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Considering your local terrain

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#1
Black Hole

Posted 13 August 2017 - 08:59 AM

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I thought this might be a new and fun topic idea. I want to do two things with this.

1.) As the local or regional terrain around your area exists now, how does it affect your weather to create your location climatology on a daily basis, or for extreme events?

2.) If you could modify aspects of the terrain, how would you do it to make the weather more or less interesting?

You can make this really local if you want, or can talk about terrain a few hundred miles away if it matters. I will have more to say on this later, but as an example to get things going:

There is a small set of mountains to my SW called the Oquirrh mtns. These mountains greatly increase the number of summer thunderstorms in my area and cause a lot of shadowing in the winter time to reduce precipitation. If the height of the mountains were increased these effects would likely be even more dramatic. My location is far enough north that they usually do not affect my precipitation nearly as much as they do in SLC, which is part of why I am wetter than SLC in winter but get less t-storms in summer. 

If I could modify anything I would add a single mountain further north from the main chain so I would still see minimal shadowing, but would probably see more thunderstorms in summer.

 


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BS Atmospheric Science University of Utah May 2015

PhD Candidate Atmospheric Sciences

 

--Emphasis on: Forecasting, Mountain Weather, Numerical Weather Prediction, Data Assimilation

 

Winter 2017/2018

Dec 4: 3.2", 16: 0.9", 20: 2.1", 23: 1.5", 25: 4.6"

Jan 6: 1.5", 20: 10.8", 25: 1.5"

Feb 19: 8.6", 20: 2.4", 23: 7.1", 25: .5"

Mar 4: 13", 15: 1.8", 17: 5.3", 25: 4.2"

April 12: 1", 17: 1.3"

Total: 69.3"

 

 

Winter 2016/17 Snow:
Nov 17: 3.2", 23: 1.6", 28: 9.2" (14)

Dec 1: .5", 16: 2.5", 25: 13" (16)

Jan 2: 5", 3: 2.4", 4: 7.7", 12: 1", 19: 1.2", 21: 13", 23: 6", 24: 1", 25: 3.7", 26: 2.5" (43.5) 

Feb 11: .5", 23: 6.5", 27: 4.5" (13.5)

Mar 5: 5.5" (5.5)

Apr 8: 2", 9: 1.8" (3.8)

May 17: 1" (1)
Total: 96.3"

Lowest Temp: 2F


#2
Phil

Posted 13 August 2017 - 10:17 AM

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The Appalachians to our west insulate us from extreme lows during Arctic blasts due to downsloping/adiabatic warming and the increased wind speeds under the resultant deepening of the mixing layer. They're also responsible for the powerful W/NW windstorms during winter/spring for the same reason. Also they elevate our summer temperatures by several degrees, also for the same reason.

So, if I could, I would either bulldoze them or build a big ridgeline right along the I-95 corridor. :P
  • happ likes this
Personal Weather Station, Live Stream on Wunderground: https://www.wundergr...BETHE62#history

Warm Season 2018
90+ degree days: 5
Thunderstorm Days: 5
Severe Days: 1
Total rainfall: 1.77”
Highest Gust: 54mph
Warmest High: 94.6*F
Warmest low: 65.5*F

Live Weather Stream

#3
Black Hole

Posted 13 August 2017 - 07:30 PM

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Another interesting one. In the past the Great Salt Lake was huge (Lake Bonneville). I suspect that in the past this large lake likely lead to some unbelievable lake effect snow. As it is now, the lake is much smaller so LES tends to be weaker and mostly occurs NW to SE since that is along the lake axis.

Also interesting, the smaller the lake size the more rapid the temperature swings. The size it is at now gives two LES peaks in late autumn and again in early spring. If the lake were larger it would only have one peak like the Great Lakes do. 

