Employees at the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation were hopeful for early signs of spring in March but instead received the largest monthly snow total of the winter.
Due to the adverse weather, the Top Shop was closed for 12 days of the month and no snow was measured at the top of the Mountain. Entrance Gate employees recorded 17.6 inches of snow for the month and the naturalist staff recorded 16.2 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, 49.4 inches at the Fudge Shop and 55 inches at the Entrance Gate.
Entrance Gate employees recorded 5.37 inches of liquid precipitation for the month and the naturalist staff recorded 5.15 inches at the weather equipment near the Fudge Shop.
The rainfall total from the Top Shop's gathered data is 5.22 inches for the past month, which is 0.5 inches, or eight percent, below the 57-year average rainfall total for March of 5.72 inches.
The automatic weather station at the top of Grandfather Mountain recorded an average high temperature for March of 34.2 degrees and an average low temperature of 19.9 degrees. These numbers are slightly below the State Climate Office data from Mt. Mitchell State Park. The average high temperature at Mt. Mitchell was 36.6 degrees and the average low temperature was 20.5 degrees. The lowest temperature recorded at Grandfather during the month was 5.2 degrees on March 21.
Wind gusts over 60 mph were recorded 13 times. The highest three-second gust during the month was 95.8 mph recorded March 6.
For more information on Grandfather Mountain's weather data or to access current conditions please visit www.grandfather.com.