July 31, 2020
Already shaping up to be a cloudy and rainy Friday on the mountain. July isn’t going to go out easy. We and the higher peaks are socked in going back to yesterday evening, spoiling our first sunset in a while. Showers are expected to be rolling in and out of the region all day, so jackets are a must on the trail and at the lodge. Temps will hold steady in the 50s and 60s yet again. This weekend is the Tennessee Sales Tax Free Weekend, and the lodge is participating. From July 31st through August 2nd, select apparel pieces and back-to-school related items will be sold tax free. So all students wanting to get ready for the coming academic year wanting to sport some sweet LeConte Lodge swag, what better way to take advantage? Weather conditions improve for the remainder of the weekend, but come ready for passing afternoon rain showers just in case.
July 30, 2020
Rinse and Repeat. Sun and clouds play a game of leapfrog over the mountain much of the day before giving way to late afternoon showers. But like the evenings prior, the skies break open in plenty of time for a sunset spectacular. Rain chances and cloud expected throughout much of the day today. Temps will remain in the 50s and 60s.
The mountain is bustling with life. Things in bloom and creatures both big and small scurrying all around. The diversity of it all is captivating. Around the lodge, some newborn fawns are getting their legs under them. Occasionally some of the peregrine falcons nesting a couple miles down will ride the wind and play a game of tag between the summit and Cliff Tops. Salamanders wiggle among rocks in the shallow creeks. Butterflies softly levitate from flower to flower. The soft cadence of llamas toting supplies up and down Trillium Gap. And Timber Rattlesnakes on Bull Head sounding the alarm when passersby wander a little too close for their comfort on what is technically their turf. Best to keep your eyes and ears open, not only for enjoying the beauty of nature, but for maintaining a safe distance from bears, elk, and even the slithering serpents as they all carry on with life.
July 29, 2020
Tuesday and Monday were very much one in the same. The mountaintop tiptoeing between puffy clouds and bursts of sunshine all day, finally giving way to a brief downpour and thunderstorm during supper time. The streak of stunning sunsets and sunrises continues, each one unique and as impressive as the last, always an appreciated treat for our guests. Temps remain in the 50s and 60s. Conditions are partly cloudy for the time being, with rainfall possibilities ramping up around lunch time.
With these last few days of July, the wildflowers all around the lodge continue to open up. These next few weeks should really see the floral display take off. Swallowtail butterflies and even a couple Ruby Throated Hummingbirds have taken note. The local deer population tend to see it as more of an endless buffet, but this is their home too.
Have a great day.
July 28, 2020
Waking up to another stunning sunrise as streaks of color line the sky. Winds are calm, birds are chirping, deer are grazing, and breakfast is cooking. Monday was a great day to say pend in the outdoors, even as the lodge was in and out of the clouds. It wasn’t until supper time that a brief rain shower and some close lightning strikes finally found the mountain. Temps fluctuated between the 50s and 60s much of the day. Despite the mostly clear skies currently, by late morning the rain chances increase and should persist most of today. The next few days are calling for much higher precip percentages and even lower temps down below. It’ll be wise to come prepared not only with layers to keep you dry, but warm as well.
July 27, 2020
Kicking off the new week with a colorful sunrise, peering north toward the horizon between cloud layers. We managed to dodge all the rain showers yesterday, but we may not be so lucky today with stronger percentages firing up around lunchtime. Temps should once again reach the mid 60s, and there’s a slight breeze currently adding a slight upper elevation chill to the air.
These cloud formations this time of year just make for some of the most spectacular sunsets. Even the crew has been taking note of late, jumping at the opportunity to grab their cameras and race up to Cliff Tops for some memorable moments. It was interesting to watch a small storm cell sweep over central Sevier County before sunset last night from our dry vantage point. Even from a relatively short distance as the crow flies, at the lodge one could see the entire cloud from base to anvil top, as well as where the rain started and ended with light on all sides. Not a bad way to let the mind unwind after a solid day’s work.
