A Wet Start to the Week; Cold Weather and Some Snow in the Forecast!

It’s going to be a bit on the wet side Monday and Tuesday. As has been the case thus far this season the weather and slope conditions will be extremely varied across the region.

It’s wet no matter what part of the region you look at this morning, but in some places that rain will changeover to freezing rain and perhaps some snow. Temperatures are in the 40s pretty much all over this morning and light-to-moderate rain is falling. Anywhere from an inch to perhaps two inches of rain is forecasted to fall across much of the region and quite simply put – that will affect some ski areas worse than others.

While ski resorts in Maryland and West Virginia will hold up fine, some ski areas into Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee will suffer.

On Sunday we reported about how Snowshoe Mountain was able to make snow for 132+ straight hours last week; however for many ski areas in the lower tier of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic – they have had more nights where they could not make snow than the other way around.

…and now today, we are looking at a forecast for the mountains of North Carolina that looks a lot more like a stormy Spring forecast than the first of January. According to the forecast by Ray Russell of Rays Weather – those in NC better get their turns in early and often today because some 1-3" of rain is in the picture for later today, tonight and Tuesday.

IF Russell’s forecast is accurate (and they usually are), then some resorts will be looking p-r-e-t-t-y bad by Wednesday. Appalachian Ski Mountain will be fine as they have a ton of snow base to weather it; Cataloochee and Wolf Ridge will be o-k-a-y. Sugar Mountain will make it through with some significant thin coverage though and more than a few bare spots.

Ski Beech will probably have to close Upper Shawneehaw again and only ski from Lower Shawneehaw down and those trails will not be looking too good as well. Beech already has a bunch of thin coverage around the middle of Lower Shawneehaw where it merges up with Powder Bowl and Freestyle. …and the bottom of the mountain doesn’t look like it will stand up to two inches or so of rain…and some of the rains forecasted over the next 48 hours are predicted to be heavy.

Tennessee’s Ober Gatlinburg will probably be forced to close up temporarily and wait for snowmaking temps to hit Wednesday night. They ARE open today with 4 trails, but if this rain is as substantial as forecasted then be sure to check the Slope Report for Tuesday AM.

Some of the resorts into Virginia are suffering as well as we’ve received reports of a lot of thin coverage at all but Bryce Resort.

Resorts further north into West Virginia and Maryland are faring better but there are certainly a few thin coverage areas surfacing at those ski areas as well. However the WV and MD ski areas are in good shape.

THERE IS GOOD NEWS….

The good news is that this rain comes AFTER all of the resorts made it through the all-important Holiday week of skiing and riding. Brisk traffic was seen at all of the resorts and while we’re thinking that no records were set, the resorts were pretty busy.

Additional good news is in the form of what looks like a sustained period of cold weather that begins on Wednesday evening and lasts AT LEAST through Sunday. There’s some chances for snow Wednesday and again on Thursday with lows Wednesday night getting down to a snowmaking 22° across the NC Mountains! The WV Mountains are looking at lows in the low teens.

Thursday’s forecast looks like it will allow for around-the-clock snowmaking with highs in the 30° range and lows in the teens! Again, the WV mountains are looking at colder temps with highs near 21° and lows in the single digits!

Friday looks seasonably cold with lows dipping into the mid 20s (more snowmaking). The weekend ahead looks possibly snowy with lows in the upper teens to mid 20s both nights.

Maybe – just MAYBE we’ll see another prolonged period of some snow and cold! We’re due!

Check the Slope Reports for the details today!

Enjoy your day!

Until Next time…

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Mike Doble
Mike is the Editor and founder of SkiSoutheast.com, SkiNC.com and ResortCams.com. Since September 1996 he has posted more than 13,000 posts, articles, photos and videos promoting all of the ski areas of North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland.Mike is the father of four daughters, is an avid skier and enjoys golf, tennis, kayaking and hiking in the mountains. Winter snowsports and Summer boating on Watauga Lake are among his favorite pastimes.