Sunny & Windy This Week Featured

Dr. Mark Sinclair May 09, 2022 54

Beautiful, sunny weather, with a side of wind.

Big Idea

  • Continued, strong southwest winds
  • Temps slightly cooling through Wednesday, but a warming trend starts Thursday
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Temperatures in the Phoenix area will reach mid-100’s on Saturday & Sunday
  •

This week’s weather will bring critical fire weather conditions


A trough will produce continued strong southwest winds and slightly cooler temperatures today through Wednesday. There will be a warming trend starting Thursday, bringing summer-like temperatures and less wind through the weekend.

Forecast Table:


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


For today through Wednesday, expect continued sunny and breezy, with winds gusting 30 to 39 mph and afternoon highs in the mid-70s (with Tuesday a little warmer).This combination of strong wind and low humidity will bring critical fire weather conditions, especially on Wednesday. Thursday morning will dawn cold, with minimum temperatures dropping into the 30s, with frost in sheltered places. For Friday through the weekend, expect sunny and much warmer with lighter winds. Temperatures will warm to the mid-80s on Friday and into the low to mid-90s by Sunday. Be sure to drink plenty of water when outdoors in these summer-like conditions. Temperatures in the Phoenix area will be in the mid-100s Saturday and Sunday.

Additional notes for the weathernuts:

Why is late spring and early summer so windy around here? As you can see from the attached graph, our windiest months for surface wind (in red) are May and June. However, the atmosphere above us has the strongest winds (blue) in winter. As the sun moves higher in the sky with the approach of summer, strong thermal turbulence mixes stronger wind aloft down to the surface. In the winter, this turbulent mixing is weaker because of the weaker solar heating. Later in the summer (July and August), winds aloft (in blue on the graph) are quite weak, so, for those months, there is less momentum (wind) to mix down.

The same thing happens during the course of a day. Have you ever wondered why mornings are usually calm and afternoons are windy? In the morning, there is usually a surface cold layer that prevents turbulent mixing, so surface winds die off. As the sun rises higher in the sky, thermal activity starts to mix stronger winds higher up in the atmosphere down to the surface. If I lived in a hot air balloon 5,000 ft above the surface, this daily variation of wind would not occur.

Have a great week!


Mark Sinclair, Ph.D.
Program Chair and Professor, Meteorology
Department of Applied Aviation Sciences, College of Aviation

3700 Willow Creek Rd
Prescott, AZ 86301
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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, 09 May 2022 15:31
Published in Azeducation.news

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