Last Updated on February 23, 2023 6:22 pm
LINVILLE, N.C. – Grandfather Mountain started the year off with a fairly blustery January that also saw a bit of snow, according to data recorded at the park’s official weather reporting stations.
The average high temperature for January 2023 was 39.99 degrees Fahrenheit, with an average low of 27.33 degrees and a mean of 33.66 degrees.
The warmest temperature recorded last month was 55.6 degrees on Jan. 2, just under 10 degrees shy of the mountain’s record January high of 65 degrees, observed on Jan. 30, 2002.
The dates of Jan. 14 and 15 saw the coldest temperature recorded last month with 10 degrees. A wind chill of minus 12.7 was also noted on Jan. 14. The lowest temperature observed for this month (not counting wind chill) was minus 32 degrees on Jan. 21, 1985.
The weather station on the Mile High Swinging Bridge noted 12 days in January with a wind gust higher than 60 mph. On Jan. 20, the weather station at the top recorded a wind gust of 89.4 mph, while the month’s highest recorded sustained wind speed clocked in at 73.2 mph that same day. The highest gust ever recorded on Grandfather Mountain was 124 mph, observed Feb. 25, 2019.
The weather station near the Swinging Bridge reported 4.57 inches of precipitation in January 2023. Precipitation at the top of the mountain includes rain and the liquid equivalent of frozen precipitation. Due to wind, snow depth is not recorded at the top.
Observations recorded near the park’s Wilson Center for Nature Discovery saw 4.86 inches of precipitation and also noted eight days with at least trace amounts of snowfall, amounting to approximately 8 total inches. Precipitation is also measured at the latter location, as high winds can make it difficult to record accurate observations at the top.
The mountain’s rainiest January was recorded in 1998, when 11.79 inches were observed near the bridge. The driest January on record was observed in 1956, when 0.59 inches were measured at the top.
There were 19 days of recorded liquid precipitation (rain and the liquid equivalent of frozen precipitation) for January 2023. The day last month with the highest amount of this precipitation observed was Jan. 15, when 1.15 inches were recorded at the top. The day with the highest amount of precipitation observed on record for January was Jan. 8, 1998, when the weather station noted 3.50 inches.
The Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation records and reports data in two different ways:
- The park maintains an automated weather station at the top of the Mile High Swinging Bridge. The N.C. State Climate Office assists the foundation in calibrating the machines and ensuring overall accuracy of data.
- Grandfather Mountain has been an active member of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Cooperative Observer Program since 1955 by reporting weather data from locations near the Mile High Swinging Bridge and the Nature Museum (now the Wilson Center for Nature Discovery).
For more information on weather at Grandfather Mountain, visit www.grandfather.com/weather.
The nonprofit Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation strives to inspire conservation of the natural world by helping guests explore, understand and value the wonders of Grandfather Mountain. For more information, visit www.grandfather.com.