Sunday, December 4, 2016

Early Winter 2016 In The High Knob Massif


December 3, 2016
Looking Southeast Across Sprawling Crest
Majestic Rime & Clouds Cap High Knob Massif
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

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The Appalachian Climate Center

December 3, 2016
High Knob Massif
Extraction of Water From Clouds
Major Secondary Moisture Source
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Although snowfall is lagging far behind for the season, rime has coated highest elevations in the massif on five days since the beginning of November 2016.

December 3, 2016
Extraction of Water From Clouds
Looking Toward Northwestern Flank
Majestic Rime Caps The High Knob Massif
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

December 3, 2016
Frozen Clouds of Water Captured
Looking Southwest Along High Country
Majestic Rime Caps The High Knob Massif
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Low clouds gave way to a high altitude overcast, with few breaks in between, to keep the day cold and temperatures struggling to break freezing into the afternoon.

December 3, 2016
Small Patch Of Partial Clearing
Looking West Across Grindstone Ridge
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

December 3, 2016
Looking Northeast To Eagle Knob
Majestic Rime Caps The High Knob Massif
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

December 3, 2016
Eagle Knob Communications Complex
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

December 3, 2016
Majestic Rime Caps The High Knob Massif
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

December 3, 2016
Vegetation Coated In Rime
Frozen Clouds of Water Captured
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

December 3, 2016
Majestic Rime Caps The High Knob Massif
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

December 3, 2016
High Knob Massif
Deposition Of Water Captured From Clouds
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

December 3, 2016
Beautiful Rime Coated Plants
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

December 3, 2016
Growth Into Air Flow ( Wind )
Signature Characteristic Of Rime
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

December 3, 2016
Wind Chills In The Teens
The Beauty Of Rime Coated Plants
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

December 3, 2016
The Beauty Of Rime Coated Plants
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Not enough sub-freezing hours had occurred since 5.00" of rain fell to refreeze the high country lakes, which became partially frozen in late November.

December 3, 2016
Majestic Rime & Clouds Cap High Knob Massif
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

December 3, 2016
High Knob Lake Recreation Area
Wetland Area Above High Knob Lake
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

December 3, 2016
Wetland Above High Knob Lake
High Knob Lake Recreation Area
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

December 3, 2016
High Knob Lake Basin
Yellow Birch Adjacent To Boggy Area
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

December 3, 2016
High Knob Lake Recreation Area
Reflections Of Trees & Sky At Lake Trail Bridge
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Late Autumn 2016 In The High Knob Massif

I shot a similar photograph with ice 
on the water during November 22.

December 3, 2016
Beauty At High Knob Lake
Head of Mountain Fork of Big Stony Creek
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

December 3, 2016
Elevation 3500 feet
Beauty At High Knob Lake
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

December 3, 2016
Beauty At High Knob Lake 
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Light was fleeting on this day with an early afternoon air temperature of 30 degrees 
at High Knob Lake.

December 3, 2016
High Knob Lake Recreation Area
Beautiful Canadian Hemlock Cove
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

This page is under construction.  Please check back.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Late Autumn 2016 In The High Knob Massif


November 5, 2016
Upper Elevations of High Knob Massif
Beaver Dam In Upper Big Cherry Basin
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

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The first weekend of November was frosty cold amid mountain valleys, with upper 10s to middle 20s recorded from the High Knob Massif to Burkes Garden in high valleys ( upper 20s to low 30s were common in lower elevation valleys )

As often is the case, by contrast, exposed ridges
remained much milder with upper 30s and 40s.

November 5, 2016
Upper Elevations of High Knob Massif
Late Autumn In The High Mountain Valleys
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 5, 2016
Upper Elevations of High Knob Massif
Late Autumn In The High Mountain Valleys
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 5, 2016
Upper Elevations of High Knob Massif
Late Autumn In The High Mountain Valleys
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Smoke from a large fire on Pine Mountain, near Pound, spread into the Norton-Wise & massif area late Saturday ( November 5 ) as air flow trajectories shifted NW-N.

MODIS Satellite View of Fires On November 5
*Before The Smoke Plume Advected S-SE

November 5, 2016
Upper Elevations of High Knob Massif
Late Autumn Sun In High Knob Meadow
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 5, 2016
View From High Knob Lookout
Forest Fire Smoke Transported By Wind Shift
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

The top of the spreading smoke plume was 
clearly visible from the High Knob Lookout.