 


  • Phil likes this

BS Atmospheric Science University of Utah May 2015

PhD Candidate Atmospheric Sciences

 

--Emphasis on: Forecasting, Mountain Weather, Numerical Weather Prediction, Data Assimilation

 

Winter 2017/2018

Dec 4: 3.2", 16: 0.9", 20: 2.1", 23: 1.5", 25: 4.6"

Jan 6: 1.5", 20: 10.8", 25: 1.5"

Feb 19: 8.6", 20: 2.4", 23: 7.1", 25: .5"

Mar 4: 13", 15: 1.8", 17: 5.3", 25: 4.2"

April 12: 1", 17: 1.3"

Total: 69.3"

 

 

Winter 2016/17 Snow:
Nov 17: 3.2", 23: 1.6", 28: 9.2" (14)

Dec 1: .5", 16: 2.5", 25: 13" (16)

Jan 2: 5", 3: 2.4", 4: 7.7", 12: 1", 19: 1.2", 21: 13", 23: 6", 24: 1", 25: 3.7", 26: 2.5" (43.5) 

Feb 11: .5", 23: 6.5", 27: 4.5" (13.5)

Mar 5: 5.5" (5.5)

Apr 8: 2", 9: 1.8" (3.8)

May 17: 1" (1)
Total: 96.3"

Lowest Temp: 2F


#4
snow_wizard

Posted 04 September 2017 - 03:14 PM

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Very interesting topic.  I will post my wish list within the next couple of days.


Death To Warm Anomalies!

 

Winter 2017-18 stats

 

Total Snowfall = 7.7"

Coldest Low = 19

Lows 32 or below = 51

Highs 32 or below = 0

Lows Below 20 = 0

Highs 40 or below = 21

 

 


#5
luminen

Posted 05 September 2017 - 06:15 PM

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I'd make the Strait of Georgia/Salish Sea dry land with an elevation of 3000', raise the base elevation here in North Vancouver to 3000', and make the surrounding 100-250km2 mostly flat to encourage thunderstorm development (if the two previous changes don't do that already).

 

Maybe something like this:

J 27/18 4.5"

F 35/26 4.2"

M 41/30 4.1"

A 53/40 3.0"

M 61/45 3.6"

J 67/51 3.9"

J 73/52 2.1"

A 73/52 2.5"

S 62/43 2.9"

O 50/37 3.8"

N 38/27 5.9"

D 26/18 5.3"


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#6
Geos

Posted 06 September 2017 - 10:17 AM

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1.) As the local or regional terrain around your area exists now, how does it affect your weather to create your location climatology on a daily basis, or for extreme events?

2.) If you could modify aspects of the terrain, how would you do it to make the weather more or less interesting?

 

On the first point/question. Being on a top of a 500 foot hill west of Lake Washington, my location catches a bit more weather especially when it comes to precip and wind. There's always a little extra rain in the gauge then locations lower in elevation and there is definitely more snow in the winter (that I saw with my first winter here). The snow sticks around longer at my location to compared to spots only a 100-200 feet lower. Noticed that there is more of a breeze around my neighborhood on most days, which is nice when it's hot out. 

 

On the second point/question. It would be nice to be higher in elevation (like 1500-2000 ft) with the mountains being closer. It would be interesting if the area could be in a deep valley that goes back into the mountains so cold air could hang on longer in the winter in order to get more snow (kind of like Skykomish, Index is).


  • Black Hole likes this

Finn Hill, elevation: 460 ft
2018 moisture: 21.70", 05/20

 

2017-2018 winter snowfall total: 9.0", 3/23

Weather station/wx cam: http://map.bloomsky....qBxp6apnJSnqqm2
https://www.wundergr...OTHE144#history


#7
SilverFallsAndrew

Posted 07 September 2017 - 10:46 AM

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1) My immediate area is sheltered from offshore winds by a low ridge to the NE and about 5-10 miles east a higher ridge of hills/mountains. This means even though I am at 1600' I am affected by inversions, and get pretty good radiational cooling. In overrunning events though I mix out very quickly due to no offshore flow. Why Detroit, OR at the same elevation and about 25 miles SE of me gets a lot more snow. The low line of hills that stretch out toward Salem (Waldo Hills) kind of train precip toward my location. So I get a bit more precip due to that, especially with W or SW flow. 

 

2) Probably would make the ridge to the North a bit higher for better orographics, and maybe mountains to the south to block the warm tongue. 


Snowfall

2017-18: 30.0"

2016-17: 49.2"

2015-16: 11.75"

2014-15: 3.5"
2013-14: 11.75"
2012-13: 16.75"
2011-12: 98.5"

 

 

 


#8
wx_statman

Posted 07 September 2017 - 05:28 PM

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2) I would bulldoze the Rockies and Cascades, and add the material to the Coast Range. 


