August 31, 2020
Waking up to mostly cloudy skies and mild temps this last day of August. And just like that another month on the mountain is in the books. Today is expected to be much in the same, with the wall of gray dominating the periphery and the chance for scattered light rainfall throughout. The next few days should see improvement with little opportunity for precip. It even appears as though temps will finally shift to something more autumn-like. How nice to think that the dog days of summer could finally be winding down? We’re at 13 hours of daylight now, and that amount available seems to be decreasing faster and faster each day. What that means for hikers is the possibility of needing headlamps at the trailhead (if starting super early), and descending the mountain so as not to get caught out after dark. Gradually those day time highs and overnight lows are going to drop as well, so more layers will be needed when starting your hike, and upon reaching the top.
Have a great start to the week.
August 29, 2020
The remnants of Laura continue to affect the Smokies, dominating the skies with clouds and rain as the storm pushes East. Intermittent showers rolled over the mountain much of Friday and into the night. Rain and wind will persist this morning until later today once Laura has finally bid us all farewell. Temps will remain in the 50s and 60s. If you are on the trail today please use caution at any swollen creek crossings without foot bridges, and pay attention to the trees if winds become gusty. If you come across new trail hazards such as downed trees or slides, please notify the lodge staff so we can share the information with the NPS and see it remedied. This goes double for anyone hiking Trillium Gap Trail as our llamas are avoiding the mountain this weekend on account of the storm.
Have a great day.
August 28, 2020
We’re already witnessing some cloud and spotty rain action associated with the outermost bands of now Tropical Depression Laura. The center of the storm is slated to pass north of Tennessee over the next 36 hours, but the scale of it should ensure that these mountains still receive heavy localized rainfall and gusty winds. Conditions should worsen later tonight and through most of Saturday before calming and clearing late tomorrow afternoon. Due to the sporadic lashing of the storm’s rain bands, showers could be brief but heavy at times, so don’t be surprised to see small creeks and drainages swell quickly. As wind gusts flare up, be mindful of the potential for falling trees on both trails and roadways. Temps are still fairly mild up top, and we should continue to hang out in the 50s and 60s. Odds are once the rain really starts to come down, that temps will cool slightly along with it. So come dressed appropriately for staying dry and warm once you reach the lodge.
Have a great start to the weekend and stay safe.
August 27, 2020
Wednesday was a beautiful day to spend on the mountain. Turned out to be one of the warmest days we’ve experienced in quite a while as we easily jumped into the lower 70s. Starting the day off with unabated sunshine for once will help do that. Conditions aren’t as clear to begin this day as clouds persist across varying levels of the atmosphere. A pleasant day is still expected for this area with hardly a chance for rainfall. Same story for much of a Friday. Temps are already in the upper 50s and should hover in the upper 60s this afternoon.
We continue to monitor Hurricane Laura closely. As it has intensified in recent days, the forecast track has continually pushed it further north as it sweeps across the states. The latest trajectory shows it weakening to a Tropical Low passing over Kentucky. For us here in the Smokies, there is still the potential for heavy but scattered rainfall as the southern bands of the storm sweep over the region. Winds shouldn’t be too intense either. Saturday appears to be the day it affects us the most, so hikers should expect rainy skies, wet trails, and come ready with the proper gear to keep one dry and comfortable.
August 25, 2020
Monday on the mountain was a steady mix of clouds and sun with only the occasional light rain rolling up from the south. It made for a pleasant day to spend in the outdoors and enjoy life above 6,000 feet. Today’s forecast should be much the same, with a slight chance of a mid afternoon shower. Temps will continue to be as they have been. The next several days don’t appear to pose much of a threat weather-wise. Early forecasts show TS Laura kicking up to hurricane strength in the Gulf soon and eventually tracking across the entire length of Tennessee in several days. Depending on how it holds together, there could be increased rain and wind potential come late Friday and most of Saturday. Of course this all remains very fluid this far out.
The bee population atop Mt. LeConte is enjoying life to the fullest with so many of the flowering plants at peak bloom. If you find a spot in camp away from crowd noise you can hear the light hum of their buzzing as they dance from coneflowers to monkshoods. Just in the last few days the gentian along Alum Cave have really opened up. Always entertaining to watch the bees tuck themselves inside the blooms.
August 24, 2020
It was a busy weekend atop the mountain, with travelers from all around still actively participating in outdoor recreation right here in our neck of the woods. Despite the threats of rain, the lodge has received so little in recent days that the conditions aren’t dampening anyone’s spirits. There is the possibility for a passing shower mid afternoon today, but outside of that the rest of the day ought to be pleasant for everyone ascending and descending. Temps continue to cycle between 50s and 60s and feel stellar. The early part of the week’s forecast looks promising, although we’re keeping an eye on the storms churning through the Gulf. Of the two, there is a possibility Laura tracks over TN a while after it makes landfall. A lot can change between now and then, but stay tuned for more info as we get it and how to best plan for an upcoming trip to the lodge.
Have a great start to the week.
August 23, 2020
The daylight hours yesterday made for a decent time to be had in the outdoors. The clouds danced around the mountain all day above and below the lodge, but never really mustered the strength to become storms overhead. It wasn’t until after dinner time and during the night that some rain showers finally hit their mark. Hikers today should expect wet and muddy conditions underfoot, with rain chances persisting in the early morning hours and then again mid afternoon before easing off. Temps again should hang around in the 50s and 60s.
August 22, 2020
Friday turned out to be a slow and steady trickle of rainfall both day and night, never really amounting to much in the end despite its constant presence. Views north over the valley were few and far between. Temps just barely managed to tap 60 degrees by the afternoon while spending the majority of time in the 50s. As it stands, the highest rain chances for the weekend seem to be during the lunch to supper hours, with today more likely than Sunday. Come prepared with gear for keeping yourself and your belongings dry just in case, and tread carefully on and around slick surfaces.
August 21, 2020
A wave of clouds and mist is bubbling up from the south this morning, making conditions wet and gray to begin the day. We are yet to see any heavy downpours, but there’s still enough precip to create slick surfaces and keep the air feeling cool up top. It would be a surprise if temps escaped the 50s today, especially since the forecast for down below seem so unseasonably cool. Although it’s doubtful many folks will complain about that. Today holds the strongest chance for continual rain of the entire weekend, with the possibilities decreasing each subsequent day. We’ll see how that prediction shakes out, but like always this time of year, best to anticipate a little afternoon moistening from the skies.
Shout out to our friends with the NPS trail crews for coming up Alum Cave this week to dig out some trenches for water runoff, and also replacing the sign at the bluffs. That trail receives a lot of visitors daily, so it’s good for the vast number of first timers to know just where they stand in relation to the summit.
Have a great weekend.
August 20, 2020
It’s a pleasant start to this Thursday. A great view for guests to wake up to and for slurping down pancakes before hitting the trail. There are varying levels of cloud layers in the atmosphere at the moment, none of which should pose any threat weather-wise until later this afternoon. The chances for brief but strong downpours are most likely to occur after lunch time the subside around supper. The forecast is looking fairly copy and paste the next several days, so best to prepare for a little rain if hiking the mountain is on your agenda. Temps are not expected to be overbearing, even down in the Tennessee Valley, which is a nice break. Conditions at the lodge are in the low 50s and might tap the low 60s later today.
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!