Tag Archives: Cold

NFL Games Get Cold

Seattle SnowI LOVE Winter weather and I LOVE NFL Football.  The two will combine tomorrow and Monday Night for some great entertainment who feel the same way I do.  The state of Arizona wimped out yesterday and postponed ALL of their high school semi-final games because of RAIN, but the professionals play unless there is lightning, tornadoes, hurricanes or so much snow folks can’t get to the game.  I disagree with the last reason, but putting that aside, most of tomorrow’s and Monday Night’s games will be played in cold and one with snow showers.  Here is the forecast for all of the NFL games and my predicted winners:

EARLY GAMES – 1:00 pm EST Start:

NY Jets at Baltimore:
Partly sunny, with a high near 39. Breezy, with a northwest wind around 21 mph.
Ravens win

Pittsburgh at Cleveland:
A chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 27. Blustery, with a northwest wind 20 to 23 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.
Toss up game.  I’ll take the Browns at home.

Tampa Bay at Detroit:
In the dome. Who cares.
Lions

Minnesota at Green Bay:
Increasing clouds, with a high near 21. West northwest wind 7 to 11 mph becoming southwest in the afternoon.
Packers

Jacksonville at Houston:
A 40 percent chance of rain, mainly after noon. Cloudy, with a high near 45. Northeast wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.
Texans finally win against an improving Jaguars

San Diego at Kansas City:
Sunny, with a high near 34. South winds 10-20 mph.
The Chiefs

Carolina at Miami:
A 40 percent chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 80. Windy, with a north wind 18 to 23 mph. Winds could gust as high as 30 mph.
Panthers are for real

Chicago at St. Louis:
In a dome.
Rams D gets it done in the dome

LATE GAMES – 4:05 EST Start:

Indianapolis at Arizona:
Another dome game
Colts are too good

Tennessee at Oakland:
Sunny, with a high near 66. West northwest wind around 6 mph.
The Raiders in front of Raider Nation

LATE GAME – 4:25 EST Start:

Dallas at NY Giants:
Mostly sunny, with a high near 32. Breezy, with a northwest wind 18 to 23 mph, with gusts as high as 34 mph.
Toss up game.  Flip a coin.  I’ll take the Giants

SUNDAY NIGHT GAME – 8:30 EST Start:

Denver at New England:
Mostly sunny, with a high near 26. Blustery, with a northwest wind 17 to 24 mph, with gusts as high as 44 mph.  Which means temperatures are likely to be in the low 20s and game time and falling with wind chills below zero.
Another toss up game.  Patriots in the cold

MONDAY NIGHT GAME – 8:40 EST Start:

San Francisco at Washington:
Sunny, with a high near 39.  Increasing clouds at game time with temperatures in the 30s and a light south breeze.
49ers

Thirteen Below

Anchorage this Morning
Anchorage this Morning at -13

I opened my browser minutes ago and my home page opened up.  It’s the Borealis Webcam Multiview of their web cams scattered about Anchorage, Alaska.  The current temperature at 3:53 a.m. local time just happened to be -13 F, which is also the coldest temperature I have had the pleasure to enjoy.

Enjoy?  Well sure.  I was a teenager and it was a great adventure.  You may disagree if you have lived where it’s regularly colder.  Especially if you’ve had to endure plugging in your car to keep the oil a semi liquid, or shoveling snow for an hour just so you can get out of the driveway only to have the snowplow come by and block your drive again.  That does sound frustrating.

But my story is different.  I was 16 years old and we took a Winter road trip to Grandpa Jones’ ranch in John Day, Oregon.  Shoveling snow was not part of my life.  We were visiting from the Willamette Valley were the rare snow doesn’t stick around long and temperatures rarely fall below the teens above zero.

It was already cold when we left Canby.  In the 20s maybe and so my brothers and sisters and I were dressed warmly as we piled into the van.  It was an evening/night drive to eastern Oregon.  My first clue that this trip was going to be different was when we got into the mountains and ice started forming on the inside of the van windows!  Yes, Dad had the heat on, but it was near zero outside.  We stopped to go to the bathroom in the woods (you can do that in Oregon.  Lots of trees :-) and the wind blew through my jeans like I wasn’t wearing any!  First lesson.  Wear thermals when it’s nothing degrees outside.

We arrived in John Day and went to bed.  The next morning it was get out of bed and feed the cows.  No shower or breakfast first.  The cows get fed at daybreak, which also happens to be the coldest time of the day, even in John Day.  It was perfectly calm and clear and thermometer read -13 F.  A personal best for me that stands to this day.

I bundled up the best I could and I was made to wear a handkerchief over my mouth and nose so I wouldn’t “frost my lungs.”  I doubted then (and now) that that was a real danger at that temperature, but I don’t remember arguing.  Maybe I rolled my eyes.  You know how teenagers are.

