Sunday, May 4, 2014

Giant Frogs, Giant Frogs, That's the Weather, Back to You

Staff Writer, DB Holmes
Weather / Air Quality

The heat is on right after a tiny three day vacation full of wind and potential dust. Is this the last gasp of spring weather making its way into the desert forecast? Or will the Valley of the Sun see more unsettled weather until Monsoon season begins? 
May 2014 Forecast for the Southwestern Region of the United States:
4th-7th. A few widely scattered showers.
8th-11th. Drier with some sunshine.
12th-15th. Clouds increase, turning warmer California, points east.
16th-19th. Fair, warmer.
20th-23rd. Scattered showers.
24th-27th. Changeable skies: mixed cloud, sun, possible shower. Cool temperatures.
28th-31st. Possible showers again.
The weather appears to be unstable with unseasonably low or high temperatures and storms that have moisture but leave Phoenix high and dry. Pretty soon, the forecast will call for giant frogs. Could the solar minimum be the cause of such erratic behavior in our weather patterns?
Forecast Discussion: Our hot and quiet weather this weekend will abruptly end early this week when the current ridge of high-pressure over the western U.S. flattens and is eventually replaced by a mid to upper-level trough of low-pressure. Generally, temps will go down, while southwesterly winds increase, peaking on Tuesday. Afternoon breezes up to 15 mph are expected to begin today and Monday. On Tuesday, widespread blowing dust across the Phoenix Metropolitan area is becoming more probable as models advertise sustained winds up to 25 mph with higher gusts. PM levels could reach the middle to upper Moderate range, but this may need to be adjusted higher depending on tomorrow’s model runs and how the storm is developing. An Air Pollution Health Watch for elevated PM-10 levels may be required for Tuesday (stay tuned). Ozone is also expected to reach the middle to upper Moderate range Monday and Tuesday as the storm imports precursors, but should fall back into the Good range in the wake of the storm’s passage. No precipitation is anticipated for the lower deserts, but high temps by Tuesday will be much cooler in the 80s. Enjoy the rest of the weekend and check back tomorrow for an updated forecast concerning the possible dust event on Tuesday!
The temperature forecast:

Last Year on this date:
High Temp: 94.1F
Low Temp: 66.6F
Average Temp: 80.1F
Dewpoint: 27.2F
Wind Speed: 6.8 Knots

Source: AIRNow, Weather Channel, Farmer's Almanac