Jump to content
The Weather Forums

Recommended Posts

It led to an interesting discussion. In the absence of actual observations on Rainier the only real data to look at is proxy data from soundings...but IMO it's inconclusive which location has a higher mean wind speed with the limited data available.

 

 

Hopefully, this won't spur another debate, but if anyone is interested I did some more analyzing of the data on Mt Rainier as compared to the University of Washington data that I have posted in the link below:

 

http://www.summitpost.org/interesting-weather-statistics-for-us-mountain-summits/171585#chapter_5

 

Camp Muir on Mount Rainier does have a weather station, at 10,110 feet which is operated by the Northwest Avalanche Center:

 

https://www.nwac.us/weatherdata/campmuir/now/

 

Averages for Camp Muir are reported, but unfortunately, although averages are given, the period of record is not.   Also, January 12-24 seem to have some weird readings (if those readings are eliminated the January average is actually 14.3F for Camp Muir and -0.3F from the summit.   I did not adjust the data).

 

Here is what I came up with:

 

http://images.summitpost.org/original/983447.JPG

 

Yellow are the actual values for the Camp Muir Weather Station.  Green are the interpolated values that were interpolated from Camp Muir to the summit of Mount Rainier.   Blue is the data obtained from the University of Washington study.

 

To interpolate the green values for temperature, I took the weather stations around Mount Rainier and calculated the average temperature change between them for every thousand feet of altitude change (the Longmire station was eliminated due to its location in the valley bottom which is subject to radiative cooling).    I applied that calculated figure (14.6F) for the elevation change between Camp Muir and the summit of Mount Rainier.

 

I compared those values with the data from the University study.  The average annual temperature difference between the two was only 0.2F, which is insignificant.  Of note, the interpolated winter and spring averages were a little cooler and the summer and fall interpolated values were a bit higher than the University measured values, but this seems to make sense since windy mountain top locations usually experience a bit less seasonal variation than other locations.

 

The interpolated wind values are only a ball park figure and shouldn't be considered measured values.   To get them, I simply tracked the forecasted wind speeds over the past few weeks to come up with a valued difference.  

 

https://www.atmos.washington.edu/data/rainier_report.html

 

Over the past few weeks, forecasted wind speeds have been 1.25 to 2.25 times greater on the summit of Rainier vs. Camp Muir.  I came up with an average of 1.77 forecasted difference and applied that figure to the average measured wind speeds at Camp Muir.   Obviously a lot more data is needed and my estimation wasn't that scientific.  The interpolation is just wild speculation based on a short time period and forecast and by no means should be considered accurate. 

 

I don't claim the number is accurate, but it was interesting.   I plan on tracking the difference in forecasted wind speeds over the space of the next few years.    

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 152
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

I was keeping my own sort of half-assed handwritten weather records before any of you were sperm yet    

Thanks Chris; that's the conclusion I have as well.   The 10C/18F temperature change for similar altitudes in New England vs. Mt Rainier just wouldn't be enough to compensate for the altitude.  That w

Just jumping in here real quick. But the summit of Mt. Rainier is about 2.5 km heigher than Mt. Washington (1900 to 4400m). If there were an identical atmosphere over the two mountains, using the stan

Posted Images

Hopefully, this won't spur another debate, but if anyone is interested I did some more analyzing of the data on Mt Rainier as compared to the University of Washington data that I have posted in the link below:

 

http://www.summitpost.org/interesting-weather-statistics-for-us-mountain-summits/171585#chapter_5

 

Camp Muir on Mount Rainier does have a weather station, at 10,110 feet which is operated by the Northwest Avalanche Center:

 

https://www.nwac.us/weatherdata/campmuir/now/

 

Averages for Camp Muir are reported, but unfortunately, although averages are given, the period of record is not.   Also, January 12-24 seem to have some weird readings (if those readings are eliminated the January average is actually 14.3F for Camp Muir and -0.3F from the summit.   I did not adjust the data).

 

Here is what I came up with:

 

 

Yellow are the actual values for the Camp Muir Weather Station.  Green are the interpolated values that were interpolated from Camp Muir to the summit of Mount Rainier.   Blue is the data obtained from the University of Washington study.

 

To interpolate the green values for temperature, I took the weather stations around Mount Rainier and calculated the average temperature change between them for every thousand feet of altitude change (the Longmire station was eliminated due to its location in the valley bottom which is subject to radiative cooling).    I applied that calculated figure (14.6F) for the elevation change between Camp Muir and the summit of Mount Rainier.