July 26, 2020
Saturday’s weather pattern stacked together like a sandwich, stormy interior with sunny skies up against either end. These turbulent summer conditions produce some of the most stunning sunrises and sunsets of the year. Such variety throughout the atmosphere with all of the contrasting cloud formations. The afternoon pop-up thunderstorm is to be expected, almost on a daily basis, and we got a doozy yesterday mid-day. A decent down pour with some particularly close-sounding lightning strikes. But as the hours approached supper time, the air calmed and put on an awe-inspiring show at dusk, eventually giving way to the stars.
Temps should maintain their hold in the 50s and 60s on the mountain today. The day calls for a slight chance of showers by mid-afternoon. Hopefully we can get the llamas loaded up and on their way before the skies get noisy. Trails are sure to be soggy and slick in places with this resurgence in rain. Have those jackets!
July 25, 2020
What a beautiful beginning to this last Saturday in July. Waking up to fairly clear and pleasant skies high above East Tennessee. Temps aren’t nearly as oppressive and even the humidity seems to have been dialed back a bit. Conditions should be partly cloudy much of the day with the possibility of rain showers increasing by mid afternoon. Sunday looks very much copy and paste. Mountain top temps should once again hang out in the 60s.
Recent visitors to the lodge may have noticed an increase in moth activity. It goes by the name of White-Striped Black, and has been known to gravitate to the top of the mountain during the hottest of summers. With the last couple weeks bringing the highest consistent temps across Tennessee in quite a few summers, it makes sense that we’re witnessing such a surge in the moth’s population. The last memorable rush of this particular moth came in 2012. This only solidifies the hot summer theory, as that was when the lodge surpassed 80° temps, and on three consecutive days. Fortunately, that doesn’t happen often.
July 24, 2020
Seems like yesterday we were enjoying the distant sparkles and delayed echoes of July 4th fireworks. Yet here we are speeding into the last weekend of the month. The season continues to fly by. The region received plenty of precip yesterday, pockmarked with scattered showers and thunderstorms passing through. Expect some wet conditions underfoot if you’re on the trail today, and for temps to once again hover in the 60s. Currently cloudy conditions up top and some lingering showers are moving through the Tennessee Valley. Chances for rain are minimal today and at their strongest around supper time. Percentages are slightly higher for Saturday and Sunday, so weekend warriors, have those rain shells handy!
Have a wonderful Friday.
July 23, 2020
Wednesday was another great day to spend on the mountain. Mild temps and the occasional cool breeze made for a pleasant time outdoors. As predicted, around lunchtime an isolated thunderstorm found the summit and dumped some rain on us for no more than 30 minutes. It was a nice break before the sun returned and made for a beautiful evening. Temps once again are hanging around in the 60s. There are clouds all around and the chances for precip are much stronger today, so have the rain jackets in tow. In a surprising but welcome turn, the extended forecast shows temps in the valley as less oppressive. As in the 80s variety. Folks down below, hikers, and llamas will surely appreciate that slight change.
The colors are starting to show all around the lodge. The first of the Purple Monks Hood and Yellow Coneflower are unfurling their petals. Soon there’ll be a subtle but ever present buzz as friendly bees get busy pollinating. Other beautiful summer time plants are out in force along several of the mountain’s trails. Some patches of St. John’s Wort on Alum Cave and Long rows of American Turk’s Cap Lilies atop Bull Head greet passers by. Get out there and enjoy it if you can!
July 22, 2020
Tuesday’s weather turned out to be all bark and no bite atop Mt. LeConte. For a solid four hours in the early afternoon, the rumbling of thunder could be heard from all directions. It was sort of like sitting inside an echo chamber, the booming of bass drums heard near and far. Surprisingly, none of the numerous storms in the vicinity ever saw fit to pass over this mountain. Any rainfall seen was laughable at best allowing guests and day hikers alike a mostly dry day to play outside. Mostly dry because odds are there was plenty of perspiration during one’s ascent in these muggy conditions.
Yesterday’s high temp was a touch over 70°, but most of the day was spent in the mid 60s with a great deal of cloud cover. Today should be mostly cloudy with a chance of storms picking up around lunch time and lingering throughout the afternoon. Come ready for rain and dramatic swings in temps if they happen.
Have a great day.
Welcome to the official blog of LeConte Lodge. We hope you find the information provided here both helpful and enjoyable. Thank you for visiting the site, and we hope to see you on the mountain!