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Rare May snowfall blankets mountain peaks in Smokies

A Twitter post by LeConte Lodge included photos of a rare May snow.
A Twitter post by LeConte Lodge included photos of a rare May snow.

A “blackberry winter” dumped several inches of snow on the highest peaks of Great Smoky Mountains National Park over the weekend in a rare May snow.

LeConte Lodge reported on Twitter that it had accumulated 7 inches of snow by Sunday, with a low temperature of 20 degrees. The lodge perches atop 6,573-foot Mount LeConte, the third-highest peak in the park.

The park closed off U.S. 441 at the Sugarlands Visitor Center due to treacherous conditions with ice and snow, WFMY in Greensboro reported. The park also said the wet conditions has caused a number of trees to fall on all trails to and from Mount LeConte.

A blackberry winter is a Southern expression that refers to a cold snap in late spring that comes when blackberries are blooming.

Temperatures in the park quickly returned to normal, with a high Monday in Gatlinburg, Tenn., expected to reach 68 degrees. Charlotte will go to 74 degrees under sunny skies.

Bruce Henderson: 704-358-5051, @bhender

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