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  1. #1
    Registered User stilllife's Avatar
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    Default Temperature at site 49

    Friday the low in Bryson City calls for 56 degrees. I'll be at site 49 and am curious if the temp will be much lower than that.

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    If a forecast is off by several degrees, the meteorologists barely blink. I don't think they could be any more precise unless they had someone on site with a thermometer. Personally, I'd prepare for mountain temperatures in the GSMNP to be 10-15 cooler than the nearby towns. So maybe low 40s in the early morning. Of course it might warm up quickly, so maybe the mid-40s by the time you get your gear packed up. Hopefully it's better than that, but at least prepare for it to be cooler.

    Of course, I'm not a meteorologist, so feel free to ignore me.

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    Stilllife, it shouldn't be much cooler at 49 than in Bryson City. Rule of thumb is that you lose about 3 degrees F per 1000ft. Bryson City is at 1750ft. Campsite 49 is at 3060ft. Rough guess is that it will be 4 degrees F cooler at Campsite 49 compared to Bryson City.

    But forecasts can be wrong, and weather conditions can vary.

    Friday, I will be start a 5 day loop out of Fontana, up to the AT, then back to Fontana. Forecasted low for the trip is 56F. Going to be camping around 5000F a few nights, so guessing 10F cooler for the elevation. But I will still plan on being perfectly comfortable at 35F to allow for variation in the forecast and bad conditions.

    Finally going to mark High Rocks and Bone Valley off my map! Will have just about 20 miles left to complete all the trails.....

  4. #4
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    Weather is a funny thing...

    First of all, I've always heard heard 4/1,000' and that's the reason it's usually about a 20 difference between Gatlinburg (around 1,500') and Clingman's Dome (around 6,500').

    What is even more interesting is that Cherokee, NC is closer to #49 than Bryson City. The forecast there shows a low of 53

    Then, even more interesting, is www.mountain-forecast.com. They try to give weather forecasts for mountains and accounts for the change in elevation, and they also include the forecast for different elevations on a chosen mountain. Well, #49 is actually on Mount Kephart, and their forecast the 3,281' elevation of Mount Kephart is 59.

    Then just to clear everything up, you'll be camped by a creek... to that too will have an effect on what actual temperatures you experience.


    But to madgoat's point... the change in elevation is only going to make about a 5 difference.


    And even that might not be accurate when it comes to overnight lows.
    Several times I've checked the historical recorded temperatures for Mt LeConte v Sugarland's Visitors Center. It's not unusual for LeConte to have a day-time hi that is 20 cooler than Surgarlands, but then that night have only a difference of 5 in the overnight lows.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by stilllife View Post
    Friday the low in Bryson City calls for 56 degrees. I'll be at site 49 and am curious if the temp will be much lower than that.
    I'm sure if you go straight up, the air gets cooler. But mountain terrain that is at a higher elevation is not straight up and very complex. At times, cool air can be trapped in valleys and warmer temperatures happen on nearby mountains.

    Having done many nights on the trail, I've generally come to accept temperature forecasts from nearby towns as a good guide as to what to expect on the trail. The 4 degrees per 1000' seems to never pan out when you try to use that to predict what you'll find on the trail. Still, be prepared for colder weather because prediction is not perfect.

    I just hiked downhill about 1000' last week and it was definitely colder when I got lower.

    I'm not an expert and have not conducted careful trials. But I would suggest that unless you are in very high places like GSMNP, I wouldn't not worry too much about it being that much colder higher up.

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    the weather is calling for chili today and hot tamale....

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    First of all, I've always heard heard 4/1,000' and that's the reason it's usually about a 20 difference between Gatlinburg (around 1,500') and Clingman's Dome (around 6,500').



    gotta figure in weather inversion.....


    and this happens a lot in the mountains...



    the change in elevation is only going to make about a 5 difference.


    i would go with is for CS 49........

    maybe 5-10 degrees but not significantly colder than that....

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