If you plan on being anywhere near the Great Smoky Mountains or the Blue Ridge Mountains between Friday and Tuesday, you may want to note that there's an increasingly strong chance that you will be feeling the effects of Hurricane Florence. The hurricane will likely reach the Carolina Coastline as a Category 2 or 3 hurricane by late today. The current track of the storm has it pushing inland almost directly over the Southern Appalachian Mountains around Sunday and Monday. Visitors and hikers should be prepared for strong winds, heavy rain and the possibility of flooding during this period. As of right now, the North Carolina side of the Smokies could get between 3 and 5 inches of rain through Tuesday. The Tennessee side is projected to receive 1-3 inches. However, this storm appears to be highly un-predictive, so it's best to stay tuned to the Weather Channel for the latest information.
You may also want to note that Shenandoah National Park closed this morning, while the U.S. Forest Service will close all campgrounds and recreation sites, day use or overnight, in the Nantahala and the Pisgah National Forests by noon today. They have also warned the public not to use trails or general forest areas as well. Having said that, it would seem to follow that it is a possibility that the Smokies may have to close the park as well. Keep an eye on the Smokies Facebbook page and their temporary closures page for the latest information.