I stepped outside into the squeaky snow and man it was cold!  I just gotten up, so there was not much blood circulating in my body yet.  Thankfully it was perfectly still so the wind chill was also -13 (unless you started walking fast).

We got to work.  We loaded the trailer with hay and Grandpa drove the tractor while we peeled flakes off for the cows to enjoy.  The cold was making my nose run and as I inhaled my snot (sorry about the visual) froze in my nose!  It’s like someone crammed cardboard up there!  The condensation from my breath turned the handkerchief into ice.  It was also forcing moisture to exit near my eyes and one of my eyes actually froze shut!  I had to take off a glove and melt the ice off of my eyelashes so I could open my eye again.  (I knew that handkerchief was a silly idea)  Crazy.

We were done before I knew it.  The cows were fed and we went inside to warm up and have a hearty breakfast our own selves.  That afternoon it got up to a toasty 10 degrees.  With sunshine icicles were growing and we went sledding and sliding into, and through, one of the frozen ditches.  FUN!  The whole visit was fun.  Later that Winter I got to return and my Uncle and I hiked up into the John Day Mountains and surprised a bunch of deer.  We also almost got lost in a snow squall, but that’s another story.

I love cold and snow.  Always have.  It’s beautiful and fun.  Of course, I’ve never had to plug in my car or shovel my way to work either…

I Shot a Deer!

Smile Deer
Smile Deer!

With my camera, but still.

I decided that today would be a great day to start a morning hike along the Linda Vista Loop, just a couple miles up from the apartment (actually, I decided yesterday was a great day to start, but since I didn’t, today was a great day to start).  It was warmer than it’s been thanks to a nice cloud cover, but the wind was kinda gusty.  I figured I would warm up once I got on the trail. Turns out I was right.   50 degrees is kinda refreshing when you are huffing and puffing.   (the trail has a 300 foot vertical climb and I started out at a brisk pace… plus I am not in my best shape yet)

I was probably a little past half way around the loop when I heard some crashing through the bushes.  Two White-tailed Deer bounding by about 50 yards in front of me!  They keep trucking until they were out of sight, but then I guess one doubled back.  He was maybe 75 yards in front of me just sorta posed.  He gave me enough time to zoom in with my camera and get off a couple of shots.  I grazed him on the first shot, but the other two were dead on!  I feel like God rewarded me for getting off my lazy backside and getting out in His creation!  It was a great way to start the day, for sure.

Click on the pics from this morning’s hike for larger versions.

Hi Deer Patch of Sun Pusch Ridge Pusch Peak Trail

Guaranteed White Christmas

Overton Hotel in Lubbock, Looking West
Overton Hotel in Lubbock, Looking West

Thanx to the internets!  There is a Christmas Blizzard brewing right now pretty much over Lubbock, Texas’ head.  The storm started as rain in California, but brought snow to some areas south of Tucson.  The storm sank further southward than originally expected and the forecast for Lubbock changed from rain and some snow to some rain and more snow!  Right now the Hub City is covered with about 6″ and it’s coming down sideways.  The 7am observation at LBB is:  “Snow, Freezing Fog, Blowing Snow and Windy, 26.”  I’m jealous, especially since I should have been there had I had a few extra $$s.  Thankfully, there is the internets.

This gathering storm is now plowing east.  The kids and grandkids north of Dallas are under a Winter Storm Warning and they could see rain changing to snow by this afternoon and maybe an inch or three just in time for Christmas!

Add this snow to what is already on the ground and a large chuck of the U.S. is fixin’ ta have a White Christmas.  If you aren’t, then just surf some web cams, put on some Bing Crosby and dare to dream!

Snow Cover early AM the 24th.

Tucson Weather – Calm Before the Storm

Ski Valley getting ready after a big December storm in '07
Ski Valley getting ready after a big December storm in '07

Tucson Weather: Sunny today with a high near 65.  Partly cloudy tonight with a low near 38.  Mostly sunny on Sunday with a high near 64.

Great news from the National Weather Service.  Our typical December weather is fixin’ ta give way to valley rain and “significant mountain snow” by Monday night and Tuesday!  By significant, the National Weather Service office in Tucson is estimating 6-12 inches between 6,000 and 7,000 feet with snow totals 12-18 inches possible above 7,000.  Great news indeed if it comes true.  This might be enough to jump start the ski season at Ski Valley on the top of Mt. Lemmon.  If that doesn’t, then there is a chance for more “significant mountain snow” Thursday/Friday time frame.

Of course I am hopeful that Mt. Lemmon can get the maximum from each storm.  If that is the case, we could be looking at over 3 feet of snow up there by next weekend!  Even if there is less than a third of that, there will be plenty of snow to sled on and build snowmen with.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch above 6,000 feet for much of southeastern Arizona for Monday night and Tuesday.  That’s on top of this morning’s Freeze Warning that expires at 9am.

