Monday, August 1, 2016

Late Summer 2016 In The Appalachians


July 31, 2016
High Knob Massif
Tropical Skies Above Grindstone Ridge
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

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July 31, 2016
Tropical Skies Above Powell Valley
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

A jungle-like environment has developed across 
the High Knob Massif area and Wise County in wake 
of a wet July 2016, with gorgeous tropical skies and afternoon downpours on this final day of the month.

July 31, 2016
Thunderstorms Roam The High Country
Wild Big Cherry Lake of High Knob Massif
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Abundant summer rains have pushed 2016 precip totals into the 40.00-45.00"+ range across upper elevations in the High Knob Massif, with 35.32" measured on the northern base of the massif 
at the City of Norton Water Plant.


July 31, 2016
Big Cherry Lake of High Knob Massif
Butterfly Bush ( Buddleja spp. ) In High Country

Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

A total of 8.98" of July rainfall was measured at the 
City of Norton Water Plant by Andrew Greear & Staff
( 35.32" during January 1-July 31 in 2016 ).

A total of 7.37" of rainfall was measured on the campus of the 
University Of Virginia's College At Wise by Layton Gardner
during the month of July.  Locally higher amounts occurred 
in the area ( 10.00"+ ).

Brian Markham reported 8.08" of July rainfall at the
Town of Coeburn Water Treatment Plant.

Gary Hampton & staff measured 7.38" of July rain at
the Big Stone Gap Water Plant ( 34.86" during 2016 ).

Wayne & Genevie Riner measured 7.20" of July rain
on Long Ridge of Sandy Ridge.

Mark & Anna Hess measured 7.05" of July rainfall 
in The Pines community near Dungannon of the
Clinch River Valley in northern Scott County.

Jerry Rose measured 5.82" of July rainfall in the
Crab Orchard community of Wise County.

**All of these above totals were measured with either
8" or 4" diameter NWS rain gauges.

July 31, 2016
Big Cherry Lake of High Knob Massif
Afternoon Thunderstorms Roam High Country
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved


Big Cherry Lake Dam
Monthly Precipitation Totals
Observer: Gary Hampton
Water Elevation 3120 feet

2016

January: 7.43"

February: 8.03"

March: 2.18"

April: 4.64"

May: 6.57"

June: 5.75"

*July: 7.70"

August 1-22: 4.38"

May 1-July 31: 20.02"

2016 Total: 46.68" ( M )

12-Month Total: 74.53" ( M )

Average Per Month: 6.21"

*Only 2 hand-measurements were made at the Lake during
July, with 22 days in between them to result in significant
evaporation from the rain gauge ( likely more than 0.50" ).

( M ) - Indicates missing data due to evaporation between
hand-measurements throughout the year and from losses in
deep snowfall during the cold season

The lake level at Big Cherry Dam was still below the spillway on July 31, but mostly due to 41% of the total lake holding capacity being released during the June 1-July 31 period for augmentation of flow along the Powell River which flows south into Tennessee ( where conditions 
have been much drier ).

July 31, 2016
Big Cherry Lake of High Knob Massif
Water Reflections & Thunderstorm Clouds
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

*When allowing for evaporation losses, in fact, the May-July period produced as much rain at Big Cherry Lake Dam as the Tri-Cities has officially measured since January 1 ( 20.93" for the year, with 5.02" during the June 1 to July 31 period ).

July 31, 2016
Big Cherry Lake of High Knob Massif
Afternoon Thunderstorms Amid Tropical Sky
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

The 42.30" of precipitation at Big Cherry Lake Dam through the end of July is more than the Tri-Cities typically receives in an entire year ( 41.01" ).

Although supplemented with snow core data during this past winter, the total at Big Cherry Dam is still less than what has actually fallen.

July 31, 2016
Big Cherry Lake of High Knob Massif
Afternoon Thunderstorms Amid Tropical Sky
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

July 31, 2016
High Knob Massif
Water Reflections At Big Cherry Lake
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

The upper basin of Big Cherry Lake rests behind the lofty crest line of Grindstone Ridge ( 3821 feet ), with peaks of High Knob ( 4223 feet ) and Little Mountain Knob ( 4067 feet ) joining this to complete the head of this remote mountain basin.

