The figure above indicates the forecasted high in orange (with error bar denoting the range of ensemble forecast members), average high for this time of year in orange (dashed line), forecasted low in blue (with error bar), average low this time of year in blue (dashed line), and forecasted wind speed in purple. Note that the wind speed forecast is sustained wind (not gusts), and it is based on only one model (not an ensemble).
This week is ending up windier and colder than previously forecast. Two back-to-back troughs will move around a high amplitude upper-level ridge currently in place along the West Coast. The first trough will bring a dry cold front across Arizona tonight. The winds have already increased ahead of the approaching front today and temperatures will become about 10 degrees colder tomorrow than today as winds shift to a northeasterly direction.
The second trough will move around the ridge and across the Great Basin on Thursday – Friday and bring another round of breezy to windy conditions and some partly cloudy skies to Arizona for Christmas. A White Christmas still appears unlikely except in far northern Arizona. Stay tuned for any additional updates as needed.
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!
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Official National Weather Service forecast