neutral for this summer (meaning that the tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures are expected to warm back up to near normal values).
Nevertheless, the next few months could prove to be another difficult fire season if we don’t receive soaking rains/snows before warm temperatures and lower relative humidity arrive in late spring…
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