Annual Climate Data For 2014
City of Norton
The year of 2014 was seasonally cool in the City of Norton with a mean annual temperature of 48.6 degrees. Extremes during the year varied from a high of 85 degrees during the summer ( June-August ) to a low of -13 degrees below zero.
Precipitation Totals During 2014
*Data courtesy of Andrew Greear & Staff of the City of Norton Water Plant ( Joe Carter, Bill Ballard, Wes Ward, Ed Dauphine ).
The 56.65″ of total precipitation officially measured during 2014 in the National Weather Service rain gauge at the City of Norton Water Plant was -1.39″ below the 1983-2013 average.
Around 63″ of snow fell at the Norton Water Plant during 2014, nestled amid the northern base of the High Knob Massif at an elevation of 2342 feet above mean sea level.
The annual climate of the City of Norton is dominated by rising and sinking air across the sprawling High Knob Massif, with air rising on northerly & southwesterly air flows being predominate to make Norton the wettest town or city in Virginia, on average, and cooler than many other sites of similar elevation.
Appalachia Lake Water Plant
Appalachia Lake WP rests at an elevation of 2360 feet above mean sea level on the other side of Stonega Lookout peak of Little Stone Mountain ( rime capped peak on far left side of above photograph rising to 3384 feet ).
A total of 56.61″ was measured by Jack Pitts & Mark Quillin some 7.0 air miles southwest of Norton, along the northwestern flank of the High Knob Massif, at the Appalachia Lake Water Plant.
Big Stone Gap Water Plant
The Big Stone Gap Water Plant is nestled amid the rugged and majestically beautiful mouth of South Fork of Powell River Gorge, draining the high country of Big Cherry Lake basin.
A total of 58.27″ of precipitation were hand measured at the Big Stone Gap Water Plant during 2014 by Superintendent Gary Hampton and his fine staff.
Big Stone Gap WP in South Fork Gorge
Upper Elevations of High Knob Massif
A general 65.00″ to 70.00″ of precipitation fell across upper elevations in the High Knob Massif during 2014, with local max amounts topping 70.00″ in wettest places resting in between Robinson Knob and Big Cherry Lake Dam.
A total of 64.49″ were measured at Big Cherry Dam during 2014. With missing gauge moisture due to evaporation ( measurements are made once a week ) throughout the year, and some moisture losses in snowfall, the actual total was figured to have been amid the 67.00″ to 68.00″ range ( or around 5.00″ to 6.00″ less than max totals amid the upper basin and adjacent high basins ).
*Monthly MAX Precipitation Totals
*MAX monthly amounts reported within 5 miles or less of the High Knob peak are a general guide to the wettest places in the high country in 2014. These are totals that were reported at or above an elevation of 3120 feet.
A general 80.00″ to 120.00″ of snow fell across upper elevations in the High Knob Massif during 2014.
Monthly Snowfall Totals By Elevation
High Chaparral Community
Elevation 3300 feet
2014 Total: 85.6″
Snowfall during 2014 in High Chaparral was close to the previous 6 years ( 2008-2013 ) which averaged 83.8″ . Measurements are courtesy of Joe & Darlene Fields.
Main Crest Zone Area
High Knob-Eagle Knob
Elevation 4200 feet
2014 Total: 119.3″
Snowfall during 2014 in the main crest zone of the massif was close to the previous 6 years ( 2008-2013 ) which averaged around 117.0″ ( snow reports courtesy of various sources including my friends Steve Blankenbecker, James & Carol Bolling, Cal Adams, Roddy Addington, Bill Harris, VDOT and, of course, myself ).
Some 88 days or nearly 13 weeks had 1″ or more of snow depth on northern slopes in High Knob Lake Basin ( and adjacent northern slope basins in the upper elevations of the massif ) during 2014.
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