Saturday, November 19, 2011

Major Mid-November 2011 Storm Event


November 19, 2011
Little Stony Basin of Clinch River
Bark Camp Lake of High Knob Massif
Snow In Woods & Ice On Lake In Wake Of Storm
Photograph by Roddy Addington - © All Rights Reserved.

Beautiful reflections which appeared clear on free water and blurry upon ice covering the surface of Bark Camp Lake were captured by photographer Roddy Addington during bitter morning hours of November 19 in the wake of a major storm event that left a covering of snow throughout forests of the High Knob Massif.

[ MIN temperatures in low-mid 10s amid colder mountain basins covered by snow aided partial freezing of the lake surface which was still rippling from a whopping 6.74" of total precipitation hand-measured by Otis & Nancy Ward near Robinson Knob, amid the head of Little Stony Basin ].


November 2011
Measurable Precipitation Days
Robinson Knob of High Knob Massif
Elevation 3240 feet
( Daily Amounts Ending At 8 AM )

11/04:  1.00"

11/10:  0.05"

11/15:  0.87"
11/16:  1.71"
11/17:  4.04"
11/18:  0.12"

November 15-18 Total:  6.74"

November 1-18 Total: 7.79"

Total Since September 1: 20.74"

2011 Total: 73.15" ( M )

12-Month Total: 80.55" ( M )
*( November 19, 2010 to November 18, 2011 )

( M ) - Indicates some missing moisture amid winter snowfall and smaller evaporative losses between hand-measurements during the cold season ( 4"-diameter NWS rain gage ).

*Significant rain gage moisture loss occurred in December 2010 when Joe & Darlene Fields measured 55" of snow in nearby High Chaparral ( 65" to 70" fell at highest elevations in the massif ).


My friends Otis & Nancy Ward measured 4.04" of precipitation for the 24-hours ending at 8 AM on November 17 as strong winds aided production of heavy rainfall across the High Knob Landform via significant orographic forcing ( with 2" of snow depth ).

Run-off From High Knob Massif
Flash Flooding In East Stone Gap - Wise County, VA
Thomas Aistrop Photograph to WCYB-TV Archives

Run-off from all this rain turned whitewater creeks draining the High Knob Massif into raging torrents, with some minor flash flooding along either side of the rugged Wise-Scott border.

Clinch River of the Upper Tennessee River Basin
Clinch River Rises 13.88 Vertical Feet At Speers Ferry

Although remaining well below flood stage, the Clinch River at Speers Ferry rose sharply to 16.59 feet for a total rise of nearly 14 vertical feet during November 15-17.

Powell River of the Upper Tennessee River Basin
Powell River Rises 12.83 Vertical Feet Near Jonesville

[ Capturing of water by Big Cherry Lake, Bark Camp Lake, the dual Norton Reservoirs, and High Knob Lake in combination with wetlands and major subterranean conduit systems helped to retain billions of gallons of water within the High Knob Massif itself ( more than 1 Billion gallons are held in its 5 main mountain top lakes alone ) ].

Specific Storm Precipitation Totals
Across Southwest Virginia
( November 15-18, 2011 )

Galax WTP: 0.68"

Tout Dale 3 SSE: 0.77"

Blacksburg: 0.93"

Independence 1.3 S: 0.93"

Grayson Highlands State Park: 1.12"

Meadows Of Dan 5 SW: 1.25"

Bluefield ( West Virginia ): 1.35"

Wytheville 1 S: 1.42"

Bland: 1.46"

Marion 4.4 WSW: 1.60"

Abingdon 3 S: 1.77"

Burkes Garden: 1.80"

Grundy: 1.90"

Saltville 1 N: 1.91"

Clintwood 1 W: 2.17"

Richlands: 2.57"

Lebanon: 2.91"

Nora 4 SSE: 3.01"

Coeburn Filter Plant: 3.09"

Jonesville 3.1 WSW: 3.18"

Appalachia Lake Water Plant: 3.34"

Big Stone Gap Water Plant: 4.12"

Norton Water Plant: 4.13"

Silver Leaf: 4.40"
( 14 miles SW of Jonesville )

Robinson Knob of High Knob Massif: 6.74"

November 19, 2011
High Knob Massif Crest Zone
Looking From Snow Covered Slopes Into Great Valley
Photograph by Roddy Addington - © All Rights Reserved.

