Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Orographic effects

Over at Cat Rotator's Quaterly, Alma T.C. Boykin has a post that mentions fog resulting from orographic lifting.  This got me thinking.  (Dangerous, I know.)  Orographic effects abound.  Ground fog in the Texas Panhandle is the least of it.  Orographic clouds form when moisture in the air rises and cools.  This is why clouds are so often observed near the peaks of island mountains in warm waters; the air is most from the surrounding waters, and as that air is pushed up and over the mountains, the clouds form.

When rain then falls from orographic clouds it is known as orographic rainfall.  Such rainfall can cause more than just a spot of bad weather, but can impact climate and topography as well. The rain shadow effect of tall mountains, and the often lush environment on the opposite side of the mountain, are a prime example.  More rainfall will also typically cause more erosion, which is reflected in more erosional land forms (gullies, ravines, streambeds, etc.) on the wet side than the dry side of the mountains.

Just something to keep in mind when designing a world, be it for a game or a story.  And something to account for when writing programs to create worlds, too.

No comments:

Post a Comment