Dark clouds hang over the mountains after a late spring rainstorm.
Weather changes rapidly and at any time along the Parkway.

Harold Blackwood photo


The parkway varies in elevation from just under 650 feet at Virginia's James River to over 6,000 feet south of Mount Pisgah in North Carolina. Elevation can drastically affect local weather. Temperatures can vary 10-20 degrees Fahrenheit from the communities in the foothills surrounding the parkway to the crest of the mountains.

Clear skies in local communities do not guarantee equally pleasant weather at higher elevations. At any time of the year, the parkway can be in the clouds with foggy driving conditions. On grey and cloudy days, you may have poor visibility.

Be aware of changing weather conditions and approaching weather systems by checking the forecast before heading to the parkway. Prior planning and weather-wise clothing will help ensure an enjoyable visit during any season. Dress in layers and carry a rain and wind resistant jacket with you—even in summer.

Unpredictable weather is the hallmark of spring along the parkway. Changes occur rapidly—sunny skies can yield to snow flurries in a few hours. March is the month with the most changeable weather; snow can fall at any time during the month, particularly in the higher elevations and in northern areas of the parkway.

Heat and humidity characterize summer along the parkway, although temperatures are generally cooler than those in surrounding communities. Afternoon showers and thunderstorms are common.

Clear skies and cooler weather signal the onset of the fall color season. Warm days alternate with cool nights. This is the driest period of the year with only occasional rain showers. In the higher elevations, snow is a possibility by November.

Ice and snow close sections of the parkway in winter. Check for current closures before heading to the parkway.

Current weather forecasts for the parkway are available online from the National Weather Service:

Last updated: June 8, 2022

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199 Hemphill Knob Rd
Asheville, NC 28803


828 348-3400

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