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Weather


bethie76
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As someone who has been hiking for the past 18 years of my life, I thought I knew a lot about hiking.  It turns out I will forever be learning and my teacher is Mother Nature.

My husband and I and our friend Jon hiked Carpenter's Peak a Roxborough State Park yesterday and got dumped on near the peak.  I religiously checked the weather report and all it said was cloudy for several hours with  20-30% chance of rain.  

How do I prepare better for these situations?  Ending up completely drenched wasn't the worst part...it was hunkering down and worrying for my life because of thunder and lightning nearby and I want to be the MOST informed hiker I can be, especially when it comes to rain.

Does anyone use a special app on their phone?  I know all about bringing rain gear but this just felt like it came out of nowhere and just like that, it was gone too.  We got down and the sky was blue and gorgeous and a man in the parking lot near our car almost didn't believe us when we said we got hailed on.

I appreciate any and all suggestions or stories! :)

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Aaron Zagrodnick

Checking the weather forecast before a trip is always helpful of course as you described, I tend to like the point forecasts from the National Weather Service:

forecast.weather.gov where once you search for a particular area you can then click the map for a forecast reflecting exactly where you'll be. But of course you'll have some surprises even then so watching the weather on the hike and doing a little self forecasting is helpful. When the weather pattern is calling for those isolated thunderstorms daily, I like to plan to get the higher elevation stuff over early in the morning if possible before the storms usually build, having an area to retreat to in mind, and having the right gear on hand even for dayhikes...but sounds like you had that covered!

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Thank you so much Aaron!  I will definitely use this site...thank you!

And our timing was definitely the issue...we didn't start until after noon and that's not happening again.  


Thank you again for this suggestion!

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  • 1 year later...

You have to learn to read the weather better.  There is no weather station and no app anywhere near most of the good places to spend time in the outdoors.  People have become overly dependent on their phones. 

Learn to read the clouds.  Watch out for vertical cloud development and cumulo-nimbus clouds in particular.  Watch the wind direction change.  Notice the wind speed.  Separate out diurnal varitions like afternoon winds from differential heating from frontal boundaries. 

Learn to recognize mountain weather.  If you are in the Rockies in summer, expect afternoon thunder boomers and act accordingly.

Edited by ppine
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