Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Blaze Of Rime & WET December 2014 Opening


High Knob Massif
Afternoon of December 7, 2014
Blaze Of Rime Illuminates The High Country
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.


The High Knob Landform WebCite Permalink

The Appalachian Climate Center

A blaze of gorgeous rime illuminated the high country of the High Knob Massif following a wet opening to December 2014.

High Knob Massif
December 7, 2014
Majesty Along Route 238
Extraction Of Moisture From Clouds
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

A nice bit of moisture was extracted from clouds crossing the massif during this event.  Not bad considering most were not even aware of it who lived outside the DENSE FOG zone on upsloping northerly air flow trajectories.

High Knob Massif
December 7, 2014
Majesty Along Route 238
Extraction Of Moisture From Clouds
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

A good amount of rime had fallen by the time I took these photographs, as noted by the way it covered portions of the ground and road like snow.  There was no snow during this event, only freezing fog and moisture extraction amid the clouds.

High Knob Massif
December 7, 2014
Majesty Along Route 238
Streaks In Sky Are From Falling-Blowing Rime
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

There was still a significant amount to drop, so much that some lasted until real snow began flying with new rime formation during December 9-10.

High Knob Massif - December 7, 2014
Rime Displays Its Amazing One-Sided Nature
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

Note the clear contact layer along stems where initial deposition began growing rime into the Northerly air flow.

High Knob Massif - December 7, 2014
Closer Inspection Of Deposition Into The Wind
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

The High Knob Massif is not the typical mountain, of course, as the crest sprawls outward with ridges like Big Flat Top capturing rime well behind the main windward crestlines capped by such peaks as Grindstone Ridge, High Knob, Eagle Knob, and Bowman Mountain.

High Knob Massif - December 7, 2014
Rime Blazes Along Big Flat Top Ridge
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

Sometimes rime extends all the way across to the southeastern side of the crest, coating ridges like Osborne Ridge ( south-southeast of Bark Camp Lake in far distance below ).

High Knob Massif - December 7, 2014
Looking Southeast Across Sprawling Crest
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

On this day it coated northern facing slopes down to almost High Knob Lake, which under more significant wintry events is engulfed amid a vast rime forest.

High Knob Massif - December 7, 2014
Looking Down Into High Knob Lake Basin
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

A portion of High Knob Lake is visible in these photographs if you know where to look ( water elevation 3490 feet above sea level ).

High Knob Lake is one of five mountain top lakes sitting upon the core of the High Knob Massif, with Rimrock Lake, Appalachia Lake, and Keokee Lake all resting upon the northwestern flank of Little Stone Mountain-Stone Mountain ( southwest of Powell Valley Overlook ).

U.S. Forest Service
Head of High Knob Lake Basin
High Knob Massif - December 7, 2014
Looking Down Into High Knob Lake Basin
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

High Knob Lake Basin is closed for the winter season to vehicle traffic, but remains open to hiking-horse back riding along the extensive and scenic Chief Benge Scout Trail.

December 7, 2014
Head of High Knob Lake Basin
Mountain Fork of Big Stony Creek
Rime Coated North-Northeast Facing Slopes
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

December 7, 2014
Head of High Knob Lake Basin
Mountain Fork of Big Stony Creek
Rime Coated North-Northeast Facing Slopes
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

This was the first December day to feature any real sunshine, and despite low cloudiness thankfully breaking apart it was dominated by a subsidence inversion ( which can sometimes trap low clouds near the surface ).

December 7, 2014
Summer-like Haze In December
Looking SW Toward Powell Mountain Block
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

On this day it trapped abundant moisture from all the December 1-7 wetness, including the present melting of rime, to create a summer-like, bluish haze upon looking outward across the sprawling high country to the southwest.

December 7, 2014
Big Cherry Lake Basin
Looking SW Toward Powell Mountain Block
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

This does generate nice effects, as it tends to accentuate the complex terrain of many mountain ridges that join to form the High Knob Massif.

December 7, 2014
Zooming Into Big Cherry Lake Basin
Bluish Haze Accentuates Complex Terrain
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

Rime is coating Little Mountain, along far left side of these views,
but is difficult to see with all the bluish haze of this afternoon.

December 7, 2014
Zooming Into Big Cherry Lake Basin
Bluish Haze Accentuates Complex Terrain
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

Big Cherry Lake is nestled down amid the high valleys above, that rest beneath these scenic ridges, with a water elevation of 3120 feet above sea level.

December 7, 2014
Head of Big Cherry Lake Basin
Rime Coats Portions of Southern Exposed Slopes
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

Roaring Branch Gorge is visible just over the apex
of Grindstone Ridge in the above photograph.


Clear Creek Gorge & Park

Before heading home this day I wanted to visit a place I had not seen in a while, located in the Ramsey community of Norton, at the mouth of Clear Creek Basin.

December 7, 2014
Him & His Fine Lady
Clear Creek Park - City of Norton
Mallard Ducks ( Anas platyrhynchos )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

A fine troop of Mallards are there to welcome visitors.

December 7, 2014
Himself Gets Excited As Clear Creek 
Lives Up To Its Name ( CLEAR ) On This Day
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

Clear Creek was gushing with whitewater amid more than 3.00" of precipitation during this first week of December amid its lofty headwaters, which form a large and complex mountain basin between Eagle Knob and Bowman Mountain.

December 7, 2014
Clear Creek Basin of High Knob Massif
Whitewater On Clear Creek of Guest River
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

December 7, 2014
Clear Creek Basin of High Knob Massif
Whitewater On Clear Creek of Guest River
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

Clear Creek has a relatively low gradient near its mouth but gets much steeper farther up the basin as it cut between spectacular rock formations.

December 7, 2014
Clear Creek Basin of High Knob Massif
Whitewater On Clear Creek of Guest River
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

One formation I call "The Balanced Rock," 
and for good reason!

December 7, 2014
Clear Creek Basin of High Knob Massif
The Balanced Rock of Clear Creek Gorge
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

Reference this section to view photographs
from the first major winter storm of this season:

First Significant Winter Storm Of 2014-15 Season

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