The weather is proving most challenging when it comes to trying to post today. A simultaneous High Wind Warning and Flash Flood Watch are currently in effect, expected to last into Friday morning. Wind gusts upwards of 70 mph are anticipated, especially across the higher elevations. An accruement of heavy rain could also lead to swelling streams causing localized flash flooding.
US 441 (Newfound Gap Rd) is now temporarily closed on account of the deteriorating weather conditions, and will likely not reopen until the warnings have expired and the road assessed. Cherokee Orchard remains open, and the northern side of the mountain will be slightly more sheltered from the strong winds pushing up from the south. Reminder that the crossing of LeConte Creek along Rainbow Falls can be dangerous when the water runs high, so that trail is inadvisable until the storm has passed. Although any and all unbridged creek crossings along the mountain's trails could be manageable now, they will become much rougher as the day progresses. Anyone starting up the trail this late should use great caution.