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Mountain Weather

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Weather Basics

Most people subconsciously "forecast" the weather. If they look outside and see dark clouds they may decide to take rain gear. If an unexpected wind strikes, people glance to the sky for other bad signs. A conscious effort to follow weather changes will ultimately lead to a more accurate forecast. An analysis of mountain weather and how it is affected by mountain terrain shows that such weather is prone to patterns and is usually severe, but patterns are less obvious in mountainous terrain than in other areas. Conditions greatly change with altitude, latitude, and exposure to atmospheric winds and air masses. Mountain weather can be extremely erratic. It varies from stormy winds to calm, and from extreme cold to warmth within a short time or with a minor shift in locality.

Recognizing Incoming Weather

Weather forecasts are simply educated estimations or deductions based on general scientific weather principles and meteorological evidence. Forecasts based on past results may or may not be accurate. However, even limited experience in a particular mountainous region and season may provide local indications of impending weather patterns and increased accuracy.

Weather Links

The Climber's Bible