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Mountain Wave Winds

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Mountain Wave Winds

Post by Math/Met on 2011-12-26, 11:54 pm

I made a post about this a couple days ago. I thought I should start a new topic to give a place to discuss these events.

Unless I’m missing something, the mountain wave wind event still looks on track for late tonight and Tuesday morning for the favored areas. I’d be really surprised if places like Camp Creek don’t easily see warning level gusts.

I’m a little surprised that the NWS and the local stations didn’t mention anything about mountain waves or high winds. The NWS issued a wind advisory for the higher elevations, but they didn’t mention anything about mountain wave winds for the foothills.


Last edited by Math/Met on 2011-12-27, 1:15 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Mountain Wave Winds

Post by Math/Met on 2011-12-27, 12:39 am

It looks like the gusts are already around 72mph in Camp Creek (hard to be exact when looking at the graph). That is actually a little stronger than I even expected at this point of the event. The conditions should become even more favorable over the next few hours.

I’m hoping the mountain waves last until morning, because I plan to go out there.

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Re: Mountain Wave Winds

Post by John1122 on 2011-12-27, 4:49 am

80 MPH in Camp Creek this morning with winds expected to potentially strengthen through the day. Good luck if you head over there.

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Re: Mountain Wave Winds

Post by Toot on 2011-12-27, 10:03 am

Good call Math/Met...one of these days im gonna ride up to camp creek to see how impessive one of these events can be...I have been in one before and it was quite the site but I imagine its more intense over there in Greene county

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Re: Mountain Wave Winds

Post by Math/Met on 2011-12-27, 10:26 am

Cyclonicjunkie wrote:Good call Math/Met...one of these days im gonna ride up to camp creek to see how impessive one of these events can be...I have been in one before and it was quite the site but I imagine its more intense over there in Greene county
Thanks.

It looks like the highest gust was around 83mph. The winds had weakened by the time I got out there, but they were still around 65mph according to the NOAA wind tower.

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Re: Mountain Wave Winds

Post by Math/Met on 2011-12-27, 11:09 am

Here is a video from Camp Creek this morning. The video isn’t very good, but maybe you can at least get a feel for what it was like out there. There weren’t many objects to focus on so I kept looking around for something to video, plus the winds made it impossible to keep the camera still.

The winds at one point this morning were probably about 15-20mph higher than what was on this video. This is probably about 200-300 yards from the NOAA wind tower.



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Re: Mountain Wave Winds

Post by Stovepipe on 2011-12-29, 8:10 pm

Loved the video and am jealous that I couldn't experience the event!

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Re: Mountain Wave Winds

Post by Math/Met on 2012-01-10, 5:38 pm

After looking at the 18z model output, a minor mountain wave event looks to be possible late tonight and tomorrow morning for the favored areas. This won’t be as strong as the last one based on the LLJ strength, but the conditions seem somewhat favorable. My confidence isn’t all that high with this, but I thought I’d mention it to see how it works out.

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Re: Mountain Wave Winds

Post by Toot on 2012-01-10, 5:40 pm

Thanks for the info MM...this is really something people need to keep in mind if traveling around the smokies.

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Re: Mountain Wave Winds

Post by Math/Met on 2012-01-10, 5:58 pm

I’m basing this on the models trying to back the LLJ at 850mb to a more southeasterly direction and strengthen it over East Tennessee. If this low level flow strengthens too late or doesn't get close enough, then this will be a non-event. This isn’t like the normal mountain waves events were the LLJ just moves into the region from the west, this one tries to develop right over us which makes my confidence level low.


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Re: Mountain Wave Winds

Post by Math/Met on 2012-01-11, 11:44 am

I would classify this as a minor mountain wave event. Camp Creek recorded a gust near 60mph. That's not very strong by their standards, but still significant enough to mention.

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Re: Mountain Wave Winds

Post by Math/Met on 2012-01-21, 1:27 pm

The next system is close to being a big time mountain wave event for East Tennessee. If the models trend slightly more southeast with the low level flow, then a major mountain wave event would be possible. The GFS shows the LLJ approaching 80kt over parts of Cumberland Plateau. The flow is just slightly more southwesterly than would be ideal, but the low level flow tends to back to the southeast over the mountain terrain due to frictional forces.

There are a lot of ‘ifs’, but it is something to watch for sure.

Impressive low level jet!



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Re: Mountain Wave Winds

Post by Toot on 2012-01-21, 2:08 pm

NICE MM...wish I could be up there at Camp Creek during this one with you

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Re: Mountain Wave Winds

Post by Math/Met on 2012-01-21, 3:55 pm

The 18z NAM looks less like a mountain wave threat than the 12z GFS. Just have to wait and see how the models trend with this. It is certainly possible that the winds below mountain top level could end up not being southeasterly, which would prevent wave formation.

