Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Late Summer 2017 In The Appalachians


August 1, 2017
Eagle Knob of High Knob Massif
Northern Hardwood Forest On Eagle Knob
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

A cool ending to July gave way to increased humidity during the first afternoon of August, 
with widely scattered hit-miss downpours in 
slow moving thunderstorms.

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August 1, 2017
Jefferson National Forest
High Knob Lake Recreation Area
Cumulonimbus Develop Over High Knob Lake
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Mean temperatures in upper elevations of the High Knob Massif during the month of July varied from around 70 degrees by day at highest elevations 
( along northern slopes ) to 78 degrees in the open expanses of the Big Cherry Wetland Valley.


Big Cherry Wetland 4
July 2017 Temperatures
Elevation 3186 feet

Average Daily MAX: 78.0 degrees
Average Daily MIN: 55.5 degrees
MEAN: 66.8 degrees
Highest Temperature: 85 degrees
Lowest Temperature: 47 degrees

The opposite trend was observed by night, with mean minimums varying from 55 degrees in the Big Cherry Wetland Valley to lower 60s 
on exposed ridges.

August 1, 2017
Upper Elevations High Knob Massif
Turk's-cap Lily ( Lilium superbum )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Eagle Knob
July 2017 Temperatures
Elevation 4188 feet

Average Daily MAX: 70.6 degrees
Average Daily MIN: 60.9 degrees
MEAN: 65.8 degrees
Highest Temperature: 77 degrees
Lowest Temperature: 51 degrees

August 1, 2017
High Knob Lake Recreation Area
High Knob Lake of High Knob Massif
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

High Knob Lake
July 2017 Temperatures
Elevation 3527 feet

Average Daily MAX: 73.4 degrees
Average Daily MIN: 58.9 degrees
MEAN: 66.2 degrees
Highest Temperature: 80 degrees
Lowest Temperature: 50 degrees

August 1, 2017
Upper Tennessee River Basin
Abundant Ferns In High Knob Lake Basin
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

July 29, 2017
Big Cherry Wetland Valley
Upper Tennessee River Basin
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Although coolest nights occurred in the open expanses of the Big Cherry Wetland Valley during July, the coolest mean temperatures were observed in the head of the valley ( 65.2 degrees recorded at the Big Cherry Wetland 2 site ).

Big Cherry Wetland 2
July 2017 Temperatures
Elevation 3248 feet

Average Daily MAX: 72.6 degrees
Average Daily MIN: 57.8 degrees
MEAN: 65.2 degrees
Highest Temperature: 78 degrees
Lowest Temperature: 51 degrees

August 5, 2017
High Knob Massif
Big Cherry Wetland Valley
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

The average Summer 2017 minimum temperature at the Big Cherry Wetland 4 recording site for the June 1 to August 5 period was 51.5 degrees ( ** ).

**A minimum of 49 degrees was recorded on the morning of August 5 with even cooler conditions into August 6 to continue the chilly nights.

August 5, 2017
Localized Color Changes
Big Cherry Wetland Valley of High Knob Massif
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

A few maples along the valley floor were showing some early color changes on August 5, which was not dryness related.  I measured 1.40" of rain in the gauge at Big Cherry Dam for the August 4-5 period ( around 2.00" fell on Eagle Knob during the August 1-5 period ).

August 5, 2017
Localized Color Changes
Big Cherry Wetland Valley of High Knob Massif
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Large Cinnamon Ferns are growing 
within and along the wetland valley.

August 5, 2017
Big Cherry Wetland Valley
Cinnamon Fern ( Osmundastrum cinnamomeum )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

In between these beautiful days another 
rainfall event generated hefty amounts.

August 8, 2017
View From East Stone Gap
Looking Northeast Along Powell Valley
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Superintendent Andrew Greear reported 2.64" of rain during August 6-7 at the City of Norton Water Plant ( 3.53" in August and 40.75" during 2017 ).

*More than 3.00" fell at the summit level of the High Knob Massif to boost the August 1-8 rainfall total into the 4.50" 
to 5.00" range on Eagle Knob.


Wet Late Summer Pattern

Turbulent Late Summer Skies
High Knob Massif Webcam
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

A wet late summer pattern has gripped the mountains in August, holding temperatures 
down during many cloud filled days within 
the high country.

Eagle Knob
August 1-18 Temperatures
Elevation 4188 feet

Average Daily MAX: 67.3 degrees
Average Daily MIN: 58.0 degrees
MEAN: 62.6 degrees
Highest Temperature: 73 degrees
Lowest Temperature: 46 degrees
*August 1-18 Rainfall: 8.67"

*Approximate total ( some missing data ).

High Knob Lake
August 1-18 Temperatures
Elevation 3527 feet

Average Daily MAX: 69.8 degrees
Average Daily MIN: 56.8 degrees
MEAN: 63.3 degrees
Highest Temperature: 76 degrees
Lowest Temperature: 49 degrees

High Knob Massif Webcam
Towering Cumulus & Orographic Clouds
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

Andrew Greear and Joe Carter report 7.39" of rain so far during August at the City of Norton Water Plant ( 16.04" summer / 44.61" in 2017 ).

