LINVILLE – January 2022 brought much more than a flurry of wintry weather to Grandfather Mountain.
According to data recorded at the park’s official National Weather Service stations, the nonprofit nature park recorded at least nine days of snowfall, or about 27.3 inches in total. This does not include three days of missing data, due to inaccessibility due to inclement weather.
The hottest temperature on record last month was 61° Fahrenheit on Jan. 2, the third-hottest January day in Grandpa’s history and five degrees off the mountain’s January record 65°, recorded on January 30, 2002.
The lowest temperature observed last month was 1°C on January 29. The lowest temperature ever recorded at Grandfather Mountain in January was -32° on January 21, 1985.
The average maximum temperature for January 2022 was 35.1°, with an average minimum of 17.9°, for an average of 26.5°. The mountain’s hottest January on record was in 1974, with an average high of 47.8°, an average low of 34.2° and an average of 41°.
On January 17, the weather station near the Mile High Swinging Bridge recorded a wind gust of 85.7 mph, while the highest sustained wind speed of the month was recorded at 73.7 mph on the same day.
The weather station near the Mile High Swinging Bridge reported 4.3 inches of precipitation in January, not including snow and not including five days of missing data, due to inaccessibility due to inclement weather. Precipitation, including snow, is also measured near the Museum of Nature, as high winds can make it difficult to record accurate observations at the summit. Observations at this low-level location indicated 7.57 inches in January, not including the aforementioned three days of missing data, also due to inclement weather.
The mountain’s wettest January was in 1998, when 11.8 inches was seen near the bridge. The driest January on record was in 1956, when 0.59 inches was measured at the summit.
The park had 13 days of total rainfall for January 2021, down 12 days from the record 25 days in 1979 and 1985.
The Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation records and reports data in two different ways:
- The park maintains an automated weather station atop the Mile High Swing Bridge. The NC State Climate Office helps the foundation calibrate the machines and ensure overall data accuracy.
- Grandfather Mountain has been an active member of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Cooperative Observer Program since 1955 reporting daily temperature, precipitation, and weather events from locations near the Mile High Swing Bridge and museum of nature.
The non-profit Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation strives to inspire conservation of the natural world by helping guests explore, understand and appreciate the wonders of Grandfather Mountain. For more information, call 800-468-7325 or visit www.grandfather.com to book a trip.