Morning light illuminated smoke plumes from the Eastman Chemical Company sitting amid the Great Valley of northeast Tennessee, in Kingsport, more than 25 air miles to the SSE of the snow covered High Knob highcountry.

An Awesome ZOOM Shot by Roddy!

[ The above photograph illustrating that the High Knob Landform and its remnant massif of highcountry is closer to the Tri-Cities than many might think, such that it tends to have a major impact upon the climate ( especially during winter ) of Kingsport and much of the Great Valley of northeast Tennessee ].

November 19, 2011
Third Day With Snow Cover
Clinch Ranger District - Jefferson National Forest
Lingering Snow & Ferns In High Knob Massif
Photograph by Roddy Addington - © All Rights Reserved.

A general 1" to 3" of snow stuck across mid-upper elevations during November 17 as cold air poured into the backside of this major mid month storm system ( many more snow photos will be highlighted below ).

[ This event marked the 6th time snow had fallen on the High Knob Massif since October 1, 2011 ].

My friend Joe Carter reported 2" of snowfall at Norton Water Plant, nestled amid the north base of the High Knob Massif, with 1" to 1.5" being the deepest ground depth observed at 2342 feet.

November 19, 2011
Remnant Massif of High Knob Landform
Melting & Freezing Forms A Mermaid Icicle

An interesting icicle, complete with scales and all, took the shape of a Mermaid's tail as melting snow and refreezing in cold air combined to produce this rather unique moment in time!

Elevation 2734 feet
Bark Camp Lake of High Knob Massif
Overflowing From Run-off On November 19, 2011
Photograph by Roddy Addington - © All Rights Reserved.

A beautiful, cold morning at Bark Camp Lake as the more open expanses of the lake surface ripple with water on its way to overflow the Dam into Little Stony Creek of the Clinch River.

November 19, 2011
Bark Camp Lake of High Knob Massif
Majesty Of A Frosty Cold Morning On Oak Leaves
Photograph by Roddy Addington - © All Rights Reserved.


Cloud Streets Develop In Wake Of Storm
( November 17, 2011 )

Afternoon of November 17, 2011
Big Turbulent Clouds Develop Into Streets
Photograph by Roddy Addington - © All Rights Reserved.

[ Observe distinct roll structures on the above clouds captured by Roddy from the Wise area ].

Horizontal Convective Rolls, or Cloud Streets, developed with unstable air in the wake of the main storm event to create dramatic scenes across the southern Appalachians.

NASA Visible Image At 3:15 PM - November 17, 2011
Image Courtesy of the Earth Science Office

Snowy northern slopes of the High Knob Massif between Norton & Coeburn are highlighted below beneath a huge, dark mass of billowing clouds capping the highcountry.

PM of November 17, 2011
Northern Slopes of High Knob Massif
Horizontal Convective Roll Clouds Above Snowy Slopes
Photograph by Roddy Addington - © All Rights Reserved.

[ A brief period of afternoon snow showers developed with these cloud streets over the higher elevations ].


The Snow Event Of
November 17, 2011

Elevation 3300 feet
November 17, 2011 at 6:38 AM
Predawn Snowfall In High Chaparral of High Knob Massif
Photograph by Darlene Fields - © All Rights Reserved.

My friend Darlene Fields took these pictures on her way to work, with snow falling briskly and having covered everything in sight!

High Chaparral of High Knob Massif
Snow Along Edge Of Road - Predawn of November 17
Photograph by Darlene Fields - © All Rights Reserved.

Snow continued to fall for several more hours after these scenes, with 2" of accumulation reported by Otis & Nancy Ward by the time it ended at this elevation in the High Chaparral-Robinson Knob communities.

[ Snow totals of 2" to 3" were common across upper elevations in the High Knob Massif ( above 3000 feet ) ].

Elevation 2650 feet
Long Ridge of the Tennessee Valley Divide
Moderate to Heavy Snow At 9:31 AM - Nora 4 SSE
Photograph by Genevie Riner - © All Rights Reserved.

My friend Genevie Riner captured some of the heaviest snow at 9:31 AM as a burst formed on the backside of the main snowband.

[ Genevie officially measured 1.6" of snowfall at Nora 4 SSE by conclusion of this event ].

Snow Accumulation On The Deck 
Photograph by Genevie Riner - © All Rights Reserved.

