Weather Forecasting for Mountaineers (October 23, 2013

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Information about Weather Forecasting for Mountaineers (October 23, 2013
Technology

Published on October 24, 2013

Author: findOpensnow

Source: slideshare.net

Description

Presented at the High Altitude Mountaineering Seminar (HAMS) in Golden, CO by Joel Gratz. Covers the basics of weather forecasting relevant to mountaineers and provides links to find weather model forecasts online.

Weather forecasting for mountaineers Meteorologist Joel Gratz Photo: Joel Gratz

1960 2005

How this presentation will help you: 1) Know when to trust the forecast 2) Identify the most hazardous conditions.

Hi, I’m Joel Gratz. I grew up in Pennsylvania, ski raced and instructed, then moved to Colorado after studying meteorology at Penn State.

And I started to miss powder days due to inaccurate forecasts.

And it made me mad!

So I learned how to forecast in Colorado, and started to share. Dec 2007 28 people email list 2008-2009 500 people email list 2009-2010 245,000 pageviews 2010-2011 1,315,000 pageviews 2011-2012 3,330,000 pageviews 2012-2013 12,000,000 pageviews

Big Weather (primary care doctor) (knee surgeon)

Denali x3 Everest 50 state high points Aconcagua

How this presentation will help you: 1) Know when to trust the forecast

Actual Storm Track

16 Day Forecast

15 Day Forecast

14 Day Forecast

13 Day Forecast

12 Day Forecast

11 Day Forecast

10 Day Forecast

9 Day Forecast

8 Day Forecast

7 Day Forecast

6 Day Forecast

5 Day Forecast

4 Day Forecast

3 Day Forecast

2 Day Forecast

1 Day Forecast

Actual Storm Track

Weather is not magic. It’s physics. Forecasts are rarely perfect, but they are getting better every year. Study them, don’t dismiss them.

When to trust the forecast 10 days + storm or no storm + cold, hot, dry, moist 3-5 days + details becoming clearer 1-2 days + details are as clear as possible

How to plan 7-10 days 4-5 days 2-3 days

How this presentation will help you: 1) Know when to trust the forecast 2) Identify the most hazardous conditions.

Hazards to Mountaineers Temperature Wind Precipitation Lightning

Weather happens when moist air gets high 1 2 3

Where’s the moisture? Less moisture (land source) Lots of moisture (ocean source) OK moisture (ocean + plants)

Five ways to get high C is for convection L is for low pressure O is for orographics U is for undercut D is for dynamics

WEATHER 101: Five ways to get high C is for convection. cold air warm air

WEATHER 101: Five ways to get high L is for low pressure. Low Pressure

Orographics! O is for orographic.

WEATHER 101: Five ways to get high U is for undercut. Cold front moving left-to-right Cold Air Warm Air http://www.clker.com/cliparts/e/4/9/a/12401693261710228990Kliponius_Mountain_in_a_Cartoon_Style.svg.med.png

WEATHER 101: Five ways to get high D is for dynamic. This is complicated - it’s all physics. Jet Stream (river of fast air) 30,000ft 300mb Induces upward motion by “pulling” surface air upward into the void left by the fast-moving air above. Similar to opening a car window while moving and having a piece of paper “sucked” out. http://www.clker.com/cliparts/e/4/9/a/12401693261710228990Kliponius_Mountain_in_a_Cartoon_Style.svg.med.png

WEATHER 101: Five ways to get high D is for dynamic. This is complicated - it’s all physics. 18,000ft 500mb Vorticity counter-clockwise spin As vorticity centers (“vort max”) move, they induce upward motion in front and downward motion behind. http://www.clker.com/cliparts/e/4/9/a/12401693261710228990Kliponius_Mountain_in_a_Cartoon_Style.svg.med.png

What winds to watch? As a standard, winds are forecast (and measured) at 850mb, 700mb, 500mb, 300mb, and 250mb. JET STREAM 30,000ft 300mb VORTICITY 18,000ft 500mb OROGRAPHIC 10,000ft 700mb 5,000ft 850mb

How this presentation will help you: Bonus: How to forecast hazards

Moist 5.5 degrees 3.3 degrees 1,000ft Dry

SNOTEL

Weather Stations MesoWest Weather Stations mesowest.utah.edu CAIC Weather Stations https://avalanche.state.co.us/obs_stns/ stns.php

Jamming the Radar

Overshooting the Snow 0.5 deg

Denver Airport Grand Mesa Pueblo http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/nexradinv/

Steamboat Vail Aspen RMNP Summit Co. Crested Butte Telluride Wolf Creek http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/nexradinv/

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/nexradinv/

Weather models www.TwisterData.com wxweb.meteostar.com/models/ NAM: 84hrs (3.5 days) GFS: 384hrs (16 days) Wind Speed (mb level) Temperature (mb level) Precipitation

300mb = 30,000ft 500mb = 18,000ft 700mb = 10,000ft 850mb = 5,000ft 1000mb = 0ft

Stay away from Arnold Thick clouds with well defined “muscles” are a sign of strong convection. This could mean lightning is imminent.

Stay away from Arnold Well defined, bulging muscles.

Cloud is dark underneath, which means it’s thick enough to block sunlight. I was nervous, but lack of well defined muscles showed weak convection, and we were OK.

Joel Gratz joel@opensnow.com that’s not me, but I did take the picture

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