So, what is happening?  You can read about it in this morning’s Forecast Discussion from the National Weather Service.  (note:  the link will take you to the latest discussion, so if you click it this afternoon it will be an updated discussion.  If you click it next July you will read about heat and maybe Monsoon :-)

Currently, southeastern Arizona is on the western edge of a cold Canadian airmass.  Cold dry air is giving us freezing temperatures this morning.  The quiet weather this weekend will give way to a storm that is expected to drop south out of Canada along the California coast and into the Great Basin.  The trough of low pressure that forms will allow moisture, and an upper level low in the pacific, to be pulled into Arizona.  That should bring us this good chance of rain and mountain snow by Monday night.

After that, the jet stream becomes more “zonal” or east to west across Arizona.  That should bring us an unsettled weather week with another storm moving in perhaps as early as Thursday with more rain and snow!

I love El Nino Winters in the southwest.  Looks like the AccuWeather Winter forecast is on track.  At least so far!

December – Cold Start

Hands and Feet Inside the Ride
Hands and Feet Inside the Ride

It’s been a roller coaster ride temperature-wise here in Tucson and here at the apartment in Oro Valley.  May had a hot spell in the middle of the month and ended up warmer than normal.  Then June into July was cooler than normal.  October had a really unusual cold spell the third week of the month and now November has ended as the 3rd warmest on record.

Keeping with the pattern, December is starting out cool and getting colder.  Even though many places in and around Tucson experienced their first freeze in October, almost a month earlier than average, the Tucson International Airport has yet to freeze this season.  That is about to change.  Cold air from Canada, eh, is already invading the South Plains of Eastern New Mexico and Texas and some of that cold air is going to spread westward to Arizona.  Friday looks cold (by Tucson standards) despite full sunshine.  A north breeze will make the upper 50s feel even colder in the shade, although I guess if you can find a sunny, wind sheltered, spot it won’t be nearly as bad.

Friday night/Saturday morning will be the coldest so far this season.  Winds will die down after sunset and clear skies will allow for good radiational cooling.  It should be no problem for temps to fall from the 50s into the 20s to near 30… even at the Tucson International Airport.

Next weeks weather pattern looks good for our dry conditions.  Cool unsettled weather looks to be on the way with valley rain showers and mountain snows possible off and on much of the week.  I hope so.  I really like the rain in the desert and I really am ready to head up to Mt. Lemmon to see some snow!

Meanwhile, AccuWeather is highlighting the expanding December cold with snow expected from the Pacific Northwest to Arizona to Eastern New Mexico to Louisiana to the Great Lakes and East Coast

Under Pressure

Southeast Arizona is under pressure this week.  Strong high pressure is building and that may mean a new record high our two for the area Tuesday and Wednesday.  Here are some numbers I stole right out of the Tucson National Weather Service’s Forecast Discussion:

                        TUE NOVEMBER 3       WED NOVEMBER 4
                      FORECAST  RCD/YEAR   FORECAST  RCD/YEAR
 TUCSON INTL APT         92      91/1931      91      91/2001
 AJO                     94      95/1924      93      95/1915
 ORGAN PIPE CACTUS       93      92/1997      92      92/1999
 KITT PEAK               73      73/1999      72      72/1997
 ORACLE                  80      86/1916      79      88/1916
 PICACHO PEAK            92      91/2001      91      93/2001
 NOGALES 6N              85      87/2005      84      87/2001
 BISBEE-DOUGLAS APT      83      85/2001      82      84/2007
 SIERRA VISTA            81      86/1916      80      87/1916
 SAFFORD AG STATION      83      86/1952      82      89/2001
 FORT THOMAS             82      84/1962      81      87/2001

So why so hot?  Blame it on high pressure and the sinking air.  With high pressure, the atmosphere is actually “thicker.”  Not thinker in density, but thicker in height.  That’s why it’s called a “dome” of high pressure.  And that air is sinking.  As air sinks from higher elevations, it gets squeezed by the weight of the air above.  As the air gets compressed, it warms.  Also, the sinking air makes it harder for clouds to form so you have clear nights and sunny days.  This far south the Sun can still be pretty strong, even in November.

Sometimes high pressure can be really cold.  Arctic highs form where there is little, or no sunshine in the Winter.  So.  Clear nights and no Sun make the air mass colder and colder and colder.  Arctic highs are both thicker in height AND density.  Your barometer under a strong Arctic high may approach the red line!  When an Arctic high moves south, it brings the severe cold of the arctic with it, slowly “modifying” (warming up) over time in the southern Sun.  Southeast Arizona usually doesn’t have to worry about Arctic highs moving in (unfortunately)…