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).
Weather conditions this week will continue to be fair and warmer than normal through Thursday. However, by Thursday evening, the forecast models are indicating an upper-level trough moving into Arizona, providing divergent winds aloft to lift the air and produce clouds and precipitation. Low-level southwesterly winds will bring moist air across the state and rising over the mountains of northern Arizona, also contributing to the possibility for clouds and precipitation. Thus, expect increasing clouds and breezes on Thursday as the pressure contrasts build across the state. There will be a slight chance of rain showers Thursday evening, with stronger wind and even a greater potential for rain on Friday as a cold front moves across the state from the northwest. Temperatures will decrease and winds will weaken and shift to a northwesterly direction after the passage of the front, leading to the rain showers possibly changing to light snow flurries tapering off on Friday night to Saturday during ERAU graduation (though little or no snow accumulation is expected at this time at the elevation of Prescott). Total precipitation amounts from this event will probably be around half an inch around the Prescott area.
Temperatures will drop down to near normal over the coming weekend and remain seasonably cool early next week. Long range forecasts are still very uncertain for next week, but some forecasts are indicating the possibility of another storm late next week (and a few of the forecasts are hinting to the possibility of a white Christmas)! We will need to keep a close eye on the forecast models to see which solution they ultimately agree on…
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!
ERAU Applied Meteorology degree program
Official National Weather Service forecast