Sunday, November 5, 2017

Late Autumn 2017_High Knob Massif Area


November 4, 2017
Water Elevation 3120 feet
Big Cherry Lake of High Knob Massif
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

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November 4, 2017
Upper Tennessee River Basin
Big Cherry Lake of High Knob Massif
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 4, 2017
Big Cherry Lake of High Knob Massif
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

October precipitation topped 8.00" in the high country of the High Knob Massif, pushing the 2017 precip tally to between 60.00" and 70.00" at upper elevations 
( 55.42" being hand-measured at the northern base 
of the massif in the City of Norton ).

Eagle Knob of High Knob
October 2017 Temperatures

Average Daily MAX: 59.5 degrees
Average Daily MIN: 45.1 degrees
MEAN: 52.3 degrees
Highest Temperature: 72 degrees
*Lowest Temperature: 20 degrees

*A total of 44 consecutive hours with riming from 
1720 hours on 28 October to 1320 hours on 30 October.

November 4, 2017
Big Cherry Lake of High Knob Massif
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Big Cherry Wetland 2
October 2017 Temperatures

Average Daily MAX: 62.2 degrees
Average Daily MIN: 40.5 degrees
MEAN: 51.4 degrees
Highest Temperature: 73 degrees
Lowest Temperature: 23 degrees

The month of October ended cold and wet, but the month on average was milder than average across 
the mountain region. 

Big Cherry Wetland 4
October 2017 Temperatures

Average Daily MAX: 64.6 degrees
Average Daily MIN: 36.8 degrees
MEAN: 50.7 degrees
*Highest Temperature: 77 degrees
Lowest Temperature: 21 degrees

*Coldest 24-hour MAX: 29 degrees

Vast expanses of sphagnum mosses cover the valley floor beneath many species of herbaceous and woody plants; although, upright trees of significant stature generally can grow only along the edges of these sphagnum filled wetlands.

November 4, 2017
Damp & Chilly In The High Country
Big Cherry Wetland Valley In The Clouds
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

While being very wet, of course, it is interesting to walk across spahagnum which gets very thick in places, forming mounds.

Conditions were damp with upper elevations engulfed in clouds within the high country of the High Knob Massif during much of November 4.  Temperatures in the 50s were not cold, but did feel chilly in locations buffeted 
by gusty winds ( especially along mountain ridges ).

November 4, 2017
Damp & Chilly In The High Country
Big Cherry Wetland Valley In The Clouds
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Big Cherry Wetland 1
October 2017 Temperatures

Average Daily MAX: 63.6 degrees
Average Daily MIN: 39.0 degrees
MEAN: 51.3 degrees
Highest Temperature: 76 degrees
Lowest Temperature: 22 degrees

November 4, 2017
Big Cherry Wetland Valley In The Clouds
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Microclimates were on full display within the vertical, amid this complex mountain terrain on November 4, with conditions varying from winter-like in appearance within the high country of the massif to an abundance of tree leaves still sporting near peak color downward into depths of the great South Fork of Powell River Gorge.

November 4, 2017
Upper Tennessee River Basin
South Fork Gorge of High Knob Massif
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 4, 2017
South Fork Gorge of High Knob Massif
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

A jagged cliff-line approximately marks the 3000 foot level, with increasingly bare trees above as the high country spreads outward for miles.

November 4, 2017
South Fork Gorge of High Knob Massif
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved


Orographic Forcing Season
Interesting Days In Mountain Empire

As often is the case, November has been a cloudy 
month with many hours spent amid clouds within 
upper elevations of the high country.

November 12, 2017
Dense Fog In Orographic Clouds
Fog Shrouded High Knob Peak
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Fog drip from trees and rime deposition and eventual drop from trees are very important secondary moisture sources which add significantly to the annual water budget of this already wet terrain.

November 12, 2017
High Knob Peak of High Knob Massif
Dense Fog Within Orographic Clouds
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 12, 2017
Water Reflections Near The Cloud Deck
High Knob Lake of High Knob Massif
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Clouds were covering much of High Knob Lake basin, with the lake and adjacent wetland being barely beneath the cloud deck.  Just enough to capture a few "clear" photographs.


High Knob Lake
October 2017 Temperatures

Average Daily MAX: 60.7 degrees
Average Daily MIN: 41.5 degrees
MEAN: 51.1 degrees
Highest Temperature: 73 degrees
Lowest Temperature: 23 degrees

November 12, 2017
High Knob Lake Recreation Area
Beaver Dams Backing Up Water
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

November 12, 2017
High Knob Lake Recreation & Biological Area
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

A changeable mid-November weather pattern may for some interesting days as orographics began to dictate the nature of weather conditions observed.

November 13, 2017
Orographic Gravity Waves On NW Flow
Image Courtesy of MODIS

The High Knob Massif is a tectonic mountain and is 
part of a great geologic anticline which forms the most dominant structural feature of the famed Cumberland Overthrust Block. 

November 14, 2017
A Shift To NE-ENE Air Flow
Changing Wind Direction Changes Orographics
Image Courtesy of MODIS

MODIS ( Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer ) is part of the NASA Terra Satellite System that includes ASTER ( Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission & Reflection Radiometer ).  MODIS has a rather course 250 meter resolution but a relatively short temporal resolution.

ASTER has a variable, upon request temporal 
resolution, while MODIS scans the Earth daily.

November 18, 2017
Gravity Waves Form On Strong SW Winds

These images are from GOES-16 and show standing orographic waves forming on strong SW flow, with a couple of waves standing within very well documented climatological positions along the High Knob Massif 
( partially obscured by higher-level clouds ). 

November 18, 2017
1-Hour Later And Waves In Same Position
Gravity Waves Form On Strong SW Winds

There are two dominant zones in the southern Appalachians where SW flow exerts a major climatic influence upon the landscape, the High Knob Massif-Black Mountain corridor along the Virginia-Kentucky stateline and the area from the Great Smokies into southwestern North Carolina.

November 18, 2017
Favored Zones For SW Flow Orographic Forcing
Image Courtesy of MODIS

As demanded by the Law Of Continuity Of Mass, the influence of these dominant SW Upslope Flow zones extend into adjacent areas via forced subsidence of air as adjustment toward atmospheric equilibrium is sought. 

November 19, 2017
Orographic Waves Generated On WNW Flow
Image Courtesy of MODIS

While NW and SE-E flows have been extensively studied, these are not the only flows important to generating diverse, often dramatic weather 
contrasts across the Mountain Empire.

Head of Powell Valley of High Knob Massif
Mostly Clear Skies On Thanksgiving 2017
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Frigid morning temperatures on Thanksgiving 2017 were observed in mountain valleys with readings varying from around 10 degrees in coldest valleys 
of the high country to around 20 degrees.

November 23, 2017
Head of Powell of High Knob Massif
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Although skies were mostly clear on Thanksgiving, some mid-level instability generated a few interesting patches of clouds.

November 23, 2017
Clouds Above Powell Valley Overlook
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Observe circular subsidence holes in the cloud patch below, with adjacent areas of more vertical mid-level cloud development.

November 23, 2017
Clouds Above Powell Valley Overlook
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Colorful Sunrise On November 25, 2017
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Sunrises and sunsets typically have two main bursts of color separated by a period of less dramatic colorations, and this one was no exception.

Colorful Sunrise On November 25, 2017
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

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