Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Mid-Winter 2022_High Knob Massif Area

 
7 January 2022
Rime Crystals In Bitter Air
Eagle Knob of High Knob Massif
Cody Blankenbecler Image © All Rights Reserved

Majestic crystals of rime were blown through bitter air at the summit level of the High Knob Massif in wake of a 6 January 2022 winter storm.

                         Black Lives Matter Statement

( Large section - Allow Time To Load )


A radical pattern change from December 2021 has plunged this first month of the new year into winter, with two significant snow events during the first week and a major winter storm knocking on the door of Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend.

3 January 2022
Beautiful Snowfall
Canadian Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved


Precipitation Update

High Knob Massif
(Upper Elevations)

(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"

August
10.39"

Summer 2021
(1 June-31 August)
20.73"

September
5.82"

October
3.80"

November
2.23"
(Eagle Knob Snowfall: 1.5")

Autumn 2021
(1 Sep-30 Nov)
11.85"

December
4.63"
(Eagle Knob Snowfall: 1.0")

2021 Total: 68.87"
 (January 1 to December 31 Period)


2022

January 1-11
5.78"
(Eagle Knob Snowfall: 14.0")

November 2019-October 2020: 102.34"

Autumn 2018 to Summer 2019: 91.21"

Autumn 2019 to Summer 2020: 94.44"

Autumn 2020 to Summer 2021: 73.84"

(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).

A major storm event opened January 2022 with 3.50" to 4.00"+ of total precipitation, including a general 3" to 6" of snow during 3 January 2022. 

4 January 2022
Snow Shadow Downstream of High Knob
Copernicus_Landsat_NOAA

A distinct snow shadow downstream of 
the High Knob Massif was observed with 
clearing skies into 4 January 2022 (*).

*This has been well documented during countless past
events and has been responsible for dramatic decreases
in storm snowfall totals within this shadowing zone.


Note the wind streamlines at 925-850 MB that were observed during the main period of snowfall, with snow shadowing lee of the Wise-Scott border across much of Scott County into western Sullivan County and Hawkins County in Tennessee. 


The next snowfall left a general 5" to 10" of snow depth on the morning of 7 January 2022, varying along the northern slopes from 6" at the City of Norton Water Plant to 1-2+ feet in wind blown drifts at the summit level.

January 2022
In The Mixed-Mesophytic Forest
American Beech-Hemlock Community
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved


8 January 2022 at 1431 UTC

The big mass of high country surrounding the 
High Knob peak was clearly visible following
the next snow event on 8 January 2022.

8 January 2022 at 1431 UTC


Recap of December 2021
Much Warmer & Drier Than Average


A persistent 500 MB ridge over the central-eastern USA, and trough over the Pacific Northwest, resulted in much above average December temperatures and much below average precipitation.

112 Million Gallon Gain
Big Cherry Lake Refilled During
December As Most of Virginia Dried

December precipitation, fog drip and rime deposition with drop from trees was great enough in Big Cherry Basin to raise the reservoir level by 3 vertical feet.

This occurred as 93% of Virginia dried and slipped deeper into drought conditions (**). 

 **Not an aberration, with this being well 
documented during past winter seasons
on this website and in my other work.

December was the second least snowy on record 
during the past 3 decades in the High Knob Massif
and is part of a trend featuring 5 consecutive least
snowy December's during 2013-2017.

(1992-2020 Period)
500 MB Height Anomaly
The Least Snowy Decembers

A comparison with the least snowy December's on record reveals a similar anomaly pattern at 500 MB across the United States.

December 2021
500 MB Height Anomaly


To no major surprise, most of these 
December's were anomalously mild.

(1992-2020 Period)
850 MB Temperature Anomaly
The Least Snowy Decembers

Warmth this year was opposed to much colder than average conditions across western Canada and the Pacific Northwest.

December 2021
850 MB Temperature Anomaly

Mean low-level airflow trajectories during December 2021 were analogous to the least snowy on record, but total precipitation this year was much below the mean 
of these least snowy December's.

(Around 5.00" in 2021 versus around 8.00").

850 MB Airflow Trajectories
The Least Snowy Decembers

A comparison at 850 MB.

December 2021
850 MB Airflow Trajectories

925 MB Airflow Trajectories
The Least Snowy Decembers

A comparison at 925 MB.

December 2021
925 MB Airflow Trajectories

This section is under construction.