Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Fiery Sunset & Kelvin-Helmholtz Waves


September 17, 2014 at 6:59 PM
   Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department



I was not planning another update right now but found this sunset moving and wanted to share a few frames, as well as highlight some relatively 
rare wave clouds which formed just before dark.

September 17, 2014 at 7:10 PM
   Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 17, 2014 at 7:14 PM
   Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 17, 2014 at 7:15 PM
   Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 17, 2014 at 7:16 PM
   Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 17, 2014 at 7:17 PM
   Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 17, 2014 at 7:18 PM
   Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

One could say the Lord certainly blessed whom ever was lucky enough to be standing upon the High Knob Lookout on this fiery evening!

This fiery glow filling the horizon looking toward the low V-notch in the crestlines of the High Knob Massif marking Little Stone Mountain Gap and the Powell Valley Overlook area.  Wow!

September 17, 2014 at 7:19 PM
   Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 17, 2014 at 7:20 PM
   Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 17, 2014 at 7:21 PM
   Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 17, 2014 at 7:23 PM
   Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

Just before fall of darkness these next frames capture a set of relatively rare clouds known as Kelvin-Helmholtz Waves.

September 17, 2014 at 7:48 PM
   Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

 In this case the troughs of the waves are not completely visible, or outlined by condensed vapor, since the air was just a little too dry at that level.

September 17, 2014 at 7:48 PM
   Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

The shear instability responsible for these clouds is not really rare at all; however, it is not common to see Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds without visible troughs every day.

One can imagine how the curl in the top of each wave cloud might connect to the bottom of each adjacent cloud to form a connected set of waves similar to those which roll, or whose energy travels, into a beach upon feeling the frictional drag of the upward sloping bottom.

September 17, 2014 at 7:49 PM
   Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 17, 2014 at 7:50 PM
   Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 17, 2014 at 7:50 PM
   Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

Another fine illustration of the 
fluid beauty amid which we live.

This section is under construction.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Beauty of Early September In The High Country


September 5, 2014
Water Elevation 3318 feet
Upper Norton Reservoir of High Knob Massif
Rainbow & Cumulonimbus In Wake of Storms
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

The High Knob Landform
Contrast between light and darkness combined with a surprise rainbow to create a majestic setting at the Upper Norton Reservoir, on northern slopes of the High Knob Massif, following passage of downpours in thunderstorms.

This rainbow proved to be long-lived and would become an interesting feature of my first visit to the new High Knob Lookout Tower, since its official dedication on August 22, 2014.

September 5, 2014
Benges Basin of Power River Watershed
Water Reflections Of Rainbow & Thunderhead
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

The stormy pattern of Summer 2014 lingered 
into this first month of meteorological autumn with numerous showers & downpours in thunderstorms supporting lush growth of late summer-early autumn wildflowers and vegetation.

September 5, 2014
Water Elevation 3120 feet
South Fork of Powell River Watershed
Big Cherry Lake of High Knob Massif
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

My trip across the high country on this afternoon started at Big Cherry Lake where echoes of distant thunder continued to rumble through this lofty basin of the South Fork.

( Updated August 31, 2014 )
Monthly Precipitation Totals
Big Cherry Dam of High Knob Massif
Observer: Gary Hampton & Staff of Big Stone Gap WP
Elevation 3120 feet

January: 4.68"

February: 6.16"

March: 5.35"

April: 3.54"

May: 3.59"

June: 5.07"

July: 7.41"

August: 7.07"

2014 Total: 42.87" ( M )*
   ( January 1 to August 31, 2014 )

Summer Rainfall Total: 19.55"
( +1.10" above 2008-2013 period )**

  -5.47" below the January-August average
  observed during the 2008-2013 period

 *The NWS rain gauge busted due to extreme coldness in January
with the late January-February total being partially based upon
an automated IFLOWS rain gauge at the Dam ( with missing data ).

    Actual 2014 total is estimated to be around 45.20" due to missing moisture in snow too deep for the rain gauge to physically contain and between hand-measurements at the Dam throughout the year
( averaging 1 measurement per week ).

**The greatest Summer rainfall totals in 2014 fell across
headwaters of Bark Camp Lake basin, with 25.00" to 28.00"
during the June-August period.

