6 More Weeks of Winter!

6 More Weeks of Winter!

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The furry vermin has spoken and 6 more weeks of winter it is – GLORY BE THE DAY!

While checking the status of winter this morning, I came across some other interesting facts about ground hog day.  Today is the first time we’ve had a Super Bowl on Groundhogs day.  Punxsutawny Phil has seen his shadow 100 times and has not 17 times.  The more you know…

I thought it would be pretty cool to take a look at last year’s First Trax and have our own little Groundhog Day and compare where we were to where we are.  First, I brought back our own groundhog, “SkiSoutheast Si”.  Here is Si’s backstory…


I'm not sure if this will be an annual thing, but we had a funny idea late on Friday. We thought, "Why the heck should we care what some furry varmint from Pennsylvania is going to say about the rest of winter?" We figured why not take things into our own hands. So I and my trusty dog Dakota set out to hunt down one of the local groundhogs. Our escapade reminded me of the characters on Duck Dynasty who seem bent on shooting anything that moves in a forest. However, we wanted this varmint alive!

My dog is a mix of Sheppard and Husky but looks very "wolf-like" and he quickly scouted the woods around my home and rounded up a groundhog in no time. My youngest daughter Madison came up with the name "Southeast Si" which was presumably inspired by the almost groundhog lookalike Uncle Si on the aforementioned television show.

So we coerced "Si" into becoming our prognosticator of prognosticators. It wasn't all that hard after we showed him how things would go if he didn't cooperate!

So my daughter tortured him (I mean dressed him up) outfitting him with skis, poles and a SkiSoutheast.com shirt and we released him this morning from our own little den of sorts after asking him just what the rest of winter has in store for us.


I will spare you the gory details, but last year SkiSoutheast Si did not cooperate right out of the gate and predicted an early spring.  Mike did some threatening to the little guy and the 3rd time out of his hole he got the message and predicted more winter, but he still stayed with his first prediction and mocked us with a little rhyme.

On February 2nd in Sleepy Hollow did Southeast Si come out,
To share his forecast for the rest of winter, with more than a little shout.

While these snow-loving peeps held me hostage to say that the rest of winter would be COLD;

I can only share what I know to be true, so here's my forecast so BOLD.

While February will be seasonably cold to be sure, with lots of snows for the slopes;

March will arrive bringing with it Spring temps so get over it you snow loving dopes!

Now, for all of you who remember the end of last season know that it went on and on and on, with much snow, and some of the best Spring skiing we’ve seen in many, many, many years.  So, he got that one wrong – and that’s all I’m going to say about that.

ACCORDING TO THE OLD FARMER'S ALMANAC…

FEBRUARY 2014: temperature 28° (2° below avg.); precipitation 1.5" (1" below avg.); Feb 1-11: Rain to snow, then flurries, cold; Feb 12-16: Snowy periods, seasonable; Feb 17-20: Flurries, cold; Feb 21-26: Snowstorm, then flurries, cold; Feb 27-28: Rain to snow.

They also have their prediction for next winter: November 2013 to October 2014

Winter will be colder and drier than normal, with the coldest periods in early and late December, early January, and early February. Snowfall will be near normal in the north and above normal in the south, with the snowiest periods in early November and in mid- and late February.

OK, let’s put the wayback hat on and compare today to last year.

HERE ARE THE NOTABLES:

APPALACHIAN

THEN: 11°; 100% OPEN! 1" of new Snow; 2.7" since Thursday; Made Snow.
NOW: 42°; 100% OPEN; NO new snow and did not make snow; base: 44-102”.

BEECH MTN

THEN: 21°; 14 of 15 TRAILS; TRACE" of new snow and 6" since Thursday; Making Snow. They are reporting 6" in the last 24 hours and we're thinking that is an oversight on their part as that is not the case.
NOW: 40°; 100% OPEN; NO new snow and did not make snow; Base: 50-88”.

CATALOOCHEE

THEN: 27.7; 16 of 17 TRAILS; 1.5" of new snow since Thursday; Made snow
NOW: 41.6°; 100% OPEN; NO new snow and did not make snow; Base: 65-90”.

SAPPHIRE VALLEY

THEN: 17.2°; 100% OPEN; NO new snow and did not make snow.
NOW: 31.4°; 100% OPEN; NO new snow and did not make snow; Base: 46-52”.

SUGAR MTN

THEN: 20.9°; 17 of 20 TRAILS; Trace of new snow and 6" since Thursday. Making Snow!
NOW: 42.3°; 100% OPEN; NO new snow and did not make snow; Base: 56-112”.