 

I compared those values with the data from the University study.  The average annual temperature difference between the two was only 0.2F, which is insignificant.  Of note, the interpolated winter and spring averages were a little cooler and the summer and fall interpolated values were a bit higher than the University measured values, but this seems to make sense since windy mountain top locations usually experience a bit less seasonal variation than other locations.

 

The interpolated wind values are only a ball park figure and shouldn't be considered measured values.   To get them, I simply tracked the forecasted wind speeds over the past few weeks to come up with a valued difference.  

 

https://www.atmos.washington.edu/data/rainier_report.html

 

Over the past few weeks, forecasted wind speeds have been 1.25 to 2.25 times greater on the summit of Rainier vs. Camp Muir.  I came up with an average of 1.77 forecasted difference and applied that figure to the average measured wind speeds at Camp Muir.   Obviously a lot more data is needed and my estimation wasn't that scientific.  The interpolation is just wild speculation based on a short time period and forecast and by no means should be considered accurate. 

 

I don't claim the number is accurate, but it was interesting.   I plan on tracking the difference in forecasted wind speeds over the space of the next few years.    

Impressive work! I think another interesting treatment might be had by taking UIL and SLE sounding data for 850, 700 and 500 mb and computing the mean lapse rate. I think the summit will largely mirror free-air temp at that altitude during the day (snow/ice cover albedo doesn't allow for much surface heating and surface area is rather small at 14,000+ ft). Compare those values to the ones predicted here and see if they compare favorably. If so, I would venture to say you have a pretty robust modeling of summit averages.

 

Interestingly the summit wind speeds extrapolated here are suggestive of very similar mean speed to Mt Washington. While not conclusive it gives me confidence in applying a reasonable educated guess that the two are fairly similar in terms of mean wind speed.

 

What do you make of the subtle local maxima of wind speed during July/Aug? When looking at 850/700/500 mb wind speeds from regional soundings (UIL/SLE) there's a minimum in wind speed during those months coincident with the seasonal retreat/weakening of the polar jet.

 

A couple further points:

 

* I would expect summit temps to have an annual minimum in Feb/March as both 700 and 500 mb temps are at their coldest during the Feb 15-March 15 timeframe, on average. However perhaps there's enough increase in sunlight hours during this time that the summit itself is a bit warmer than in Dec/Jan.

* Keep in mind the region has had a string of fairly mild weather in most Januaries over the last couple decades...there's been discussions ad nauseam on here as to why and whether we will break out of the cycle. It is pronounced enough that most western WA stations, including the Cascades, now have their coldest mean temp in Dec when considering 1981-2010 normals.

The Pacific Northwest: Where storms go to die.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Since this came up, I've started tracking and averaging NOAA's summit wind forecasts for Mt. Rainier, as well as the sounding data and derived reanalyses at 15kft in the general vicinity. Hopefully this'll make things clearer for me. I don't have nearly enough data yet to reach a hypothetical conclusion on which location is windier, and it might be difficult to do that even with several months of data.

 

My hunch is that Mt. Washington probably scores higher in *maximum* wind speeds, at least based on what I've seen so far. Even in a relatively benign pattern, there've been multiple days with winds (both forecasted and observed) in excess of 100mph at the Mt. Washington observatory.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anyone have data for extreme minimums on the summit of Mount Rainier?  I was able to find data online that states it is the coldest summit in the lower 48.  No real surprise there.

Death To Warm Anomalies!

 

Winter 2020-21 stats

 

Total Snowfall = 0.0"

Day with 1" or more snow depth = 0

Total Hail = 0.0"

Coldest Low = 29

Lows 32 or below = 2

Highs 32 or below = 0

Lows 20 or below = 0

Highs 40 or below = 0

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Does anyone have data for extreme minimums on the summit of Mount Rainier? 

 

 

During the time the weather station was up there the minimum was -36F.   On average Rainier is the coldest place in the lower 48, but it doesn't have have the extremes that other places have.    It's just consistently cold.  

 

No lower 48 mountain top that has ever had weather data available has dropped below -50F (even if they did have weather stations on every mountain top, they probably wouldn't report temperatures lower than that).    Mt Washington has a generally accepted low of -47F, but there was an old -50F reading recorded there as well (I don't know why that reading isn't generally accepted as the official low).   That's about as cold as it gets on a mountain top in the lower 48.

