Saturday, September 3, 2011

Monsoon Surge Ahead?

The models are hinting at a weak surge of moisture into Utah beginning on Labor Day.

This gives me an opportunity to show off some of the work one of my students, Jon Rutz, has been doing.  We're trying to better trace surges of moisture into the Intermountain West, a task made difficult by all the topography.  He's developed a straightforward technique to help "smooth out" the topographic variations and help us better trace monsoon surges and cool-season atmospheric ridges.

Below is a comparison of GFS precipitable water forecasts for 6 PM tomorrow (Sunday) through 6 PM Monday.  The bottom panel is John's adjusted analysis, which better shows the spatial scale of the surge.

We've got some more work to do, but are hoping we'll have an easier time tracing moisure filaments and surges through the west using this approach.

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