Weather Forecast around Mountain Areas Reliability?
Planning a trip to the White Mountains for Monday the 10th through Wednesday the 12th. It says clear on Monday and Wednesday but rain on Tuesday. When I once went to Baxter State Park years ago it called for a real cloudy/overcast day or something of the sort, and when I spoke to the park ranger he said "You can never go by weather forecasts around mountains". It turned out to be beautiful that day with just clouds high up in the sky. I've done a lot of hiking over the years but can't remember if the forecasts would pan out (a few times I do know it rained when it called for rain).
Enough rambling, my question is
1. How reliable do you think these forecasts will be since they are 4-6 days out at this moment?
The reason I'm asking is that I might plan to go somewhere else for this mini road trip if one of the 3 days is gonna be a wash.
- TQLv 76 months ago
It's really not a question about weather forecast reliability around the mountains. It's about the current large-scale weather pattern and how it will affect your travel plans. Personal anecdotes about what happen this or that time or broad brush analysis about mountain weather offer no guidance.
The weather in the NE the next few days will be generally poor for outdoor activities b/c a series of moisture-rich frontal systems are forecast to plod slowly across the region. Wednesday looks to be the best day with HIGH pressure over the area.
- ☠.Skratch.☠Lv 66 months ago
Tell me about it - I woke up this morning to S N O W on the ground !!!
Did someone forget to tell the weatherman that it's June 07 ?
- busterwasmycatLv 76 months ago
The two sides of the range can actually have different weather, because the range blocks frontal movement from north to south. I have gone through the notch many times over the years and enough of those times it has been a case of going from rain to sun (or the reverse, and snow rather than rain). I have also done some overnight backpacking up there (not recently) and can tell you with certainty that what is the weather down on the flats is often quite different from what you will experience up top.
The elevated uplands of the White Mountains and the border mountains (maine-quebec border) tend to divide weather patterns into ones that migrate down the Saint Lawrence valley from weather migrating along the atlantic coast. The winds in the notches (Crawford and Franconia) and up on the tops of the peaks can be pretty strong when there is a major weather difference.
Let me warn you right here from experience: we got caught in snow up near the peaks on Memorial Day weekend one year, and it is the closest I have ever come to really being at risk of life while backpacking. It was nice down below, we hiked up into cold rain (the clouds around the mountain), and then into snow. Ended up crashing the Lake of the clouds emergency cabin. this year has not been a fast spring up this way, so even though the weather is telling us that we ought to have a beautiful weekend (FINALLY), don't count on that while up high. Go prepared. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.
I will say that when the weather is clear, it is really something special and worth the effort. But go prepared for it to be otherwise.
- Anonymous6 months ago
Pretty reliable, but weather happens, conditions change - especially in the mountains. Mt Washington especially can change very quickly.