Smoke cleared from many places as winds became more easterly
into Sunday ( November 6 ), pushing smoke back toward Kentucky.

Smoke from a new forest fire near Mendota began 
spreading west to northwest on the easterly flow.

November 5, 2016
View From High Knob Lookout
Top Of Forest Fire Smoke Plume ( To Left )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 5, 2016
Elevation 4223 feet Above Sea Level
Late Autumn At High Knob Lookout Tower
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 5, 2016
Late Autumn In High Knob Meadow
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

It is hoped that a major change in the flow field across the Pacific Ocean into North America will bring needed moisture to the mountain landscape by mid-November 
( with an increasingly cold pattern expected to develop in the eastern USA ).

November 7, 2016
Northern Slopes High Knob Massif
Rugged Stone-Pickem Mountain In Late Fall
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 7, 2016
View From Flag Rock Recreation Area
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 7, 2016
Looking West To Forest Fire In Kentucky
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 7, 2016
View from Flag Rock Recreation Area
Looking Southwest-West Toward Forest Fire
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 7, 2016
Flag Rock Recreation Area
Forest Fire Smoke Along Horizon
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 7, 2016
Rugged Stone-Pickem Mountain In Late Autumn
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 7, 2016
Flag Rock Recreation Area
Sugar Maple Leaves Backlit In Late PM Light
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 7, 2016
Late Autumn In Flag Rock Recreation Area
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 7, 2016
Late Autumn In Flag Rock Recreation Area
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Visibility and air quality decreased dramatically into November 8 as smoke from many fires burning in the southern Appalachians was transported northeast in advance of a cold front.

November 7, 2016
Major Fires Burning In Southern Appalachians
*Winds Veered S-SW Into November 8


Birch Knob of Pine Mountain
Pre-Sunset & Post-Sunset Views

November 13, 2016
Airplane Rock of Pine Mountain
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 13, 2016
Russell Fork of Upper Ohio River Basin
View From Airplane Rock of Pine Mountain
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 13, 2016
Clinch Ranger District of Jefferson National Forest
Lookout Cliffs At Birch Knob of Pine Mountain
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 13, 2016
Birch Knob of Pine Mountain
Lichens Growing On Cliffs at Birch Knob
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 13, 2016
Looking Across Birch Gap
Lens-Filter Optics Before Sunset
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 13, 2016
Along The Rugged Virginia-Kentucky Border
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 13, 2016
Rugged Cliffs on Birch Knob of Pine Mountain
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 13, 2016
Peak Elevation 3149 Feet
Approaching Sunset from Birch Knob
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 13, 2016
High Knob Massif Along Upper Left Horizon
Looking SW-W on Birch Knob of Pine Mountain
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 13, 2016
Lingering Autumn Color From Birch Knob
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved


November 13, 2016
Looking To Old Adam Childress Homestead
View From Birch Knob of Pine Mountain
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 13, 2016
High Knob Massif Framing Horizon
View From Birch Knob of Pine Mountain
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 13, 2016
Approaching Sunset With Haze-Smoke
View From Birch Knob of Pine Mountain
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 13, 2016
Looking NE From Birch Knob of Pine Mountain
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

One of many forest fires that have burned in 
eastern Kentucky was visible from Birch Knob 
as sunset approached.

November 13, 2016
Smoke Spreading Outward Along Inversion Top
Forest Fire Burning In Southeastern Kentucky
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

This fire was minor in comparison to huge fires burning across the Carolina's into southeastern Tennessee and northern Georgia.

Modis Image From November 12, 2016
Smoke Plumes Blanket Southern Appalachians

November 13, 2016
Sun Sinking Into Smoky Inversion Layer
Sunset From Birch Knob of Pine Mountain
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 13, 2016
Sun Sinking Into Smoky Inversion Layer
Sunset From Birch Knob of Pine Mountain
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 13, 2016
Sun Sinking Into Smoky Inversion Layer
Sunset From Birch Knob of Pine Mountain
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 13, 2016
Sun Below Inversion Layer Top
Sunset From Birch Knob of Pine Mountain
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 13, 2016
Summit Elevation of 3149 Feet
The Sunset From Birch Knob of Pine Mountain
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 13, 2016
Super Moon Rises Above Horizon
Looking Northeast Along Pine Mountain
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 13, 2016
Super Moon After Sunset
Looking Northeast Along Pine Mountain
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 14, 2016
Super Moon Above Cumberland Mountains
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved


Wetland Valleys Turn Icy
In The High Knob High Country

Several days with mostly sub-freezing temperatures turned wetlands and lakes icy amid upper elevations in the High Knob Massif.

