Asheville Mountain Real Estate Blog

Asheville, NC real estate for sale. Information for buyers, sellers and mountain homeowners, without pressure. Rich content for those who are far away about what it is like to live here through the generous use of media. And some nostalgia with our, "Baby Boomers' Fun Stuff", Thanks for stopping by.

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Location: Mars Hill, NC, United States

A small, highly personalized real estate firm specializing in mountain homes and land in greater Asheville.

Monday, March 10, 2008

"Microclimates": Part 3 on Asheville & Mountain Weather

In Part 1 of our series, we discussed the lapse rate. Summarizing briefly, the lapse rate is the phenomenon whereby temperature decreases as our elevation above sea level increases. In Western North Carolina, a part of everyday life might include 2,000 feet or more changes in elevation.

The lapse rate is generally a decrease of 3.56 degrees F for every 1,000 feet. It is this that allows our area to have snow, and escape the summer heat.

In Part 2, we talked about orographic lift. Simply, that when an air mass rises over the mountains here, it cools, loses its ability to hold moisture, and could result in localized precipitation.

For Part 3, we will look at "microclimates". The easy definition is, an area where the climate differs from that which surrounds it. Wikipedia goes on to say:
The term may refer to areas as small as a few square feet (for example a garden bed) or as large as many square miles (for example a valley)

and later in that article, for our purposes....

Another contributory factor to microclimate is the slope or aspect of an area. South-facing slopes in the Northern Hemisphere and north-facing slopes in the Southern Hemisphere are exposed to more direct sunlight than opposite slopes and are therefore warmer for longer.
In regions where it might snow, this can easily be seen on the shady side of one's home, that place where the snow lingers for days after the rest of the yard has melted.

In the mountains of North Carolina, and thus when buying land or a home in our area, it is important to discern where the sun shines over the course of the day, BEFORE making that offer.

Let's finish with a set of resources on microclimates and landscaping your yard from

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