Southern Dickenson County
Highlands of the Tennessee Valley Divide
The Orchard Road & Pasture - November 17, 2011
Photograph by Genevie Riner - © All Rights Reserved.

Genevie captured many beautiful scenes as clouds began to break up, allowing sunshine to glisten off the fresh snow!

November 17, 2011
Long Ridge of the Tennessee Valley Divide
Beauty of Red Berries Enhanced By Fresh Snow
Photograph by Genevie Riner - © All Rights Reserved.

A Christmas scene come early as there is nothing like snow and red berries to brighten any setting!

November 17, 2011
Long Ridge of the Tennessee Valley Divide
The Garden, Pasture, And Mountains Beyond!
Photograph by Genevie Riner - © All Rights Reserved.

Beautiful highlands of the Tennessee Valley Divide always look refreshed beneath a new fall of snow.

November 17, 2011
Across Russell Fork Basin To NE End Pine Mountain
Photograph by Genevie Riner - © All Rights Reserved.


Public Pictures From
The News 5 Weather Archive

November 17, 2011
Looking To City of Norton From U.S. 23
Submitted by Mike to WCYB-TV

November 17, 2011
Snow In The Town of Wise
Submitted by Anthony Bowen to WCYB-TV

November 17, 2011
Snow On Caney Ridge - Dickenson County
Submitted by Summer S. to WCYB-TV

This November 15-18 storm episode may prove to be even more important than it was given that a couple more significant storms are likely to impact the local mountains before the month ends, creating a wild ending to Autumn 2011.


More Scenes Of Interest
Early-Mid November 2011

November 14, 2011
Lee County of the High Knob Landform
Little Rascal In A Tree - RacoonProcyon Lotor )
Photograph by Harold Jerrell - © All Rights Reserved.

Photographer Harold Jerrell found a little rascal up a tree who wanted to pose for a nice portrait!

I hope he thanked Harold for such a fine picture!

November 6, 2011
Above Cumberland Gap and "Stand In The Gap"
Beautiful Cirrus Clouds ( Cirrus uncinus & Cirrus fibratus )
Photograph by Harold Jerrell - © All Rights Reserved.


A gorgeous array of cirrus clouds decorated the heavens above the "Stand In The Gap" event held on November 6.

November 6, 2011
Above Downtown Cumberland Gap 
Cirrus uncinus & Cirrus fibratus ) With Other Forms
Photograph by Harold Jerrell - © All Rights Reserved.

Clouds are actually classified like flora & fauna, with specific genus and species names.

How many knew that fact?

The clouds above formed as ice crystals very high in the atmosphere ahead of a warm front to mark the most beautiful ( calm ) days of November 2011.


( Updated November 24, 2011 )
Another Significant Rain Event

November 14, 2011
Lee County of the High Knob Landform
Little Rascal In A Tree 2 - Racoon ( Procyon Lotor )
Photograph by Harold Jerrell - © All Rights Reserved.

Another significant storm event dropped a general 1.50" to 2.00"+ of rainfall upon wetter portions of the High Knob Landform during November 20-23.

November 2011 precipitation totals were boosted to between 9.00" and 10.00" in wetter parts of the High Knob Massif, with nearly 7.00" measured in the City of Norton.

Climate Statistics
November 1-23

City of Norton - Elevation 2141 feet
Average Daily MAX: 55.8 degrees
Average Daily MIN: 31.6 degrees
MEAN: 43.7 degrees
Highest Temperature: 65 degrees
Lowest Temperature: 17 degrees
November 1-23 Precipitation: 6.94"
November Snowfall: 2.0"
2011 Precipitation: 69.69"

The wettest city or town in Virginia, resting amid the lifting zone of the High Knob Massif, is living up to its climatology in 2011 with the third 20.00"+ season in a row.

City of Norton Precipitation

Spring 2011
22.17"

Summer 2011
20.38"

Autumn 2011
( September 1 to November 23 )
21.19"

2011 Precipitation: 69.69"

12-Month Precipitation: 77.13"
( November 24, 2010 - November 23, 2011 )

*Precipitation hand-measured at 9 AM daily in an official 8"-diameter NWS rain gage by Superintendent Tommy Roberts & Staff of the Norton Water Plant.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Late Autumn In The Appalachian Highlands


October 21, 2011
High Knob Landform
Shillalah Creek of the Upper Cumberland River Basin
Shillalah Falls - Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
Photograph by Harold Jerrell - © All Rights Reserved.

