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TUESDAY JANUARY 16 - THE REMARKABLE WEATHER TRIP ACROSS PENNSYLVANIA
Over the holidays, I went back to eastern Ohio to visit my folks. And that meant
taking the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The drive can sometimes be amazing because of the
weather changes that come with crossing the Appalachians.
The weather was fairly uneventful on the way out - the only thing that struck me was
the temperature change. At the
highest point along the turnpike, at an elevation of
around 2600 feet, it was a good 10oF colder, a temperature difference in line
with what’s average, a 3-4oF drop for every 1000 feet you go up.
On the way back, though, the weather was much more changeable. Snow showers were
scattered across Western Pennsylvania, aided by west winds which rose up the
Appalachians - and
rising air forms clouds. So near the highest peaks, I was crawling
in low visibility on a snow-covered road. But just a half hour later heading down the
mountains, the snow ended and the sun even broke out - a textbook lesson that when
west winds moved downhill, the clouds and precipitation tend to dissipate.
And the rest of the drive was smooth sailing.