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Did the early settlers have air stagnation like we do? (Serious replies only)


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I'm actually curious from an upper atmospheric standpoint if early settlers suffered thru these long fog episodes like we do today? Did they suffer more or less due to knowing how to build houses tougher as the east coast usually doesn't go thru this BS they now suddenly have to encounter OR were it more clear skies then today making it colder?

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  • Link changed the title to Did the early settlers have air stagnation like we do? (Serious replies only)
On 11/20/2020 at 10:49 PM, Link said:

I'm actually curious from an upper atmospheric standpoint if early settlers suffered thru these long fog episodes like we do today? Did they suffer more or less due to knowing how to build houses tougher as the east coast usually doesn't go thru this BS they now suddenly have to encounter OR were it more clear skies then today making it colder?

Inversion fog has always existed in Western valleys. However, it has become more common since settlers first arrived.

Fog requires microscopic particulate matter suspended in the air to form. Sea fog forms because of salt particles in the air, but valley fog forms because of dust or pollution.

The best example in the western US is the fog in California's Central Valley, which is notoriously dense and even has a name: tule fog. Cities like Fresno and Bakersfield had and still have some of the worst air quality in the nation because of the oil industry and agricultural pollution in the San Joaquin valley, and tule fog used to be very frequent during the wintertime. However, as air quality regulations and standards increased, the tule fog started to decrease in frequency. It still happens, but not as often as in decades prior.

The same principles apply to the Willamette Valley, Columbia Basin, Snake River Plain, Salt Lake Valley, etc. When the air stagnates, particulate matter increases, which in turn causes incidence of fog to increase.

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15 hours ago, Omegaraptor said:

Inversion fog has always existed in Western valleys. However, it has become more common since settlers first arrived.

Fog requires microscopic particulate matter suspended in the air to form. Sea fog forms because of salt particles in the air, but valley fog forms because of dust or pollution.

The best example in the western US is the fog in California's Central Valley, which is notoriously dense and even has a name: tule fog. Cities like Fresno and Bakersfield had and still have some of the worst air quality in the nation because of the oil industry and agricultural pollution in the San Joaquin valley, and tule fog used to be very frequent during the wintertime. However, as air quality regulations and standards increased, the tule fog started to decrease in frequency. It still happens, but not as often as in decades prior.

The same principles apply to the Willamette Valley, Columbia Basin, Snake River Plain, Salt Lake Valley, etc. When the air stagnates, particulate matter increases, which in turn causes incidence of fog to increase.

So in the 1880s/1900s do you suppose these fogs were pretty frequent during ridgey episodes in the winter or if not would that play a role in temperature departures?

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16 hours ago, Deweydog said:

I believe cold air was indeed more dense than warm air back then.

What I'm mentioning is if we had less fog back then would that make colder nights in exchange? Fog generally keeps minimums up but high temps down.

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17 hours ago, Link said:

What I'm mentioning is if we had less fog back then would that make colder nights in exchange? Fog generally keeps minimums up but high temps down.

Thermodynamics and the principles of meteorology have not changed since then.  In the event of strong subsidence, weak low level forcing and low level moisture, fog is gonna happen around here this time of year.  Now and then.

My preferences can beat up your preferences’ dad.

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3 hours ago, Deweydog said:

Thermodynamics and the principles of meteorology have not changed since then.  In the event of strong subsidence, weak low level forcing and low level moisture, fog is gonna happen around here this time of year.  Now and then.

But we've had way less 'particles' to be trapped since then though too which adds to it. I'm not talking about a 'little' fog here and there which can happen on any given winter I'm talking weeks of inversion if it happened during the end of the Little Ice Age frequently or no.

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8 hours ago, Link said:

But we've had way less 'particles' to be trapped since then though too which adds to it. I'm not talking about a 'little' fog here and there which can happen on any given winter I'm talking weeks of inversion if it happened during the end of the Little Ice Age frequently or no.

Sounds good to me!

My preferences can beat up your preferences’ dad.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have detailed weather records for the Tacoma area from the mid 19th century and there were indeed long fog episodes back then just like we get now.

Death To Warm Anomalies!

