It’s the most, sunshine-starved daaay, of the year!
Happy Winter Solstice everyone. Things only get brighter from here on out! (Although there are still plenty of cold days and nights ahead.)
Yesterday was a grand wintry day to be on the mountain. Once they opened the main road, plenty of folks were eager to get outside and start exploring. Conditions finally turned favorable for melt and it happened quickly. Only patchy ice and snow remains, mostly up top in the shaded places of the forest. Continue to keep those traction devices close by if a weekend escapade is in your plans.
Friday’s high was 39° with a low of 22°. We’re currently settled into the mid 30s under cloudy skies. Clouds are expected to thicken as the weekend rolls along, with a strong chance of rain showers firing up by midday Sunday. At this stage, temps should remain warm enough to thwart any flurry formation. We shall see!
Have a great weekend.
12:00 PM Update - US 441 is back open. Watch for ice and snow on the roadway.
Good Morning All,
We’re off to a picture perfect winter day atop the mountain. Currently 23° under clear skies and after a stunning sunrise. Still about 0.5” of crunchy snow underfoot. Yesterday’s high reached 38° and our low was 17°. Today looks to be much the same in the way of temps, with the possibility of increasing clouds as the day progresses. Hopefully these conditions inspire a little more melt.
US 441 (Newfound Gap Rd) is still closed because of ice and snow on the roadway, and rightfully so. It’s easy to overlook the fact that the sun is at its lowest angle this time of year, which means some areas of roads and trails just don’t see any sunshine. That can also mean a staggering temperature difference between sun and shade, enough to keep some places iced up. Such is the case on US 441 and the trails ascending Mt. LeConte. Alum Cave has icy sections from top to bottom, which would mean all the trails can be treacherous, so traction devices are imperative for the time being.
When approaching the bluffs yesterday afternoon, a VW beetle-sized ice sheet sprang free from the ledges above, concluding its straight line dive in a thunderous thud amid a million fragments. Trying to quickly navigate the ice covered steps through the bluffs while keeping a fixed gaze upward for falling ice proved to be an awkward task, but fortunately one was able to pass through unscathed. Hopefully the sun takes care of the remaining ice missiles before anyone gains access to the trail.
It’s beautiful out there, but as always, proceed with caution!
Much colder on the mountain yesterday, more like the winter we know and love about Mt. LeConte. Wednesday’s high barely scraped 20°, and our low point tapped single digits again at 9°. Currently sitting at 18° under impeccably clear skies. No new precipitation but still looking at an I nch of snow on the ground.
US 441 is still closed as of this morning, the cold temps and shady areas of the roadway are likely giving the crews fits. Hopefully another full day of sun helps their cause. We’ll just continue to enjoy a cold and quiet mountaintop in the meantime.
Have a great day.
Tuesday started mild (42°), but as the day progressed our temps steadily fell. Our overnight low bottomed out at a brisk 6°. We tallied 0.26” of liquid precip and regained some snow accumulation totaling 1” of fresh powder. Conditions are currently gorgeous under clearing skies! US 441 remains closed for the time being.
We’re looking at a gradual warming trend all the way thru the Christmas holiday. Each passing day will add a couple degrees to the daily high, taking us to above average temps for this time of year. Aside from a day or two of possible rain in the middle, it’s going to make for several great days of exploring these majestic woods. Some of the best views to be had happen during the winter months with that cool, clear mountain air. Could have some stunning sunsets on deck!
Have a great day.
4:30 PM Update - US 441 (Newfound Gap Rd) has been temporarily closed due to snow and ice. Despite the cooler temps, the forecast is calling for a great deal of sunshine the next few days which should aide the road crews in their efforts to reopen the road. Use caution out there and have those traction devices at the ready!
We’re marching through this mild stretch on the mountain. The snow from a few days ago is all but gone after the soaring temps and steady rains. Yesterday’s high reached 44°, accompanied by a low of 39°. We tallied 1.34” of liquid precip and are currently riding out windy and cloudy conditions.
There should be a break in the action, but the rough weather returns for the back half of the day. As the cold front pushes through, temps will drop sharply on the mountain and what starts out as rain should transition to ice and light snow. All roads to the mountain are currently open, but it’s possible one or more could be closed depending on the changing conditions.
Have a great day.
Newfound Gap Road was reopened yesterday, and we’re still riding out the Wind Advisory which has been extended through Tuesday morning. A great deal of ice and snow melted yesterday, as only patches remain across the mountain. There are still plenty of slick spots, so continue to use caution until the last of it melts away.
Sunday’s temps rose into the mid 30’s, and today looks to feel much the same. Current conditions are cloudy and windy. Rain is expected to roll in late tonight, persist through Tuesday, and even change over to snow. Just in time to replace what we lost!
Take care if you’re exploring the woods today in these winds. If you come upon any downed trees, please let the fine folks at the NPS know about it.
Waking up to a beautiful scene this Sunday. Cool and clear skies which makes for breathtaking visibility over the mountains. Temps are still hovering in the 20s, and our snow total topped out around 2” of powder. Temps should be decently mild the next couple days, so the fluffy stuff should melt quite a bit later today and through tomorrow.
The region will be under a Wind Advisory from 8:00 tonight through 6:00 Monday morning. Calling for sustained winds of 30 mph with gusts upwards of 50 mph. Whether this will extend the current closure of Newfound Gap Road is TBD. Use caution wherever you are if you decide to get out and play in these woods today.
Already halfway through December! Have a great end to the week.
It’s been a cloudy and snowy mountain top. Temps in the 20’s with flurries still coming down. Current accumulation around an inch.
US 441 through the park is currently closed due to the weather. There is no ETA on when it will reopen. The forecast looks promising after tonight, with the next few days expected to be quite warm for this time of year. Trail conditions will go from icy to sloppy real quick once the sun comes out.
Safe travels if you’re in the vicinity. Have a great rest of the day.
Good morning friends,
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!