All is well on top of the hill, soothing winds and chatting birds fill the air. The sky is overcast at the moment, with light rain falling off and on. It is a cool 40 degrees outside with high wind gusts aggressively ripping through the evergreens. Oddly enough, the clouds are not concealing the mountain, giving us a bird's eye view of Eastern Tennessee. An even mixture of gray and blue paint the valley floor, giving it an eerie appearance. Looking ahead, light rain showers will most likely continue throughout today and Wednesday, with pockets of heavy rain on Wednesday evening. Temperatures should hover around the low to mid 40s over the next 48 hours, with high winds possible on both days. That being said, hold on to your hats, folks... Gusts upwards of 55 mph are possible near the summit, so use your best judgement if you climb up to the cliffs! All exposed areas along the trail can be a threat to your safety, so use caution and watch your footing. As of right now, Highway 441 remains open to all visitors, which means all trails leading to Mount LeConte are accessible. No high wind advisories have been issued to my knowledge, but please be safe up top today. Winds have been howling and whistling all morning, with no intention of letting up. From the safety of my own cabin, I thoroughly enjoy listening to elements outside (while staying warm and dry), it's a pretty relaxing feeling. Brisk breeze slowly entering the window, light rain coating the weathered roof, the quiet song of a lonesome bird in my left eardrum. Every day up here is magical...
Yesterday's high temperature was a scorching 50 degrees, with an above average low of 37. We received trace amounts of rain late last night and early this morning, with a light drizzle falling as we speak. Saldy, we are now down to about 3 inches of snow at the moment. Don't fret though! Heavy snow showers are predicted on Thursday afternoon, and all day Saturday, so we might see another 6-8 inches! I will keep you all updated on the weather as the week progresses. If you plan on hiking to the top of LeConte in the near future, be sure to check the current conditions and the daily weather forecast. I usually obtain my information through Mountain Forecast, I have found that it is the most reliable source. You should always be prepared for anything the Smoky Mountains throw your way, as the weather can be truly unpredictable at times, especially in the higher elevations. Forces of natures can happen within seconds, so it's important that you come equipped! In addition, the roads can close for multiple reasons. The weather may be fine down in Gatlinburg or Cherokee, but conditions can change drastically upon entering the park! If you're planning a hike in the near future, be sure to check for road closures via smokiesroadsnps on Twitter. They will send an update every time a road opens and closes in or around the National Park, so check back periodically before setting out on your excursion. Hope you all enjoy the rest of your day, and happy trails to all the brave hikers out there today...
"You find out the strength of the wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down..."
"The wind blows on us all, but it's how you set your sail that makes the difference..."