Mid-high altitude clouds. Large vertical temperature spread between cold valleys and windy mountain ridges and plateaus. SW winds 10-20 mph, with higher gusts, below 2700 feet. SW-WSW winds 15-25 mph, with higher gusts, on mountain ridges above 2700 feet. Temperatures varying from upper 20s to lower 30s in colder mountain valleys to the upper 40s to middle 50s on exposed middle-upper elevation ridges & plateaus. Wind chills in the 30s and 40s ( coldest along high elevation ridges ).
Hazy sunshine through high altitude clouds. Warm. Winds SW-SSE at 5-15 mph, with some higher gusts. Temperatures varying from mid-upper 50s in upper elevations to the mid 60s to around 70 degrees.
Tonight Into Wednesday Morning
Variable clouds ( intervals of high altitude cloudiness ). Gusty across mid to upper elevation ridges-plateaus. S-SW winds 5-15 mph, with higher gusts, below 2700 feet. Winds SSW-SW 10-20 mph, with higher gusts, on mountain ridges above 2700 feet. Temperatures varying from the 30s within colder mountain valleys to the mid-upper 40s to low-middle 50s on exposed mid-upper elevation ridges-plateaus.
Weather Discussion ( March 7-8 )
The first true signs of the spring season are slowly starting to emerge amid the mountain area, with increased singing of birds, choruses of frogs, and a few wildflowers.
I found the first Coltsfoot poking up through the leaves near the UVA-Wise Wetlands, during late on Monday afternoon, amid nice songs from male Red-winged Blackbirds ( Agelaius phoeniceus ).
The UVA-Wise Wetlands are part of a restoration project designed to capture, filter, and clean acid mine drainage before it enters the main watershed draining into the Clinch River.
Weather conditions Monday were certainly much different from that observed Saturday, when big flakes of snow fell and covered highest elevations in the High Knob Massif. I caught only a few good scenes in between showers of snow and snow-sleet.
The U.S. Forest Service is proposing a large burn ( 1122 acres ) and timber cut that will impact 50% of the 7464 acres stretching across the Clear Creek, Machine Creek, Burns Creek, and a small part of the Mill Creek basins in the High Knob Massif.
Some blemishes in the photographs are actually flakes of snow, as I captured a few images in between the showers of heavier snow.
The understory is rather lush in portions of the proposed burn.
Since everyone owns this land, everyone is encouraged to voice their opinions on this large burn and timber cut proposal.
The weather focus tonight is on another large vertical spread in temperatures between cold, frosty valleys and gusty mid-upper elevation mountain ridges & plateaus.
Temperatures at 4:00 AM varied from upper 20s to lower 30s in colder valleys to the 50s on gusty middle elevation ridges.
The big news in the weather world today is the introduction of a major upgrade to the Integrated Forecast System, called the European Model. The 12z Model Run this morning will be the first to publicly show this new upgraded package.
The statistically best medium range forecast model on the planet will be getting better according to testing preformed during the past few months on this new upgrade that will take the resolution down to 9 KM ( from 16 KM ) for the operational global group. The unique 4-D system will utilize a octahedral reduced Gaussian grid, which will make running the model less costly while conserving general efficiency ( according to released testing results ).
The coming months should prove interesting as all eyes focus on how this new upgrade preforms under the rigors of daily global weather forecasting. I will be most interested in watching if it will be able to better resolve the orographics and patterns which are specific to the Appalachian Mountains ( verses the current ).
*Mathematical statistics verify that the European Model has been the best medium range model for decades. Although it struggles, like all models, at times the mathematics do not lie and clearly show that the 4-Dimensional System used by this model has been superior to all other models, especially for locations dealing with baroclinicity at middle to high latitudes.
Meanwhile, a mild weather pattern will dominate this week with abundant clouds at high altitudes that will trend lower by late week into this weekend-next week as moisture will be increasing & eventually producing showers-storms.