Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Very Wet Start To Summer 2013


Early Evening of June 24, 2013
In Wake Of A Gully Washing Thunderstorm
Looking Down Powell Valley of High Knob Massif
Photograph by Roddy Addington - © All Rights Reserved.

The High Knob Landform

A long strip of fog majestically formed down 
the middle of Powell Valley in Wise County, Va., following another torrential downpour during 
late afternoon hours of June 24.

June 24, 2013
Looking SW from Powell Valley Overlook
Layered Fog Against The Powell Mountain Block
Photograph by Roddy Addington - © All Rights Reserved.

Climate Statistics
For June 2013

( Lower Elevations of Russell Fork Basin )
Clintwood 1 W - Elevation 1560 feet
Average Daily MAX: 78.5 degrees
Average Daily MIN: 57.7 degrees
MEAN: 68.1 degrees
Highest Temperature: 87 degrees
Lowest Temperature: 50 degrees
June Rainfall: 7.66"
( 7.96" at Midnight June 30 )
2013 Precipitation: 28.92"

( Northern Base of High Knob Massif )
City of Norton - Elevation 2141 feet
Average Daily MAX: 77.0 degrees
Average Daily MIN: 55.5 degrees
MEAN: 66.2 degrees
Highest Temperature: 85 degrees
Lowest Temperature: 48 degrees
June Rainfall: 8.57"
( 9.44" at Midnight June 30 )
2013 Precipitation: 37.01"

( Along the Tennessee Valley Divide )
Nora 4 SSE - Elevation 2650 feet
Average Daily MAX: 75.0 degrees
Average Daily MIN: 60.6 degrees
MEAN: 67.8 degrees
Highest Temperature: 83 degrees
Lowest Temperature: 54 degrees
June Rainfall: 6.83"
( 8.19" at Midnight June 30 )
2013 Precipitation: 31.78"

June was seasonally cool and very wet across the High Knob Massif with average temps varying from upper 60s to middle 70s by day and low-mid 50s by night above 2700 feet ( generally only one day broke 80 degrees above 3000 feet elevation ).

High Knob Massif
Towering Cumulonimbus Illuminated Near Sunset
Northwestern Flank of Big Cherry Lake Basin
Photograph by Roddy Addington - © All Rights Reserved.

Rod Addington Photography

Monthly Precipitation Totals
Big Cherry Dam of High Knob Massif
Observer: Gary Hampton & Staff
Elevation 3120 feet

December: 7.00"

January: 11.24"

February: 2.87"

March: 7.65"

April: 6.71"

May: 5.03"

June: 10.71"
( 11.01" at Midnight June 30 )

2013 Total: 44.51" ( M )
( January 1-June 30 at Midnight )

Total Since December 1: 51.51" ( M )
( 6-year December-June Average of 44.18" )

12-Month Total: 76.75" ( M2 )
( July 1, 2012 thru June 30, 2013 )

( M ) - An estimated 1.25" to 1.50" of missing moisture in falls of snow too deep for the rain gauge to contain during the period
( most of this loss occurred in January-March ).

Evaporation losses between hand-measurements started in April with approximately 0.54" of loss estimated amid the high sun angles of June ( 4 measurements during the month ).

( M2 ) - Total estimated loss of around 3.75" with significant rain gauge losses in deep falls of snow during October 2012, January-March 2013, and evaporation between hand-measurements.

June 24, 2013
HDR Photograph from Powell Valley Overlook
Looking Southwest Along The High Knob Landform
Photograph by Roddy Addington - © All Rights Reserved.

June 2013 Rainfall Days
Big Stone Gap Water Plant
Observer: Gary Hampton & Staff
( South Fork Gorge of High Knob Massif )
Elevation 1965 feet

06-02-2013  0.51"
06-03-2013  0.95"
06-04-2013  0.14"

06-06-2013  0.76"
06-07-2013  0.89"
06-08-2013  0.21"

06-10-2013  1.49"
06-11-2013  0.66"

06-14-2013  0.61"

06-17-2013  0.08"
06-18-2013  0.82"
06-19-2013  0.71"
06-20-2013  0.02"

06-23-2013  0.26"

06-25-2013  0.03"
06-26-2013  0.72"
06-27-2013  0.63"
06-28-2013  0.20"
06-29-2013  0.23"

June Total: 9.92"
( Through AM of June 30 )

2013 Total: 39.87"

12-Month Total: 75.71"
( July 1, 2012 to AM June 30, 2013 )

June 30, 2013
High Knob Massif
Black Bear ( Ursus americanus )
Photograph by Grant Stanley - © All Rights Reserved.


June 2013 Rainfall Days
City of Norton Water Plant
Observer: Andrew Greear & Staff
( Northern Base of High Knob Massif )
Elevation 2342 feet

06-02-2013  0.23"
06-03-2013  0.57"
06-04-2013  0.12"

06-06-2013  0.78"
06-07-2013  1.01"
06-08-2013  0.08"

06-10-2013  1.43"
06-11-2013  0.50"

06-14-2013  0.38"

06-17-2013  0.24"
06-18-2013  0.94"
06-19-2013  0.64"

06-22-2013  0.46"

06-25-2013  0.09"
06-26-2013  0.06"
06-27-2013  0.96"
06-28-2013  0.02"
06-29-2013  0.06"

06-30-2013  0.87"
( Late PM-Evening Storm )

June Total: 9.44"
( As of Midnight June 30 )

2013 Total: 37.01"

12-Month Total: 74.03"
( July 1, 2012 thru June 30, 2013 )

June 30, 2013
City of Norton Park
Sunset From Flag Rock Recreation Area
Photograph by Grant Stanley - © All Rights Reserved.