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#9
Phil

Posted 08 September 2017 - 11:40 AM

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2) I would bulldoze the Rockies and Cascades, and add the material to the Coast Range.


Bulldozing the Rockies would give me a Mediterranean climate, so no thanks. :P
Personal Weather Station, Live Stream on Wunderground: https://www.wundergr...BETHE62#history

Warm Season 2018
90+ degree days: 5
Thunderstorm Days: 5
Severe Days: 1
Total rainfall: 1.77”
Highest Gust: 54mph
Warmest High: 94.6*F
Warmest low: 65.5*F

Live Weather Stream

#10
wx_statman

Posted 08 September 2017 - 12:23 PM

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Bulldozing the Rockies would give me a Mediterranean climate, so no thanks. :P


No, I don't think so. Remember I'm using all that material to build up the Coast Range, so N. America will be even more cut off from the Pacific. You would most likely transition to colder and drier winters...something like Beijing.
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#11
Phil

Posted 08 September 2017 - 12:43 PM

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No, I don't think so. Remember I'm using all that material to build up the Coast Range, so N. America will be even more cut off from the Pacific. You would most likely transition to colder and drier winters...something like Beijing.


Ah, I missed that part. We're cool, then. 😎
  • Black Hole and wx_statman like this
Personal Weather Station, Live Stream on Wunderground: https://www.wundergr...BETHE62#history

Warm Season 2018
90+ degree days: 5
Thunderstorm Days: 5
Severe Days: 1
Total rainfall: 1.77”
Highest Gust: 54mph
Warmest High: 94.6*F
Warmest low: 65.5*F

Live Weather Stream

#12
Kayla

Posted 08 September 2017 - 02:23 PM

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2) I would bulldoze the Rockies and Cascades, and add the material to the Coast Range. 

 

Aargh, my house!!


Cold season 2017/18:

Total snowfall: 222.0"
Largest snowfall: 16.6"
Coldest high: 2ΒΊF
Coldest low: -15ΒΊF

Sub-zero days: 13

 

Personal Weather Station on Wunderground: https://www.wundergr...OZEM152#history


#13
wx_statman

Posted 08 September 2017 - 02:28 PM

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Aargh, my house!!

 

It would be sacrificed for a noble cause.  :(


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#14
WeatherArchive

Posted 07 October 2017 - 09:17 AM

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I'd make the hills west of Stayton/Aumsville a little bit lower to allow more rain. Same goes for the coast range. 

   

     Often unless it's SW flow rain where it's equal everywhere Pacific Fronts often get hung up over the 600ft hills just west of here and we get clearingwith the sun peaking thru while around us has showers.  Just past Mcclay usually.

     There has been lots of times I've seen it dark towards Salem and then it breaks up as it reaches here and equally when I drive over the big hill it will be raining on the top and dry on either side. 

     I once had a HUGE rain event in the fall a few years ago in Stayton where it was so dark signs turned on and the windscreen wipers failed to keep up with the torrents of rain yet just a mile out of Stayton I got into sunshine and could see the REALLY dark pitch black cloud hung over there.



#15
WeatherArchive

Posted 07 October 2017 - 09:21 AM

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Bulldozing the Rockies would give me a Mediterranean climate, so no thanks. :P

How would it do that? Aren't you like 500 miles away from them as the crow flies?  I don't think raising or lowering them would alter your climate one bit.  Now the Ozarks and Appalachians seem more to steering your weather.



#16
Phil

Posted 07 October 2017 - 11:58 AM

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How would it do that? Aren't you like 500 miles away from them as the crow flies? I don't think raising or lowering them would alter your climate one bit. Now the Ozarks and Appalachians seem more to steering your weather.


The Rockies produce that big lee trough over the central portion of North America. Mass/momentum is conserved as the westerlies ride over the Rockies, and mechanically exchange w/ the Earth's crust/rotation rate.

