Monday, December 29, 2008

Holy Inversion, Batman

Lest you think I'm on any drugs other than caffeine at the moment, I'm not.

Ah, the press the advent of some real winter temps has gathered. By now, even those only acquainted with -40 by way of reading about it online have heard about thermal inversions, ice fog, all that good stuff.

But this morning was a whole new chapter for me.

Conventional wisdom holds that down low is cold, and those living up in the hills in what we call "The Banana Belt" are not so cold. But wind, apparently, plays havoc on the situation. A light breeze was in my neighborhood last night and this morning, mucking the whole thing up, and it was -4 degrees.

Minus four.

I'm not kidding. Down on the valley floor, at my house. It had only been about -12 the evening before.

Even stranger was when I drove UP Ballaine Hill and the thermometer on my car begin to drop off. It was -8 at the top. Of course, once I descended down to Farmers Loop and the University area, the thermometer began to drop down to 'normal' temps.

Now, either I have a bum thermometer or this was a strange localized phenomena. Comments? Some scientificky explanation?


Ishmael said...

I think it all comes together if you take inversion out of the mix. Deep cold doesn't always need an inversion of warm air on top of it - it can just be damn cold for the heck of it.

FlictheBic said...

Yes - the colder the weather, and of course the longer the cold is around - the inversion disappears. The Banana Belt really only exists in the -20 and above range - once it gets to be deep freeze, its deep freeze everywhere- it just takes a bit longer for the hills to cool off. And as Ish already noted, sometimes there just isnt inversion - it isnt always present during cold weather, and is, I believe, more of a phenom when there is cloud cover. At my house, its been consistently -10 - but as soon as I cross the street and walk down the hill to the trails, I can feel it at least 15 to 20 degrees colder, as evidenced by frost nipped nose and frozen nose hairs -