August Ends Much Drier Than Previous Year on Grandfather Mountain

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By this time last year, Grandfather Mountain had received twice as much rainfall as it has during the same eight-month period this year.

As of Aug. 31, Grandfather Mountain staff has recorded exactly 34 inches of rain at the Mile High Swinging Bridge. At the same time in 2013, Grandfather Mountain had recorded 70.49 inches there.

“After what felt like nonstop rainfall last summer, we’re fortunate to return to more normal levels this year,” said Kellen Short, public relations specialist for Grandfather Mountain. “It’s a lot easier to enjoy the spectacular views when you aren’t peering through torrential downpours.”

In August, Grandfather Mountain recorded 2.78 inches of rain at the Mile High Swinging Bridge, 3.72 inches at the Nature Museum and 3.79 inches at the Entrance Gate in Linville.

The year-to-date rainfall at the Swinging Bridge is 34 inches, while the normal year-to-date across 59 years of weather measurements is 43.8 inches.

Meanwhile, temperatures remained pleasant throughout the month of August. A high of 74.5 degrees and a low of 45.9 degrees were recorded on top of the Mountain.

By comparison, Mount Mitchell to the south recorded average temperatures for the month that were about 2 to 3 degrees lower than Grandfather Mountain, according to weather data from the N.C. State Climate Office.

The highest wind speed charted on Grandfather Mountain in August was 57.8 mph.

The staff also noted 10 foggy mornings in August. Mountain lore suggests that the number of foggy mornings in August will predict the number of snowstorms the winter holds.

Grandfather Mountain has served as an Official Reporting Station for the National Weather Service since August 1955. The staff also collects daily data as part of NASA’s international climate database.

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