The Pleistocene ice ages would probably never have occurred without the Rocky Mountains, or would be significantly weakened, because the Laurentide Ice Sheet would be much smaller.
  • Geos and WeatherArchive like this
Personal Weather Station, Live Stream on Wunderground: https://www.wundergr...BETHE62#history

Warm Season 2018
90+ degree days: 5
Thunderstorm Days: 5
Severe Days: 1
Total rainfall: 1.77”
Highest Gust: 54mph
Warmest High: 94.6*F
Warmest low: 65.5*F

Live Weather Stream

#17
WeatherArchive

Posted 08 October 2017 - 08:15 AM

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so without them you'd have a semi permanent Bermuda high keeping you pretty much warm?



#18
Phil

Posted 08 October 2017 - 10:39 AM

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so without them you'd have a semi permanent Bermuda high keeping you pretty much warm?


More like zonal flow or a sprawling area of high pressure depending on the season. The descending branch of the Atlantic Hadley Cell would certainly exert more influence, leading to a drier climate.
Personal Weather Station, Live Stream on Wunderground: https://www.wundergr...BETHE62#history

Warm Season 2018
90+ degree days: 5
Thunderstorm Days: 5
Severe Days: 1
Total rainfall: 1.77”
Highest Gust: 54mph
Warmest High: 94.6*F
Warmest low: 65.5*F

Live Weather Stream

#19
WeatherArchive

Posted 24 October 2017 - 04:33 AM

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More like zonal flow or a sprawling area of high pressure depending on the season. The descending branch of the Atlantic Hadley Cell would certainly exert more influence, leading to a drier climate.

What about temps. If you were drier would you be more or less extreme?



#20
Phil

Posted 24 October 2017 - 08:25 AM

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What about temps. If you were drier would you be more or less extreme?


Probably cooler/drier in the summer, which would actually be quite nice. Winter would be much warmer, though.

In the end, though, what matters here during the winter is storm track/jet dynamics, rather than antecedent temperatures. We can easily score snow in the middle of a blowtorch pattern so long as a mature storm tracks ~ 100 miles to our south.

Unfortunately, that requires a very precise timing with regards to jet phasing...if the jets phase too quickly, the storm will cut to our west and we'll get warm-sectored. If they phase too late, the storm is sheared into oblivion and I'm left smoking cirrus, which is worse than a cutter IMO since I hate cold/dry winters more than warm/wet ones.
Personal Weather Station, Live Stream on Wunderground: https://www.wundergr...BETHE62#history

Warm Season 2018
90+ degree days: 5
Thunderstorm Days: 5
Severe Days: 1
Total rainfall: 1.77”
Highest Gust: 54mph
Warmest High: 94.6*F
Warmest low: 65.5*F

Live Weather Stream

#21
WeatherArchive

Posted 24 October 2017 - 09:12 PM

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Probably cooler/drier in the summer, which would actually be quite nice. Winter would be much warmer, though.

In the end, though, what matters here during the winter is storm track/jet dynamics, rather than antecedent temperatures. We can easily score snow in the middle of a blowtorch pattern so long as a mature storm tracks ~ 100 miles to our south.

Unfortunately, that requires a very precise timing with regards to jet phasing...if the jets phase too quickly, the storm will cut to our west and we'll get warm-sectored. If they phase too late, the storm is sheared into oblivion and I'm left smoking cirrus, which is worse than a cutter IMO since I hate cold/dry winters more than warm/wet ones.

Why do you hate them? Aren't cold and dry winters usually more sunny where warm and wet ones have a lot more dreary days with low ceiling and little VFR?



#22
Phil

Posted 24 October 2017 - 09:24 PM

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Why do you hate them? Aren't cold and dry winters usually more sunny where warm and wet ones have a lot more dreary days with low ceiling and little VFR?


I enjoy cloudy, stormy winters with lots of precipitation and frontal action. Extreme cold isn't exactly my favorite kind of winter weather, as it makes it very difficult to enjoy the outdoors. Plus when it get really cold here, it's always super-windy, which makes it worse.

If it's raining or snowing, I can throw on a hoodie and go for a nice jog without issue. Subzero windchills are harder on my lungs than the summer smog.
Personal Weather Station, Live Stream on Wunderground: https://www.wundergr...BETHE62#history

Warm Season 2018
90+ degree days: 5
Thunderstorm Days: 5
Severe Days: 1
Total rainfall: 1.77”
Highest Gust: 54mph
Warmest High: 94.6*F
Warmest low: 65.5*F

Live Weather Stream