 

High mountain tops are consistently cold places, but they just don't have the extremes that the valley bottoms do, unless you get really high.    In Colorado, for example, there are weather stations on two mountains above 14,000 feet.   Colorado has a few places that have recorded temperatures of -60F or lower in the valley bottoms.   On Mount Evans (weather station elevation 14,148 feet) the temperature hasn't recorded any temperatures below -40F and at the Pikes Peak station (elevation 14,110 feet), the temperature hasn't dropped below -39F.    Maybell, at an elevation of 5920 feet, which is more than 8000 feet lower than those summits has recorded temperatures down to -61F, even though on average it's a much warmer place.

 

Of course if you get high enough, you can find exceptions to the rule.    On Denali, for example, minimum gauge thermometers have plunged to verified temperatures of -95F and -100F.  Denali is at more than 20,000 feet in interior Alaska though.  

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

All-time record lows at Peter Sinks (since 1985), temperatures recorded at "Peter Sink" (north sink) unless otherwise noted:

 

Jan: -66 on 1/31/1985

Feb: -69 on 2/1/1985

Mar: -52 in 2002 (early month) at Middle Sink

Apr: -41 on 4/1/2008 at Middle Sink

May: -19 in 1983

Jun: 3 in 2001

Jul: 15 in 1984

Aug: 7 in 2005

Sep: -10 in 2000 (late Sept 2000 cold wave)

Oct: -32 in 2002 (probably Oct 31st)

Nov: -47 in 2003 at Middle Sink

Dec: -57 on 12/23/1990

 

 

in researching the Utah records, I did find a minor error in the above.   The -57 in December 1990 was actually recorded at Middle Sink, rather than Peter Sinks.  

 

Also, some sources (such as Chris Burt) say that there was a 6 recorded on 8/31/2005?  

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...
Can we eclipse the -51 which is the current record low since 2010 this winter? Fingers crossed. 

 

 

I was curious about the recent cold snap and checked the weather station:

 

https://climate.usurf.usu.edu/PeterSinks/

 

According to the weather station data, Peter Sinks was -53.1F yesterday and at least down to -53.5F this morning.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
Very impressive cold there the last two days.

 

 

Also impressive was the recovery from the cold today.   Peter Sinks has a low of -42 and a high of +23.    This included a temperature rise of almost 50 degrees in two hours.

 

http://images.summitpost.org/original/991451.JPG

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

Ice fog in the bottom of Middle Sink on Jan 4, 2009 at 8 am. The temperature was -53F.

 

http://i.imgur.com/81kDq4o.jpg

 

http://photo.accuweather.com/photogallery/2009/1/1024/4eb0b41b1.jpg

 

http://photo.accuweather.com/photogallery/2009/1/1024/ea954c5f4.jpg

Where can I get those mittens and thermometers?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...
  • 2 years later...

-34.7 this morning stands as the coldest October temperature ever recorded in Utah. It also beats the -33 at Soda Butte, WY in Oct 1917 for the coldest temp recorded in the lower 48 in October.

It is quite likely Peter Sinks flirts with or drops below -40 this week, the coldest period likely either Tuesday or Wednesday morning (Wednesday favored).

  • Like 3

The Pacific Northwest: Where storms go to die.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Too bad Peter Sinks wasn't around for cold waves like Oct 1971. Could have hit -40 then. 

Well we have some data for Logan in Oct 1971

 

Logan Radio (https://wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?ut5182) fell to 6 on the 30th

Logan USU Exp Stn (https://wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?ut5190) fell to 8 on the 30th

 

Both stations may be a hair warmer than the current Cache County Airport site however. Still think given the 700 mb temps will be considerably colder than 1971 over N Utah that the odds favor colder temps than 1971.

 

  • Like 1

The Pacific Northwest: Where storms go to die.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I went through and calculated the monthly and annual mean extremes (the average warmest high and coldest low in a typical month/year).

Annual: 83/-47 (on average warmest day is 83 and coldest night is -47)
Jan: 41/-40
Feb: 41/-35
Mar: 49/-31
Apr: 58/-16
May: 65/-1
Jun: 78/18
Jul: 82/23
Aug: 81/20
Sep: 76/12
Oct: 65/-6
Nov: 51/-26
Dec: 43/-43

Period: Jan 2010-Oct 2019

  • Like 1

The Pacific Northwest: Where storms go to die.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Both stations may be a hair warmer than the current Cache County Airport site however. Still think given the 700 mb temps will be considerably colder than 1971 over N Utah that the odds favor colder temps than 1971.

