Low clouds created from earlier fog in the morning over Watauga Lake


Here is the morning by morning report:

Totals: 7 for 10 (and only sharing the latest dailies)
Aug 10:Our Matt Laws said that it was very foggy pretty much for his entire trip in this morning.
Aug 9: Pretty foggy/
Aug 8: Light fog on the drive over from Elk River to Sugar and down 105

 

So Matt is our guy (again) this year – and I’ll have to acquiesce to his count and report that we are at 4 foggy morning as of the morning of August 6th.

Original Post:
As I walked into my office on Wednesday morning, August 1st, the first person to greet me was one of our marketing support staffers, Matt Laws. Matt’s not much of snow sports guy, but he does seem to really appreciate all things snow. He kind of has to be to work with our crew, but he also needs to embrace snow because he drives in from east Tennessee every morning. For those of you who are not familiar with the drive over from eastern Tennessee into the High Country – Matt drives in on Hwy 19E, through Roan Mountain (which offers some great cross-country skiing in the winter), then through Elk Park, before turning onto Highway 194 and coming across to Banner Elk and Sugar Mountain…and finally a trek down the steepest stretch of Highway 105 to our office.

The reason I shared Matt’s trek is that he is a unique position to provide quality road reports to the rest of our team…and to those of you who read these updates. I’ll explain more about why I am sharing that in a moment.

For a moment, let me take you back (again) to Wednesday morning. As Matt and I are usually the first guys in the office each morning – we usually exchange casual “good mornings” and adjourn to our desks to get our day starter. However on Wednesday, Matt said, “Good morning. Well it’s August 1st!” (with more than the usual gusto).

I’ll admit, I thought it was a bit odd that he was so enthused over any Wednesday morning, and I didn’t think there was any particular reason for August 1st to be anything out of the ordinary.

As I began checking my emails, about every one of three contained something addressing the fact that it was now August 1st and time for our team to come out of whatever hibernation we were in to begin talking about anything related to the approaching ski and snowboarding season. Here are a few who signed their emails that I could share:

It is time for you people to start talking about the fogs. As nutty as it might sound, my husband, both daughters and I always look forward to your annual coverage of fogs in August. We even started keeping track of our own here in sparkle city (Spartanburg for you non-South Carolinians). So it’s time. We look forward to it. Hello. Anyone there?

Janice and Tommy Wright
Spartanburg, SC

Here’s one more –

Ok Mike,

Those of us who are addicted to the site are tiring of looking at , “IKON Pass Deadline Coming Up On May 1st “ posted by Kenny Griffin on April 25th.

Ready for August fog reports…….I and a friend of mine who also loves the site always view those August fog reports as the point at which it occurs to us we are now closer to the upcoming ski season than the previous. It is like a magical moment !!

Kindest Regards,
Brian Bentley
Augusta

…and now back to Wednesday morning with Matt Laws…

I was just wrapping up reading emails when Matt stepped into my office and said, “Check this out, I started a SkiSoutheast bean jar for counting the August fogs,” as he proudly showed me his creation.

THAT is when it hit me why Matt was overly enthusiastic and mentioned August 1st.

To be honest, I usually see a lot of foggy mornings in July and that typically reminds me about beginning the count. However, I should also admit that we’ve been so busy with “life” that the significance of Wednesday morning snuck up on me. More than that, it really blindsided me.

As the morning went on, I received emails from buddy Joe Stevens and then the floodgates opened. By the end of the day on Wednesday I think I heard from close to one-half of the region’s resort marketing crews and top brass. Contacts from Snowshoe, Canaan Valley, Ober Gatlinburg, The Omni Homestead, Beech Mountain and Wintergreen touched base.

We quickly woke up though as I pressed two others on our staff into action to begin reaching out by phone and email to every ski area to begin the process of information gathering for you guys. From the “early returns” it looks like Colette Winkler, Chris White and others on our team will have a lot to share in the coming days.

…and Now Back to Our Traditionally Scheduled Programming….Fogs in August…

Folklore poets have shared:

“If the first week in August is unusually warm, the coming winter will be snowy and long. If a cold August follows a hot July, it foretells a winter hard and dry.”

As I type up this first report on August fogs I can tell you that Matt has already placed four beans in the jar. I may have to eat one of those jelly beans as I think we’re really at three of four so far. However, the reason Matt is charged with being our own official bean counter is because of what I shared at the beginning of this story. His drive in.

The Tennessee/North Carolina line typically gets a bit more snowfall that other parts of the mountains with the lone exception of the peaks of Beech and Sugar Mountain. The curvy roads into Banner Elk (especially around Elk River) will usually cling onto any moisture and create foggy conditions. Then on the steep drop down Highway 105 travelers are often rewarded with clouds hanging down in the valley of Foscoe, Valle Crucis, etc. The morning drive down that stretch often takes you through a bit of fog.

So Matt is our guy (again) this year – and I’ll have to acquiesce to his count and report that we are at 4 foggy morning as of the morning of August 4th.

So what is all of this “weatherlore” about anyway? Weatherlore is based on observations of the environment and the effects that weather has on insects, animals, plant life, birds…and of course, people.

For centuries…well before there were sophisticated weather apps…farmers and explorers planned their winters around how many snows there were in the month of August. If August mornings were clear, they’d plan their agricultural strategies to allow for a relatively snow-free winter. Well before TripAdvisor – explorers would gauge their travel plans the same way. If August mornings were blanketed with heavy fogs, they would postpone their excursions until Spring.

WANT SOME OTHER WEATHERLORE???

If ant hills are high in July, Winter will be snowy. (Hmmm…we don’t have no stinkin’ ants in the mountains.)

When leaves fall early, Fall and Winter will be mild;
When leaves fall late, Winter will be severe.

Squirrels gathering nuts in a flurry, Will cause snow to gather in a hurry.

As high as the weeds grow, So will the bank of snow.

The severity of Winter is determined by how far down the feathers have grown on a partridge’s leg. (Anyone even KNOW what a damn partridge looks like. How long are their legs anyway? Feathers on legs??? Yuck!)

The wider the brown (middle) band on a woolly bear caterpillar, the milder the Winter.

Join Us and Share Your Numbers…

Do us a favor and share this website with your winter and snow loving friends. We appreciate your support and look forward to an awesome 2018-2019 Ski and Snowboarding season.

If you live within any of our ski mountain communities, email us your tallies. Hey even you’re a flatlander, share yours.

Until Next Time…
Mike

(Email me if you like at [email protected])

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Mike Doble
Mike is the Editor and founder of SkiSoutheast.com, SkiNC.com and ResortCams.com. Since September 1996 he has posted close to 14,000 posts, articles, photos and videos promoting all of the ski areas of North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland.Mike is the father of four daughters, is an avid skier and enjoys golf, tennis, kayaking and hiking in the mountains. Winter snowsports and Summer boating on Watauga Lake are among his favorite pastimes.