Curly bark of Yellow Birch ( Betula alleghaniensis ) enhances the beauty of Shillalah Falls where pristine whitewater tumbles off the lofty backbone of Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, resting upon the rugged northwestern mountain flank of the great High Knob Landform ( NW forelimb of the Powell Valley Anticline of the Cumberland Overthrust Block ).

Late Autumn in the Appalachian Highlands is a special time as all life prepares for the coming of winter to these ancient mountains, where four seasons of truly dramatic contrast exist like few other places on planet Earth.

October 22, 2011
Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
Upper Falls of Majestic Shillalah Creek
Photograph by Harold Jerrell - © All Rights Reserved.

Rising amid the wondrous confluence of Brush and Cumberland mountains, at over 3300 feet in elevation, Shillalah Creek is a pristine beauty that drains Hensley Flats into a winding mountain top gorge carved into the rugged, sandstone capped backbone of the National Park.

October 21, 2011
Lower Falls of Shillalah Creek
Photograph by Harold Jerrell - © All Rights Reserved.

Rolling highlands of historic Hensley Settlement hide the fact that Shillalah Creek drops some 2000 vertical feet to its eventual union with Clear Fork of Yellow Creek of the Cumberland River. 

Shillalah Creek plunges from the National Park through a portion of the adjoining Shillalah Creek Wildlife Management Area, a 2535 acre tract along the northwestern slopes of Brush Mountain in Bell & Harlan counties of extreme southeastern Kentucky. 

October 22, 2011
Hensley Flats of Cumberland Gap National Park
Finley Hensley Home In The Hensley Settlement
Photograph by Harold Jerrell - © All Rights Reserved.

Martins Fork of the Cumberland River drains the northeastern end of these majestic highlands, taking a much longer journey off this very unique mountain flank of the High Knob Landform which unites the Upper Cumberland & Upper Tennessee river basins.

American Whitewater Class V

October 22, 2011
Tennessee Valley Divide
Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
Old Timey Rake - Highlands of Hensley Settlement
Photograph by Harold Jerrell - © All Rights Reserved.

Reflections upon an autumn which has already been wet, with 15.31" of total precipitation measured in the City of Norton from September 1 to November 4, finds an energetic atmosphere prime for development of heavy rain events as the seasonal clash of air masses intensifies during the November 14-24 period. 

October 21, 2011
Hensley Settlement of Cumberland Gap NHP
Autumn Reflections - Gibbons Cabin Window
Photograph by Harold Jerrell - © All Rights Reserved.

More than one heavy rain event will be possible across the famed southern Appalachians before Thanksgiving, amid some wild up and down temp swings, with an eventual trend toward more prolonged coldness heading into late November.

GOES East Water Vapor Imagery - 3:15 PM November 13, 2011

November is typically the month that finds the largest ramp up of orographic forcing as surface temperature gradients develop pressure gradients aloft that drive increasingly strong winds into the High Knob Landform.

The Thermal Wind Equation of mathematics demands that wind shear develop in the vertical atmosphere above horizontal differences in temperature at the surface, such that horizontal changes in temperature at the surface drive the formation of jet streams aloft and seasonal weather changes.  The entire process being driven by the Sun and subsequent imbalances of energy transfer forming across surface-air interfaces of planet Earth.  

October 22, 2011
High Knob Landform
Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
Fern Laden Slopes Below Willie Gibbons Barn
Photograph by Harold Jerrell - © All Rights Reserved.

Late autumn in the Appalachians is influenced by conditions which develop thousands of miles away from these ancient mountains, in places like the Pacific Ocean and the darkening expanses of Siberia on the super-continent of Eurasia.  

These far away influences are called climate Teleconnections, with El Nino & La Nina being examples of two of the better known phases of the El Nino Southern Oscillation ( ENSO ).  Another one proving critical to development of winter patterns in the eastern USA is the autumn expansion of snow cover across Eurasia.

October 22, 2011
AM Frost - Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
Photograph by Harold Jerrell - © All Rights Reserved.

A general 100" to 150"+ of snow fell across upper elevations in the High Knob Massif during the past three winter seasons with the last two, in particular, featuring an above average expansion of mid-late autumn snow cover across Siberia.


