METEOROLOGIST JEFF HABY
This next series of Hints looks at 5 locations that are secluded and weather features that occur in the environment. It is also
assumed there is no access to modern technology.
MIDDLE OF OCEAN
The first location that will be looked at is in the middle of the ocean such as in the
middle of the Pacific Ocean. This environment requires excellent navigation skills. In the middle of the ocean there is less to orientate
the location. The north and south position can be determined by determining the angle from the horizon to a celestial object in the sky. A
star such as the North Star can be used to know the general direction of north. The east west orientation is helped by the sun which
generally is located in the eastern sky in morning and the western sky at night. These clues in the sky help in knowing the position
at sea. The change in latitude while moving can be determined by the change is angle elevation of an object such as the North Star
in the sky. This technique does not work for longitude though. To get a relative sense of the change in longitude requires determining
the difference in time for example that the sun rises. Having an accurate clock will help do this.
The weather can range from sunny to stormy depending on the latitude and weather pattern. Difficulties with storms include not
being able to see the celestial objects in the sky, dealing with large ocean waves, and uncomfortable conditions produced by strong
wind and rain. There is less friction on the ocean thus the winds can be very strong during a storm. An advantage is that it provides
access to fresh water and the wind provides energy to a sailing vessel. If the weather is sunny and calm day after day then the
disadvantage to this is no new fresh water, risk of severe sun burn if exposed to the sun and winds may be light for sailing. Being
surrounded by water, the humidity is typically higher than many places over land. Temperature is a strong function of latitude. It
will be warm in low latitudes (equatorial and subtropical), mild but variable in middle latitudes and cold in high
latitudes (polar latitudes).
This second location in the secluded meteorology series looks at dealing with weather in the polar regions. This could be on
the ice cap of the North Pole region or on Antarctica in the South Pole region. An interesting climatic feature is the season. There
are two seasons which are the extremely cold with 24-hour darkness season and the cool but with 24-hour sunlight season. To be stuck
in the polar region requires good shelter, a supply of food and survival supplies. Except for Santa and family and special observation/research
stations, very few people keep a permanent homestead in this region.
Surviving a hike to the Pole requires significant survival gear. Survival clothing, a supply of food/water and endurance will be needed. There
is very little to no food in this harsh environment. There is plenty of water but it is in the form of frigid ice. Sled dogs can be used
to make the trip faster. The trip would need to be done in summer when there is sunlight and it is warmer. It is important to be able
to see where you are going due to cracks and irregularities in ice. This type of trip is dangerous due to the seclusion. These trips
are best done in small groups because it is very difficult to get outside help if something goes wrong.
The winds in the polar region can be very strong. There is little friction on the ice thus there is not much to slow the wind. This
can produce dangerously low wind chills. Since the air is cold, not much moisture will be in the air even when the relative humidity
is high. This can contribute to very dry skin. The adventurers in this harsh environment tend to be hardy explorers and researchers
at research stations. It is a difficult climate to live long term.
VERY HIGH ELEVATION
The third secluded area we examine is very high elevation meteorology. This will be at elevations above 2 miles in elevation (10,560 feet). At
this elevation and higher, the air pressure is relatively low. It will take time for the body to adapt to these low pressures and adverse health
consequences can occur above this elevation such as shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, extreme exhaustion and extreme dehydration. Many
people visit these elevations for brief time periods (hours to days) before returning to a higher pressure location. The weather at these
higher elevations tends to be windier, colder, and changeable. The high elevation is exposed to the free atmosphere and this helps produce
windier conditions. The temperature generally decreases with height thus preparations need to be made for cold weather with low wind
chills. The weather can change very quickly also going from mild and sunny to snowy and frigid. Many people have made living around
2 miles in elevation home. Some have made living between 2 and 3 miles in elevation home with proper adaptations. Living above 3 miles
in elevation, permanently, generally requires a genetic disposition to being able to handle the extreme low pressure. Genetic adaptations
generation to generation include larger hearts and a quicker and efficient flow of blood so that adequate
oxygen is delivered throughout the body.
MIDDLE OF HOT DESERT
The fourth secluded area we examine is in the middle of a hot desert. Factors that make a hot desert include: interior of continent, rain
shadow mountain ranges, subtropical latitude, low elevation, and very little inflow of moisture. The interior of the continent helps make
conditions hotter in the low latitudes since the sun is heating up land that has a low heat capacity and moisture sources that could
help cool the climate are far away. Mountain ranges can block moisture from moving into the interior of the continent. This is done
by damming the moisture on one side of the mountain range and squeezing out the moisture as rain and snow on the windward side of
the mountain range. Once the air moves on the leeside it sinks and thus warms and dries which helps contribute to a dry climate. A
subtropical latitude contributes to hotter weather since there is abundant direct sunlight year round while at the same time being
far enough from the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone that clouds and rain are typically lacking. The sun is close to being overhead
in the middle of the day which can produce extreme warming of dry land. This latitude is also dominated by high pressure systems. These
high pressure systems produce sinking air which helps the climate to be hotter and drier. The low elevation helps make it hotter since
temperature typically decreases with height. Being near sea level on land in the subtropics in the interior of a continent is often
very hot. With little moisture present, this helps temperatures warm also. Water has a high heat capacity which helps keep the air
cooler. Clouds reflect some sun energy which helps cool the weather. With not enough moisture to produce significant clouds and little
moisture on the ground to absorb solar energy, the land can warm to very high temperatures.
Surviving in this type of environment requires have a supply of water, food, loose reflective clothing, and survival gear/clothing. Large
amounts of water can be lost by perspiration in a short amount of time. Water is critical. Living in these conditions requires having
hardy animals, the ability to get supplies and ways to keep a person cool. Living in these conditions is certainly a challenge and
worthy to be considered a harsh environment to endure.
In this final writing on secluded meteorology we look at being stuck in the middle of a large rainforest. While it may seem like a fairly
easy environment to endure due to abundant fresh water and lush vegetation, it is actually a very challenging environment especially
for those that are not prepared. One challenge is the difficulty in moving. The thick vegetation makes it difficult to move rapidly
when there are no access to road systems. Another challenge is the constant high humidity. This can contribute to skin diseases and an
inability to keep dry. Another challenge is the dangers from wildlife. There are many poisonous animals and plants. It is difficult
to know what is safe to eat without prior knowledge. It can be easy to get disorientated due to not being able to see the sky well
through the thick trees. It can be easy to take a wrong step within the thick undergrowth. Although there is plenty of moisture, the
high heat and humidity can result in a rapid loss of fluids since it is difficult to keep the body cool. Having fresh water is
critical. Humidity and temperature tend to be high day and night. A fresh cooling wind is often not available since the thick
vegetation slows the air by friction. Many adaptations have to be learned in order to live permanently in this environment.