Story by Mike Doble
Three ski resorts remain open in the region for today. We'll get to those current conditions in a moment. THE TOP NEWS for today is the fact that we'll probably see some SNOW in the forecast for tonight and perhaps more importantly, we'll see SNOW MAKING temps!
We'll no doubt see some ski areas making snow that have not yet done so and there's no doubt that Snowshoe, Cataloochee and Sugar will make more to add to the slope count, etc.
First to the forecast…
Perhaps as much as 2-6" of snow will be falling in Pocahontas County, West Virginia and into Tucker County (home to Canaan and Timberline Resorts).
Here's the NWS forecast for up that way:
Today Showers likely, mainly between 2pm and 3pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 46. Breezy, with a west wind 21 to 24 mph, with gusts as high as 37 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.
Tonight A chance of rain and snow showers before 10pm, then snow showers. Low around 15. Wind chill values as low as -3. Windy, with a northwest wind 25 to 30 mph, with gusts as high as 44 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.
Saturday Snow showers, mainly before 3pm. High near 20. Wind chill values as low as -4. Windy, with a northwest wind 24 to 31 mph, with gusts as high as 45 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.
Saturday Night A slight chance of snow showers before 10pm. Partly cloudy, with a low around 15. Wind chill values as low as -1. Blustery, with a northwest wind 17 to 24 mph, with gusts as high as 37 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Sunday Mostly sunny, with a high near 32. West wind 13 to 15 mph.
Sunday Night Partly cloudy, with a low around 26.
Expect to see Winterplace and Wisp making snow as well where 2-3" of snow is expected!
Further south into Virginia, Tennessee and the North Carolina mountains – we're not expected much at all in the way of accumulation, however there should be some ambience snow for those headed to the mountains to ski, snowboard or pick out a Christmas tree and the hundreds of tree farms open to serve.
Snow snowers are expected tonight and Saturday along with cold temps and that is GREAT NEWS for the snowmakers at all of the ski areas.
LET'S GET TO THOSE SKI AREAS THAT ARE ALREADY OPEN!
Snowshoe Mountain – 41° – 11 Trails Open Serviced by 5 Lifts. They are offering night sessions over at Silver Creek and some terrain parks are open as well. Snowshoe's just bragging now as they opened another trail since Thursday! The forecast for Snowshoe's 4848' elevations are for highs in the mid to upper 20s on Saturday with snow showers. Lows Saturday night should be around 10°! Sunday night and Monday night look like more snowmaking ops.
Look for more trail openings and the conditions currently at Snowshoe make it the top choice to hit the slopes in the region if you're ready to make the drive this weekend.
Their VALUE SEASON ticket price in effect through December 13th is $59 for adults (less for students and juniors) and that's a good value since their ticket includes 11 open trails and an all day and all night pass.
<DavidSki from the messageboard took this image at Cat of his nephew, Dylan getting some air on Thursday!
Cataloochee Ski Area – 42° – 3 Trails open with 2 lifts and an 8-18" base of loose granular with some thin areas. Cataloochee is open for day skiing and snowboarding AS WELL AS NIGHT SESSIONS!
Modified holiday rates of $50 for adult and $40 for juniors for day or twilight skiing and $25 for either adult or junior for night skiing.
CAT TRIP REPORT
Thanks to DavidSki
over on the messageboard
for posting today's featured TRIP REPORT. David got in some early turns during the Sandy storm at some unopened ski areas so we won't elaborate there
However CAT was open on Turkey Day and he posted this nice photo and trip report.
David – THANKS TONS MAN for repping the shirt dude! You guys should go have a look at the photos and comments! Cat looked GREAT!
– 37.7° – 2 Trails open to the 3/4th
station serviced by 1 lift on a base (that hasn't changed in three days) of 6-26" of variable granular with thin areas and bare spots. No night session at Sugar for Friday.
A lot of people bark about Sugar's lift ticket rates, but they are offering the opportunity to play today for the following cost:
Special early season rates for Friday, November 23, 2012:
Adult Full Day $30
Child Full Day $25
Adult 1/2 Day $25
Child 1/2 Day $15
Their is also some light snow showers in the forecast for tonight and into Saturday at Sugar and Beech with temps nosediving down close to the upper teens.
YA WANT SOME TUBIN'?
Right now Ober
Gatlinburg is the only ski area offering snow tubing. One look at the tubing hill will tell you that they are ready to offer some sliding fun!
Friday & Saturday, Nov. 23 & 24 ~ $25 per person, per session
Ticket Sales Open at 8:00 A.m.
Available sessions friday & Saturday:
9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm & 7pm ~ $25 per person, per session
Don't forget that Ober also offers the region's BEST ice skating rink indoors and there are great shops, restaurants and plenty of seating for those who just want to watch!
Beech Mountain Resort – I spoke briefly with Talia Freeman and she shared that Beech WILL be making snow once the temps drop and they are HOPING to get enough snow down this weekend to open sometime during this week ahead.
The Cold is Coming…but…
It is 38° at the summit of Sugar this morning. 43° at the base.
According to the forecast around here, today should be close to 60° (57 or so) and then later this evening comes the cold air invasion. That's none too soon for Sugar Mountain as their base was only a day or perhaps two away from not allowing them to stay open. On Thursday they has one, small, six foot wide strip of snow that connected the base over to the lift station at the bottom. Otherwise things were decent for those wanting to get on the snow for their first time this season.
Lows tonight around Sugar are meant to drop to 24° and then we may see some around-the-clock snowmaking for the first time this season as highs on Saturday should hover around 32-34°. Saturday night should get down to 20° and then after some moderation of temps on Sunday, the lows Sunday night should allow for some additional snowmaking with lows around 24°. Monday looks to be a non-snowmaking day OR NIGHT and then Tuesday night things look to be cold enough to make snow again. Wednesday and Thursday look unseasonably cold with snowmaking ops again both nights and perhaps even during the day on Wednesday.
So that's SIX of the next SEVEN or EIGHT nights that should provide for snowmaking. That's all the ski area's need to get some decent base depths down and make for some openings for additional slopes AND additional ski resorts.
That's it for me today my friends. If you're reading this, do me a favor if you would. If you're on Facebook or Twitter – would you do us a favor and share our Facebook and Twitter content pages with your snow loving friends. We're going to be doing some sweet contests this season along with the 25 days of Christmas giveaway where we will be giving away lift passes every day of the month through Christmas Day. We'll have some vacations to give away as well so to get the BEST chances to win, follow us on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/Skisoutheast
If you'll tweet your friends to follow us we can build up a great following to join us for our Summits this season. We'll be announcing those dates and locations this week as well.