June 2013 Rainfall Days
Appalachia Lake Water Plant
Observer: Jack Pitts & Mark Quillin
( Little Stone Mountain of High Knob Massif )
Elevation 2330 feet

06-02-2013  0.24"
06-03-2013  0.63"
06-04-2013  0.12"

06-06-2013  0.56"
06-07-2013  0.15"
06-08-2013  0.07"

06-10-2013  1.05"
06-11-2013  0.55"

06-14-2013  0.64"

06-17-2013  0.26"
06-18-2013  0.74"
06-19-2013  0.53"

06-22-2013  0.72"

06-25-2013  0.12"
06-26-2013  0.48"
06-27-2013  0.57"
06-28-2013  0.02"
06-29-2013  0.11"

06-30-2013  0.83"
( Late PM-Evening Storm )

June Total: 8.39"
( As of Midnight June 30 )

2013 Total: 36.63"

12-Month Total: 70.71"
( July 1, 2012 thru June 30, 2013 )

July 2, 2013
Green Bottle Fly ( Calliphoridae Family )

June 2013 Rainfall Days
Robinson Knob of High Knob Massif
Observer: Otis & Nancy Ward
Elevation 3240 feet

06-02-2013  0.36"
06-03-2013  1.28"
06-04-2013  0.07"

06-06-2013  0.61"
06-07-2013  0.67"
06-08-2013  0.37"

06-10-2013  0.77"
06-11-2013  1.45"

06-14-2013  0.39"

06-17-2013  0.05"
06-18-2013  1.27"
06-19-2013  0.96"

06-21-2013  0.09"

06-25-2013  0.15"

06-27-2013  0.20"
06-28-2013  0.11"
06-29-2013  0.02"

06-30-2013  0.57"
( Late PM-Evening Storm )

June Total: 9.39"
( As of Midnight June 30 )

2013 Total: 40.83" ( M )

12-Month Total: 80.52" ( M )
( July 1, 2012 thru June 30, 2013 )

( M ) - Missing moisture in deeper falls of snow.

House Fly Relative ( Likely Muscidae Family )

The 12-month period from July 2012-June 2013 generated 70" to 80"+ of total precipitation amid the lifting zone of the High Knob Massif ( * ).

*MAX 12-month totals reached around 85.00" in wettest places of the massif between Big Cherry Lake, Bark Camp Lake, and the Norton Reservoirs ( as suggested by gauges & Doppler radar ).

MAX 12-month totals of 90-100"+ have been measured in
wettest places from the Great Smokies and Black Mountains across southwestern North Carolina ( where this type of air flow pattern is especially productive with lifting of unmodified, deep tropical air masses first reaching the Appalachians ).

MAX 12-month totals, by contrast, vary in the 35.00" to 45.00" range for many reporting sites within the Greenbrier River and New River basins of West Virginia & Virginia.

The significance of this with respect to southwestern Virginia is realized by direct comparison with adjacent sites ( where totals 
also include rainfall through all of June 30 ).

12-Month Precipitation Totals
( July 1, 2012 - June 30, 2013 )

Wytheville 1 S: 44.90"

Burkes Garken: 50.71"

Lebanon: 51.79"

Clintwood 1 W: 52.09"

Richlands: 52.19"

Grundy: 52.73"

Nora 4 SSE: 54.07"

This continues the well established climatological trend, as highlighted in past years, of decreasing precipitation upstream amid the Clinch River Basin with the raw rain gauge total of 80.52" measured by Otis & Nancy Ward in Robinson Knob being 29.81" more than measured by observer Pam Rose in Burkes Garden.

The much greater winter snowfall at Robinson Knob makes the above even more significant since the smaller 4"-diameter NWS rain gauge there likely had greater moisture losses than the 8"-diameter NWS rain gauge used in Burkes Garden ( in the longer-term the Big Cherry Dam measuring site is wetter than Robinson Knob and certainly has much greater moisture losses on its
4"-diameter NWS rain gauge throughout the entire year ).

Female Long-Legged Fly ( Condylostylus spp. )

I want thank my friend & Research Entomologist 
Justin Runyon for the general identification of flies highlighted amid this section. 

While precipitation differences occur during any given day, month, or year this trend toward 2 to 3+ FEET more on an annual basis in the lifting zone of the High Knob Massif verses locations in the upper Clinch River Basin and New River Basin of southwestern Virginia helps enhance the biological diversity & karstification of this region over time 
( e.g., some species like it drier & some wetter ).

This likewise has huge implications for the Russell Fork and Levisa Fork basins which are often shadowed by the High Knob Landform - Black Mountains on moisture bearing S-SW winds.

HDR Photograph of Terrain Airflow Waves
Moisture Banking Up Against The Cumberlands
Photograph by Roddy Addington - © All Rights Reserved.

The orographic forcing season, as I have taught, 
is consistent in producing the largest precipitation differences as synoptic-scale pressure gradients develop winds that physically push against the terrain to force the generation of distinct zones with enhanced & diminished precipitation.

Since climatological mean winds have a westerly component that biases the Cumberland Block of far southwestern Virginia, which also does not rest leeward of the West Virginia highlands, for the heaviest precipitation amounts as air banks up against the High Knob Landform - Tennessee Valley Divide and Pine Mountain 
( lifting amid the High Knob Massif - Black Mountain corridor 
being most dominant in the Cumberland Block ).

Doppler Estimated Rainfall During June 2013

Major variations in rainfall over short distances often occur during the convective season and tend to be more random in nature due to a high degree of chaos related to the nonlinear nature of convective processes with many complex factors.

Yet there is some order to this chaos, with organized air flows having westerly or easterly components still acting to impact 
the rainfall regime at times when they occur amid added superimposed factors such as instabilities, convective triggers, and feedbacks that may or may not be directly terrain related.

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