With such a strong LLJ, the potential is certainly there for a strong event if the other ingredients cooperate.

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Re: Mountain Wave Winds

Post by Stovepipe on 2012-01-21, 8:26 pm

Preciate the mountain wave updates M/M!

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Re: Mountain Wave Winds

Post by Math/Met on 2012-01-22, 10:07 am

I still like the idea of a mountain wave event tonight. While this model (or any model for that matter) still doesn’t have the resolution to accurately model mountain wave potential, I think it is getting the general idea. Notice how the winds over the mountains are turned almost perpendicular to the mountains. Plus, you can actually see what looks like some enhancement near Camp Creek in Greene County and across the higher elevations.


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Re: Mountain Wave Winds

Post by Math/Met on 2012-01-22, 5:18 pm

Here is what MRX has to say…


LOW LEVEL JET WILL STRENGTHEN
OVERNIGHT...AND WHILE DOES NOT LOOK IDEAL FOR MOUNTAIN WAVES DOES
APPEAR SOME OF THE HIGHER ELEVATIONS WILL REACH WIND SPEEDS IN THE
ADVISORY RANGE...SO WILL ISSUE WIND ADVISORY FOR TN MOUNTAINS FROM
MONROE NORTH THAT WILL RUN INTO MONDAY.

I completely agree with it not being an ideal setup for mountain waves, but several key components are still in place. Combine that with an intense low level jet, and I still think Warning level winds are possible in the favored areas. I’ve seen less impressive setups produce damaging winds, so my thoughts haven’t really changed. We’ll see how it goes. It will be a good chance for me to learn something about this phenomenon, even if I'm wrong.


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Re: Mountain Wave Winds

Post by Math/Met on 2012-01-22, 8:55 pm

Just a quick update. Camp Creek is already gusting to 56mph. This area is still a long way away from the strongest wind field. The surface low is still over Eastern Kansas. .

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Re: Mountain Wave Winds

Post by Math/Met on 2012-01-23, 12:58 am

The last recorded gust was 70mph at Camp Creek, so it looks like the event is starting to pick up some.

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Re: Mountain Wave Winds

Post by Stovepipe on 2012-01-23, 1:01 am

Road trip?

sneaky

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Re: Mountain Wave Winds

Post by Math/Met on 2012-01-23, 1:08 am

Stovepipe wrote:Road trip?

sneaky

I have been out there a few times at night, but I didn’t really care for it. It is a little dangerous because it is too hard to see if there are power lines or trees down. I love the daytime events though. I was out there a couple years ago when the winds were gusting fairly consistently between 80-90mph. I'm sure there have been times when it was over 100mph, probably in the 2004 event for example (that was before the wind tower was installed).

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Re: Mountain Wave Winds

Post by Toot on 2012-01-23, 6:47 am

Math/Met wrote:

I have been out there a few times at night, but I didn’t really care for it. It is a little dangerous because it is too hard to see if there are power lines or trees down. I love the daytime events though. I was out there a couple years ago when the winds were gusting fairly consistently between 80-90mph. I'm sure there have been times when it was over 100mph, probably in the 2004 event for example (that was before the wind tower was installed).

Night trip cancelled scared

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Re: Mountain Wave Winds

Post by Math/Met on 2012-01-26, 10:34 pm

Another wind event is occurring across the mountains and foothills this evening. I didn’t really track this event, but I just looked at the local wind data and Camp Creek had a gust near 60mph.

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Re: Mountain Wave Winds

Post by Stovepipe on 2012-01-27, 12:36 pm

Did you get anything from this one Math/Met?

While not the same phenomenon we did get some pretty stout wind last night at my place. Much stronger than from the severe threat last week. I woke to lawn chairs and kid toys strewn all around my yard.

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Re: Mountain Wave Winds

Post by Math/Met on 2012-01-27, 3:27 pm

Stovepipe wrote:Did you get anything from this one Math/Met?

While not the same phenomenon we did get some pretty stout wind last night at my place. Much stronger than from the severe threat last week. I woke to lawn chairs and kid toys strewn all around my yard.

The wind blew pretty hard here as well. I didn’t really look at the models leading up to this event, so it kind of snuck up on me. It wasn’t a major event, so I didn’t go to Camp Creek this time. I wish I still lived close to that area, then I wouldn’t have to drive all the way out there. It takes about 25-30 minutes to get there from my house. I used to live on a large hill in the southern part of Greene County (a couple miles from Camp Creek) and the wind was really bad there. Trying to sleep in those conditions was a real challenge at times.

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