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13

I was caught by a hailstorm the weekend before last. I was high above the tree line, the nearest trees were perhaps 20 km away, and several hours hiking from shelter. The hailstones were not huge, but large enough to hurt. Hail north of Rássevárri, above Guovdelisjávri, Narvik, Norway. There's only one place to hide: under my backpack. A backpack ...


7

Wind chill factors verge on being junk science, especially when interpreted uncritically. However, your physical intuition does make sense, and published formulas and tables do have a property very much like the one you have in mind: as the wind speed increases, the incremental effect of adding a given amount to the wind speed gets smaller and smaller. For ...


7

In a sense, yes. While mountains don't literally "make their own weather," they do sometimes provide additional catalysts to create localized disturbances which you might otherwise characterize as "weather" (thunderstorms, clouds, rain, etc). In a broader global sense, weather events occur when masses of air with differing characteristics suddenly collide. ...


6

One of the big reasons that we seem to be 'caught' by the weather when we're on the mountain is that the mountain forces otherwise harmless air to ascend and condense. As the warm and moist air is forced to ascend the mountain, the air quickly cools and reaches its dew point, water droplets form and a vicious cycle is set in motion. This is especially true ...


5

There is no such place. 40-60°F is a very narrow range. 20°F can be just from day and night variation, which leaves basically nothing for seasonal variation. Even if you meant daytime highs, I still don't think there is any place on earth that fits this description, let alone anywhere in the US. Let's flip this around and think of what would make ...


4

No there is no limit to the math of wind chill, though there is a maximum wind speed that has ever been observed. Here is what wind chill is. Imagine you have a hot cup of coffee. You can leave it at room temperature for a while and it will cool down to where you can drink it. Or, you can put it in the fridge and it will cool faster. Or put it in the ...


3

I don't think you will get consistent 40-60 daytime highs (what I assumed you meant) anywhere that isn't moderated by the ocean. However Fiasco is correct: The Olympic Penninsula around Sequim is very close. Summer temps are cool enough that tomatoes won't rippen outside of a greenhouse. Winter has frosts, but not consitently. The mountains nearby get ...


3

The German Wikipedia article on thermals is also quite nice (better than the English). In higher latitudes the sun shines closer to orthogonal on the sun side of a mountain face. Compared to a flat landscape more heat is transfered to the air immediately above the surface, and it starts flowing up. Not necessarily directly vertical, but if the soil/rock is ...


3

Your understanding of wind-chill is a bit confused. The reason the wind feels colder is because of convective heat transfer. When there is a difference in temperature between two objects, thermal energy transfers from the hot to the cold. In the case of a person in the air, the thermal energy flows into the air, and the faster the air is moving, the more ...


1

Here in California, our mountains influence our weather in a particular way. We have a Mediterranean climate and big mountain ranges inland. Storms build up out on the Pacific, and they blow in toward the land. Often they hold their moisture until they get to the mountains, at which point they dump it. For this reason, the seaward sides of our mountains tend ...


1

The whole concept of wind chill is not very meaningful. This can be obscured by all the fancy-looking formulas, which lend it an air of precision. It's little better than junk science, especially if used uncritically by people who assume that it must be meaningful because it's a mathematical formula. If you're completely covered and have an outer layer that ...


1

I always keep a folded parka or thick contractor garbage bag in the bottom of my pack - rain or shine. My pack is designed such that I can get into the bottom through a zipper quickly. Find any way to suspend it above you. Put two sticks in it on the sides and hold the sticks up. Or I prefer to tie/tuck one end on the top of my pack and hold it up the ...



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