July 31, 2016
Grindstone Ridge of High Knob Massif
Towering Above The Head of Powell Valley
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Grindstone Ridge plunges 2000 vertical feet in approximately 0.8 mile
into Powell Valley to form one of the greatest short-distance elevation
changes west of the Blue Ridge in the southern Appalachians.

July 31, 2016
The Southeast Side of Powell Valley
Rugged Rim Of Big Cherry Lake Basin
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

July 31, 2016
The Southeast Side of Powell Valley
Rugged Rim Of Big Cherry Lake Basin
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

July 31, 2016
Looking Toward City of Norton
Tropical Skies Above Little Stone Mountain Gap
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

The wet July pattern has continued during early
August, with many days featuring showers 
and tropical downpours in storms.

Days With Measurable Rain
City of Norton Water Plant
Andrew Greear & Staff
Elevation 2342 feet

Hand-Measured Daily At 9 AM

07-04-2016  0.19
07-05-2016  1.35
07-06-2016  0.11
07-07-2016  0.17
07-08-2016  0.45
07-09-2016  1.07

07-11-2016  0.01

07-13-2016  0.08

07-15-2016  1.19
07-16-2016  0.02
07-17-2016  0.08

07-19-2016  0.08

07-24-2016  0.10
07-25-2016  0.01
07-26-2016  1.32

07-28-2016  1.36
07-29-2016  0.74
07-30-2016  0.63
07-31-2016  0.02

08-02-2016  0.14
08-03-2016  0.02
08-04-2016  1.03
08-05-2016  0.19

08-07-2016  0.02
08-08-2016  0.01
08-09-2016  1.69

08-13-2016  0.03

08-16-2016  0.61
08-17-2016  0.24
08-18-2016  0.20
08-19-2016  0.60
08-20-2016  0.05
08-21-2016  0.54
08-22-2016  0.22

Total: 14.57"
( July 1-August 22 )

Summer Total: 19.63"
( June 1-August 22 )

2016 Total: 40.91"

July 31, 2016
Looking Toward City of Norton
Tropical Skies Above Little Stone Mountain Gap
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

July 31, 2016
High Knob Massif
Upper Gorge of South Fork Powell River
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

July 31, 2016
High Knob Massif
Upper Gorge of South Fork Powell River
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

August 9, 2016
Cumberland Mountains
A Break For Most From Persistent Downpours
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

August 9, 2016
Cumberland Mountains
Interesting Fungi Grow Amid Tropical Air Mass
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

August 9, 2016
Cumberland Mountains
Fungi Grow Amid Base Of Rotting Stump
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

August 9, 2016
Cumberland Mountains
Grand-Daddy Longlegs With Growing Fungi
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

August 12, 2016
Oyster Mushrooms ( Pleurotus ostreatus )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Main cloud types below:

( Stratocumulus var. duplicatus )
( Cumulus congestus )
( Altocumulus floccus )

August 11, 2016
Mountain Wave Clouds
Tropical Skies Above UVA-Wise
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Take the atmosphere along the Gulf of Mexico and move it north.  This is what you get - the coast & water + the mountains.  Tropical skies!!!

Main cloud types in photos below:

( Cumulus congestus )
( Cumulus fractus )
( Altocumulus castellanus
( Altocumulus floccus )
( Altocumulus lenticularis )
( Cirrus uncinus )

August 11, 2016
Towering Cumulus
Tropical Skies Above UVA-Wise
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

While Summer 2016 has been miserable with high humidity ( dewpoint ) levels, it has often generated spectacular skies.

August 11, 2016
Tropical Skies Above UVA-Wise
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

A little color on a young Red Maple ( below ) signals a season that can not arrive too soon for many simply sick of endless days of high dewpoint air ( sticky & steamy ).

August 11, 2016
Towering Cumulus
Tropical Skies Above UVA-Wise
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

August 11, 2016
Tropical Skies Above UVA-Wise
( Altocumulus floccus ) with ( Cumulus fractus )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

August 11, 2016
Tropical Skies Above UVA-Wise
( Cumulus congestus ) with ( Cirrus uncinus )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

August 11, 2016
Mostly Cloudy & Cooler High Country
Looking South Toward High Knob Massif
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

August 12, 2016
John & America Mae Mullins Gardens
Beauty of Pink Summer Phlox ( Phlox spp. )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

August 12, 2016
Cumberland Mountains
Cumulus fractus ) below ( Cumulonimbus incus )
Developing Color Beneath Cumulonimbus Anvil
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

August 12, 2016
Cumberland Mountains
( Cumulus fractus ) below ( Cumulonimbus incus )
Beneath A Large Cumulonimbus Anvil At Sunset
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Being beneath the edge of a Cumulonimbus Anvil 
can be dangerous with respect to lightning, so caution always needs to be exercised ( there is typically some risk involved in getting shots like these ).

