Saturday, July 5, 2014

Timpanogos Hike on Independence Day (we are so Patriotic)

My brother and I celebrated the Fourth of July with an impromptu Mount Timpanogos hike. We started from the Timpanooke Trailhead and took a little under 4.5 hours to get to the summit.

Hike slideshow: Auto Loop



  1. Snow slide
  2. Timpanogos Skiing
  3. Timpanogos Skiing, round 2. (This is why my camera is now broken.)
  4. Family in Spanish Fork watching our signal mirror (first flash at 30 seconds).
  5. More with the signal mirror

The above videos shows my family watching our signal mirror from the summit. Surprisingly, you can see our flashes of light from as far as Spanish Fork, over twenty miles away!

View from the summit looking southwest. The large body of water is Utah Lake.

Looking north...

On the way down, looking back at the summit:

Wild Flower Slideshow: Auto Loop


And now for the weather...
First, a look at the terrain and a UU2DVAR temperature analysis:
 The left panel shows the topography of the Wasatch Front. Mount Timpanogos is the second tallest peak in Utah County at 11,752 feet. The right image shows the 2.5 km UU2DVAR temperature analysis run at the University of Utah (notice the scale is in Celsius). The time shown here is the same time my brother and I were at the summit. While the valley was experiencing a warm day near 90, my brother and I enjoyed temperatures in the low to mid 60s on the mountain.

The MesoWest observations can confirm these temperatures. Shown below are the noon temperatures. Unfortunately, there are not weather stations on the top of Timp, but the station on Arrowhead Summit reported 68 degrees at noon with 18 mph winds from the southwest.

At the summit I was fascinated that there where no clouds above us on Timp. Usually clouds love to develop right above the mountain peaks on a hot day. There were, however, some exciting thunderstorm activity over the Uintah mountains. This is especially interesting because the weather models got this detail right

Below is a Terra satellite image on July 4th.

Below is the NAM forecast created a few hours before hiking. The left panel shows humidity and winds at 700 milibars (about the height of Timp's summit). The right panel shows precipitation and surface winds. 
Notice the dry air on the west side of Utah. This drier air is what limited cloud development over Timp. The precipitation forecast correctly predicted rain over the Uintah mountains. That is pretty cool if you ask me.

And stole this from online, but pretty cool video of the Timpanogos Summit from the perspective of a quadcopter.

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