 

 

It looks like it, even in Salt Lake City.

 

The 1971 Cold snap did produce some monthly record lows in Northern Utah, but it was more impressive in Central and Southern Utah.    Some of those readings are lower than any recorded in November.    

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

It's noteworthy that Rawlins, WY fell to -16 this morning, likely the coldest ASOS temp in October in years.

 

The old record was -7 on 10/31/1972.

 

Interestingly, 1969, 1970, 1971, and 1972 all produced several all time October lows throughout much of the West.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

List of largest diurnal ranges at Peter Sinks (2010-2019):
 

74 degrees (28/-46) on 2/22/2010

73 degrees (39/-34) on 3/5/2013

72 degrees (41/-31) on 12/3/2017

70 degrees (35/-35) on 3/20/2010

68 degrees (47/-21) on 12/2/2017

68 degrees (25/-43) on 12/5/2016

68 degrees (47/-21) on 10/28/2010

67 degrees (36/-31) on 2/24/2015

67 degrees (41/-26) on 11/23/2015

67 degrees (18/-49) on 2/2/2011

66 degrees (24/-42) on 12/7/2017

66 degrees (42/-24) on 12/4/2017

66 degrees (24/-42) on 12/8/2016

66 degrees (35/-31) on 3/12/2014

65 degrees (34/-31) on 3/7/2018

65 degrees (37/-28) on 2/13/2017

65 degrees (36/-29) on 3/19/2016

65 degrees (28/-27) on 11/22/2015
65 degrees (37/-28) on 2/8/2010

  • Like 1

The Pacific Northwest: Where storms go to die.

Link to post
Share on other sites

List of largest diurnal ranges at Peter Sinks (2010-2019):

 

74 degrees (28/-46) on 2/22/2010

73 degrees (39/-34) on 3/5/2013

72 degrees (41/-31) on 12/3/2017

70 degrees (35/-35) on 3/20/2010

68 degrees (47/-21) on 12/2/2017

68 degrees (25/-43) on 12/5/2016

68 degrees (47/-21) on 10/28/2010

67 degrees (36/-31) on 2/24/2015

67 degrees (41/-26) on 11/23/2015

67 degrees (18/-49) on 2/2/2011

66 degrees (24/-42) on 12/7/2017

66 degrees (42/-24) on 12/4/2017

66 degrees (24/-42) on 12/8/2016

66 degrees (35/-31) on 3/12/2014

65 degrees (34/-31) on 3/7/2018

65 degrees (37/-28) on 2/13/2017

65 degrees (36/-29) on 3/19/2016

65 degrees (28/-27) on 11/22/2015

65 degrees (37/-28) on 2/8/2010

 

Interestingly, there are a lot of places that have large diurnal changes in Utah, but in all those places it's the opposite season that has them.  November through March is the least likely time to have a huge dirunal change everywhere in Utah except Peter Sinks it seems.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Interestingly, there are a lot of places that have large diurnal changes in Utah, but in all those places it's the opposite season that has them.  November through March is the least likely time to have a huge dirunal change everywhere in Utah except Peter Sinks it seems.

Peter Sinks can still post some 60-ish degree diurnal swings in summer too. It has to do with the winds going calm allowing for a decoupling between the sink bottom and the rim. This decoupling can produce a 30-40 degree temp gradient over about a 300' elevation change. In summer the nights are shorter and hence the strength of the cold pool isn't as pronounced as winter when you have longer nights and snowcover.

  • Like 1

The Pacific Northwest: Where storms go to die.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It appears the low was -44. Since the temperature is currently rising, it probably won't get lower than that this morning.

 

I'm wondering if a new monthly record was set in Wyoming as well. Big Piney dropped to -26 this morning, also -25 at Old Faithful. RAWS and Snotel readings will be interesting to look at from this morning. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm wondering if a new monthly record was set in Wyoming as well. Big Piney dropped to -26 this morning, also -25 at Old Faithful. RAWS and Snotel readings will be interesting to look at from this morning.