Summer 2014 rains at Big Cherry Dam were 1.10" above the average of the past 6 years; however, 
due to much below average April-May rainfall the January-August total was -5.47" below the average of the past 6 years ( these averages do not include any missing moisture which is always a factor ).

For more details reference:
Majesty In Big Cherry Basin & South Fork Gorge

As of September 11 a general 45.00" to 55.00" 
of total precip had fallen across the massif from 
Big Cherry Lake basin to Bark Camp Lake basin 
in 2014 ( including High Knob Lake & Norton Reservoirs ).

Recap Of Wet & Cool Summer In 2014

September 5, 2014
Big Cherry Lake of High Knob Massif
Sunshine Returns In Wake Of Downpours
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

An interesting mix of convective and mountain wave clouds, as often visible across this mass of high country, lingered in wake of booming storms that dropped 0.50" to 1.00"+ of rain ( * ).

*I measured 0.71" at Big Cherry Dam.

September 5, 2014
Near Big Cherry Lake Dam
Subtle Hints Of The Color Season Ahead
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

Although color abounds in wildflowers, a few subtle hints of the coming season were also visible in trees surrounding the lake and capping jagged cliffs amid upper reaches of South Fork Gorge.

September 5, 2014
Upon The Cusp Of Autumn
Late Summer At Big Cherry Lake
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

September 5, 2014
Upon The Cusp Of Autumn
Late Summer At Big Cherry Lake
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

Abundance haze ( indicative of summer ) and wisps of cloud fragments ( in wake of storms ) became prominent upon climbing upward to obtain 
long-missed High Knob Lookout shots.

September 5, 2014
View From High Knob Lookout
Wisps Of Clouds Drag High Mountain Ridges
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

Hard to believe that 7 long years had passed 
since these views were so easily obtained.

September 5, 2014
View From High Knob Lookout
Grindstone Ridge - Little Stone Mountain - Black Mountain
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

While the new Lookout Tower is very different from the old Tower, as I wrote before, it is not any Tower that makes this place but instead it is the place which makes it all so very special.

September 5, 2014
View From High Knob Lookout
Looking SW Across Big Cherry Basin
and The Adjoining Powell Mountain Block
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

This was not an ideal time to take photographs, 
but haze and harsh light did accentuate the many ridges that collectively join together across the 
high country to form this remnant massif 
of the High Knob Landform.

September 5, 2014
View From High Knob Lookout
Sprawling High County of High Knob Massif
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

September 5, 2014
View From High Knob Lookout
Sprawling High County of High Knob Massif
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

September 5, 2014
View From High Knob Lookout
Sprawling High County of High Knob Massif
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

A potential problem with this new design of the Lookout is its open columns, that come the windy orographic forcing season will tend to funnel air flow.  Since wind speeds can reach hurricane force 
( CAT 1 or higher ) this poses a potential hazard that will need to be respected by anyone inside 
the relatively small area of these columns.

September 5, 2014
View From High Knob Lookout
Inside High Knob Lookout ( Four Column Design )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

The previous Tower was an 8-sided Octagon structure 
which, regardless of wind direction, always offered at least one protected side.  This new design will offer no wind protection and may actually enhance speeds via air 
flow funneling through the four column design 
( or at the least create enhanced turbulence ).

September 5, 2014
View From High Knob Lookout
Inside High Knob Lookout ( Four Column Design )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

The rainbow highlighted at the start of this 
section became a prominent feature of the visit.

September 5, 2014
View From High Knob Lookout
Looking NE To Eagle Knob Communications Area
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

Waxing and waning in intensity, it would at times be present only in sections and otherwise form a complete arch or even partial double arcs.

September 5, 2014
View From High Knob Lookout
Rainbow Segment - Looking Eastward
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

All the while lenticular clouds were present, 
some isolated and others part of vertical stacks.

September 5, 2014
View From High Knob Lookout
Lenticular Mountain Wave Cloud
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

September 5, 2014
Double Rainbow Arc
Looking SE Toward Osborne Ridge
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

September 5, 2014
Double Rainbow Arc
Ironweeds, Goldenrods & Other Wildflowers
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

One of the more interesting presentations was found shooting up toward the Lookout with the rainbow forming an arch across the sky.

