Thursday, August 5, 2021

Mid-Late Summer 2021_High Knob Massif

 
21 July 2021
High Knob Massif
High Knob Lake Recreation Area
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved

Smoke in the air was the main anomaly at mid-July, with 
upper air winds blowing smoke from western USA and 
Canadian wildfires into the Appalachians. 

Summer 2021 has so far featured near average temperatures and below average rainfall.  Although it has remained wet enough, conditions have been much drier than recent wet summers.

                            Black Lives Matter Statement

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21 July 2021
High Knob Massif
Wetland In High Knob Lake Basin
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved

High Knob Massif
Precipitation Update

(Totals Listed By AM Measurement Format)
Monthly Total Precipitation
Big Cherry Lake Dam
(Elevation 3139 feet)

2019

January
6.14"

February
12.50"

Winter 2018-19
(1 Dec-29 Feb)
26.56"

March
5.93"

April
6.64"

May
6.75"

Spring 2019
(1 Mar-31 May)
19.32"

June
10.68"

July
10.77"

August
4.15"

Summer 2019
(1 Jun-31 Aug)
25.60"

September
0.63"

October
5.01"
( 5.89" to Midnight 31st )

November
5.20"
( 7.04" to Midnight 30th )

Autumn 2019
(1 Sep-31 Oct)
10.84"

December
8.52"

2019 Total: 82.92" (M)
 (January 1 to December 31 Period)

2020

*January
7.15"

**February
13.01"

Winter 2019-20
(1 Dec-29 Feb)
28.68"

March
9.55"
( 10.77" to Midnight 31st )

April
11.59"

May
8.73"
(6.90" on Eagle Knob of High Knob Massif)

Spring 2020
(1 Mar-31 May)
29.87"

June
7.48"

July
9.72"
(10.48" to Midnight 31st)

August
8.12"

Summer 2020
(1 Jun-31 Aug)
25.32"

September
6.21"

October 
7.06"

November 
1.96"
(Eagle Knob Snowfall: 0.5")

Autumn 2020
(1 Sep-31 Oct)
15.23"

December 
6.22"
(Eagle Knob Snowfall: 34.0")

2020 Total: 96.80" (M)
 (January 1 to December 31 Period)

2021

January
6.35"
***(Eagle Knob Snowfall: 34.0")

February
7.42"
(Eagle Knob Snowfall: 19.5")

Winter 2020-21
(1 Dec to 28 Feb)
19.99"
(21.70" on Eagle Knob)

March
10.82"
(11.14" to Midnight 31st)

April
2.53"
(Eagle Knob Snowfall: 2.5")

May
4.54"
(Eagle Knob Snowfall: Trace)

Spring 2021
(1 Mar-31 May)
17.89"

June
4.79"

July
5.55"

1-18 August
8.33"

2021 Total: 50.33"
 (January 1 to August 18 Period)

November 2019-October 2020: 102.34"

Autumn 2018 to Summer 2019: 91.21"

Autumn 2019 to Summer 2020: 94.44"

(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.  Corrections are based upon 86-months of direct comparisons between NWS and IFLOWS at Big Cherry Dam (including occasional snow core-water content data).

*General 7.00" to 8.00" at upper elevations (above 3000 feet) with 5.96" at the City of Norton Water Plant (official NWS rain gauge located at approximately 2342 feet elevation).

**Third consecutive February to reach double-digit precipitation totals within upper elevations of the 
High Knob Massif.

***Not a mistake, with a second consecutive month having 34.0" of snowfall (rare to have back-to-back months with the same total).

21 July 2021
High Knob Massif
Turk's-cap Lilies (Lilium canadense)
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved

Beautiful Turk's-cap Lillies, that bloom in the high country, often get tall (near to above head height of an average person) and have more than a dozen majestic blooms (this plant had 16 blossoms, but I have found them with around 2 dozen).

High Knob Massif
Canada Lily (Lilium canadense)
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved

Canada Lilies that also grow in the high country are distinctly different from the Turk's-cap and typically possess inverted blossoms. A feisty Ruby-throated Humingbird (Archilochus colubris) was working 
this beautiful plant.

High Knob Massif
Turk's-cap Lily (Lilium superbum)
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved

Deer love the cultivated forms and eat them up.  Thankfully, I have not yet (knock on wood) found 
deer eating these high country varieties.

High Knob Massif
Turk's-cap Lily (Lilium superbum)
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved


Wet-Seasonally Cool
Beginning To August 2021

Although August 2021 has started wet, with a year-to-date total around 44.00" at Big Cherry Dam being above the mean annual average precipitation for the state of Virginia, it is around 2 FEET less than observed at this same time last year for the year-to-date tally.

2-4 August 2021
Dual-Pol Doppler And Rain Gauge

While around 2.00" of rain fell during early August at Big Cherry Dam, more than 3.00" fell to the northeast within the area of Bark Camp Lake Recreation Area 
and The Glades toward Flatwoods. Such short distance variations are common during the convective season.

Dual-Pol Doppler under-estimated rainfall totals versus rain gauge reports during this period (above).  Dual-pol does very well at times.  

Dual-Pol estimated rainfall totals seem to be best when the view of a given downpour is not obscured by a lot of other activity, or near a rain gradient of rapidly changing values, and when rain is mainly falling from high-level seeder clouds with no feeder (orographic) clouds across the high country.

4 August 2021
Black Mountain At 3:05 PM
Kentucky Mesonet At 3:05 PM on 4 August 2021

August opened cooler than average, with 4 August featuring afternoon temperatures in the 50s to lower 60s across the high country of the High Knob Massif being 25-30 degrees cooler than locations in dry sunshine within the Shenandoah Valley of northern Virginia.

4 August 2021
Copernicus-Landsat Image

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