Understanding Weather – not predicting – 15 February 2013

What happened?
A complex weather pattern has taken control of our skies for the past eight weeks. We experience it in the form of abnormally hot days, and the absence of any meaningful rain.
To our south, the range of troughs and their distant vortex cores would be much more at home in the winter months, interspersed by very shallow anticyclonic cores while maintaining a more zonal (west to east) flow pattern overall. The eastern parts of the sub-continent show a recurrent style representative of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone of summer. In between we find a zone identifying the eastern end of an extensive upper air, middle to high level, anticyclonic core hovering from southern Africa all the way to distant South America. This weather control maintains a generally dry air presence coupled with a southerly to southeasterly flow. This also smacks of a wintery range.
It is true to say that this weather mixture is unusual in our skies, it is also out of synchrony with the synopses away to the east extending to western South America.
There is an intermittent sliver of hope with a shallow but active lower middle air moisture range being advected across a good range of our skies: active enough to see healthy convective development but its upward extent restricted by the deep unfavourable airmass directly above.