5th of December and it is all about the weather.
The weather is one of the most interesting topics for the outdoors’s. But, if there is something you can’t influence it will be the weather. In the mountains, the weather is fickle. In an area, you are well known of, you can see the signs about changes. But in new areas you need to have skills and maybe some technical support. An altimeter/barometer is a very good tool for this. Here you can follow the pressure and can predict an upcoming weather change. In the alpine environment, it is difficult even for a meteorologist to predict weather here. Beside the meteorological skills, you must know the height of the mountains, broad or narrow valleys and in what direction they follow. How does wind move, and what direction they take depending of from where they come?
By watching the clouds, you will get a chance to predict weather changes.
Altocumulus floccus (Sv. tofsformade böljemoln)
This is a sign for an instable atmosphere, in about an hour you will have bad weather.
When a low pressure and a precipitation area is approaching, this cloud will be a sign…in about one or a couple of hours the bad weather will hit you.
The daylight is also a fact you must consider. When you planning the mountain trip, be sure about have many hours you can spend in light. You shall always bring a head lamp in case of darkness.
In the northern part of Sweden now we got the “polar night” that means that we from the 30th of November to January will not have any daylight at all.
Plan, and have good preparation done for bad weather. Always plan for a retreat out of the area, or what to do if the bad weather hits you. In the mountains, a good suggestion can be to bring a couple of bamboo stakes with a small pennant on. In bad weather with decreased sight, this can be very helpful and a safety.
I got a short interview with Sverker Hellstrom at SMHI about mountain weather.
How does the mountain environment affect the weather?
Well, it differ from place to place. That is why it’s hard to predict. The wind direction for example, especially if it is a tapered valley. The height affect the rain/snow/fall. There will be more rain/snow at the merchant side. The contour of the mountains is also a factor to count with (related to the wind direction)
Due to the global warming, can you see that the extreme type of weather increase in the mountain environment?
No, nothing that we can see as a pattern right now.
What is your suggestion to prevent from being captured in bad weather condition?
First of all, listen to the weather report on the radio. Be aware of the warnings. Doing this will give you a good overview, from where you can make decision for the activity of the day.
When it comes to x-flash, what is your recommendation there?
First it is less common with thunderstorms within mountain environment. But if you being caught of one, avoid high points.
Ok, and then one of the most important questions; what type coffee do you prefer at your outdoor activities?
Ha ha, for me it is brewed coffee it will be. So I rather choosing short activities so I can get home and brew…
todays chrismas gift suggestion, the Fjallraven Canada shirt. A must for the outdoor enthusiast..
Todays clue of the weeks question: The name of the area has something to do with the sun..
See ya tommorrow