The wool blankets are being held a little tighter this morning, as the mountain top wakes up to temps in the lower 30s. Summer is long gone now! Clouds are still capping the peaks of the Smokies, but we should start to get some gradual clearing as the day progresses. Then it’s abundant and beautiful sunshine for what could be an enjoyably long stretch to kickstart autumn. Still going to be breezy today, which will only add to the chill in the air, as gusts upwards of 20mph are possible. Our high temp should get up around 50° this afternoon, but tonight we’ll expect to dip back down into the 30s.
As is typical once we reach the final two months of the season, the waning daylight hours and cooler temps can catch a number of day hikers and overnight guests off guard. It is critically important that you prepare for these rapidly changing conditions that at times could be life-threatening. Do not get fooled by clear and sunny skies during the day, because once that sun starts to descend, the temps plummet right along with it. Before you know it, you could be caught out on trail in the dark and without sufficient layers to stay warm. It is each hiker’s responsibility to bring the appropriate clothing and provisions to stay warm and dry, especially if you were to get hurt on trail miles and hours from help. There is never a guarantee that your phone will get a signal, another hiker will pass by, or that the lodge or NPS can send medically trained personnel in a timely manner. At that point you are at the mercy of whatever layers and gear you brought. So please do yourselves and those you have the potential to affect a huge favor and come prepared.
Thank you and have a great day.