Sunny Days To Start the New Year! Featured

Weather update from Embry Riddle

Big Idea

  • The weather this week will be mostly sunny and warmer
  • No precipitation is expected, although the mornings will be chilly!
  • Plenty of blue sky
  • 2021 was the third wettest on record since 2000 for the Prescott Airport
  •

It’s going to be sunny this week!

Forecast Summary:

Mostly sunny this week and warmer through Thursday, with slight cooling over the weekend. No precipitation expected. Morning lows rising from the upper teens today to the lower 30s by Thursday. Afternoon highs ranging from near 50 degrees today to near 60 by Thursday. Winds generally light, although some breezes on Friday. Plenty of blue sky, but periods of high clouds Tuesday - Wednesday and Friday-Sunday.

Forecast Table:


Navigate on the map to your location and click for a detailed local forecast.


Happy New Year 2022! Let’s make it a good year! I would like to thank Dr. Mark Sinclair for consistently sending these MetMail messages each week, he is a hard act to follow! I will be sending these messages for at least the next 5 or 6 months, before we alternate again. It is a pleasure for us to serve our campus and the Quad City community with informal weather forecasts/discussions at least once per week.

This past year was the third wettest on record since 2000 for the Prescott airport, with a total of 22.08” liquid equivalent. We had a lot of snow last February, followed by an active monsoon. Fall was warmer and drier than normal, but then December was much wetter than normal. The airport received 2.91” of rain in December, which is about twice the monthly average of 1.45”. Thanks to volunteer CoCoRaHS observers around the Prescott area, we can also see just how much variability there was in the precipitation totals. To mention just some of stations during December, the south side of town had up to 7.74” of rain (at Rancho Vista), with 5.31” in Williamson Valley, 2.66” in Mayer, 2.23” in Dewey, 1.40” in east Paulden and 3.04” on the west side of Chino Valley. For annual totals (ending 7 am Jan. 1, 2022), we had 32.05” at Rancho Vista, 25.43” in Williamson Valley, 14.59” in Mayer, 13.25” in Dewey, 13.96” in east Paulden and 15.70” in west Chino.

It is noteworthy that we are currently experiencing La Niña conditions (where the eastern tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures or SSTs are warmer than normal), which generally tends towards drier and warmer-than-normal conditions for portions of the southern U.S. including Arizona. Thus, the NWS Climate Prediction Center (https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/) has been consistently predicting drier and warmer conditions these past few months. However, the recent wet weather is likely due to warmer-than-normal SSTs over the north central Pacific and colder-than-normal SSTs from the Gulf of Alaska down the West Coast (https://www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/ocean/sst/anomaly/). The temperature contrast between these two regions could be what is causing this winter to be more stormy than normal so far, because atmospheric temperatures and moisture content are largely controlled by ocean temperatures, and winter storms are fueled by temperature contrasts.

Nevertheless, the next couple of weeks could be drier than normal. This week, a ridge of high pressure is building over the Southwest, bringing mostly sunny and dry conditions. There will be several weak shortwave troughs moving through the ridge will bring period of high clouds and slight cooling by the weekend. We could see some rain showers next week, but forecasts have not been very consistent about the amount and timing of any precipitation events. Stay tuned until next Monday for my next update…

C. James


Curtis N. James, Ph.D.
Professor of Meteorology

Applied Aviation Sciences

Prescott Campus

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

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University: Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube


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Last modified on Monday, 03 January 2022 13:57
Published in Azeducation.news
Dr. Curtis N. James, Ph.D.

Curtis N. James, Ph. D. Is a Professor of Meteorology at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in the Department of Applied Aviation Sciences.

He has taught courses in beginning meteorology, aviation weather, thunderstorms, satellite and radar imagery interpretation, atmospheric physics, mountain meteorology, tropical meteorology and weather forecasting techniques for over 16 years. He participates in ERAU’s Study Abroad program, offering alternating summer programs each year in Switzerland and Brazil.

He earned a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Washington (2004) and participated in the Mesoscale Alpine Programme (MAP; 1999), an international field research project in the European Alps. His research specialties include radar, mesoscale, and mountain meteorology. He earned his B.S. in Atmospheric Science from the University of Arizona (1995), during which time he gained two years of operational experience as a student intern with the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Tucson, Arizona (1993-1995).

Dr. James is a native of Arizona where he currently resides with his wife and five children. He is active in his community, having served on the Prescott SciTechFest Advisory Committee and as a Board Member for the Children's Museum Alliance, Inc. On his spare time, he enjoys weather watching, backpacking, camping, fishing, caving, mountain biking, acting, and music. He is an Eagle Scout and serves as the scoutmaster for a local scout troop.


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