Grandfather Mountain had a pretty mild February with some above-average temperatures, according to data recorded at the park’s official weather reporting stations.
The average high temperature for February 2023 was 45.65 degrees Fahrenheit (the fifth-highest on record), with an average low of 31.20 degrees (the second-warmest on record) and a mean of 38.43 degrees (the third-highest on record).
The warmest temperature recorded last month was 59.9 degrees on Feb. 22, just over 4 degrees shy of the mountain’s record February high of 64 degrees, observed Feb. 22, 1977, and Feb. 15 and 16, 1989.
The dates of Feb. 3 and 4 saw the coldest temperature recorded last month with 8.6 degrees. A wind chill of minus 14.4 was also noted on Feb. 3. The lowest temperature ever observed for this month (not counting wind chill) is minus 19 degrees on Feb. 25, 1967.
The weather station on the Mile High Swinging Bridge noted 12 days in February with a wind gust higher than 60 mph. On Feb. 28, the weather station at the top recorded a wind gust of 85.6 mph, while the month’s highest recorded sustained wind speed clocked in at 73.4 mph that same day. The highest gust ever recorded on Grandfather Mountain was 124 mph, observed Feb. 25, 2019.
The weather station near the Swinging Bridge reported 4.32 inches of precipitation in February 2023. Precipitation at the top of the mountain includes rain and the liquid equivalent of frozen precipitation. Due to wind, snow depth is not recorded at the top.
Observations recorded near the park’s Wilson Center for Nature Discovery saw 4.41 inches of precipitation and also noted five days with at least trace amounts of snowfall, amounting to approximately 2.4 total inches. Precipitation is also measured at the latter location, as high winds can make it difficult to record accurate observations at the top.
The mountain’s rainiest February was recorded in 1998, when 13.20 inches were observed near the bridge. The driest February on record was observed in 1968, when 0.81 inches were measured at the top.
There were 17 days of recorded liquid precipitation (rain and the liquid equivalent of frozen precipitation) for February 2023. The day last month with the highest amount of this precipitation observed was Feb. 17, when 1.20 inches were recorded at the top. The day with the highest amount of precipitation observed on record for February was Feb. 2, 1965, when the weather station noted 4.70 inches.
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.
The nonprofit Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation strives to inspire conservation of the natural world by helping guests explore, understand and value the wonders of Grandfather Mountain.