Saturday, November 2, 2019

Majestic Rime Opens Nov 2019_High Knob Massif

1 November 2019
High Knob Massif
Majestic Rime & Snow Along Route 238
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

The second rime event of the 2019-20 winter season was a beauty as it featured feathery rime above the first coating of snow.

*The first rime event was minor at the summit level
and occurred into early hours of 17 October 2019.

( Large section - Allow Time To Load )



**These highly compressed photographs, being less than 10%
the size of originals, do not capture the true beauty of this event
nor, especially, the experience of being there personally.

1 November 2019
High Knob Massif
Majestic Rime Along Forest Service Route 238
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Following the driest September on record, the month 
of October 2019 ended with somewhat above average precipitation but well shy of the 9.40" total observed in October 2014 (the greatest October tally at Big Cherry Dam since recording began in 2007-08).

Monthly Total Precipitation
Big Cherry Lake Dam
(Elevation 3139 feet)

January
6.14"

February
12.50"

March
5.93"

April
6.64"

May
6.75"

June
10.68"

July
10.77"

August
4.15"

September
0.63"

October
5.01"
( 5.89" to Midnight 31st )

November 1-13
2.43"

Summer 2019
(Jun 1-Aug 31)
25.60"

2019 Total: 71.63" (M)
 (January 1 to November 13 Period)

Total Past 12-Months: 82.73" (M)

(M): Some missing moisture in undercatch and frozen precipitation, with partial corrections applied for the 24.4 meter (80 feet) tall dam structure where rain gauges are located.

1 November 2019
High Knob Massif
Majestic Rime Along Forest Service Route 238
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

1 November 2019
High Knob Massif
Majestic Rime Along Forest Service Route 238
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

The greatest rime accumulations during this event were at elevations above 3500 feet, with a feathery deposition of frozen cloud vapor.

1 November 2019
Remnant Massif of High Knob Landform
Majestic Rime Along Forest Service 238
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

1 November 2019
Feathery Nature of Riming
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

1 November 2019
Light Rays Through Rime Coated Forest
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

1 November 2019
Gorgeous Rime On High Knob
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

1 November 2019
Rime Along State Route 619
Remnant Massif of High Knob Landform
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

1 November 2019
Rime In Air, On Trees, With Breaking Clouds
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

1 November 2019
High Knob Massif
Rime Coated Northern Exposed Slopes
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

1 November 2019
Rime And Lingering Autumn Color
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

1 November 2019
Rime And Lingering Autumn Color
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

1 November 2019
Light Rays Through Rime Coated Forest
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

1 November 2019
Beautiful Rime Coated Forest
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

1 November 2019
Feathery Rime Along State Route 619
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

1 November 2019
Low-level Inversion Breaking
High Ridges Above Upper Norton Reservoir
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Two seasons in one was obvious by looking at rime capped ridges of Benges Basin, above reservoirs for 
the City of Norton.

1 November 2019
Above The Upper Norton Reservoir
Rime-capped Mountain Ridges of High Knob
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

1 November 2019
Beautiful Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)
Lower Section Of State Route 619 Near Norton
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Although past peak, a few beautiful trees remained.

1 November 2019
Beautiful Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)
Lower Section Of State Route 619 Near Norton
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

1 November 2019
Bear Rock of High Knob Massif
Little Stony Creek Gorge of Clinch River
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

The effect of cold air drainage through Little Stony Gorge was obvious, with more bare and past peak trees than observed along adjacent ridges and higher slopes.

1 November 2019
Bear Rock Heath Barren
Little Stony Creek Gorge of High Knob Massif
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

1 November 2019
Bear Rock Heath Barren
Little Stony Creek Gorge of High Knob Massif
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Beautiful color remained on the Bear Rock Heath Barren, where red was the dominant color observed.

1 November 2019
Bear Rock Heath Barren
Scarlet Oak (Quercus coccinea)
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

1 November 2019
Upper Tennessee River Basin
Little Stony Creek Gorge of High Knob Massif
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

1 November 2019
Upper Tennessee River Basin
Little Stony Creek Gorge of High Knob Massif
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

1 November 2019
Little Stony Creek Gorge of High Knob Massif
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

1 November 2019
Little Stony Creek Gorge of High Knob Massif
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved


Breaks Interstate Park
Lingering Late Season Color

9 November 2019
Majestic Towers Formation
Late Season Color Across Breaks Gorge
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

9 November 2019
Breaks Interstate Park
The Towers Rock Formation_Afternoon Light
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

9 November 2019
Breaks Interstate Park
Majestic Breaks Gorge_Russell Fork River
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

9 November 2019
Breaks Interstate Park
Majestic Light On The Towers Rock Formation
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved


First Significant Snow Event
(Winter Season 2019-20)

Morning of 12 November 2019
Eagle Knob of High Knob Massif (4196 Feet)
Blowing And Drifting Snow On Eagle Knob
Cody Blankenbecker Image - © All Rights Reserved

A general 4-5" of snow, with 6-10"+ drifts were observed into morning hours of 12 November, with additional upslope snow showers and light snow adding another 1-2" into early on 13 November.

The first significant and widespread snow event of the 2019-20 winter season generated blowing and drifting snow at upper elevations in the High Knob Massif into morning hours of 12 November.

12 November 2019 at 5:02 PM
Upslope Snow Showers After System Snowfall
Courtesy Computer Science-Mathematics Department

An array of upslope snow showers continued through the day in wake of system snow, with most significant additional accumulations being along and to the north and northwest of the High Knob Massif and Tennessee Valley Divide.

12 November 2019
GOES-16 Visible Image At 1351 UTC

A distinct baroclinic cloud shield was observed on GOES-16 imagery, which produced the bulk of snowfall across the mountain region.  Great Lake streamers, with bitterly cold air moving over the relatively warm water, became more distinct against clear skies and snow covered ground along and north of the Ohio River.

12 November 2019
GOES-16 Visible Image At 1631 UTC


Storm Snowfall Totals
12-13 November 2019

Clintwood 1 W: 2.7"
( 2-3" ground depths / 0.30" total )

Norton Water Plant: 3.9"
( 3-4" ground depths / 0.71" total )

Jonesville 3.1 WSW: 4.0"
( 4" ground depth )

Nora 4 SSE: 4.2"
( 3" mean depth / 0.47" total )

High Chaparral of High Knob: 5.0"
( 4-5" ground depths )

Eagle Knob of High Knob: 6.0"
( bare ground to 6-10"+ drifts )

If this system was driven by only N-NW upslope flow then Jonesville would have not been on the list, but given that cold air caught up with SW to NE moving precipitation then it was within the main baroclinic band that developed.

72-Hour Change In Conditions
Black Mountain Mesonet Site_Elevation 4039 Ft

*The lack of snow across Lee County, along and to the southeast of the Cumberland-Stone Mountain ridge of the Tennessee Valley Divide, is a very well documented and studied part of local climatology which extends into the Big Stone Gap area of southwestern Wise County.  If significant snow falls in this corridor of the High Knob Landform then it typically must have, as I have always taught, a SW component within at least one or more levels of the atmosphere (the main exception being huge storms that overwhelm the orographics to generate heavy snow on other air flow trajectories due to strong dynamical and/or thermodynamical forcing).

13 November 2019
Copernicus Landsat Image
From Long Island & Atlantic Streams To The Southern Appalachians

Interesting features are often visible in wake of these systems, especially now with modern satellite imagery that yields an often spectacular look at planet Earth.

13 November 2019
Copernicus Landsat Image _Southern Appalachians

This section is under construction.  Please check back.

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