October 22, 2011
Hensley Settlement of Cumberland Gap NHP
Beautiful Wood Grain of School House Door
Photograph by Harold Jerrell - © All Rights Reserved.

One may only imagine how many cold, wind driven snowfalls have been held at bay by this beautiful old door of the Hensley Settlement school perched at over 3300 feet elevation on Cumberland Mountain.

October 21, 2011
Elevation 3336 feet
Hensley Settlement Cemetery
Shadow of Cross On Cemetery Stone
Photograph by Harold Jerrell - © All Rights Reserved.

Autumn 2011 snow cover has increased rapidly at high latitudes and is running well above average within the critical Siberian sector.  If research during the past decade is correct this may signal another bad winter ahead for the Appalachians ( * ).


*( Updated - Late November 2011 )
Mixed signals in the Siberian sector during October 2011 has led Judah Cohen to suggest the 2011-12 season will not be as severe as last winter across the eastern USA, but with "nervous" caution.

Much below average early October snow cover in Siberia gave way to a rapid late month surge in snowfall to yield an above average snowpack, making the month as a whole "average" ].

Potential for extreme weather events during winter-spring of 2011-12 is also enhanced by a distinct Sub-tropical jet stream, a weak El Nino, and a notable Madden-Julian Oscillation feeding energy into the Polar jet stream.

During the past two winter seasons, as well documented on this website, prolonged and significant snows did not arrive until December ( as impacts of Siberian snow cover forcing tend to possess a lag time which is analogous to that of ENSO forcing ).

October 31, 2011
Martin Creek of the Powell River Basin
Late Autumn Color In White Branch Gorge
Photograph by Harold Jerrell - © All Rights Reserved.

While every season is unique with its own special combination of weather conditions forced by larger scale climate features, odds on the ones upcoming currently favor wetter and colder than average conditions for winter & spring.

Note that wetter does not necessarily mean snowier.  In fact, short-term climatology would suggest that 2011-12 winter snowfall will end up being under 100" on High Knob given that since the 1992-93 season there has never been 4 consecutive 100"+ seasons ( last winter made the third ) despite the 108.4" average for the past 19 winters. 

  Only TIME will tell for certain!

October 31, 2011
Cumberland Mountain of the High Knob Landform
White Branch of Martin Creek of the Powell River
Photograph by Harold Jerrell - © All Rights Reserved.

My friend & photographer Harold Jerrell last made a bold trek into White Branch Gorge during February 2010.


October 31, 2011
Autumn Majesty Of Tumbling White Branch
Photograph by Harold Jerrell - © All Rights Reserved.

Harold returned at the end of October 2011 to much more tame conditions and the free flow of pristine water!

October 31, 2011
Plunging White Branch Falls
Photograph by Harold Jerrell - © All Rights Reserved.

A single Sugar Maple ( Acer saccharum var. saccharum ) leaf accentuates this gorgeous shot of plunging White Branch Falls.


Climate Statistics For
October 2011

October 31, 2011
High Knob Landform
White Branch of Martin Creek of the Powell River
Photograph by Harold Jerrell - © All Rights Reserved.

( Lower Elevations of Russell Fork Basin )
Clintwood 1 W - Elevation 1560 feet
Average Daily MAX: 64.4 degrees
Average Daily MIN: 38.5 degrees
MEAN: 51.4 degrees
Highest Temperature: 78 degrees
Lowest Temperature: 26 degrees
October Rainfall: 3.74"
October Snowfall: Trace
2011 Precipitation: 52.03"

( Northern Base of High Knob Massif )
City of Norton - Elevation 2141 feet
Average Daily MAX: 61.9 degrees
Average Daily MIN: 36.7 degrees
MEAN: 49.3 degrees
Highest Temperature: 77 degrees
Lowest Temperature: 22 degrees
October Rainfall: 5.04"
October Snowfall: 0.3"
2011 Precipitation: 62.75"

( Along the Tennessee Valley Divide )
Nora 4 SSE - Elevation 2650 feet
Average Daily MAX: 61.0 degrees
Average Daily MIN: 43.5 degrees
MEAN: 52.2 degrees
Highest Temperature: 76 degrees
Lowest Temperature: 30 degrees
October Rainfall: 3.38"
October Snowfall: 0.4"
2011 Precipitation: 47.59"

( Northern End of The Cedars )
Jonesville 3.1 WSW - Elevation 1422 feet
Average Daily MAX: 67.5 degrees
Average Daily MIN: 40.4 degrees
MEAN: 53.9 degrees
Highest Temperature: 82 degrees
Lowest Temperature: 23 degrees
October Rainfall: 4.12"
2011 Precipitation: 46.56"

In the High Knob high country, average October temps varied from low-mid 50s by day at highest elevations to the low-mid 30s at night in colder mountain basins ( around 40 on exposed ridges ).

