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What if it's cloudy (chance of stray thunderstorm)?

Virginia
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What if it's cloudy (chance of stray thunderstorm)?

I'm so bummed! We're staying overnight one night this coming week at the Bright Angel Lodge, and hope to do the South Kaibab trail. I've been checking the weather, and wouldn't you know it - the two days that we will be there, they are calling for 35% cloud cover with a 30% chance of rain/stray thunderstorm..... :(

What does this mean there? I know in the tropics, there's always an afternoon thunderstorm...... Will the 35% cloud cover make for not that great of views or pictures? Also, should we attempt the South Kaibab trail if there's a chance of a thunderstorm?

SO sad..... :(

We can take a day away from Sedona and come up earlier in the week, but it will be rushed and we'd only have about 4 hours there....

Help!

Wickenburg, Arizona
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1. Re: What if it's cloudy (chance of stray thunderstorm)?

These thunderstorms are very local and usually move on very fast. Except if they are flashing lightning right overhead, you'll still have a wonderful time - and your views will still be terrific. Do take a light water-proof jacket with you so you won't get totally drenched in case it does rain where you are. Check before you do go down the trail to be on the safe side, but there's a good chance it'll be absolutely fine. Don't change your plans since you have an overnight booked at an in-park lodge! Clouds and even rain can happen almost all year round at the GC - you're at over 7000 ft!

Sedona, AZ
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for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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2. Re: What if it's cloudy (chance of stray thunderstorm)?

It means nothing. Clouds help to keep the canyon in light and shadows and will enhance your viewing. It will also give you shade. Rain, if it happens, will only last for a few minutes. If it's heavy, get out your binoculars and scan the canyon walls for water falls and run offs.

Ann Arbor, Michigan
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for Grand Canyon National Park
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3. Re: What if it's cloudy (chance of stray thunderstorm)?

Not sure why you're so sad. It sounds like it might be a partly cloudy day with less than 50% chance of rain... is that a problem? You're going to be only at 6,500 feet, so not in or above the clouds. What you want to view will be BELOW you, so not obscured by clouds.

The only concession may be that you pack a rain jacket or poncho just in case.

Tucson, Arizona
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4. Re: What if it's cloudy (chance of stray thunderstorm)?

Partially cloudy days are much better than bright, cloudless days for picture taking, and for canyon viewing. Colors are brighter and you get more "depth" because of the shadows. And if you happen to catch a thunderstorm over the canyon, you will get some fabulous pictures. Just be sure to take shelter (not under a tree) if the lightning is close.

Virginia
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5. Re: What if it's cloudy (chance of stray thunderstorm)?

Thanks everyone - you made me feel better. I always see these gorgeous, bright blue sky canyon pictures, not hazy ones, and I guess that since I'll just be there for two days (and am coming from the east coast), I want it to be perfect :)

Has anyone hiked on the South Kaibab trail when a thunderstorm has sprung up? Will it be a problem if it happens??

Thanks again!

Virginia
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6. Re: What if it's cloudy (chance of stray thunderstorm)?

Well, darn.......... Heading there tomorrow and now rain for the two days we're there is looking pretty likely. :(

Any recommendations? Can you hike (safely) in the rain? What is there to do if it's pouring??

Thanks!

Sedona, AZ
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for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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7. Re: What if it's cloudy (chance of stray thunderstorm)?

Refer to my reply number 2

8. Re: What if it's cloudy (chance of stray thunderstorm)?

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