Appalachia Weather

Ruling Days Predictions – Right so Far


So far the Ruling Days Prediction for 2019 is right on the money. Above average temps and rain!

Here’s some information from North Carolina Climate Office:

“February is the final month of meteorological winter, but based on our temperatures last month, you might think that winter ended a month early this year. The preliminary statewide average temperature of 46.9°F ranks as our 13th-warmest February in the past 125 years.

Along with being a warm month, it was a wet one across much of the state. Last month’s statewide average precipitation of 5.73 inchesranks as the 15th-wettest February since 1895 and our second-wettest in the past 20 years, surpassed only by February 2016.

The same large-scale southwesterly flow that raised our temperatures also provided a feed of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, which fueled a number of rain events in the Mountains and northern Piedmont.

Reidsville recorded 6.56 inches of rain last month, which was its wettest February in the past 56 years. In far western North Carolina, BrevardCullowhee, and Waynesville all had their second-wettest February on record, with each site dating back more than 90 years.

While it was a wet month in the Mountains, it wasn’t a very wintry one. Even high atop Mount Mitchell, only 3 inches of snow was reported last month. That was tied for Mount Mitchell’s second-lowest February snowfall total since 1980. February 1990 also had 3 inches and February 1994 had just one inch at the state’s highest peak, compared to the monthly normal snowfall of 21 inches.”


March has started off in much the same manner. We’ve had heavy rain every week so far and with the ground beyond saturated there’s really no where for it to go. TVA has been increasing it’s spill rate at dams throughout the area. We’re over eleven inches above average rainfall for the year.

I’ve heard folks bemoaning the fact that they can’t get in their gardens to plant anything and even if they did it would probably wash it all away! Ours is much to wet to do anything with and with time speeding by I’m wondering if this will be the year we don’t plant any spring veggies.

About a week ago a bank in Murphy slid off and took the water line with it. Schools were closed and the town of Murphy was on a boil advisory until they got it fixed. Miss Cindy heard a small area of trees slid off on Hedden Road in Martins Creek too. With the ground so saturated the least bit of wind sends trees toppling and EMC crews bounding out to restore power.

I’m so sick of the rain I’ve found myself dreaming about dusty summer gravel roads where the dust cloud produced from cars and trucks can be seen for miles. I never thought I’d be coveting the dusty days of near drought conditions, but I am.


Appalachian Cooking Class details

Come cook with me!

Location: John C. Campbell Folk School – Brasstown, NC
Date: Sunday, June 23 – Saturday, June 29, 2019
Instructors: Carolyn Anderson, Tipper Pressley

Experience the traditional Appalachian method of cooking, putting up, and preserving the bounty from nature’s garden. Receive hands-on training to make and process a variety of jellies, jams, and pickles for winter eating. You’ll also learn the importance of dessert in Appalachian culture and discover how to easily make the fanciest of traditional cakes. Completing this week of cultural foods, a day of bread making will produce biscuits and cornbread. All levels welcome.

Along with all that goodness Carolyn and I have planned a couple of field trips to allow students to see how local folks produce food for their families. The Folk School offers scholarships you can go here to find out more about them. For the rest of the class details go here.

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  • Reply
    March 14, 2019 at 8:52 pm

    Here it’s still snow and ice, but last summer we had rain so regularly that my barnyard never completely dried out all summer! This was a first for me, and it made gardening and taking care of the goats a lot more difficult. I was just talking about it today with a farmer who hays fields in several nearby towns, and he said last year he had to do all his haying – hundreds of acres – in just over a week. Whew. I hope we’re not going to have the kind of rain you folks are struggling with, or the long summer of rain like last year. I think my suyo long cucumbers tried hard but never really had a chance – it was like they were trying to grow underwater.

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    March 14, 2019 at 1:09 pm

    I am so tired of rain. Everywhere I go it is the topic of conversation. I try to keep busy so I won’t think about it all the time. I need to get my garden plowed, but with it so wet, I don’t know when that will happen. The other day we were talking about having too much rain and a friend said she remembered her grandmother scolding her when she said that. She told her granddaughter, “rain is like stovewood, you can’t have too much.”

