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snowball

Weather inversion(?) in winter at rainier

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Can someone explain this "weather inversion" that happens typically in feb/march that causes weather breaks and "good" weather windows on the mt for a little while?

 

i have been climbing at rainier for the last 7 yrs and have heard various explainations but nothing quite firm. (maybe i just need to call the local weather specialist?) i know it happens since i have been up there in feb/march various times and have witnessed the storm breaks/fair weather and climbed/skied up there during those times.

 

i plan to be up there for 2 or 3 weeks mid-feb to early march for a winter ascent (gib ledges or gib chute) so this info would be greatly appreciated. i have great respect for the challenges of the mt in winter so i am looking for as much info as possible in my safety assesment.

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Many years a ridge of high pressure builds over the region giving us good weather right around the President's Day weekend. I am not sure what a weather inverstion is, perhaps you mean a temperature inversion? I am sure someone else can better explain it, but it occurs when a layer of warm air sits on top of colder air close to the ground.

 

IMHO, the time frame you are considering is probably the best time for a winter ascent for various reasons. Good luck!

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I can recall periods of nice weather in February in which there was high pressure in the eastern part of the state. Cold air was blowing in from the northeast. The lower flanks of the mountain were windy and cold, but there was less wind at higher elevation.

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Thanks for replies. Y, last time i was up there for a winter ascent, during those bad weather storms, i went skiing. Great snow u and the canadians got up there! Many thanks for the offline info. If anyone is insterested in joining me, shoot me a msg.

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Group of us, Canadians should be there from 23rd to 25th of February. We would like to test our gear (and read some books).

:-)

I will bring some whiskey. Please look for us, so we can chat a little.

Zoran

 

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Zoran, didn't you read the alcohol thread last week? Whiskey is totally incompatible with climbing mountains. You will get hypothermia.

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Just a little.

I am not planning to get drunk.

BTW,

I am from Europe originally. From some undeveloped country.

We don't even know what hypothermia is.

But sure sounds ugly.

 

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I am from Europe originally. From some undeveloped country.

We don't even know what hypothermia is.

But sure sounds ugly.

HA! Sounds like a good time! Maybe there won't be a need for books? :)

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Many years a ridge of high pressure builds over the region giving us good weather

 

when you have a ridge you have descending air, (fair weather), which warms due to pressure increase, sometimes this will sit right on top of the cold winter air. If there is no mixing of upper air with lower air from winds then you can wind up with a temperature inversion.

 

typically there are some great ridges in february

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[twocents]Inversions are generally accompanied with very high freezing levels... generally higher than the summit of the local volcanoes... unless a thaw/freeze event (high freezing level followed by low freezing level) occurs prior to the inversion you should expect increased avy danger or at minimum some serious wallowing in unconsolidated snow... bring your favorite flotation device and a desire to wallow[/twocent]

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True that. It is not the temperature inversion that you are hoping for so much as a good solid high pressure stalled out overhead. That and it'd be good if it had not snowed much for at least a week before you go.

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Just a little.

I am not planning to get drunk.

BTW,

I am from Europe originally. From some undeveloped country.

We don't even know what hypothermia is.

But sure sounds ugly.

 

Ha ha! Good on ya, but I hope hanging out in 'Merica doesn't rub off some of that for you, I got my first taste at 17 years old when 2 weeks of hiking coincided with a major dump of wet sleet just as we hit the Jefferson Pacific Crest Trail high point. Damn nice thing my big bro, who, at 18 was so old and uber experienced, was there to watch out for my weak, wet, tired-ass and record my ravings:-) (one lesson learned there was do NOT take a cheap-assed old and ripped up $18 pup tent on a 30 day hiking trip! Especial with a $20 sleeping bag for a backup in case it goes bad) Been lucky to avoid it since, despite some major shit swirling around here and there on some of these trips.

 

Have a good trip, weather comes and goes, but good friends and climbing buddies are timeless and priceless.

 

Wish you all well, may you be blessed with great weather and firm snow!

 

Regards:

 

Bill

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I have always observed that is the third week in January.

 

If you look at the current weather forecast, and current conditions, it looks like I am right. AGAIN!

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Group of us, Canadians should be there from 23rd to 25th of February. We would like to test our gear (and read some books).

:-)

I will bring some whiskey. Please look for us, so we can chat a little.

Zoran

 

Cool Zoran... will look for your group those dates. Shoot me a PM w your contact # in seattle. A buddy of mine is tentatively interested to coming too but who knows really.

 

 

I have always observed that is the third week in January.

 

If you look at the current weather forecast, and current conditions, it looks like I am right. AGAIN!

 

true, but its a forecast. actual conditions in 3 days...???

 

---just giving ya hard time ;)

 

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I have always observed that is the third week in January.

 

If you look at the current weather forecast, and current conditions, it looks like I am right. AGAIN!

 

Some great inversion... Sounds balmy and calm up there! Here is a small sample of the Jan 21 Remote telemetry at Camp Muir:

 

Hour TEMP / Wind-min/ Avg/ Max

500... -5......... 0...... 28...... 92

600... -6......... 45...... 62..... 84

700... -4......... 46...... 64..... 81

800... -4......... 45...... 62..... 88

900... -2......... 40...... 61..... 83

1000. -1......... 43...... 60..... 75

 

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With winds like that you need to worry about wind loaded slopes.

 

Winds have slacked off of late.

 

http://www.nwac.us/products/OSOMUR

 

MM/DD Hour Temp RH Wind Wind Wind Wind

PST F % Min Avg Max Dir

10100' 10100' 10100' 10100' 10100' 10100'

--------------------------------------------------------

1 22 2200 21 56 12 17 25 314

1 22 2300 22 55 8 17 25 314

1 23 0 22 52 10 16 25 314

1 23 100 23 42 7 15 24 314

1 23 200 22 43 8 14 19 314

1 23 300 22 41 3 13 20 314

1 23 400 23 28 1 7 13 314

1 23 500 21 43 0 1 8 314

1 23 600 21 38 0 1 5 314

1 23 700 21 29 0 0 3 314

1 23 800 22 29 0 4 7 314

1 23 900 24 27 3 6 8 314

1 23 1000 26 30 0 1 6 314

1 23 1100 25 33 0 4 7 314

1 23 1200 34 25 0 2 4 314

1 23 1300 33 29 0 0 3 314

1 23 1400 31 35 0 1 3 314

1 23 1500 29 32 0 1 3 314

1 23 1600 30 30 0 1 5 314

1 23 1700 21 34 0 2 5 314

1 23 1800 21 23 0 3 6 314

1 23 1900 22 19 0 4 7 314

1 23 2000 21 16 4 9 12 314

1 23 2100 21 14 10 14 19 314

 

Edited by catbirdseat

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