The Right Altitude

May Snow

A week ago I posted Wisteria photo taken the same day, so enamoured I was of its floriferous and fragrant presence. I called it a mature spring dream.

Today, just one week later I had the opportunity to observe a unique scientific reality—that is—higher elevations have cooler temperatures. And that dramatically affects the visual coming of spring.

I live in essentially the same easting and northing for the Wisteria photo and these weather photos below. All have been taken within a 5 mile by 5 mile square on a map. I can observe the weather at 500 meters above sea level—the Wisteria–no snow fall at all–only a cold spring rain.

And I can observe the weather at 1,500 meters above sea level which I did today. My easy access to these very different elevations is possible due to the well developed cog-wheel train system in operation year round in all weather conditions.

Today, at 1,500 meters and higher, I saw no crocus, no dandelion, no green. But I did have the joyous fun of a snowfall in mid Spring—large flakes in blizzard-like conditions up to 12” deep and sticking to all coniferous and deciduous trees and shrubs.

Good fun.

…high…

800 meters above sea level–at this elevation there was no snowfall but you can see the dynamic cloud activity–up the faces of the cliffs–along the  valley floor–and the entire valley is covered and darkened by the low overcast.

 

…higher…

1,500 meters above sea level–at this elevation I have entered the low overcast layer that caused the reduced light at 800 meters. Inside the overcast layer was snowing.

 

…highest…

2,300 meters above sea level–at this level I have risen above the first overcast snowing and am now in snowfall from a higher overcast. This is where 12″ of snow had already fallen and the snow was still falling. A cog-wheel train at left.

 

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2 thoughts on “The Right Altitude

  1. Loved the drama of the 800 metres shot as well as the reminders of the difference altitude made. One summer by Lake Garda we were treated to that stark difference going by cable car up the 2km high Monte Baldo; and even in less extreme height differences in Wales (the Preseli Hills and the Brecon Beacons National Park) we’ve been constantly reminded of those temperature changes in winter — from 250 to 500 metres or from 60 metres to 700 metres — by a topping of snow when viewed from relatively mild conditions below.

    Liked by 1 person

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