October was wet with around 5.00" of precip that included several inches or more of snow at highest elevations in the main crest zone of the massif ( snow fell 4 different times during the month on Eagle Knob ). 



Another Wet Year In 
The High Knob Landform

October 30, 2011
MilkweedAsclepias spp. ) Seed Pod In Morning Light
Photograph by Roddy Addington - © All Rights Reserved.

Another wet year about to get much wetter is the theme of 2011 in the High Knob Landform, with 65" to 70"+ of total precipitation amid wetter portions of the High Knob Massif through the end of October.

Big Cherry Dam of High Knob Massif
Monthly Precipitation Totals
Elevation 3120 feet

2008
November:  4.36"
December: 8.49"

2009
January: 9.23"
February: 4.36"
March: 5.51"
April: 5.40"
May: 7.07"
June: 5.44"
July: 8.42"
August: 7.08"
September: 9.09"
October: 4.36"
November: 3.88"
*December: 11.50"

2010
*January: 6.25"
*February: 4.25"
*March: 4.50"
April: 3.78"
May: 6.99"
June: 9.53"
July: 4.27"
August: 8.91"
September: 2.88"
October: 2.84"
November: 4.05"
*December: 7.35"

2011
January: 4.51"
February: 4.53"
March: 9.85"
April: 10.08"
May: 5.38"
June: 6.16"
July: 7.18"
August: 4.94"
September: 7.28"
October: 5.05"

2011 Total: 64.96" ( M )

Orographic Forcing Season Total
November 2010-April 2011: 40.37" ( M )
( 6.06" per month average )

12-Month Total: 76.36" ( M )

24-Month Total: 145.94" ( M )

36-Month Total: 224.75" ( M )

36-Month Mean Monthly Precip: 6.24"

Mean Per 12-Month Periods: 74.92" ( M )

( * ) - Indicates that total was estimated or partly estimated due to severe winter conditions.

( M ) - Denotes that total precipitation was greater than rain gage total due to evaporation between hand-measurements observed at the Dam ( the mean evaporative loss is estimated to have been 3.00" to 3.50" per year as partly based upon observed losses at Clintwood 1 W ) and deep falls of snow greater than the rain gage could physically hold.

All measurements courtesy of Superintendent Gary Hampton & Staff at the Big Stone Gap Water Plant in South Fork Gorge.

Perhaps the most striking aspect of 2011 precip at Big Cherry Dam was that it missed many big rains during the convective season which hit adjacent portions of the massif.

Otherwise, its the same drill, actual raw rain gage totals at the Dam are lower than what really fell due to evaporation between hand-measurements and losses in deeper falls of winter snow.

Hand-measurements are typically made every 5 to 9 days, or once per 7 days on average, such that some evaporation loss occurs from the NWS rain gage.  It is important to note this aspect when comparing totals to other locations.

Melting Frost & Thistle Species ( Cirsium spp. )
Photograph by Roddy Addington - © All Rights Reserved.

The first ten months of 2011 produced simply incredible extremes in precipitation across the Old Dominion, from more than 70" in wetter parts of the High Knob Massif to less than 30" in driest portions of eastern Virginia.


October Rainfall Totals & 2011
Precipitation Totals From Across
Virginia & The District of Columbia
*( 2011 Totals from January 1 to October 31 )

John H. Kerr / Buggs Island Dam
October Rainfall: 3.36"
2011 Precipitation: 27.24"
( 5 missing days January-March )

Lynchburg
October Rainfall: 2.95"
2011 Precipitation: 31.10"

New Castle RAWS
October Rainfall: 2.37"
2011 Precipitation: 31.73"
( 7 missing days October )

Eastville
October Rainfall: 2.15"
2011 Precipitation: 31.82"
( 1 missing day January )

Danville
October Rainfall: 3.45"
2011 Precipitation: 31.84"

Pulaski 2 E
October Rainfall: 2.79"
2011 Precipitation: 32.45"

