Rain, heavy fog and high winds are creating hazards for drivers and hikers in the Smokies this morning with gusts exceeding 45 miles per hour on some ridgelines.
Since we have been getting light rain on and off for the last 48 hours and the ground is wet, the high winds are creating a major blow down hazard and the high wind advisory which expires in a few hours will still be in effect in some isolated areas.
It is advised to stay off of ridge lines as hikers should avoid hiking in areas of high winds as this may pose and extreme danger.
Drivers must also use extreme caution on less traveled roads that may have a large accumulation of fallen wet leaves that may pose a skidding hazard.
Hikers must also use caution on hiking trails with heavy leaf accumulation as leaves may obstruct tripping hazards such has tree roots and protruding rocks and may be floating on water hiding this hazard as well as slippery rocks underneath.
If unsure of footing hikers should be probing the ground with hiking poles or a walking stick.