Great Smoky Mountain National Park officials advise that the effects of Tropical Storm Nate may impact Great Smoky Mountains National Park as early as Saturday afternoon. Preliminary estimations from the National Weather Service suggest that the storm may pass the park Saturday afternoon, overnight into Sunday and on into Monday.
Current rainfall predictions range from 4-10 inches. Early wind estimates suggest the park could receive sustained winds of 25-39 mph with gusts greater than 40 mph. Historically, flooding, landslides, road washouts, and numerous tree falls along roadways and trails are associated with these types of weather conditions.
Due to these potential hazards, officials advise front and backcountry visitors should pay close attention to current and projected weather conditions. All visitors should anticipate an increased risk for high stream crossings and down trees throughout the park. Many of the Park’s 1,000 campsites are located next to rivers and creeks which rise quickly during extreme rain events. Backcountry users are encouraged to closely examine their preparedness for backcountry travel and should consider altering their trip plans.
Park officials are closely monitoring the path of Nate and may implement additional preparations as weather forecasts further develop.