Grandfather Mountain, a place known for wild and rapidly changing weather, experienced a fairly ordinary year for the location. Notable weather in 2022 included trace amounts of rain on most days during the months of May, August and November, as well as the arctic blast that hit a large portion of the country around Christmas.
However, according to data collected near the Mile High Swinging Bridge and Wilson Center for Nature Discovery, no records were set or broken.
The station observed 60.05 inches of rain for the year over 214 days, shy of the mountain’s standing records of a cumulative 110.7 inches in 2018 and 242 days of precipitation in 2020.
The rainiest month in 2022 was May, when 10.01 inches were recorded over 24 days. This was one day short of the record of 25 days of precipitation for May in 2009. The driest month of 2022 was June, with only 1.41 inches observed over 12 days of precipitation (including trace amounts).
August 2022 saw at least trace amounts of rain on 27 days, two days shy of the record 29 days of precipitation for the month in 2020. Likewise, November’s 21 days of precipitation matched both November 1977 and 1986 for the highest number of days seeing at least trace amounts of rainfall for that month.
Grandfather Mountain reported 29.6 inches of snow in 2022, as observed at the park’s Wilson Center. Snow accumulation is measured at this lower location, as high winds can make it difficult to record accurate observations at the top.
The mountain’s snowiest year on record remains 1996, when the park observed 116.7 inches of accumulation.
Grandfather Mountain recorded no sustained wind speeds or gusts higher than 100 mph in 2022, although it came close in March, when a gust of 90 mph was recorded at the Swinging Bridge.
Meanwhile, winds gusted higher than 60 mph on 54 days in 2022.
The record wind speed at that location, since a National Weather Service-approved anemometer was installed in February 2007, remains a gust of 124 mph, recorded Feb. 25, 2019.
A place known for its temperature swings, Grandfather Mountain experienced temperatures ranging from minus 18.2 to 77.7 degrees Fahrenheit in 2022. The mountain’s warmest day in 2022 was recorded on June 13, when the temperature hit 77.7 degrees. The park’s coldest day was Dec. 24, when the temperature dipped to a low of minus 18.2 degrees, the third-lowest temperature ever recorded on Grandfather Mountain in the month of December. A wind chill of minus 56.8 was noted that same day.
The average high temperature for the year was 53.2 degrees, while the average low was 39.6 degrees.
Grandfather’s warmest days on record saw the thermometer reach 83 degrees in August 1983, July 2005 and July 2010, while the mountain’s record low remains minus 32 degrees from January 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 weather data from locations near the Mile High Swinging Bridge and the Nature Museum (now the Wilson Center for Nature Discovery).
For more information on weather at Grandfather Mountain, visit www.grandfather.com/weather.
Also see our monthly weather reports.