Thanks fellas.....I had some good times in the woods this year.
Frank are you and Hugh getting snow now?
Not here yet! However, light rain changed to flurries at the Tri-cities Regional Airport between 10PM and 11PM EDT and some Cooperative reporting sites in Western North Carolina are reporting light snow. Considering these, I would imagine that most locations above 3,000 feet in elevation in the Smokies up through the Central Appalachians are receiving generous amounts of snow!
I checked the forecast for the Smokies a little bit ago and they are now calling for the possibility of 17 inches of snow overnight above 3,000 feet, another 13 inches possible during the day Tuesday and another 4 inches possible Tuesday night with a Storm Total of 35 inches possible. If Sandy sits in one place too long, then those totals may have to be revised, especially the Storm Total as Newfound Gap already had 10 inches of snow as of 4:49 PM EDT Monday!
So much for planting any Ginseng seeds in the mountains this week and possibly even next week as I don't own a Snow Mobile or a Snow Crawler!
Since Frank is a retired Meteorologist with the National Weather Service I'm sure that he understands the implications of this storm much better than I do, but we haven't seen this much snow in years right here. I'd say that it is safe to say that in some of the places that I took pictures of ginseng just about 2-3 weeks ago the snow is a foot deep right now. I wish that I could get back into the area that I made those pictures in just a few days ago. I'm sure it is a sight to behold. If you could get there I imagine that Max Patch would be the sleding capital of the world now.
Sorry Hugh but I am not a retired Meteorologist! I retired as a Hydrological-Meteorological Technician, a Job Description/Position which covered a very wide-range of duties. Although I wasn't trained in the new fangled programs for forecasting, I could forecast old school by interpreting the Analyses of the Atmosphere and the Forecast Prog Maps. I did often offer my' insights and opinions on the forecast, weather systems and severe weather as needed!
Based on my knowledge of weather and especially the areas we visited, I would imagine that there is close to two feet of snow there or probably will be by the end of the day! That area has been for some 24 hours or more and is currently on the upslope side of the wind flow and moisture which enhances cloud development and snowfall. I worry that with the extreme snow depths there, the wildlife will suffer greatly and some will probably die due to being unable to get to available food on and in the ground. I would imagine that the Bear Hunters are experiencing Bear Hunting Withdrawal symptoms about now with the current Gun/Muzzleloader/Archery Season running from 10/29/12 through 11/02/12 and not being able to get themselves and their' dogs up on the mountains! I have hunted Deer in West Virginia in similar to worse weather but I never worried too much about not getting in or getting out as the WVDOT and National Forestry folks there do a pretty good job of keeping the roads open. It was great to be amongst all that beauty even though I was sometimes 5 to 7 miles from my' truck, standing in 1 to 2 feet of snow with temperatures hovering at 10 below zero. Brrrrrrrr!!! Those were the days! I actually miss it because with a white background, everything that is brown or black stands out like a sore thumb in sub-zero weather!
I just checked and the Observers in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park reported 18 inches of snow on the ground at Newfound Gap and 17 inches at Mt. Leconte. It would be nice to be up there on the top to take pictures for Postcards or Christmas cards!
This mornings total of snow on the ground was 36 inches at Newfound Gap, 34 inches at Mt. Leconte and 34 inches at Cades Cove. It sure is going to make it tough if not impossible to get up on the mountains to Muzzleload hunt on the 3rd of November. I am thinking that due to the upslope of winds, moisture and clouds, the area where Hugh and myself scouted for Ginseng on Oct. 4th may have gotten more snow than the locations above.