This National Park Service RAWS site is located at Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Blount County, Tennessee. This station is in a clearing (around 40 by 40 feet) surrounded by mostly pine trees on a south-facing slope overlooking Cades Cove. It's located near a ridge top on Cove Mountain at an elevation of 2610 feet MSL. There are no higher mountains nearby, but the elevation increases gradually eastward to approximately 3700 feet MSL on Cerulean Knob.
The main problem with this station is exposure. Even though it's in a clearing and the wind equipment is on a standard 20 foot mast, the surrounding trees are 30 to 40 feet tall. The wind speed as seen on observations will basically be an eye-level wind with speeds considerably less than standard winds measured 20 feet above the tree line. During a typical sunny day with an average pressure gradient, the wind will most likely be upslope (southwest) 4-7 mph at the 1 pm observation time, created by local heating of the exposed slope. If the forecast for observation time assumes a cloudy sky, the wind will probably be nearly calm. The only time a significant wind will reach the anemometer will be during those occasions when strong south to southwest winds directly impacts the slope. Nighttime winds will usually be downslope due to the colder air sinking from Cerulean Knob, unless the typical nighttime inversion fails to form due to clouds or wind. This site will usually be warmer than the valleys when warmer air aloft in a southwest flow regime begins. The wind will keep the air mixed with temperatures several degrees above the valley floor (Cades Cove).
As for relative humidity, look for this area to be in the clouds frequently if any moisture exists at the 3000 foot level. However, if dry air is present on the low level soundings, this site could have extremely low relative humidity due to the south (sunny side of the mountain) exposure. Fires are common in this area of the park, and this was the main purpose for this site selection.
Topographical map of the Indian Grave RAWS site.
View of the Indian Grave RAWS site looking north.
View of the Indian Grave RAWS site looking east.
View of the Indian Grave RAWS site looking south.
View of the Indian Grave RAWS site looking west.