HST Community      Planning for the Weather

Planning for the Weather | High Sierra Topix  

Planning for the Weather

Questions and reports related to Sierra Nevada current and forecast conditions, as well as general precautions and safety information. Trail conditions, fire/smoke reports, mosquito reports, weather and snow conditions, stream crossing information, and more.

Re: Planning for the Weather

Postby SSSdave » Sat Jun 30, 2012 7:27 am

During the early days one could view the evolving science of weather satellite imagery and the only place for ordinary folk to do so was by watching such on the tube. In the pre-Internet days as a SF Bay Area resident, Pete Giddings on channel 7 ABC was the one TV weather person I tended to listen to most because he was an actual meteriologist that had long years tuning into weather in the region and began to understand its dynamics beyond the known patterns of analysis. He would sometimes describe what he saw on the then evolving satellite images that are important to understanding regional weather at a higher level, so I was one of his remote students. Weather in the Sierra was not that far away so I could extrapolate the differences. In the winter I as an alpine skiing enthusiast, and especially a fresh powder storm skier, also listened to Giddings as he provided good Tahoe regional mountain forecasts.

I've studied meteriology some and always been fascinated by it. My IE Favorites Weather folder is showing 117 link files. Many of the links already noted above and more including some obscure links where one can get at climate databases. I do have a MesoWest account. One useful link I will add to the thread that is a key to understanding forecasts and which is rarely elaborated on watered down forecasts is what the northern jetstream is doing. Getting familiar with these charts will help one understand a lot more than just the wind because it drives the large circulating weather systems like a conveyor belt.

http://virga.sfsu.edu/

In the last couple years an extremely valuable addition to the NWS sites that requires some digging down in their links to find is this comprehensive set of regional graphics:

http://graphical.weather.gov/sectors/hnx.php#tabs

Especially useful for evaluating potential wind issues. Before my recent Redwoods National Park trip that is on a thread in our Beyond The Sierra Nevada forum, it allowed me to predict fog and breeze issues enough to trigger at short notice a 6 day road trip that resulted in excellent diffuse overcast light conditions with mostly minor breezes.



User avatar
SSSdave
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 2275
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2005 10:18 pm
Location: Silicon Valley
Experience: N/A

Re: Planning for the Weather

Postby freestone » Wed Jul 04, 2012 5:35 am

The monsoon is now south of the Sierra and seems to be creeping slowly in that direction. If you are going in between now and the weekend, plan on bringing your trekking umbrella. At the very least, enjoy the clouds and thunder, it may not build much beyond that, before it all shuts down by the weekend.


http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/total_forecast/ ... NX&wfo=HNX

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid ... =1&theater
User avatar
freestone
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 637
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2005 8:42 pm
Location: Santa Barbara
Experience: Level 1 Hiker

Re: Planning for the Weather

Postby maverick » Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:00 am

Unfortunately this is just a tease, hopefully something starts up by the end of
this month. I have postponed two opportunities to go up due to sunny, cloudless
weather. :\
Just hoping that this stretch of dry sunny weather doesn't lead to some major fires
once we get our first series of lightening storms in the Sierra.
I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 9403
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 4:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: Planning for the Weather

Postby dave54 » Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:23 pm

I use the fire weather forecasts primarily. They give not only the usual temp and cloud cover, but also humidity, wind speed and direction with gust estimates, atmospheric stability, and other info usually not mentioned by the TV weather readers. Several days before the trip I start checking the RAWS data close to where i am going and compare the actual data to the forecasts. Then I can fine tune the forecast for the general area to the specific area.

I have found for the northern Sierra, particularly the east side, the Reno forecast tends to be more accurate than the Sacto, especially for lightning forecasts. The opposite for winter storms -- Sacto seems to do better for the wet cold storms off the Pacific.
=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~
Log off and get outdoors!
~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=
User avatar
dave54
Founding Member
 
Posts: 906
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 9:24 pm
Location: where the Sierras, Cascades, and Great Basin meet.
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: Planning for the Weather

Postby no2haven » Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:24 am

The quasi-monsoon was fun to watch in action on 7/2...it sure blows up quickly: all looking from Granite Park to the S/SE.

