Weather is always a challenge to predict for an event like Mitchell. Since we start in Spartanburg at a low elevation, and finish 100 miles away at the highest point in the eastern US, there are a lot of factors to consider.
I reached out to NOAA employee and admitted weather fanatic William Schmitz to get an idea of what we’re looking at on Monday. All of this can change, so be sure to click the links as we get closer to the event.
It looks to be a warmish and humid morning when we leave Spartanburg. There is a slight chance of rain, roughly 20% throughout the morning. The temperature should be rising to the low 70s after a couple hours, and will be around 80 at noon, although most of us will be out of Spartanburg by that time. It should be partly cloudy, but there will be ample sun. The wind should be relatively calm. It looks to be good riding weather.
Detailed Spartanburg Forecast (choose 48-hours beginning Monday)
Expect more of the same by the time we reach Marion. It’ll be just a couple degrees cooler, but very well could be pretty warm by the time most people arrive. The wind will still be relatively calm, increasing slightly in the afternoon, but nothing that will give us too much trouble. The chance of rain increases slightly to 30-40% as the day progresses. As of right now, there is a little spike in the mid-afternoon where the chance of rain is higher.
Detailed Marion Forecast (choose 48-hours beginning Monday)
As we get into elevation, the weather becomes less and less predictable. Most of this can and will change. For example, last year those who finished from 5-9 hours enjoyed some sunny, warm weather on their way up the parkway. Those who arrived later had to deal with an intense storm with hail and all sorts of nastiness. Be prepared for everything.
The forecast as of right now looks pretty good. The chance of rain is still in the 30-40% range in the late afternoon. Wind will be a little higher, around 7 mph, but that can often not be a factor when you get into the mountains. The temperature should still be warm, somewhere around the 70s assuming the rain holds off.
Detailed Mitchell Forecast (choose 48-hours beginning Monday)
I recommend you check this link sometime on Sunday. This gives you the forecast for the summit. It only shows two days in advance, so if you read this today, it will not be very worthwhile. As we get closer, it should be relatively accurate, although keep in mind that weather is chaotic in the mountains and you should be prepared for anything.
Another reminder: this is the weather as of Friday at noon. It could and likely will change in the coming days, so be sure to click on the links for updates. I would also check the online radar early in the morning.