Monday, January 9, 2017


This morning, it was a VERY tricky go below the Rich red roof house as I mentioned earlier, where for almost 100 yards it was extremely icy with no dry pavement to put your wheels on.

However, as I drove up after 4pm, it looks like almost all tricky areas have patches of dry pavement you can run a pair of wheels and make it down and up.  The double hairpins are still a mess, but passable.  Again, I can't speak for roads above Staymon Rd. on Apple Creek as I've not driven them and noone has reported anything that I'm aware of.  

It got well above 32 in town, and most main roads improved...but those shady areas on side roads are a  stinkin' mess, hence another school closure Tuesday.  But even ol' upper Mauney Cove Road improved nicely today....imagine that!


Sunday, January 8, 2017


0 degrees was my low at the end of Staymon this morning, and I topped out at 14 just now (3pm). 

Finally headed down into town around 1pm.  Apple Creek Road is more snow and ice covered the higher you go, as expected.  Areas that got some sun had some dry pavement spots, but the shaded areas are a slippery mess.  Coming up is far easier than going down...once you lose traction going down and you start to slide, you may be in for a nasty surprise.

Let me preface any of this in that I would not attempt in any way in 2WD cars.  I used AWD this trip, but had 4High and 4Low if I had needed it.

So I can speak only of Staymon Rd. and below on Apple Creek Road, not above.  The double hairpins are quite icy, but if you enter them slowly you should be okay.  From the lower hairpin past the Damon's on the right, down to the next bend to the left, THAT is a deceiving slippery slope.  But by far the part I was very apprehensive about was starting at the Rich house (red roof, just below the blue roof)....THAT stretch down past the curve to the right down to Chris Martin's on the right was exceedingly icy with really minimal dry pavement to put a wheel.  I tried crawling on the edge in the snow, and even then I was sliding and turning the car a bit.  If you look sharply, you can find islands of dry pavement to put your wheels and even stop a moment if you need to.

Side roads around town look like upper Mauney Cove. Passable, but many covered portions.  While I waited at a red light in Hazelwood, here comes a small car at a 45 degree angle trying to stop and sliding right into the intersection.  Luckily, no one was hit.

So if you have to travel, going down is far riskier than coming up, in my experience.  I really had nothing more than a couple of minor slips going up.  With single digit lows likely again overnight, refreeze will be a major issue tonight and in the morning, with black ice widespread.


Saturday, January 7, 2017


I will use this same page to update on plowing information as I receive it.  So make sure to hit the refresh button just to be sure you have the latest.

PLOWING UPDATE:  Passed down from Jeff Hintzman...ACA will be plowed sometime after lunchtime, including side roads.  Apple Creek Road will be salted as well, but it will have limited time to work before overnight temps will be far too cold for it to work.  Expect roads to still be rather dangerous for quite some time.

6AM snow at the end of Staymon Rd.

The heavy side won out, 6.5" as I type and still falling (but not for too much longer).  The huge issue is how doggone cold it's going to be and stay, so even though we'll get plowed and salted, there will be long periods of time where the salt will be useless as it will be too cold to work.  Please understand that.

Sitting at 11 degrees at 8:30 this morning.  Single digit lows Sunday and Monday mornings.  Won't see 32 degrees until Tuesday afternoon.  Roads will be SLOW to improve.


Thursday, January 5, 2017


(tweaked @6am Friday...changes in red)

The Winter Storm Warning for ACA is in effect from 7pm Friday through 1pm Saturday when the bigger push of snow finally arrives. The National Weather Service puts us in a 4-6" snow, with typical model variations.

FYI, a new experimental product from the National Weather Service says Waynesville will "most likely" get 5", with the low side of 0" and high side of 9". This is its first big test run.

Snow flurries/showers could fall during Friday here, before the warning officially begins.  The main roads here have already been brined.

