Hike through the inversion shows dramatic weather changes
Tyler Mode of Battle Ground, Wash. is an avid hiker, a great photographer and a self-professed weather geek.
So when he saw perfect inversion conditions on Wednesday, he knew it'd be a great day to go for a hike, get above the chilly fog layer and bask in some 54 degree sunshine.
And perhaps make it a teachable lesson about inversions and snap a few amazing photographs along the way.
"I intentionally took this hike, knowing full well it would take me above the inversion," Mode wrote on the site PortlandHikers.org.
He said weather balloon data from Salem showed the fog layer was up through about 2,000 feet.
"That means Hamilton (Mountain)'s 2,400' summit would stick above it, and I could bask in sun and warm temps," Mode said. "Being a weather geek, I took a thermometer and tracked the temps."
Mode gave me permission to retell his story here, complete with his weather observations as he climbed and photos he took along the way.
He began the hike at 200 feet at 11:17 a.m. when it was 37
11:31 a.m.; 500', 36 degrees
11:32 a.m.; 600', 36 degrees
11:37 a.m.; 700', 35 degrees
11:40 a.m., 800', 35 degrees
At 900 feet he hit the base of the fog layer at 35 degrees:
At 11:58 a.m. he made it to Coopey Falls (890 feet) where it was 33 degrees
12:07 p.m.: 1,000 feet, 33 degrees
12:10 p.m.: 1,100 feet, 33 degrees
12:17 p.m.: 1,200 feet, 32 degrees
It was here in the freezing layer that Mode found gorgeous examples of "Rime ice". That's when fog freezes onto surfaces, then accumulates as ice as more additional water droplets stick to, then freeze to the surface:
He continued his hike upward and the temperature kept dropping as the fog become thicker.
12:28 p.m.: 1,300 feet, 31 degrees
12:37 p.m.: 1,400 feet, 31 degrees
12:43 p.m.: 1,500 feet, 29 degrees (brrr!)
12:50 p.m.: 1,600 feet, 31 degrees
12:56 p.m.: 1,700 feet, 29 degrees
Here, he found a winter wonderland of natural ice sculptures made from frost and rime ice:
Mode says once he reached 1,800 feet, temperatures began to warm as he approached the top of the fog layer.
1:12 p.m.: 1,800 feet, 33 degrees
1:19 p.m.: 1,900 feet, 38 degrees
1:24 p.m.: 2,000 feet, 41 degrees
1:30 p.m.: 2,100 feet, 44 degrees
1:37 p.m.: 2,200 feet: 50 degrees (!)
1:52 p.m.: 2,300 feet: 50 degrees
1:59 p.m.: 2,400-foot summit: 54 degrees (heat wave!)
Remember, just 700 feet below it's 29 degrees.
Here are some of his photos from above the fog.
After spending 20 minutes at the summit, Mode began his trek down.
2:45 p.m.: 1,900 feet, 41 degrees
2:50 p.m.: 1,800 feet, 36 degrees
This is my favorite photo from just at the top of the fog layer:
2:55 p.m. 1,700 feet, 33 degrees
3:04 p.m. 1,600 feet, 31 degrees
3:08 p.m. 1,500 feet, 29 degrees
3:20 p.m. 1,200 feet, 32 degrees
3:23 p.m.: 1,100 feet, 32 degrees
3:30 p.m.: 850 feet, 33 degrees
He got below the fog layer at 800 feet
Back at the bottom at 3:58 p.m. at 36 degrees;
By the way, if Mode's name sounds familiar, he was the photographer behind the awesome waves shot from Cape Disappointment that headlined our weather photo gallery last week.
You can see more of Mode's photos from his hike, and from his Cape Disappointment trip on his Smugmug photo site