January 2022 brought considerably more than a flurry of winter weather to Grandfather Mountain.
According to data recorded at the park’s official National Weather Service reporting stations, the nonprofit nature park recorded at least nine days of snowfall, amounting to approximately 27.3 total inches. This does not include three days of missing data, due to inaccessibility from inclement weather.
The warmest temperature recorded last month was 61° Fahrenheit on Jan. 2, the third warmest January day in Grandfather’s recorded history and five degrees shy of the mountain’s record January high of 65°, recorded on Jan. 30, 2002.
The lowest temperature observed last month was 1° on Jan. 29. The lowest temperature ever observed on Grandfather Mountain in the month of January was -32° on Jan. 21, 1985.
The average high temperature for January 2022 was 35.1°, with an average low of 17.9°, for a mean of 26.5°. The mountain’s warmest January on record was in 1974, with an average high of 47.8°, an average low of 34.2° and a mean of 41°.
On Jan. 17, the weather station near the Mile High Swinging Bridge recorded a wind gust of 85.7 mph, while the month’s highest recorded sustained wind speed clocked in at 73.7 mph that same day.
The weather station near the Mile High Swinging Bridge reported 4.3 inches of precipitation in January, not counting snow and not including five days of missing data, due to inaccessibility from inclement weather. Precipitation, including snow, is also measured near the Nature Museum as high winds can make it difficult to record accurate observations at the top. Observations at this lower-elevation location indicated 7.57 inches in January, not counting the aforementioned three days of missing data, due also to inclement weather.
The mountain’s rainiest January was in 1998, when 11.8 inches were observed near the bridge. The driest January on record was in 1956, when .59 of an inch was measured at the top.
The park counted 13 total days of precipitation for January 2021, 12 days short of 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 at the top of the Mile High Swinging Bridge. The N.C. State Climate Office assists the foundation in calibrating the machines and ensuring overall accuracy of data.
· Grandfather Mountain has been an active member of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Cooperative Observer Program since 1955 by reporting daily temperature, precipitation and weather events from locations near the Mile High Swinging Bridge and the Nature Museum.
For more information on weather at Grandfather Mountain, visit www.grandfather.com/visit/plan-your-visit/real-time-weather/.
The nonprofit Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation strives to inspire conservation of the natural world by helping guests explore, understand and value the wonders of Grandfather Mountain. For more information, call 800-468-7325, or visit www.grandfather.com to book a trip.