  • Reply
    Garland Davis
    March 14, 2019 at 11:31 am

    I was going to tell you about the weather here but you’d think I was bragging, after all, it is Hawaii…

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    March 14, 2019 at 10:19 am

    I never saw so much rain in my lifetime. There’s 10,000 bullftogs in my backyard. I like to hear them, but that is ridiculous. The Dozer guy says he can get rid of ’em, soon as he gets Stering Clutches replaced and he can re-ditch my backyard. I sure hope it dries up soon. I got 4 wheel drive, but only street tires. In the meantime, I’m stuck here at the shop.

    I shouldn’t complain though, at least I’ve got a Roof over my head. If this had been Snow, I don’t
    know what I’d do. …Ken

  • Reply
    Melissa P. (Misplaced Southerner)
    March 14, 2019 at 9:38 am

    Sadly, the Ruling Days were completely off up here in Michigan. Of course, Michigan is one of those places where they (correctly) say, “If you don’t like the weather, wait 10 minutes.” December was much warmer and drier than average while January and February were complete nightmares with Polar Vortex and Bomb Cyclone. More serious weather expected this afternoon/evening.

  • Reply
    March 14, 2019 at 9:27 am

    We’ve had a wet winter in Richmond, Va. Just when we start to dry out, it rains again.

  • Reply
    March 14, 2019 at 9:26 am

    The local news station is already sending out alerts for bad weather this afternoon. We are now in the enhanced area for tornadoes and a high wind advisory is already posted. It was so dark and rainy when I woke up this morning, I just wanted to go back to bed. The nurse at my doctor’s office talked about how folks are already suffering from the time change and now are having to deal with this gloomy weather. My gravel road has washed out in one area, trees are falling everywhere and it wont stay dry long enough to fix it and clean up.
    I heard the weatherman say it has been 14 weeks since we had a dry weekend!

  • Reply
    March 14, 2019 at 9:14 am

    My goodness you have had a lot of rain. Here in south central PA, we have had a lot of snow but it is gone now. We never had a dry season last year, it rained through spring, summer and fall. It was awful. We are to have RAIN tomorrow but it is going to be beautiful today so I am going to be outside as much as I can. Like you, Tipper, I remember those summer gravel roads that people could spot your car coming or leaving by the dust cloud.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    March 14, 2019 at 8:37 am

    I’ve had so much trouble with drought here through the years that I’m still waiting to see if the spigot shuts off. Around here when we hit the transition from springtime frontal system rain to summertime thunderstorms we can go 3-4 weeks without rain just as the summer garden is getting established and blooming.

    I expect that when folks were more dependent on their own crops they had to have ways to adjust between very wet and very dry, like maybe planting some bottomland (if they owned any) and some toe slope with the same crop. Or, the one we all dread, re-planting two or three times. I have had to do that because I got in too big a hurry and planted when it was too cold.

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    March 14, 2019 at 8:33 am

    I keep a daily log of rainfall here in Bryson City, emptying the container every morning. For February, we had 14.5 inches of rain. The USGS station on the Tuckasegee River doesn’t record rainfall, but the average stream flow for 2019 to date is 4314 cubic feet per second, 73% higher than the 2487 CFS for the same period a year ago.

    I actually did get my garden turned over following the recent stretch where we had high winds for several days. Last week, I got out in it to try to get it prepared for planting, but it was too wet. So it’s sitting out there waiting on the showers predicted for today.

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    March 14, 2019 at 8:00 am

    Our lake runneth over the road. Thank heaven it is warm and not freezing. It is really getting depressing. I wake up and feel sad. Whenever the sun comes out I go out and sit on the deck I don’t care how cold it is. The sun on my face just feels wonderful. I hope the storms predicted for tonight do not have any winds with them. I fear for our trees. I wonder when the ground will ever dry out. I feel sorry for our farmers. I wonder when they will be able to plant.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 14, 2019 at 7:54 am

    Tip, I take exception with The North Carolina Climate Office calling Waynesville, Brevard, and Cullowhee far western North Carolina. By driving time we are two hours farther west. They are, however, correct that we have had a lot of rain! My yard is still sopping wet and my creek has been full to the top several times recently, and full to the top is a couple of feet!

  • Reply
    March 14, 2019 at 6:14 am

    There are a few places I’ve traveled this week the water is still over the roads in our area mainly the Wheeler Wildlife area, one boat ramp the parking lot is still a sea of water and more on the way today, but suppose to dry out hopefully after this front comes thru today, just need to get through this spring without tornados.

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