August 12, 2016
Cumberland Mountains
( Cumulonimbus incus ) & ( Cumulus fractus )
Beneath A Large Cumulonimbus Anvil At Sunset
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

August 12, 2016
Cumberland Mountains
Majestic Skies Beneath A Cumulonimbus Anvil
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

August 13, 2016
Moon Rise Above The Cumberland Mountains
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

August 13, 2016
Moon Rise Above The Cumberland Mountains
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

August 14, 2016
Cumberland Mountains
Mountain Hollow In Wake Of PM Storms
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

An afternoon MAX of 85.6 degrees in Clintwood on August 14 fell quickly into low-mid 70s in wake of thunderstorms that dropped from around 0.50" ( 0.46" officially ) to 1.00" of rain along the Route 83 corridor to Pine Mountain ( northern Wise-Dickenson counties ).

August 14, 2016
Cumberland Mountains
In Wake Of Afternoon Thunderstorms
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

August 15, 2016
Cumberland Mountains
Looking Inside A Pink Hibiscus ( Hibiscus spp. )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

A beast of a squall line blasted into the High Knob Massif during afternoon hours of August 15, with 1.00" to 1.50" of rain falling in only 30 minutes amid harder hit places within Wise, Scott, Lee counties.

Afternoon temperatures plunged from low-mid 80s ( 70s above 3000 feet ) into the 60s in wake of this powerful line of thunderstorms.  Hundreds of homes lost electricity in the area due to a combination of strong winds and lightning hits.

August 15, 2016
Cumberland Mountains
( Cumulonimbus mamma )
Turbulent Clouds In Front Of Squall Line
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

August 17, 2016
Cumberland Mountains
( Altocumulus floccus ) with Altostratus
Altocumulus Develop Ahead Of Thunderstorms
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

For the second day out of three a line of thunderstorms moved into the High Knob Massif with heavy rains and booming thunder ( this followed overnight downpours to make more than 1.00" of rainfall once again during the 24-hour period in Big Cherry Lake basin ).

August 17, 2016
Cumberland Mountains
( Cumulonimbus calvus ) & ( Cumulus congestus )
Cumulonimbus Develop Along Outflow Boundary
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

August 17, 2016
Cumberland Mountains
Cumulonimbus calvus ) & ( Cumulus congestus )
Cumulonimbus Develop Along Outflow Boundary
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

August 22, 2016
South Fork Gorge of High Knob Massif
Whitewater At Big Stone Gap Water Plant
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

August 22, 2016
South Fork Gorge of High Knob Massif
Whitewater At Big Stone Gap Water Plant
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

August 22, 2016
Big Cherry Lake of High Knob Massif
Majestic August Day In High Country
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

From bottom to top, and everywhere in between, August 22 was a grand day amid the high country of the great High Knob Massif.  While it marked the 5th consecutive day with MAX temps in the 60s at highest elevations, it was by far the most pleasant for outdoor activities.

August 22, 2016
Town of Big Stone Gap Water Supply
Crystal Clear Water In Big Cherry Lake Basin
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

August 22, 2016
Big Cherry Lake Basin
Fern Pressed Against Mushroom
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

August 22, 2016
High Valley Elevation 3200 feet
Remote Upper Basin of Big Cherry Lake
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

August 22, 2016
South Fork of Powell River Basin
Swampy Northern Woods of Upper Big Cherry
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

August 22, 2016
South Fork of Powell River Basin
Swampy Northern Woods of Upper Big Cherry
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

August 23, 2016
Cumberland Mountains
Annual Cicada ( Neotibicen spp. )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

August 23, 2016
Cumberland Mountains
Small Bumblebee ( Bombus spp. )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

August 23, 2016
( Cumulus humilis ) and ( Cumulus fractus )
Lingering Nice Air Mass In Cumberlands
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

This section is under construction.  Please check back.