My confidence has been 100% for 3" and 90% for 4" so I'll stick at around 4" for us in particular.  There will be heavier snow in the NC Piedmont/Foothills, possibly SC Piedmont, with by far the heaviest snows in eastern NC.  By all means, this is not a big snow storm, but it will definitely mess up our travel, whatever falls.  

The cold coming in behind this for Saturday through the early part of the week will be bitter, with single digit lows possible Sunday and Monday mornings. Some of us may not see 32 degrees until Tuesday afternoon. Whatever falls sticks and stays.  There is no rain or sleet to talk about in ACA.

I'll update with a new post when changes/conditions warrant.


Thursday, December 29, 2016


ACA is now under a Winter Weather Advisory for locations above 3500' from 7pm tonight through noon Friday.  For those up here, you've felt the temperature drop this afternoon (34 as I type near 3:45pm), with whippy winds that have brought down numerous dead limbs on our roads. In addition, a Wind Advisory is in place through 6pm Friday, with these gusty winds continuing.

My favored models still hold a dusting-1", but the National Weather Service sees something more in the 1"-2" category.  Probably closer to the TN border, but if the upslope snow showers come SE directly inline with I-40, we could see close to that.  Heavier snow could cover our roads, at least in part, but if these winds stay up, it will also keep it from accumulating in spots.  Highs Friday are expected to stay in the 30s.

All that to say we may well have some slick roads on at least the upper half of Apple Creek Road overnight into Friday morning.  For our new residents, that magical 3500' line is the Moskos family's blue roof house on AC Road at Dawen Circle.  Often you'll see big changes above and below that location.

The weekend has a warm-up in store with solid rain chances Sunday and Monday.  In the previous post today, I mentioned 'snow' afoot in the long-term forecast around January 5-6 late next week.  More on that as the time approaches.


2016: Quick Wrap

I hope this post finds everyone continuing to enjoy the holidays. Been rather quiet on the mountain, and thankfully rains returned to our forecasts after the devastating Gatlinburg (and other) fires since the last post.

Back several weeks we had a solid shot of Arctic air where lows got into the lower teens a couple of mornings...but to date we have not had even a skiff of snow, and temperatures have returned to the mild side of the fence.  In fact, on Christmas evening it was still 52 degrees at 8pm....quite the contrast to 6 years ago when we got 9" of snow in ACA!

Christmas 2010 @ end of Staymon Rd.
Late tonight, there is a limited chance for a dusting-1" snow...with our warm ground temps, should the snow even fall, I don't foresee any travel issues getting off the mountain.  Pretty minor set-up.  

If you want to see a decent snow, you may well get your wish the end of next week, January 5-6.  Preliminary outlooks suggest 4"-7" of snow, but with so many variables this far out, just a heads up for now.

May you all continue to have a safe and enjoyable holiday, and best wishes for a grand start to 2017!  I'll be posting weather/travel updates closer to any event that may be heading our way.


Sunday, December 4, 2016


SUNRISE, end of Staymon
Well, we've gone from famine to feast, at least kinda sorta...light rain is falling as I type.  We got just just over 2.25" late last week over a few days, and already have more with rain that started Sunday with 0.27" by 7am. This after a bit of a strong drought here in Haywood County.  The fires have been devastating, especially in east Tennessee, but Haywood County has been spared all along.  Hopefully all this rain has at the very least tamed the fires...

For starters, here is an excellent website showing before and after aerial pictures of the Gatlinburg area where at last count 11 people died, along with numerous structures. Click on GATLINBURG FIRES . You slide the bar left and right to see the before and after pictures.

Wintry weather has been slow to manifest this season, but we have a very good chance of seeing a dusting this coming Thursday evening.  Lows will approach the single digits Friday morning, by far the coldest of the season, so make sure your well-head is well insulated.  It won't last long, thankfully.  For those new to the mountain and ACA, a light coating on the road is troublesome for drivers in ACA.  I would like to think there will be no troubles early Friday morning, but I'll update later this week if I see changes/concerns.

In all, we've been fortunate, and the recent rains will only help our wells.  I'll update as needed, of course.