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Warm Rain & Melting Snow

15 January 2019   Dr. Curtis James
It’s going to rain much of this  week, but the weekend looks drier.

Weather Discussion:

A large low pressure system off the California Coast will circulate warm moist air into Arizona for the next 36 hours or so. The warm advection, or transport of warmer air, will cause the moist air to slope upward over the region. Furthermore, the wind speeds will generally be 30-40 mph from the south-southwest at the 700 mb (or 10,000’ level), creating strong lifting over the terrain. Thus, expect widespread rain and high elevation snow (generally above 7,500’ elevation) during this period.  Rain amounts will generally be around 0.75” in the Prescott area, with potentially more rain nearer to terrain (i.e. on the south and west sides of town where precipitation particles spill over the mountains). A lot of the snow that is currently on the ground in the mountains around Prescott will melt amid the relatively warm rain, causing noticeable runoff in the local streams.

Another disturbance is expected on Thursday evening – Friday, with the possibility for more rain showers. However, high pressure will build back into the Southwestern U.S. for the coming weekend, bringing dry and warmer conditions for the coming weekend.  

C. James


Met Mail is an unofficial weather discussion and forecast transmitted once or twice a week via e-mail by the Embry-Riddle Department of Meteorology (http://meteo.pr.erau.edu/). Embry-Riddle offers an undergraduate bachelor-of-science degree program in Applied Meteorology. Please spread the word to all potential qualified candidates!

Further Information:

ERAU Applied Meteorology degree program

Official National Weather Service forecast

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