Monday, August 9, 2010

Some weather thoughts

As we morph from High Summer into hints of an early fall, our thoughts turn once again to weather patterns--both short and long term.  So, as the first trimester of August comes to a close, here's our periodic attempt to read some tea leaves and discern the prognostications shimmering in our crystal ball.

First, the short term:  It looks like t-storms will prevail during most of this week with a drying trend for our Salmon trip next week.  It also looks like that drying trend will continue and gain strength as the month draws to close.  So, we should have really great weather for our final summer camping trips.  Temperature will be mostly normal but probably somewhat below normal.  In other words, the days will be pleasantly delightful and the nights will be perfect "sleeping weather."  By the time our Jenny Lake trip rolls around, we're guessing overnight lows will be in the 30's there in the Tetons--definitely low 40's.

OK, now what about our upcoming winter in Arizona?  Well, odds favor a very dry winter.  Why?  Well, La Nina has returned and the gubmint computer models point to a pretty strong episode.  The La Nina phenomena almost always portends a dry winter in the Southwest.  La Nina winters are great hiking winters--the skies are generally blue, the humidity low and the only real concerns are dust and pollen-induced allergies.  La Nina winters are real good for cold season overnight camping, too.  It doesn't get as sharply cold as some Southwest winters.  We will definitely take at least a mini-camp rig when we head south.  The dry winter is also great for our weed situation down there--it means we won't have such a protracted chapter next spring in our ongoing Weed Wars Saga.  That's welcome news.

Back in January this year, the University of Arizona published a great little 3-page article on the Southwestern affects of El Nino and La Nina. You can click here to read it.

It's far too early to tell how next spring and summer are going to shape up or how La Nina will affect Idaho's winter weather but chances are it will be at least normal snowfall in the Northern Rockies, if not slightly higher than normal.  However, the three-month Climate Prediction Center forecast is for a warm dry fall here.  That means our leaves probably won't turn colors too early and will drop perhaps somewhat later than during a normal fall season.  Our departure to Arizona is contingent upon raking up and disposing of ALL of our leaves.  What with the current 3-month forecast, I'm guessing we won't be leaving River City until mid to late November this year.  Maybe we will get to spend Thanksgiving here in Idaho!

On another note, it's been raining its brains out down in Arizona this monsoon season.  Our friends there all have some very interesting tales of the storms and their affects.  Now, it's beginning to look like it might be drying out.  The latest 5-day QPF forecast is below.  Yes, it still shows some rainfall but nothing like the torrential stuff they have been experiencing lately.  Despite the copious water (13 inches of rainfall so far this year near our straw house) it doesn't appear the weeds are terribly out of control.  Perhaps the pre-emergent we sprayed in late April has done some good after-all.  We sure hope so.  Cheers!  jp

1 comment:

The Goatherder said...

It's gonna dry out this week and none too soon. The doors won't shut, the clothes won't dry, the salt won't shake, the pepper won't grind, there are mushrooms as big as cantaloupes out under the trees, the flies are biblical. The goats have invented a new "fly dance" that they practice all the time.
Enough already. BASTA!!