January snowfall below normal at Grandfather

Story Submitted (mtfrontdesk@mountaintimes.com)

Article Published: Feb. 16, 2012 | Modified: Mar. 14, 2012
January snowfall below normal at Grandfather

The snowfall total for January measured at Grandfather Mountain’s Top Shop was 3.2 inches, falling 10.24 inches, or 76 percent, short of the 56-year average snowfall total for the month of 13.44 inches.

Employees were not able to get to the top of the mountain to record snow totals Jan. 3 and 15
Grandfather Mountain has had 6.3 inches of snow for the winter-to-date, compared to the norm of 23.97 inches for this point in the season.

Grandfather Mountain measures precipitation at multiple locations on the mountain.

An automatic weighing precipitation gauge on the corner of the Top Shop parking lot recorded 5.33 inches of liquid precipitation (rain and the melted equivalent of snow) this month. Entrance gate employees recorded 7.3 inches of snow for the month and the naturalist staff recorded 5 inches at the weather equipment near the Fudge Shop.

The rainfall total of 5.84 inches for the past month was 1.24 inches, or 27 percent, above the 56-year average rainfall total for January of 4.60 inches.

The automatic weather station at the top of Grandfather Mountain recorded an average high temperature for January of 38.7 degrees and an average low temperature of 24.5 degrees. These numbers read just a bit higher than the State Climate Office data from Mt. Mitchell State Park. The average high temperature at Mt. Mitchell was 36.7 degrees and the average low temperature was 20.4 degrees.

The lowest temperature recorded at Grandfather during the month was 1.7 degrees on Jan. 4.

Wind gusts more than 60 mph were recorded 16 times. The highest three-second gust during the month was 89.4 mph recorded Jan. 3.

For more information on Grandfather Mountain’s weather data or to access current conditions, visit http://www.grandfather.com.

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