Snow fell at Grandfather Mountain the last three days of the month ushering the park quickly from autumn to winter. No snow was measured at the top of Grandfather because employees could not make it to the Top Shop during the storm. Entrance Gate employees recorded 12.7 inches of snow for the month and the naturalist staff recorded 11.2 inches at the weather equipment near the Fudge Shop.
High winds also accompanied the snowfall. A three-second gust of 105.8 mph was recorded October 30 and a three-second gust of 103.8 was recorded October 31. The highest gust recorded by the updated equipment on the Mile High Swinging Bridge still remains at 114.7 mph reported January 26, 2011.
The lowest temperature recorded during the storm was 20.7 degrees October 31. The coldest high temperature for the month was also recorded that day: 24.2 degrees.
The automatic weather station at the top of Grandfather Mountain recorded the average high temperature for the month as 53.1 degrees and the average low temperature as 39.9 degrees. These numbers read a few degrees higher than the State Climate Office data from Mt. Mitchell State Park. The average high temperature at Mt. Mitchell was 51.3 degrees and the average low temperature was 37.8 degrees.
The rainfall total of 2.87 inches of rain was 2.02 inches, or 41 percent, below the 57-year average rainfall total for October of 4.89 inches. According to the weather station at the top of Grandfather Mountain, rain fell seven days during the month.
Entrance Gate employees recorded 4.74 inches of rain and melted snow for the month and the naturalist staff recorded 5.43 inches at the weather equipment near the Fudge Shop.
Rainfall for the year continues to be up. Rain for the year-to-date is 52.07 inches, which is 3.72 inches (or 8 percent) above the norm for this time of the year.
For more information on Grandfather Mountain’s weather data or to access current conditions please visit www.grandfather.com.