We knew the weather has been unusually cold here in the Smoky mountains and driving has been treacherous, but a report from the winter caretaker at Great Smoky Mountains National Park's Mount LeConte Lodge reported a low last night of -22 degrees - the coldest recorded temperature since 1886.
Lower elevations that the 6,593' high Mount Le Conte were also recording brutally cold weather. The NPS weather station at Cove Mountain in the Pigeon Forge - Wears Valley area of Sevier County recorded 45 MPH wind gusts last night creating a wind chill of 60 below - cold enough to cause frost bite in 4 minutes to exposed flesh.
The coldest recorded temperature in the park was Jan 21, 1985 at an incredible -32 degrees! Unfortunately there are no wind speeds that were recorded with this temperature so there is no data as to the wind chill factor.