Hello, world. Yesterday’s snow report looks much like today’s. No natural OR man made to speak of this morning at ANY of our southeast and mid-Atlantic ski areas. Morning temperatures are looking MILD to say the least, and I’m using that word with conviction with the lowest temperature this morning at Bryce Resort (30°) and the warmest temperature at Ober Gatlinburg (48°).
Here’s a look at the 8:00am temperatures:
Appalachian Ski Mountain 35°
Beech Mountain Resort 36°
Sapphire Valley 37°
Sugar Mountain 38°
Wolf Ridge Resort 39°
Bryce Resort 30°
The Homestead 36°
Canaan Valley 41°
Ober Gatlinburg 48°
These are WARM temperatures. We’re in the middle of a few days of thaw, and some base depths in North Carolina are reflecting a few inches of change. Appalachian Ski Mountain was at 79 inches (minimum) on Sunday, and today they’re reporting 77 inches. Cataloochee was at a 55 inch minimum Sunday and they’re reporting 51 inches today. Sugar reported a 51 inch minimum base two days ago and their report reflects a 5 inch difference today at 46 inches. And Wolf Ridge is also reflecting a 5 inch decrease from 80 inches to 75. The Virginia and West Virginia ski areas aren’t reporting any changes, but things may be different over the next day or so. High skier traffic mixed with rainy weather and increased temperatures will no doubt cause snow depths to decrease a bit, but there’s nothing to worry about! Bases are still over 100 inches in some areas so ski areas are in great shape.
Surface conditions are also changing as a result of these above freezing temperatures and tons of visitors. What we were seeing was a consistent "packed powder" which is ideal for great skiing conditions. Now that we’ve seen some consecutive days with warmer temperatures ski areas are reporting conditions like "wet granular," "loose granular," and "frozen granular." For those of you out there who are skiers and snowboarders, please feel free to stop reading, as I’m about to give a lesson on just what these types of snow are. To all the first time visitors or people who have no idea what these differentiations mean or are just curious about what I’m going to say next – READ ON!
Packed Powder – Dry natural or man-made snow that has been packed down by skiing
or grooming. This snow isn’t fluffy, but it’s also not hard like ice. It’s…wonderful.
Loose Granular – Small, loose pellets of snow that is created by the grooming of wet or icy snow. Snow thaws and then refreezes as granules that do not cling together. This snow might resemble something you’d seen in a snow cone.
Wet Granular – Very wet snow, often found in spring/rainy conditions much like the conditions we are experiencing now where temperatures are rising into the 40’s and beyond. This snow will pack easily and is on the heavy side.
Frozen Granular – Frozen snow that is of a finer consistency than loose granular. This snow often looks/feels like granulated sugar. This can be regroomed without forming excessive ice.
You’ll encounter all of these conditions throughout the course of the season. We all know and love packed powder conditions. Packed powder surfaces are easiest to ski on (in my humble opinion) and they regroom beautifully, giving us the perfect set of corduroy to enjoy. But, we have to be chameleons and learn to change as the conditions do. There’s no perfect science to predicting how the snow will be. As we all know conditions on top of a mountain can chance from one second to the next!
Let’s have a brief look at the weather for tomorrow, when colder temperatures return to the southeast and mid-Atlantic…
West Virginia Ski Areas – After a wet Tuesday, temperatures will drop into the lower 20’s Wednesday afternoon with a chance of snow and heavy winds…accumulation of around an inch. Snow showers will continue Wednesday night and temperatures will be much colder with lows around 8°F.
Virginia Ski Areas – Rain and drizzle for the rest of Tuesday. On Wednesday a slight chance of rain in the morning gives way to a breezy afternoon with Wednesday night lows in the mid-20’s.
North Carolina Ski Areas – Rain later Tuesday with showers after midnight. Wednesday brings a mostly sunny, windy morning. Wednesday night will bring much colder temperatures with lows in the upper teens. Wind gusts will reach up to 50 mph.
It looks like snowmaking ops might be able to get things going again tomorrow night!!
Well, that’s about all for today, because like I mentioned before not much has changed since yesterday. For specific details check out our Snow Reports Page. To give you a quick summary – from Wisp right down to Ober Gatlinburg, ski areas are 100% open with only a couple of exceptions. That’s right, even SNOWSHOE is 100% OPEN! Laura Parquette writes, " 100%, 100%!!! Snowshoe Mountain is 100% open. It took longer than expected this year due to some needed trail maintenance on Sawmill Glades, but that slope is open today and Snowshoe is officially 100% open." I think she might be excited…and so are we!! Congratulations to the phenomenal team at Snowshoe for getting the work done!
Conditions are still excellent across the board. So get out there and enjoy yourselves. Just a reminder to….THINK COLD!! THINK SNOW!!
Contact me directly with questions, comments, photos…or whatever else you may feel compelled to send…. [email protected]!