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Grandfather Mountain Experiences Record-Setting Rainfall for the Month of June

Lightning strikes over Lost Cove Cliffs during a recent storm, as seen from Grandfather Mountain. The mountain itself experienced some dramatic weather this past June, when it recorded 15.94 inches of rain — the park’s wettest June on record. Photo by Jesse Pope | Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation

By Nathan Ham

Add June to the list of months that have dumped a whole lot of rainfall on the High Country within the last year.

At Grandfather Mountain in Linville, the rainfall set a new record for the park. According to rainfall totals from the National Weather Service, the mountain received 15.94 inches of rain at the Mile High Swinging Bridge in the month of June. The previous record was 15.77 inches set in 1957. Overall, the mountain averages 6.06 inches of rain during June.

“We received over a foot of rain in a four-day period,” said Amy Renfranz, director of education for the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, the nonprofit organization that owns and operates the nature park.

The highest amount of rain fell from June 7 through June 10 when Grandfather Mountain received 12.96 inches of rain.

According to Corey Davis of the North Carolina State Climate Office, the rainfall made Grandfather Mountain the wettest spot in the entire state of North Carolina for the month of June.

“Including last year’s data, which just knocked us out of the park, our average annual rainfall for the whole year is 62.79 inches,” Renfranz said.

2018 was Grandfather Mountain’s wettest year on record, with the station having recorded 110.67 inches. In contrast, the mountain received the least amount of rain in 1963, with just 41.77 inches.

According to rainfall totals courtesy of Ray’s Weather Center, Boone tallied 9.56 inches of rain throughout June. Blowing Rock had 12.12 inches of rainfall, Valle Crucis received 10.05 inches of rain and Deep Gap got 9.66 inches of rain.

In Ashe County, West Jefferson had 9.49 inches of rain, Jefferson measured 7.96 inches of rain and Phillips Gap along the Blue Ridge Parkway had 11.72 inches of rainfall.

Over in Avery County, Banner Elk got 8.88 inches of rain, Beech Mountain had 9.64 inches of rain and Sugar Mountain had a sizeable amount of moisture with 13.74 inches of rain.