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Rain or snow in a particular place near Clingmans Dome

Pinson, Alabama
4 posts
1 review
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Rain or snow in a particular place near Clingmans Dome

I notice on a weather map often that there is a place just west of Clingmans Dome that gets rain or snow when there is no other rain or snow in the area. It seems to be near the Appalachian Trail.

Anyone know if that particular area gets much more precipitation than other areas?

Chickamauga, Georgia
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for Orlando, Walt Disney World
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1. Re: Rain or snow in a particular place near Clingmans Dome

Well, the problem is getting to areas via car during the time of year when snow would be present.

Clingmans Dome road is closed from Dec. 1 to April 1 each year, so getting near it can only be done by parking at the Newfound Gap parking area and hiking.

Since they don't plow the road in winter, you could park at the NFG area, then walk down to the beginning of the road and see if any snow is around just beyond the gate. I've seen times when NFG Rd was clear, but the Dome road had several inches of snow piled up on it.

Do keep in mind that at the moment, you can only get to NFG via Gatlinburg; the road on the Cherokee/Oconoluftee side is closed due to the landslide which occurred last month.

Edited: 05 February 2013, 17:23
nashville
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2. Re: Rain or snow in a particular place near Clingmans Dome

the higher peaks often get precip while the lower elevations stay dry and their annual precip totals reflect that. Clingmans and Leconte average about 85" per year while Gatlinburg, for example, averages about 55". the western flank can get the brunt of it as weather generally moves west to east but i doubt you can localize it to one particular spot.

elevation is likely the only prevailing factor.

Pinson, Alabama
4 posts
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3. Re: Rain or snow in a particular place near Clingmans Dome

Oh I am sure that the elevation has lots to do with it. If you watch a weather radar enough you will definitely see a pattern and it is always in the same very small place. You probably walk through it on the trail. There are no roads where this happens.

Pinson, Alabama
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4. Re: Rain or snow in a particular place near Clingmans Dome

here is a image of the weather map. You will often see precipitation here and no where else

[IMG]http://i239.photobucket.com/albums/ff181/busfran/smokymtnrain_zpsf7e42296.jpg[/IMG]

Edited: 06 February 2013, 15:51
Pinson, Alabama
4 posts
1 review
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5. Re: Rain or snow in a particular place near Clingmans Dome

sorry, did notr work

Tullahoma, Tennessee
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6. Re: Rain or snow in a particular place near Clingmans Dome

The topography of the park does create "mini-environments" so that a small area may be slightly warmer or wetter than the immediate surroundings. Usually these variations are small and are associated with such things as a slope facing south to get more sunshine and being protected from winter winds to some degree. I do not know of an area in the road-less area west of Clingman's Dome near the AT which is noted for having unusually heavy precipitation

Townsend, Tennessee
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for Townsend, Great Smoky Mountains National Park
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7. Re: Rain or snow in a particular place near Clingmans Dome

Looking at the link to that screen shot, the area showing precipitation is about 30 miles long from one end to the other - all is above 3,000 ft of elevation and most of it above 4,000ft - and as you said - "near the AT." With the wind and weather systems moving up the Tennessee Valley from the south and west at about 1,000ft elevation they hit this wall of mountains that is 2 to 4,000 ft higher. Air is pushed up, cools, humidity increases and you get an annual average of 7 to 8 feet of rain. Kind of like the condenser coil in a still but without the kick.

8. Re: Rain or snow in a particular place near Clingmans Dome

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