Too bad the West Yellowstone MT station is no longer operating. I wonder how cold it was there?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm wondering if a new monthly record was set in Wyoming as well.

Possibly Colorado as well? Craig got down to at least -9 and Walden to at least -13, so there might be a -20 out there somewhere. I wonder what Maybell was? Can't find the current temp online.

Link to post
Share on other sites

-23 at Randolph, UT (coldest ever at an inhabited place in Utah)

-26 at Keystone, WY

-25 at Foxpark, WY
-33 at Rock River, WY (UPR station...may be inaccurate but within realm of possibility given the -20 at Rawlins ASOS).

  • Like 1

The Pacific Northwest: Where storms go to die.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Possibly Colorado as well? Craig got down to at least -9 and Walden to at least -13, so there might be a -20 out there somewhere. I wonder what Maybell was? Can't find the current temp online.

 

-17 at a CWOP station in Hebron...coldest I've seen so far this morning in Colorado. Definitely could have been a -20 reading somewhere. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

-17 at a CWOP station in Hebron...coldest I've seen so far this morning in Colorado. Definitely could have been a -20 reading somewhere. 

 

Just got to work on a project north of Craig.    It is currently sitting at -11 just after 10 AM.    I assume it was colder at sunrise.

 

20191030_092539.jpg

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm wondering if a new monthly record was set in Wyoming as well. Big Piney dropped to -26 this morning, also -25 at Old Faithful. RAWS and Snotel readings will be interesting to look at from this morning. 

 

Looks like the Old Faithful COOP bumped down to -27 this morning. The previous monthly record low was -11. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Two unofficial stations in Wyoming tied the state October record low (and the previous official lower 48 record low for October) - the -33 reading at Soda Butte in 1917.

 

This morning, -33 was observed at a Union Pacific weather station (UR345) and a Wyoming DOT station (WY56), both part of the MesoWest network. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Possibly Colorado as well? Craig got down to at least -9 and Walden to at least -13, so there might be a -20 out there somewhere. I wonder what Maybell was? Can't find the current temp online.

 

Found one. -21 at a CoAgMet station in Jefferson. So, both Colorado and Utah had unofficial stations that broke the previous state record lows for October.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's the list of coldest official station October minimums for Wyoming as it appears right now:

 

-33 at Soda Butte (10/29/1917)

-29 at Saratoga (10/30/2019)

-27 at Old Faithful (10/30/2019)

-26 at South Pass City (10/31/1935)

 

Big Piney was also -26 this morning.  

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's the list of coldest official station October minimums for Wyoming as it appears right now:

 

-33 at Soda Butte (10/29/1917)

-29 at Saratoga (10/30/2019)

-27 at Old Faithful (10/30/2019)

-26 at South Pass City (10/31/1935)

This is what I have:

 

-33 Soda Butte (YNP) 10/29/1917

-29 Old Faithful Lodge (YNP) 10/30/2019

-29 Saratoga 4 N 10/30/2019

-27 Lake Yellowstone (YNP) 10/29/1917

-26 Big Piney Ap 10/30/2019

-26 Encampment 10/30/2019

-26 Keystone 10/30/2019

-26 Nugget Canyon 10/30/2019

-26 Sweetwater Station 4 SW 10/30/2019

-26 Recluse 14 NNW 10/30/1991

  • Like 1

The Pacific Northwest: Where storms go to die.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Two unofficial stations in Wyoming tied the state October record low (and the previous official lower 48 record low for October) - the -33 reading at Soda Butte in 1917.

 

This morning, -33 was observed at a Union Pacific weather station (UR345) and a Wyoming DOT station (WY56), both part of the MesoWest network. 

Not buying the Rock River reading (UR345) after seeing their high temp the day prior was around -14. I took a look at all the surrounding stations and there seems to be a cold bias at Rock River.

The Pacific Northwest: Where storms go to die.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not buying the Rock River reading (UR345) after seeing their high temp the day prior was around -14. I took a look at all the surrounding stations and there seems to be a cold bias at Rock River.

 

Interesting info, thanks for looking into it. There's probably a good reason why transportation wx stations (DOT or railroad) aren't considered official. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting info, thanks for looking into it. There's probably a good reason why transportation wx stations (DOT or railroad) aren't considered official.

Which is funny cause Prospect Creek, Alaska was a DOT station iirc. -80 there is the national cold record.

  • Like 2

The Pacific Northwest: Where storms go to die.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...