Even with the patchy clouds in recent days, it has still been spectacular weather in the mountains, ideal for wandering in the woods. We’re looking at one more day of decent conditions before the forecast sours for the next several days. The varying levels of cloud layers have produced some dramatic scenes for hikers as they traverse the trails and whenever we catch glimpses through the gray walls here at the lodge. Temps remain mild in the 40s for lows and 50s for highs.
As it relates to fall color here in the Smokies, the middle elevations have it going on, particularly from 2,000 to 4,500 feet in elevation. Higher than that and the trees are mostly bare. Trails like Rainbow Falls, Bull Head, and Trillium Gap will have plenty of colorful displays in their lower halves to enjoy. And the drive around Roaring Fork will be full of vivid eye-candy a little while longer.
We are watching Zeta in the Gulf, expected to return to hurricane form before making US landfall. Like several of its predecessors this year, it should track very close to the Smokies, producing steady rainfall and gusty winds. Starting Wednesday morning and lasting well into Friday, Mt. LeConte could receive several inches of rainfall and experience wind gusts as high as 40 mph at times. Now is the time for overnight guests to reevaluate hiking gear to make sure one is ready for treks in such conditions. Temps will remain mild through mid-week but come Friday they are expected to cool down quite a bit. We will continue to monitor Zeta closely.
Have a great day.