Martinsville Filter Plant
October Rainfall: 3.92"
2011 Precipitation: 32.81"

Wallops Island
October Rainfall: 3.59"
2011 Precipitation: 32.81"

Gathright Dam
October Rainfall: 2.42"
2011 Precipitation: 33.34"

Lexington
October Rainfall: 3.41"
2011 Precipitation: 33.97"
( 2 missing days August )

Wytheville 1 S
October Rainfall: 2.17"
2011 Precipitation: 34.02"
( 1 missing day August )

Kerrs Creek 6 WNW
October Rainfall: 3.03"
2011 Precipitation: 34.29"

Emporia 1 WNW
October Rainfall: 2.58"
2011 Precipitation: 34.34"
( 2 missing days June )

Covington Filter Plant
October Rainfall: 2.44"
2011 Precipitation: 34.39"
( 1 missing day August )

Edinburg
October Rainfall: 2.51"
2011 Precipitation: 34.65"
( 1 missing day February )

Appomattox
October Rainfall: 3.72"
2011 Precipitation: 35.29"

Philpott Dam 2
October Rainfall: 3.93"
2011 Precipitation: 35.47"
( 5 missing days January-March )

Blacksburg
October Rainfall: 2.94"
2011 Precipitation: 36.36"

Independence 1.3 S
October Rainfall: 2.36"
2011 Precipitation: 36.44"

Roanoke
October Rainfall: 4.06"
2011 Precipitation: 36.54"

Bluefield ( West Virginia )
October Rainfall: 2.67"
2011 Precipitation: 36.63"

Woodstock 2 NE
October Rainfall: 2.77"
2011 Precipitation: 37.09"
( 6 missing days during year )

Bland
October Rainfall: 2.35"
2011 Precipitation: 37.37"
( 3 missing days January )

Stuart
October Rainfall: 3.41"
2011 Precipitation: 37.53"
( 6 missing days January-February )

Saltville 1 N
October Rainfall: 2.68"
2011 Precipitation: 37.86"

Alberta 5 N
October Rainfall: 4.21"
2011 Precipitation: 38.00"

Radford 3 N
October Rainfall: 2.98"
2011 Precipitation: 38.16"

Front Royal
October Rainfall: 4.25"
2011 Precipitation: 38.28"
( 6 missing days during year )

Farmville 2 N
October Rainfall: 4.28"
2011 Precipitation: 38.46"

Christiansburg
October Rainfall: 3.32"
2011 Precipitation: 38.87"

Staunton WTP
October Rainfall: 2.82"
2011 Precipitation: 39.14"

Buckingham
October Rainfall: 5.89"
2011 Precipitation: 39.47"
( 1 missing day August )

Washington Dulles Airport
October Rainfall: 6.27"
2011 Precipitation: 39.56"

Marion 4.4 WSW
October Rainfall: 2.64"
2011 Precipitation: 39.63"
( 4 missing days during year )

Waynesboro WTP
October Rainfall: 3.54"
2011 Precipitation: 40.28"
( 2 missing days in March & August )

Dale Enterprise
October Rainfall: 3.37"
2011 Precipitation: 40.47"

Washington National Airport
October Rainfall: 3.91"
2011 Precipitation: 40.05"

Charlottesville
October Rainfall: 5.32"
2011 Precipitation: 40.81"

Millgap 2 NNW
October Rainfall: 3.44"
2011 Precipitation: 40.83"

Richmond
October Rainfall: 2.79"
2011 Precipitation: 41.33"

Richlands
October Rainfall: 2.90"
2011 Precipitation: 41.40"

Burkes Garden
October Rainfall: 3.91"
2011 Precipitation: 41.58"
( 1 missing day August )

Louisa 
October Rainfall: 4.13"
2011 Precipitation: 41.68"

Luray 5 E
October Rainfall: 3.84"
2011 Precipitation: 41.98"

Trout Dale 3 SSE
October Rainfall: 3.08"
2011 Precipitation: 42.18"
( 1 missing day August )

Hot Springs
October Rainfall: 4.13"
2011 Precipitation: 42.32"
( 1 missing day January )

Holcomb Rock
October Rainfall: 5.31"
2011 Precipitation: 42.45"
( 2 missing days August )

Glasgow 1 SE
October Rainfall: 5.62"
2011 Precipitation: 42.91"
( 1 missing day August )