November 22, 2016
High Knob Lake Recreation Area
Ice On High Knob Lake - Elevation 3500 Feet
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 22, 2016
High Knob Lake Recreation Area
Head of Mountain Fork of Big Stony Creek
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

High valleys within the sprawling High Knob Massif contain many wetlands and lakes, making them unique and adding to the biological diversity of this great mountain landform.

November 22, 2016
High Knob Lake Recreation Area
Reflections Of Sky & Trees In Icy Water
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 22, 2016
Water Elevation 3500 Feet
Icy Water In High Knob Lake Basin
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Around 72 below freezing hours were recorded on the High Knob Massif MesoNET during the November 19-22 period to produce this icy covering.

November 22, 2016
High Knob Lake Recreation Area
Ice Covered Water In The Wetland
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 22, 2016
Icy Wetland In High Knob Lake Basin
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 22, 2016
High Knob Lake Recreation Area
Majestic Skies Above High Knob Lake
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 22, 2016
Upper Tennessee River Basin
Large Bog In Big Cherry Wetland Valleys
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

After one of the driest autumns on record, and with partially frozen ground, it was still easy to sink up into the muck of this awesome bog.  The open nature of this area being a result of its boggy, wet habitat with interior trees ( such as the apple tree-like Yellow Birch seen on far right below ) actually growing upon old, decaying stumps of former trees.

The ground ( mucky bog ) being too wet to support 
upright trees without the aid of these old stumps.

November 22, 2016
Large Bog In Big Cherry Lake Basin
Majestic Skies Above Wetland Valleys
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

White Pine ( Pinus strobus ), not typically seen in the Cumberlands, Canadian Hemlock ( Tsuga canadensis ) and Rhododendrons line sides of this large bog, along with a mixture of northern and southern species.

November 22, 2016
Large Bog In Big Cherry Lake Basin
Majestic Skies Above Wetland Valleys
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 22, 2016
Big Cherry Basin of High Knob Massif
Edge Of Large Bog In Wetland Valley
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 22, 2016
Big Cherry Lake Basin
Icy Water In High Valley Wetlands
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 22, 2016
Big Cherry Lake Basin of High Knob Massif
American Beaver Lodge In Wetland Valley
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 22, 2016
Town of Big Stone Gap Watershed
Icy Wetlands In High Valleys of Big Cherry
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 22, 2016
Icy Wetlands In High Valleys of Big Cherry
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 22, 2016
Wetland Valleys of Big Cherry Lake Basin
Old Growth Mother Log Supports New Life
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 22, 2016
Big Cherry Lake Basin
Long Shadows In Wetland Valley
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 22, 2016
High Wetland Valley of Big Cherry Lake Basin
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 22, 2016
High Wetland Valley of Big Cherry Lake Basin
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

It should be noted that valley floors here are higher in elevation than the peak of Birch Knob of Pine Mountain ( from which the previous photograph set was taken ), adding to the unique nature of this wettest terrain in Virginia and the Cumberland Mountains.

November 22, 2016
High Valley In Big Cherry Lake Basin
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 22, 2016
Valley Floors 3150 to 3250 Feet
High Valley In Big Cherry Lake Basin
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 22, 2016
Valley Floors 3150 to 3250 Feet
High Valley In Big Cherry Lake Basin
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 22, 2016
Looking At High Valley Wetland
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 22, 2016
High Valley In Big Cherry Lake Basin
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 22, 2016
Heads of High Knob Lake & Big Cherry Lake Basins 
Majestic Sunset From High Knob Lookout Tower
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 22, 2016
Heads of High Knob Lake & Big Cherry Lake Basins 
Majestic Sunset From High Knob Lookout Tower
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 22, 2016
Heads of High Knob Lake & Big Cherry Lake Basins
Diverse Clouds From High Knob Lookout Tower
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 22, 2016
Head of High Knob Lake & Big Cherry Lake Basins
Majestic Sunset From High Knob Lookout Tower
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 22, 2016
Post-Sunset View From High Knob Lookout
Looking SE To The Roan & Black Mountains
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

This section is under construction.  Please check back.