Snow and Ice in the Smoky Mountains

Just like many other areas of the country we’ve seen freezing weather and some snow in the Smoky Mountains this week. We didn’t get all that much snow but the cold hit immediately after some rain that created a sheet of ice over all the roads that later became covered with snow.

Snowy Tremont

Middle Prong of LIttle River

I know folks from Minnesota and Chicago sneer when we talk about keeping kids from school with 2″ of snow on the ground, but I tell you what. I’ve been there and I haven’t seen that many hills and all the roads are straight with a grid network of streets. Here in East Tennessee the topography is so crumpled that we all have to go up and down many hills and roads are typically curvy.  It’s a road system that is much easier to skid off of, much to the delight of local news reporters who set up cameras at regular trouble spots. A big bend pool at Tremont covered with ice.

Ice floats down Little River along Tremont Hills Campground just downstream of the park line

Ice floats down Little River along Tremont Hills Campground just downstream of the park line

Ice covers a bend in the river at Tremont

Ice covers a bend in the river at Tremont

Needless to say there hasn’t been much fishing going on and most roads in the Smokies have been closed. We were able to get as far as the Smoky Mountain Institute at Tremont but as you can see the roads were very icy.

The good news is that temperatures will swing to unseasonably warm in just a couple of days. The bad news is that it will be accompanied by heavy rain so we’re likely to see some high stream flows. Another thing we’re concerned about is that extreme cold like this often contributes to rock slides as the ground thaws. Add some heavy rain and we might have some interesting obstacles in the road in a few days.

We’ll keep you posted.