Copper Hill 6.2 S
October Rainfall: 5.38"
2011 Precipitation: 43.01"

Lebanon
October Rainfall: 2.58"
2011 Precipitation: 44.08"

Galax WTP
October Rainfall: 2.67"
2011 Precipitation: 44.28"
( 1 missing day August )

Grundy
October Rainfall: 3.55"
2011 Precipitation: 44.72"

Rocky Mount ( Virginia )
October Rainfall: 4.12"
2011 Precipitation: 45.09"

Woolwine
October Rainfall: 5.41"
2011 Precipitation: 45.21"
( 1 missing day August )

Jonesville 3.1 WSW
October Rainfall: 4.12"
2011 Precipitation: 46.56"

( Long Ridge )
Nora 4 SSE
October Rainfall: 3.38"
2011 Precipitation: 47.59"

Norfolk
October Rainfall: 2.13"
2011 Precipitation: 47.70"

Mustoe 1.2 SW
October Rainfall: 3.27"
2011 Precipitation: 49.08"
( 4 missing days during year )

Williamsburg 2 N
October Rainfall: 4.24"
2011 Precipitation: 51.26"
( 3 days missing during year )

Meadows of Dan 5 SW
October Rainfall: 4.73"
2011 Precipitation: 51.54"

Clintwood 1 W
October Rainfall: 3.74"
2011 Precipitation: 52.03"

Appalachia Lake Water Plant
October Rainfall: 4.29"
2011 Precipitation: 54.91"

Coeburn Filter Plant
October Rainfall: 3.67"
2011 Precipitation: 56.72"

Big Stone Gap Water Plant
October Rainfall: 4.78"
2011 Precipitation: 58.03"

Norton Water Plant
October Rainfall: 5.04"
2011 Precipitation: 62.75"

Big Cherry Dam of High Knob Massif
October Rainfall: 5.05"
2011 Precipitation: 64.96" ( M )

Robinson Knob of High Knob Massif
October Rainfall: 4.99"
2011 Precipitation: 65.36" ( M )

( M ) - Denotes that total precipitation was greater than rain gage total due to evaporation between hand-measurements and physical gage losses in deep falls of snow.

( * ) - Days denoted as missing may or may not have had any measurable precipitation at the indicated sites.  All station data should be considered as preliminary until officially checked and accepted by the National Climatic Data Center.


November Opens WET With 
Large Vertical Temperature Spreads

Middle Elevation Thermal Belt
Long Ridge of the Tennessee Valley Divide
The Last Colors Of Autumn 2011 - November 5, 2011
Photograph by Wayne Riner - © All Rights Reserved.

Wayne Riner Thoughts...
"The first light of morning touches the tips of the high ridges to reveal the last few leaves of fall colors.  The red in the foreground are "burning bushes" at the edge of the yard."

Looking across a sea of fog in the wake of the first significant rain of November 2011, my friend and photographer Wayne Riner captures a simply magnificent view of this condensed cloud vapor covering the many hollows and lower ridges of the Russell Fork Basin between Pine Mountain and the Tennessee Valley Divide ( with its twisting ridges ).

NASA Visible Image At 8:45 AM - November 5, 2011

From space the fog bank was visible filling most of the Russell Fork & Levisa Fork basins, with the higher terrain of central and southern Wise County resting above the low clouds like Long Ridge in southern Dickenson. 

Observe the long, linear band of fog in the Clinch River Valley of Russell & Scott counties which is banked up to Guest River Gorge and adjoining southeast portions of the High Knob Massif, with a thinner and more shallow fog layer within Powell Valley and the Powell River Valley of Wise and Lee counties inside the HKL.

Min temperatures in upper 10s to upper 20s were common amid colder mountain valleys during the first 9 days of November, in sharp contrast to 30s & 40s on exposed mid-upper elevation ridges.

This created large temperature contrasts in the vertical on nearly every morning to again illustrate why forecasts should always include a temperature range to account for such distinct differences ( instead of using a single number or narrow middle range value ).

Climate Stats For November 1-9

City of Norton - Elevation 2141 feet
Average Daily MAX: 58.4 degrees
Average Daily MIN: 25.6 degrees
MEAN: 42.0 degrees
November 1-9 Rainfall: 1.09"
2011 Precipitation: 63.84"