WOLF RIDGE

THEN: 19°; 9 of 22 TRAILS; Trace of new snow and 4.7" since Thursday. Made snow.
NOW: 28°; 14 of 17 TRAILS; No new snow and did not make snow; Base: 48-62”.

BRYCE RESORT

THEN: 13°; 100% OPEN! Trace of new snow and about an inch since Thursday.
NOW: 32°; 100% OPEN! No new snow and did not make snow; Base: 55-70”.

MASSANUTTEN

THEN: 14°; 13 of 14 TRAILS; Trace of new snow and about an inch since Thursday. Making a BLIZZARD of snow!
NOW: 36°; 100% OPEN; No new snow and did not make snow; Base: 36”.

THE HOMESTEAD

THEN: 9.5°; 6 of 10 TRAILS; Snowmobiles are open as well as tubing! Making snow!
NOW: 33°; 100% OPEN; No new snow and did not make snow; Base: 58”.

WINTERGREEN

THEN: 10.1°; 25 of 26 TRAILS; 1" of snow since Thursday; Making Snow!
NOW: 44.5°; 100% OPEN; No new snow and did not make snow’ Base: 50-60”.

CANAAN VALLEY

THEN: 4°; 31 of 42 TRAILS; 1" of new snow and 12.5" since Thursday! Making Snow! More snow on the way!
NOW: 46°; 42 of 43 TRAILS: No new snow and did not make snow; Base: 46”

SNOWSHOE MTN

THEN: MINUS 3°; 47 of 60 TRAILS; 1" of new snow and 12" since Thursday! Made snow!
NOW: 43°; 56 of 50 TRAILS; 56 of 60 TRAILS; no new snow and did not make snow; Base: 34-46”.

TIMBERLINE RESORT

THEN: 10°; 26 of 40 TRAILS; 1" of new snow and 12" since Thursday! Awesome conditions!
NOW: 41°; 38 of 40 TRAILS; No new snow and did not make snow; Base: 43-59”.

WINTERPLACE:

THEN: 12°; 100% OPEN!; 2" of new snow and 7" since Thursday! Made snow!
NOW: 39°; 100% OPEN!; No new snow and did not make snow; Base: 40-60”.

WISP:

THEN: 3°; 26 of 32 TRAILS; Trace of new snow and 8" since Thursday! Made snow!
NOW: 41°; 29 of 34 TRAILS; No new snow and did not make snow; Base: 24-50”.

OBER:

THEN: 21°; 7 of 9 TRAILS; 3" of snow since Thursday! Making snow!
NOW: 35°; 100% OPEN!; No new snow and did not make snow; Base: 60+”.

I added the base to this year’s report so we could compare when we do this next year as well.  As you go through the above, you’ll quickly notice that we are much better off than last year at this time.  We have more terrain open, and even though we DID get snow last year this time but NOT in the past 24 hours, I think it safe to say that the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic resorts have more snow on the ground today compared to last year at this time.

So there you have it.  More snow with more winter on the way.  I’ll take it!

Happy Groundhog Day everyone.  You are going to have generally cloudy skies today with a chance of underdeveloped snow this afternoon.  But fear not my friends, as the next storm is on the way.  The West Virginia resorts have been issued a Winter Weather Advisory starting at 10pm tonight and going through 1pm on Monday.

… WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 10 PM THIS EVENING TO 1 PM EST MONDAY…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN PITTSBURGH HAS ISSUED A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW… WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 10 PM THIS EVENING TO 1 PM EST MONDAY.

* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS… 3 TO 5 INCHES.

* SNOW BEGINNING… THIS EVENING.

* PERIOD OF MOST INTENSE SNOW… AFTER MIDNIGHT TO SHORTLY AFTER DAYBREAK ON MONDAY

Take Care!

Tim Bahlke
Drop me an email at tim@skisoutheast.com to let me know what you think or with suggestions on what we could be doing better.

 

Profile photo of Mike Doble
Mike is the Editor and founder of SkiNC.com and SkiSoutheast.com. Since September of 1996 he has written more than 2800 articles promoting all of the ski areas of North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland. While attending to the thousands of emails, photo submissions and On-Snow reports that come in all season long, Doble also owns and operates a full service web design and marketing company that has more than 800 clients in 30+ states and several countries. He shares that it was his passion for all things snow that prompted him to start the ski network and since that time the website has gained popularity through it's webcam and weather content as well. Mike is the father of four daughters, is an avid snow and water skier, football freak of his alma mater (the University of South Carolina) and hearty promoter of all that is Western North Carolina to West Virginia and Maryland. Mike spends his off time with his horses, playing golf, tennis and boating on Watauga Lake with his family and friends, coaching local soccer teams and oh yes...Snow Skiing!

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