September 5, 2014
Rainbow Arch Across High Knob Lookout
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

This became most colorful before sunset.

September 5, 2014
Approach of Sunset From High Knob
Rainbow Arch Across High Knob Lookout
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

My friend & pro photographer Roddy Addington shows how it is done with an HDR photo of the sunrise above High Knob Lookout during 
early morning hours of September 7.

September 7, 2014
High Dynamic Range ( HDR ) Photograph
Spectacular Sunrise Over High Knob Lookout
Photograph by Roddy Addington - © All Rights Reserved.

As illustrated later, this photo opportunity was fleeting as dense fog rapidly engulfed the massif by around 7:00 AM to mark the beginning of a cool, drizzly day with a huge temperature contrast between northern and southern sides of the massif.

Rod also worked the September 5 rainbow into an interesting setting at the Friday football game.

September 5, 2014
High Dynamic Range Photograph
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Glorious Addition To Friday Night Lights
Photograph by Roddy Addington - © All Rights Reserved.

Rod Addington Photography

September 5, 2014
High Dynamic Range Photograph
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Glorious Addition To Friday Night Lights
Photograph by Roddy Addington - © All Rights Reserved.



High Knob Massif Webcam
Upslope Cooling Generated Huge Contrast
In Weather Conditions Following Storms
( September 6-7, 2014 )

All High Knob Massif Webcam images are original frames 
of live conditions.  None have been altered in any way.

    Click consecutively on frames for motion in picture viewer
     ( Use Keyboard Arrows For Faster Time Lapse Motion )

This thunderstorm dropped heavy rain upon the City of Norton and across the watershed of its dual Reservoirs in Benges Basin, with Bill Ballard measuring 1.47" at the Norton Water Plant.

September 6, 2014 at 4:46 PM
  Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 6, 2014 at 4:47 PM
  Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 6, 2014 at 4:48 PM
  Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 6, 2014 at 4:49 PM
  Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 6, 2014 at 4:50 PM
  Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 6, 2014 at 4:52 PM
  Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 6, 2014 at 4:54 PM
  Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 6, 2014 at 4:55 PM
  Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 6, 2014 at 4:56 PM
  Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 6, 2014 at 4:57 PM
  Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 6, 2014 at 4:58 PM
  Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 6, 2014 at 5:00 PM
  Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 6, 2014 at 5:02 PM
  Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 6, 2014 at 5:04 PM
  Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 6, 2014 at 5:06 PM
  Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 6, 2014 at 5:08 PM
  Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 6, 2014 at 5:11 PM
  Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 6, 2014 at 5:13 PM
  Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 6, 2014 at 5:16 PM
  Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 6, 2014 at 5:20 PM
  Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 6, 2014 at 5:26 PM
  Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 6, 2014 at 5:32 PM
  Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 6, 2014 at 5:39 PM
  Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 6, 2014 at 5:43 PM
  Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 6, 2014 at 5:51 PM
  Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 6, 2014 at 5:54 PM
  Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 6, 2014 at 5:58 PM
  Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 6, 2014 at 6:00 PM
  Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 6, 2014 at 6:05 PM
  Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 6, 2014 at 6:09 PM
  Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

While typical post-storm fog formed along the massif in wake of these booming storms, what followed into September 7 became dense and widespread as upsloping N-NE air flow developed.

September 7, 2014 at 2:25 PM
  Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 7, 2014 at 2:31 PM
  Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 7, 2014 at 2:41 PM
  Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 7, 2014 at 3:31 PM
  Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 7, 2014 at 4:07 PM
  Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 7, 2014 at 4:35 PM
  Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 7, 2014 at 5:24 PM
  Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 7, 2014 at 5:53 PM
  Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 7, 2014 at 6:10 PM
  Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 7, 2014 at 7:32 PM
  Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 7, 2014 at 7:51 PM
  Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 7, 2014 at 9:29 PM
  Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 7, 2014 at 10:51 PM
  Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

September 8, 2014 at 2:12 AM
  Looking Toward High Knob Massif
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

This section is under construction.  Check back for updates.