July 5, 2013. The Grandfather Mountain weather station near the Mile High Swinging Bridge has recorded 8.61 inches of rain during the first four days of July. As we are not even though the first week of the month, it seems that the Mountains may be on track to break an all-time record for July rainfall.
Employees at Grandfather Mountain have been recording weather since 1956 and the most rain to fall in the month of July is 11.92 inches in 1989. We have already surpassed the monthly average of July of 5.76 inches.
Grandfather Mountain staff members measure precipitation at multiple locations on the Mountain. Entrance Gate employees have recorded 10.37 inches of rain so far this month and the naturalist staff has recorded 8.02 inches at the weather equipment near the Fudge Shop.
While the months of the year that are generally the wettest are behind us, if the rainfall pattern continues like it has been the first half of the year Grandfather would be on track to break the record for the most liquid precipitation in a year. Using the weather data recorded at the top of Grandfather, the Mountain has had 49.24 inches of rain so far in 2013. The biggest year on the record books is 1979 when 89.25 inches of rain were recorded. The yearly average rainfall at Grandfather Mountain is 63.96 inches.
The rainfall has greatly hurt ticket sales during the holiday week at Grandfather Mountain but luckily it hasn’t caused any other major problems. The Stewardship Foundation’s maintenance staff works so diligently to keep the mountain’s ditches and drains clean that all the water has been flowing smoothly.
Large amounts of rainfall are generally tough on the trail system though and have likely eroded many areas. Work to set up next weekend’s Grandfather Mountain Highland Games has continued in the rain but all this moisture has created a soggy mess for the first official day of camping at MacRae Meadows.
The Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation established to preserve Grandfather Mountain, operate the nature park sustainably in the public interest, provide an exceptional experience for guests and inspire them to be good stewards of the earth’s resources.