52-P7024517.jpg
12.40pm

59-P7024551.jpg
1.20pm

61-P7024559.jpg
2.40pm

There were some large thunderheads over French Canyon and the Rock Creek area that I didn't take pictures of. No rain/thunder that I head; it was clear again by 6pm, just in time for the mosquitoes to come out for sunset :\
You must register an account and login to view the files/photos attached to this post.
User avatar
no2haven
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 1:41 pm
Location: Berkeley, CA
Experience: N/A

Re: Planning for the Weather

Postby AvFan » Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:07 pm

I'm all over multiple weather sites in advance of a trip but mostly the National Weather Service forecast discussions. From the discussions you can discern the likely weather pattern. Then once on the trip I'm always checking the sky for cloud formation. This time of year I worry mostly about cumulonimbus that turn into thunder storms but each cloud type tells a story.

This site is one of many to show how clouds can help predict the weather.

User avatar
AvFan
Topix Novice
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:43 pm
Experience: N/A

Re: Planning for the Weather

Postby tim » Sat Aug 25, 2012 9:16 pm

AvFan wrote:I'm all over multiple weather sites in advance of a trip but mostly the National Weather Service forecast discussions. From the discussions you can discern the likely weather pattern. Then once on the trip I'm always checking the sky for cloud formation. This time of year I worry mostly about cumulonimbus that turn into thunder storms but each cloud type tells a story.

What would this formation predict for the next 6-24 hours (this was facing west - other directions had cloudless skies)? It certainly didn't seem to indicate any problems on the horizon, but unfortunately sometimes you just have to be prepared for the unexpected (which many weren't this week). The forecast on Sunday morning (8/19) had said that the recent monsoonal weather and afternoon thunderstorms would clear out from Monday or Tuesday onwards as drier weather came in from the west. At the time one could have easily thought it would be a nice night to sleep under the stars. However, afterwards we talked to numerous people who said it was the scariest night they have ever experienced in the Sierra (an hour of lightning strikes about every 10-20 seconds from 2.30am to 3.30am accompanied by an inch or more of hail).

DSC02561.jpg
You must register an account and login to view the files/photos attached to this post.
User avatar
tim
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 504
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 1:36 pm
Location: Bay Area
Experience: N/A

Re: Planning for the Weather

Postby freestone » Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:38 pm

There is talk of an "easterly wave" currently over Oklahoma affecting SoCal by late next weekend or early next week. Current thinking is that it will be affecting mostly southern and eastern California, but it's still a possible monsoon threat to the Sierra Nevada as well. If you are planning a trip next week, stay tuned to the NWS forecast discussions. If you like to experience unusual summer weather in eastern California, this could be your chance. Then again, it may just result in a few clouds and buildups.

Image
User avatar
freestone
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 637
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2005 8:42 pm
Location: Santa Barbara
Experience: Level 1 Hiker

Re: Planning for the Weather

Postby freestone » Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:28 am

Dennis Mattinson recently updated Eastern Sierra Forecast to 395 Travel and Weather. It has lots of real time information done by altitude. Can't seem to find the actual weather forecast or summary however. On his old site, it was on the homepage. Otherwise, it has a very nice look, and is easy to navigate.
http://395travel.com/
User avatar
freestone
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 637
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2005 8:42 pm
Location: Santa Barbara
Experience: Level 1 Hiker

Re: Planning for the Weather

Postby freestone » Tue Aug 20, 2013 5:06 pm

The weather prediction models are picking up on a tropical system that will rapidly move north northwest early next week. One model brings all it offshore SoCal, another more inland. Either way it could get interesting as it all unfolds. If your a surfer, it's a classic setup for hurricane surf on south facing beaches. If your backpacking, stayed tuned to the NWS discussions this week. Then again, it could all move west into Pacific oblivion and the cool southwest flow will fill in. That cutoff low sitting stationary off California has certainly been an odd feature for this time of year.
User avatar
freestone
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 637
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2005 8:42 pm
Location: Santa Barbara
Experience: Level 1 Hiker

PreviousNext

Return to Conditions Reports and Information



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest