Snow, Rain, Wind
Started: May 5, 1992 at 12 pm EST
Ended: May 9, 1992 at 4 pm EST
|On May 4th, strong northwesterly winds pulled unseasonably cold are into the Mountains of western North Carolina and east Tennessee. By the morning of the 5th, a low pressure trough in the mid levels of the atmosphere intensified over the Ohio River Valley area. This trough brought colder air aloft over the northern Mountains of the state and resulted in several inches of snow falling on the higher elevations. The morning of May 6th saw the trough continue to deepen and push farther south. Asiit did, precipitation began falling over all of the mountain regions. In elevations below 2,000 feet, the precipitation was all rain, while above that elevation, many areas received a mixture of rain and snow or all snow. Given the very late date of this snow event, much of the snow melted as it fell as well as melting from underneath the snow cover. Most locations received their greatest amount of snow on the 7th. The Mt. Mitchell weather station (elevation 6,240 feet) recorded 15 inches ending the 24-hour period at 3 pm EDT on the 7th. For the entire event, the greatest official snowfall total (30 inches) was recorded at the Mt. Mitchell weather station. Their greatest reported snow depth was 24 inches. An unofficial snowfall total of 61 inches was reported on Mt. Pisgah (elevation 5,721 feet); however, photographs and measurements of the snow at nearby locations did not support this figure. This event became by far the biggest May snow on record in North Carolina, Tennessee, and South Carolina. The previous record snows in May were only in the 2 to 4 inch range on the highest peaks.
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