Climate of the High Country

The High Country of North Carolina is part of what is referred to as the Appalachian Temperate Rainforest, a region that encompasses southwestern Virginia, western North Carolina, northern Georgia and eastern Tennessee.

The annual precipitation in this rainforest is more than 60 inches. The area also boasts the highest rate of biodiversity in both plants and animals in North America.

Boone

Boone has an elevation of 3,333 feet. It boasts the highest elevation of any town its size (more than 10,000 population) east of the Mississippi River.

The average daily temperature in Boone during the month of January is 31.2 degrees Fahrenheit. During July the average is 68.5 degrees.

Boone’s annual average precipitation is 52.7 inches and it typically receives an average 35 inches of snowfall annually.

For current conditions and weather forecast, visit http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?CityName=Boone&state=NC&site=RNK&lat=36.2095&lon=-81.6699#.U20e9Mf9pRQ

Newland and Avery County

The weather in Avery County, including Newland, Banner Elk and Elk River, is similar to that of Watauga County…except in the winter. During the winter, you often hear meteorologist refer to “western facing slopes” and their tendency to receive much more wintry precipitation as moist fronts move from west to east. Well, it’s true. It’s almost as if peaks such as Sugar Mountain and Beech Mountain act as a squeegee, pulling a lot of the moisture out of the clouds as they pass overhead.

For current conditions in Avery County, visit http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?CityName=Newland&state=NC&site=GSP&textField1=36.0866&textField2=-81.9264&e=0#.U3ZO78ckg3A 

Or http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=36.21095579400048&lon=-81.88899876799968&site=all&smap=1#.U3ZPHsckg3A

Grandfather Mountain

At 5,280 feet above sea level (at the Mile High Swinging Bridge) Grandfather Mountain features weather conditions that are unique in the High Country. Typically, the temperatures are a little lower and the winds can be much fiercer, on top of old Grandfather.

For current conditions on Grandfather Mountain, visit http://www.grandfather.com/plan-your-visit/real-time-weather/current-conditions/

West Jefferson

West Jefferson and other communities in Ashe County have elevations that are lower than Boone and the rest of Watauga County. While that generally translates into slightly milder weather conditions, there is always the chance of a storm coming out of the north that affects Ashe County more than Watauga.

For West Jefferson’s current conditions and forecast, visit http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=36.36812122441603&lon=-81.4764494021174&site=all&smap=1#.U20h2cf9pRQ

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