A Little Rain Early, Sun Late, Cold this Evening!

Old Man Winter Seems to be saying, "Let’s see how nasty we can make things" this morning. The temps are near 40° across the region and we’ve had 24 hours of foggy, drizzly weather and now this morning Beech Mountain is recording AVERAGE wind speeds of 45mph with one gust at 1:30am this morning that topped out at 86.3 mph.

Snowshoe Mountain is seeing windy conditions atop their 4848′ elevations as well. Nothing like the 86 mph at Beech, but skiers should expect 30-35 mph breezes!

Holiday Skiers – don’t fret because the skies will clear later today and the sun will dominate the next few days and snowmaking temps are forecasted for Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights…and we may even see a bit of light snow flurries on Christmas Day and Wednesday further north into the West Virginia and Maryland mountains.

Resorts in WV and MD should be able to make snow around the clock from Sunday night through Tuesday night and into Wednesday before the temps creep above freezing.

LOOKING AT THE GLASS HALF FULL…

Although our mountains have not suffered from the drought to the degree that many in the areas from Alabama to Tennessee have, we still could use some rain (OR SNOW!).

The week ahead should provide for good Holiday skiing and snowboarding (or Ice Skating and Tubing) at your favorite ski area as all will be blasting the snowguns and pushing some snow around and grooming some nice corduroy for us to ride on.

Monday through Wednesday look like the primo days and then we’re watching what could be some light, underdeveloped snow (that’s a snow lover’s term for rain). It doesn’t appear to be the "keep-you-from-skiing" kind of precip at this time.

CONDITIONS TODAY… in a word this morning – WET. Using a few more words, wet, wet, wet and some thin coverage thrown in.

Justin up at Hawksnest showed his "glass half full" take on things this morning. he wrote, "We have groomed, soft conditions with a foggy overcast this morning. Beginners, this is excellent snow on which to learn; this snow is forgiving. We are open for skiing snowboarding and snowtubing with a Nighthawk session: 6pm to midnight tonight. We rent ski bibs that keep you dry."

He IS CORRECT though…this is good snow to learn on.

The snowmaking temps hitting Sunday evening are coming in at just the right time for all of the ski areas, and Hawksnest and Ski Beech in particular as those two got a later start on snowmaking than the other areas and their bases are simply thinner right now. Expect some thin coverage and bare spots at those two, as well as Wolf Ridge.

There’s some thinning areas beginning to show at Sugar as well, but really Appalachian, Cataloochee and Sugar look pretty nice if we can dodge the rain drops today.

RESORTS INTO WEST VIRGINIA and Wisp…are in great shape, just a bit wet today…but…

(Why don’t we petition to just go ahead and get Wisp Resort annexed into West Virginia and get it over with?!?) Wisp is located in that little slice of "panhandle" that is Maryland, but actually cuts into about a third of northern, West Virginia. They get pretty much the same weather and temps as Snowshoe, Timberline and Canaan Valley and they are closer to Morgantown, WV (41 miles) than they are to most major cities in Maryland!

Oops, I got side-tracked. (By the way as I am typing this Southeast/Mid Atlantic update, the light drizzle here in the North Carolina mountains just became a rather hard rain 🙁 )

Anyway, the inequality of Mother Nature so far this early in the 2007-2008 season has made for conditions at the West Virginia and Maryland ski resorts that have them boasting as many as 36 trails open (at Snowshoe) and 20 trails open at Wisp.

The photo of the day from Winterplace Resort from yesterday show a groomer all but disappearing behind a wealth of snow that brought a tear to my eye this morning.

<See Winterplace from yesterday!

Areas further south into portions of Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina are looking a bit "worn" to say the least. While Appalachian, Cataloochee and Sugar look pretty good, some of the resorts like Ski Beech and Hawksnest, which got off to a late start making snow…look pretty thin today. I’d show you a pic from the live cams, but they are all covered with rain drops!

However, keep your chin up…if you have travel plans to ski in North Carolina for the upcoming days…the sun will begin to show later today, the mercury will fall, the snowguns will blast away and there should be some good ski and snowboarding happening across the state for the next few days!

Those headed to the West Virginia mountains and Wisp Resort, you’re going to have a nice ski getaway with lots of base, good conditions and a few more trail openings.

The resorts in Virginia are much like those in North Carolina right now. Wintergreen is looking pretty decent, however Massanutten and Bryce are in dire need of some snowmaking.

THINK COLD, pack your gear and get your rear – UP HERE – and Enjoy your day…

Until Next time…

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