The wind and rain hounded the mountain all day and all night yesterday, delivering some hefty blows at times. The rain was almost a constant presence, ranging anywhere from a light mist to a gully washer producing 3” total. The wind gusts were more of a one-two punch, strongest in the morning hours, and then surging once again in the evening. The clouds seemed like they were rocketing over the mountain top all day, and it’s likely we got every bit of the predicted 70+ mph gusts. The occasional booms of thunder certainly made it feel more like spring than winter. Temps hung around the lower 40s all day.
The rain has stopped, there are still some strong breezes, but conditions appear to be improving as we witness sunrise. Today should turn out to be a beautiful day across East Tennessee. As of now, US 441 (Newfound Gap Rd) is still closed, so hikers eager for an early start will need to hit up Cherokee Orchard. Be sure to make note of any trail hazards like downed trees so that we can promptly report them to the NPS. We were made aware of at least on tree down on Alum higher up. Thunderstorms are expected to return Saturday, so it’s looking like a wet weekend is in store.
Have a great day.