Winter is officially over at Grandfather Mountain, as evidenced by the complete lack of snow for the duration of April.
The total snowfall recorded for the winter (Oct. 1, 2013-April 30, 2014) was 32 inches at the Entrance Gate, far short of the previous year’s total of 55 inches.
By April, the snow was replaced by moderate rain and temperatures that rose as high as 68.5 degrees at the Mile High Swinging Bridge.
Staff recorded 4.6 inches of rain at the Entrance Gate in Linville, 4.34 inches of rain near the Nature Museum halfway up the Mountain, and 4.88 inches of rain at the Mile High Swinging Bridge.
The Mountain recorded rain more than half of the days of the month.
The amount of rain measured at the peak in April was slightly lower than the 58-year average of 5.09 inches, and the Mountain remains more than six inches shy of its normal year-to-date rainfall.
Temperatures took a pleasant turn in April, as the average low temperature for the month climbed above freezing for the first time since winter arrived.
The highest temperature recorded for the month was 68.5 degrees on April 27, and the lowest was 12.9 degrees on April 15.
The automatic weather station at the top of Grandfather Mountain recorded an average low temperature for April of 37.6 degrees and an average high temperature of 53.8 degrees. Compared to Mount Mitchell at 6,684 feet in elevation, Grandfather Mountain (5,946′) had very similar average highs, and its average low was about three degrees higher than Mount Mitchell, according to data from the State Climate Office.
Damage to the anemometer at the Mile High Swinging Bridge kept the equipment offline for 19 days in April, so wind speed measurements were not available for the full month.
For more information on Grandfather Mountain’s weather data or to view current conditions, visit www.grandfather.com.
Hikers enjoy the Profile Trail in Grandfather Mountain State Park as the weather warms in April. Kellen Short | Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation.
The distinctive blooms of the Hobblebush become visible in the Woods Walk at Grandfather Mountain as winter snows yield to mild weather. Katie Casella | Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation.