It’s another chilly start to the day as bodies stiff from the hike up and the subsequent cold air muster up the motivation to roll out of bed and into the wilderness. The mountain endured another 29° low overnight along with a light frost. We’re yet to get our first hard freeze of the young autumn season, so the ground is still fairly warm and soft despite such temps. Today will bring us plenty of sunshine once again. Winds are light and the thermometer should climb into the upper 40s this afternoon. We’re starting to see a lot more visitors donning their beanies, mittens, and puffy jackets these days, especially in the evenings. With eight weeks left in the season, we still have plenty of cold days and nights ahead.
The ever-evolving track for Hurricane Ian has done a switch-a-roo in recent hours. Instead of the eye passing south and east of the Smokies, it now has the potential to churn straight toward us in a northwesterly direction. Despite making landfall as a major hurricane, it’s expected to lose a lot of its strength by the time it gets to our neck of the woods. Beginning late Friday we can expect to start seeing some of the storm’s first rain bands and elevated winds. Saturday and much of Sunday should be soakers as remnants of Ian pass by and dissipate. The mountain could receive 3-4” of rain spreadout over the weekend, with the highest gusts tapping 40mph at some point. These numbers are sure to change some given how slow moving this storm is and how many days away we are from its arrival. For now, guests with reservations this coming weekend best pack those waterproof layers!
Tomorrow morning (Thursday), the NPS will be doing some
maintenance work that requires a brief closure of Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. This will be taking place from 6:00 – 9:00 AM, so any guest that was hoping to utilize the Trillium Gap Trail from the upper trailhead along the one-way road will need to plan accordingly.
Have a great day.