Sun and Rain This Week Featured

Dr. Curtis James, Professor of Meteorology, ERAU January 09, 2023 388

If you love four seasons, this might be the week for that!

Big Idea

  • Sunny some days
  • Rainy other days
  • La Nina is ending after three long years
  • Snow pack is much higher than last year
  •

Rain and snow this week!

Forecast Summary:

Monday: Increasing high clouds and breezes. Highs in the mid 50s.

Tuesday: Mostly cloudy and becoming windy in the afternoon to evening, with south to southwest wind gusts up to 35 mph. Morning low in the 30s, afternoon high in the lower 50s. Rain showers likely late in the afternoon through overnight hours, possibly changing to a dusting of snow early Wednesday morning. Winds tapering off overnight. Total precipitation amounts will be relatively light, 0.1” – 0.25”.

Wednesday – Saturday: Partly cloudy, with light winds, although increasing breezes and clouds Friday – Saturday. A chance of rain showers late Saturday evening. Morning lows in the upper 20s to mid 30s. Afternoon highs in the upper 40s on Wednesday, warming to near 60 on Friday, then cooling on Saturday.

Sunday: Mostly cloudy and rainy. High in the mid 40s, low in the late evening in the lower 30s. Breezy south to southwest winds 15 – 25 mph. Precipitation amounts from 0.5” – 1.0” expected, with possibly 1”-2” of wet snow accumulation late on Sunday or Monday morning. 

Forecast Table:


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

Forecast Discussion:

A series of progressive upper-level troughs will move with the jet stream across Arizona from west to east these next 8 days. The first trough will affect us Tuesday afternoon to early Wednesday morning, with windy conditions and about 0.1”-0.25” of rain. There will possibly be a dusting of snow at the 5,000’ level with this system and 1” – 2” of snow accumulation at the higher elevations above 6,000’.

Additional troughs will affect us Friday night to Saturday, Sunday to Monday morning, and again next Tuesday. The trough on Friday – Saturday will likely not create precipitation here in central Arizona, as it will weaken as it comes onshore and moves around us to the north. However, the storm forecast for Sunday will likely bring up to 1” of liquid water equivalent and possibly an inch or two of snow accumulation down to the 5,000’ elevation by Monday morning.

Sea-surface temperatures in the eastern tropical Pacific have warmed significantly over the past week, indicating that we are likely heading towards ENSO neutral conditions by late winter. This means that La Niña could be coming to an end after about three long years. The weakened sea-surface temperature contrasts between the tropics and subtropics may help to explain why the past few weeks have been wetter than normal, and the next 10 days are expected to continue to be wet. Snow pack is currently about 175% of normal in the Sierra Nevada mountain range (https://goldrushcam.com/sierrasuntimes/index.php/news/local-news/42815-california-first-snow-survey-of-2022-2023-shows-december-storms-provided-big-snow-totals-with-more-systems-flooding-in-forecast-statewide-the-snowpack-is-174-of-average-for-this-date), which is good news for California and western Nevada water supplies. Closer to home, the snowpack in the upper Colorado River Basin is currently 140% of average for this time of year (https://www.usbr.gov/lc/region/g4000/weekly.pdf), and the Salt/Verde basin snow pack is 150% of average. This is good news for Arizona’s water resources, as Lake Powell is only about 24% full and Lake Mead is 28% full, following a couple of dry La Niña winters in previous years. We will need to continue to have abundant winter snowfall above key watersheds in order to see significant improvements in the water supplies here in the Southwest. If El Niño develops later this year, we will probably continue to see improvements.

Have a great week!

C. James


MetMail is an unofficial weather discussion and forecast transmitted once per week via email. Embry-Riddle offers an undergraduate bachelor-of-science degree program in Meteorology (https://erau.edu/degrees/bachelor/meteorology?campus=Prescott). Please spread the word to all potential qualified candidates! 

Embry-Riddle Prescott Meteorology Website:


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Official National Weather Service Forecast:


This clickable map will give you an official detailed local weather forecast for any location in the Western U.S.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 10 January 2023 00:05
Published in Prescott.news