The amount of liquid precipitation (rain and the melted equivalent of snow) measured at Grandfather Mountain in January was above average. The entire month experienced its fair share of rain and snowfall but numbers were greatly pushed up by the area’s flood-inducing rains January 30. The rainfall for that 24-hour period was four inches at the Entrance Gate and 3.78 inches near the Fudge Shop.
Grandfather Mountain measures precipitation at multiple locations on the Mountain. Entrance Gate employees recorded 12.04 inches of liquid precipitation for the month and the naturalist staff recorded 11.6 inches at the weather equipment near the Fudge Shop.
The Top Shop was closed January 18, 25-28 and 31 due to adverse winter weather. The rainfall total from the Top Shop’s gathered data is 8.44 inches for the past month, which is 3.77 inches, or 80 percent, above the 57-year average rainfall total for January of 4.67 inches.
The snowfall total for January from the recorded data at Grandfather Mountain’s Top Shop was four inches. Entrance Gate employees recorded 6.5 inches of snow for the month and the naturalist staff recorded 7.3 inches at the weather equipment near the Fudge Shop.
The recorded snowfall for the winter-to-date (since October 1, 2012) is four inches at the Top Shop, 20.8 inches at the Fudge Shop and 23.2 inches at the Entrance Gate.
The automatic weather station at the top of Grandfather Mountain recorded an average high temperature for January of 41.0 degrees and an average low temperature of 25.2 degrees. These numbers are very close to the State Climate Office data from Mt. Mitchell State Park. The average high temperature at Mt. Mitchell was 39.4 degrees and the average low temperature was 25.2 degrees. The lowest temperature recorded at Grandfather during the month was 1.5 degrees on January 22.
Wind gusts over 60 mph were recorded 12 times. The highest three-second gust during the month was 109 mph recorded January 24. That gust, while not record-breaking, highlighted an extremely windy day at Grandfather Mountain. There was a nine-hour period early in the day in which each hour saw a three-second gust of at least 80 mph and the maximum gust during three of those hours was over 105 mph.
For more information on Grandfather Mountain’s weather data or to access current conditions please visit www.grandfather.com.