A Dusting of Snow Falls Across the High Country…

While we didn’t see meteorologist Brad Panovich’s on-air forecast last night, evidently several people did as we received a ton of emails this morning from anxious snow lovers asking, "Hey Brad, what happened?!?"

Our guy Brad is a snow enthusiast as well, and maybe his hopes got the most of him as some were saying that he forecasted snow even down to Lenoir. To defend him…we DID get a dusting to maybe a 1/4" of snow at my house last night and this morning. Of course now that the sun is out…that quickly burned off as nothing more than a heavy frost. It WAS exciting to see though!

COLD TEMPS DID PREVAIL though and that made for great snowmaking at all of the ski areas of North Carolina. Most reported making about 4" of new, machine-made snow and upped their base depths accordingly.

Resorts will no doubt "POUR IT ON" as much as possible as long as temps hold to provide some good, early season conditions for later in the week and this weekend. If you’re thinking of coming up for some early season skiing, expect pretty good conditions across the board…but temps will be milding up as there will be no snowmaking Friday through at least the long term forecast period through next Tuesday. That’s a bummer, because earlier forecasts were showing some sustained cold air for prolonged snowmaking opportunities.

We’ll take what we can get and make the most of it. Appalachian, Cataloochee and Sugar Mountain resort ride on with vastly improved conditions from just 48 hours ago. They will be making snow as long as temps hold. The forecast looks great for some light accumulations of natural snow tonight and lows around 22°. Thursday might provide some nearly around the clock snowmaking with highs in the 36° range and lows around 22°. Then at some point Friday the snowmakers will take a fews days break again.

SPEAKING OF SNOWMAKING…

Several of you guys thanked us via email for jumping to Ski Beech’s defense about not having opened as yet. Others trashed us for "folding" under some speculative pressure to "spout the party line". I have one thing to say to those that fell into the latter group – WHERE THE HECK HAVE YOU BEEN? Our longtime readers will tell you that we always tell it like it is and while yesterday’s reporting may have come off like a "soft sell" it was simply on target.

We ARE able to put one bit of rampant speculation to rest about a possible lack of water up on Beech Mountain. Ski Beech’s Marketing Director, Gil Adams, wrote, "We have water…Four ponds full (except for what is now on the hill) with water running in and then running out on down stream. Our water is in a totally different watershed than the Town’s drinking water. We have not waited for snowmaking because of water. We have been waiting for extended cold, and we are not sure if this is going to continue as had first been forecast, but we are making snow now."

Ski Beech also put a bit of clarity into this season’s wait and see approach with an update that states, "We fired up our snow making system yesterday afternoon to begin covering some of our slopes with a blanket of snow. We do not have a planned opening day scheduled at this time. Our intention is to establish a good base of snow on the slopes that we are covering right now, and when we are able to produce enough snow to open with good, consistent conditions and coverage, then our plan is to start the 2007-2008 season."

Translation: They will open when they feel that they have a good product for their guests.

A 1/4th" of SNOW!

We couldn’t help but smile when we saw Sugar Mountain’s morning snow report as they reported 1/4" of snow overnight. FYI – that is accurate! It was just funny to see that those of us who call the High Country "home" have had so little snow that we have to report 1/4th". So far, while areas just a few hours north of us have seen a foot and a half of snow, the Western North Carolina mountains have only received a few flurries here and there…and really no measureable snowfall.

Hey, we’ll get ours. You WILL want to check out www.SkiSoutheast.com today as we’ve got a ton of snow to share with you. Some areas saw as much as a foot of snow, with snow still coming down as of the writing…and another 6" in the forecast for today. (I’m heading that way on Thursday!)

PHOTOS AND VIDEOS COMING…

Thanks to all who sent photos and videos yesterday and last night. I will be posting all of the throughout the day so if you want to see some great shots…check back a bit later!

Until Next Time…Send your comments, photos and videos to: [email protected]  

Also visit www.SkiSoutheast.com  for more news from the rest of the ski resorts of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic.

See You On The Slopes!