Friday, January 1, 2016

New Weather Pattern Begins The New Year


January 1, 2016
High Country of High Knob Massif
Majestic Rime Capped Grindstone Ridge
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved




Rime coated high gaps and peaks along the windward front of the High Knob Massif into 
the first day of 2016, from southwest of historic 
Big Stone Gap to south of Coeburn.

More rime and snow will soon coat the high country as the first in a series of Arctic air masses invade the mountains.  This first blast being timed for Monday ( January 4 ) with 
a second, potentially Major Arctic Outbreak, surge of bitter air looking increasingly likely about a week later in time.

An important snow, or snowstorm potential, will also have to be monitored in advance of that beast.  Odds of this occurring are high given that all major teleconnections have trended or are moving into favorable phases for very cold conditions 
east of the Rockies.  A major pattern flip from December! 

January 1, 2016
Remnant Massif of High Knob Landform
Orographic Cloud Above Big Cherry Lake Basin
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Gorgeous scenes were captured during the afternoon despite abundant haze and low-level moisture trapped beneath a day-time inversion.

January 1, 2016
Hazy Head of Powell Valley In Wise County VA
Rime Capped Massif Above The Lonesome Pine
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

January 1, 2016
Head of Powell Valley of High Knob Massif
Rime Above Great Belt of Calcareous Cliffs
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

The distinct nature of this inversion was noted upon looking south from the High Knob Massif where a low cloud deck covered the Tennessee Valley, with the blue crest of lofty Roan Mountain standing above the inversion layer along the Tennessee-North Carolina border.

January 1, 2016
Looking South from High Knob Lookout
Crest of Roan Mountain Above Inversion Layer
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Roan Mountain is around 70 air miles SSE of the High Knob Massif and is not nearly as close as the above photograph might suggest.

January 1, 2016
Hazy Beneath Breaking Inversion
Nice Way To Start The New Year
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Lighting was beautiful despite an atypical amount of haze for this time of year ( that mixed out for a very cold night with MINS into January 2 dipping into 10s across the high country of the massif ).

January 1, 2016
Looking Southwest From High Knob Lookout
Majestic Orographic Clouds Above High Country
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

January 1, 2016
High Knob Lake Visible In Lower Center
Looking SE Across Sprawling Crest of Massif
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Water on High Knob Lake was either reflecting light brightly or had some ice forming on its surface ( difficult to tell from that distance ).

January 1, 2016
Looking SE Across Sprawling Crest of Massif
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

The High Knob Massif is full of rock formations, with my friend Jerry Rose of the Crab Orchard community pointing out some that I had not photographed before.

January 1, 2016
High Knob Massif
Rock Formation In Big Stony Creek Basin
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

January 1, 2016
High Knob Massif
Rock Formation In Big Stony Creek Basin
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

The rock formation above had previously been used as a water source with an old pipe sticking out of its base.  The flow of water has long since abandoned the pipe and now runs out below it.

January 1, 2016
Rock Formation In The High Knob Massif
Near Divide Of Clear Creek-Big Stony Creek
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved


Powell Valley Sunset

I was blessed to catch a gorgeous sunset from Powell Valley Overlook in wake of day-time flurries, snow showers, and squalls that 
produced a dusting up to 1-2" in the area.

January 4, 2016
Powell Valley of High Knob Massif
Gorgeous Sunset From Powell Valley Overlook
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Wind chills were so low that my fingers got numb taking
these scenes, but were well above the sub-zero chill factors
across the High Knob Massif summit level during Monday 
into early hours of Tuesday ( January 4-5, 2016 ).

January 4, 2016
Powell Valley of High Knob Massif
Gorgeous Sunset From Powell Valley Overlook
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

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