*A total of 7.62" of August rainfall has fallen at 
Big Cherry Dam ( 16.31" summer / 52.11" in 2017 ).

*Totals for this year are based upon NWS hand-measured, and automated gauges, as well as snow core data from the winter.


Solar Eclipse 2017
( August 21 )

The following documents this solar eclipse as it appeared from the University Of Virginia's College At Wise. Viewed from the High Knob Massif Web- Cam on top of the Computer Science building.

Eclipse 2017
University Of Virginia's College At Wise
Music: Concerto For 2 Violins In 
G Minor by Christoph Graupner


Solar Eclipse Timing
City of Norton-Wise

Began: 1:07 PM

Peaked: 2.35 PM
( 96% Totality )

Ended: 3:58 PM


Click on any image to enter the frame viewer
( Set in motion by using arrow keys or clicking )

So how can the moon, being so small, 
block out the huge sun?  

August 21, 2017 at 12:54 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

Well it has to do with positioning and ratios.
The numbers at this point in space & time!

August 21, 2017 at 1:07 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

The diameter of the sun is 400 times larger than the moon, but it is also 400 times farther away from the Earth than the moon.  So from Earth the moon and sun look about the same size at any given time, since 400 divided by 400 equals 1.

August 21, 2017 at 1:07 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

In 1-2 million years from now, such will not be the case and total eclipses will no longer be possible on Earth ( i.e., the numbers will no longer divide to generate unity or 1 ).

August 21, 2017 at 1:22 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 1:30 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 1:32 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 1:42 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 1:48 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 2:02 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 2:14 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 2:18 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 2:20 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 2:21 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 2:23 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

 August 21, 2017 at 2:24 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 2:26 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 2:29 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 2:30 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 2:31 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 2:32 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 2:33 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 2:34 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

The sun was covered by clouds in parts of the area, blocking the view, yet the scene remained majestic with interesting rays of sunlight ( crepuscular in nature ) streaming around the edges of very dark cloud bases.

August 21, 2017 at 2:35 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 2:35 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 2:35 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

An amazing aspect was how much light only 4 percent of the sun's irradiance generated, as only beneath 100 percent totality did it ever become truly dark.

August 21, 2017 at 2:36 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 2:36 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 2:36 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 2:37 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 2:37 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 2:38 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 2:38 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 2:39 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 2:39 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 2:40 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 2:40 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 2:41 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 2:42 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 2:43 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 2:45 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 2:46 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 2:47 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 2:48 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 2:49 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 2:50 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 2:51 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 2:52 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 2:53 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 2:54 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 2:56 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 3:00 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 3:05 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 3:10 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 3:15 PM
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

August 21, 2017 at 3:33 PM
JKL Doppler Base Reflectivity

Although atmospheric cooling during the eclipse stablized many places, it was not long until a few isolated downpours developed ( near and just southeast of Clintwood ) across the region.

August 21, 2017 at 3:33 PM
JKL Doppler Base Reflectivity



NASA Visible Satellite Review

NASA Visible At 8:30 On August 21

The day began with areas 
of dense river valley fog.

NASA Visible At 9:00 AM On August 21

NASA Visible At 12:00 PM On August 21

Cumulus and towering cumulus clouds began 
forming along the mountains into mid-day.

NASA Visible At 12:30 PM On August 21

NASA Visible At 1:00 PM On August 21

NASA Visible At 1:30 PM On August 21

The view from space was dramatic looking 
down, as the Earth's surface became dark
within the 100% totality corridor.

NASA Visible At 2:30 PM On August 21

As light returned, it also revealed that much of the cumulus field had dissipated with cooling induced stabilization of the vertical column.

NASA Visible At 3:00 PM On August 21

NASA Visible At 4:00 PM On August 21


Solar Eclipse 2017
Temperature Changes

A drop in temperature was notable during the eclipse, with 8.4 degrees ( F ) being observed at the official NWS Cooperative Station in Clintwood.

I will be updating this and posting data from the high country of the High Knob Massif later, so please check back to see some of the documented eclipse conditions.

National Weather Service
Cooperative Station
Calibrated HOBO Sensor
With Large Radiation Shield

Accuracy: +0.055 degree Fahrenheit higher on the HOBO
Sensor versus the National Weather Service MMTS during
the past 19 days ( August 3-21, 2017 ) after application of a
0.4 degree Fahrenheit correction on the HOBO sensor.

The temperature fell from a MAX of 82.5 degrees 
at 1330 hours ( 1:30 PM ) down to 74.1 degrees by 1450 hours ( 2:50 PM ) as the totality ( 95% in Clintwood ) occurred and began to pass. 

The pre-eclipse MAX of 82 degrees was the maximum for this date.

This Section Is Under Construction.  Please Check Back.

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