 

Winter 2020-21 stats

 

Total Snowfall = 7.0"

Day with 1" or more snow depth = 5

Total Hail = 0.0"

Coldest Low = 23

Lows 32 or below = 38

Highs 32 or below = 2

Lows 20 or below = 0

Highs 40 or below = 5

 

 

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6 hours ago, snow_wizard said:

I have detailed weather records for the Tacoma area from the mid 19th century and there were indeed long fog episodes back then just like we get now.

Where are the weather records? I'd like to see them somehow? 🤔

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19 hours ago, Scott said:

In the Salt Lake Valley it is said that the Native Americans would migrate to the benches in the winter in order to avoid the fog on the valley floor.

I've been to the Benches and they get twice as much snow as the airport down by the lake.  What do you mean by migrating up there what would they do and where did they go?  Also how's Grand Junction against long foggy episodes?

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On 12/4/2020 at 10:40 PM, Scott said:

In the Salt Lake Valley it is said that the Native Americans would migrate to the benches in the winter in order to avoid the fog on the valley floor.

That surprises me. The NWS there always gives a specific forecast for the Benches in snow setups and they usually get a lot more than the valley.

Interesting fog would be more important to avoid than deep snow.

Everett Snowfall

 

2018-19: 24.75"

2019-20: 10.5"

 

1/10: 0.5"

1/12: 5.5"

1/13: 1"

1/14: 1.5"

1/15: 2"

 

 

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On 12/6/2020 at 3:46 PM, bainbridgekid said:

That surprises me. The NWS there always gives a specific forecast for the Benches in snow setups and they usually get a lot more than the valley.

Interesting fog would be more important to avoid than deep snow.

Maybe the fog was so bad that it hurt their hunting abilities?

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On 12/8/2020 at 7:06 PM, Jesse said:

Snow was probably helpful to hunting. At least in moderation. It's a little harder to move around in but prints make it way easier to track prey.

I was also thinking about that aspect too. Well done Jesse guy. 

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On 12/6/2020 at 4:46 PM, bainbridgekid said:

That surprises me. The NWS there always gives a specific forecast for the Benches in snow setups and they usually get a lot more than the valley.

Interesting fog would be more important to avoid than deep snow.

The benches get more snow, but are also  warmer at night and much sunnier.

On the coldest nights, it can be up to 15 degrees warmer on the benches.  Plus the benches had more firewood available.

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On 12/12/2020 at 4:15 PM, Scott said:

The benches get more snow, but are also  warmer at night and much sunnier.

On the coldest nights, it can be up to 15 degrees warmer on the benches.  Plus the benches had more firewood available.

I didn't think it would be THAT wild of a swing just 500 feet difference to 1,000 at the highest from the 'valley' floor?

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On 12/8/2020 at 7:06 PM, Jesse said:

Snow was probably helpful to hunting. At least in moderation. It's a little harder to move around in but prints make it way easier to track prey.

Would the snow muffle environmental sounds that would give you away?

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/8/2020 at 7:55 PM, BLI snowman said:

In case you're interested, here is Fort Steilacoom (1849-1868)

WA_Fort_Steilacoom.data.csv 354.84 kB · 2 downloads

And Fort Vancouver (1849-1868, plus 1891-92)

WA_Fort_Vancouver.data.csv 729.23 kB · 2 downloads

Very cool, but having the microfilm of the actual observers charts gives more detail.  I was lucky to get those.

Death To Warm Anomalies!

 

Winter 2020-21 stats

 

Total Snowfall = 7.0"

Day with 1" or more snow depth = 5

Total Hail = 0.0"

Coldest Low = 23

Lows 32 or below = 38

Highs 32 or below = 2

Lows 20 or below = 0

Highs 40 or below = 5

 

 

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On 12/24/2020 at 12:54 PM, Mr Marine Layer said:

:(

😢😢

Death To Warm Anomalies!

 

Winter 2020-21 stats

 

Total Snowfall = 7.0"

Day with 1" or more snow depth = 5

Total Hail = 0.0"

Coldest Low = 23

Lows 32 or below = 38

Highs 32 or below = 2

Lows 20 or below = 0

Highs 40 or below = 5

 

 

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