Almost a blizzard!

Still snowing this morning at Snowshoe

The National Weather Service defines a blizzard as “a severe snowstorm characterized by strong sustained winds of at least 35 mph (56 km/h) and lasting for a prolonged period of time—typically three hours or more.” At 7pm last night, on top of Snowshoe mountain, there was blowing snow for hours with a temperature of 19° (felt like 0°) and wind speeds of 31mph . . . pretty darn close . . . what a night!

This morning the notable snow totals are: Snowshoe 8″, Canaan and Timberline 4.7″, Wisp 4″, Winterplace 1″. The EVEN BETTER NEWS . . . was that every single resort in the southeast could make snow last night.

WV is shaping up . . . “The natural snowfall in the state’s mountains will also West Virginia’s Nordic areas, White Grass Touring and Elk River Touring to provide cross-country skiers a chance to get on the trails” (thanks Joe Stevens). 

  • Snowshoe: 8″ of new snow! Reporting ‘New Natural Snow’ conditions (a.k.a. Nirvana!). 48 runs and 13 lifts. Currently Snowing
    • Yes you can still get frostbite in the southeast . . .”Temperatures today will be well below freezing so make sure you bundle up and have the proper gear. Expect it to be fairly breezy this morning, particularly here on top.”
    • Upcoming . . . Snow in the forecast on Saturday AND Sunday.
  • Still snowing this morning at Snowshoe

    Canaan Valley: 4.7″ of new snow! Currently Snowing. Many powder staches to be had with 17 trails open today.

    • “We are temporarily closing Timber trail for the day in order to increase snowmaking operations there and lay down a healthy base. It will reopen tomorrow morning”.

“The scene in Garrett County is completely different than the past several weeks and skier and riders are happy about that!”

  • Wisp: 4″ of new snow! Base depth increase from 14″ to 24″! Currently Snowing.
    • From yesterday . . . “Wisp is currently under a Winter Storm Warning (we love those!) with a total of up to 10” of accumulation possible thru tomorrow, Thursday, January 9. Wisp’s Mountain Ops crew currently has the snow guns blazing on the front side of the mountain. If the wind settles a bit and temperatures get down into the teens as projected, the team will turn on the big guns building snow on Main Street over on the East Ridge this evening.”
    • Wisp’s long term plans . . . “This snowmaking window should last a long 8 days and there is another snow storm forecast for this weekend at Wisp!”

VA: base depths are building before uncorking new trails. Significant accumulations in the forecast for this weekend. 

  • Massanutten: Currently 19°. Base depth increase of a couple of inches.
    • Today and tonight . . . “Lower Showtime re-opens today and Upper Showtime should re-open tomorrow. We’ll spend today and tonight rebuilding base depth before moving on to Mass Transit and Pacesetter. Around the clock snowmaking and possibly some measurable natural snow have conditions for the weekend looking great.”
  • Bryce: Currently 28°
    • Update from Facebook post, yesterday, “Lifts will shut down at 5pm tonight and tomorrow (1/9 & 1/10) for snowmaking! Snow is also falling as we speak . . . “
  • Wintergreen: Currently 11°. Base depth increase from 15″+ to 20″+
    • Shaping up to be a good weekend . . . “SNOWPOWER (their snowmaking system) has the mountain looking like a snow globe this morning.  The system is going full bore . . . so you’ll see the base depth rise over the next few days.  Highlands and snow tubing return this weekend.
    • Projected forecast . . . “Snow is in the forecast for this weekend and we are keeping an eye on the storm.  The model below shows anywhere from 4″ to 12″ of accumulation.”

The mercury dropped even more last night in the NC mountains

  • Cataloochee: Currently 16°. Base depth increase of 4″ (from 35-65″ to 39-69″)
    • Hold your horses . . . “Thursday Night Adult League racing has been postponed and will begin next Thursday, January 17 in an effort to continue snowmaking on Alley Cat Racing Trail”.
    • Tube World, “has begun making snow and will reopen on Saturday, January 12th at 10am.”
  • Beech: Currently 9°. The mercury dropped into the single digits this morning. All cameras showed the guns at full bore.
The scene at Beech this morning
  • Appalachain Ski Mountain: Currently 15°. The powerful snowmaking at App is paying off as they added 4″ of machine-made snow to their base depth.
    • Remember . . . “The Appal Jam and Top Terrain Parks will be closed Wednesday January 9 & Thursday January 10 for concentrated snowmaking. During this time, the Appaljack Terrain Park will also see concentrated snowmaking, but will remain open with a small variety of Rails & Boxes.”

Resorts planning to reopen (tomorrow) Friday, January 11th . . . there are powder staches at some of these resorts, ready and waiting!

  • Timberline: 4.7″ of new snow! Currently Snowing. Reopens at 9am tomorrow.
  • Winterplace: 1″ of new snow! Currently Snowing. Reopens at 9am tomorrow.
  • Ober: Currently 19°. Reopens tomorrow . . . Time TBA
  • Sapphire: Currently 30°. Plans to reopen @ Noon tomorrow.
  • Wolf Ridge: Currently 14°. Stay posted for Wolf to reopen
  • Omni Homestead: Currently light snow and 13°. Hopefully reopens soon.
  • Oglebay: Hopefully opens soon.

That’s all for today.

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Rudy Ryback
Outdoor enthusiast, skier, snowboarder and telemark skier. Yes, I like to mix it up. While at the University of Colorado, Boulder I became an alternate athlete on the National Championship Ski team. I have had a passion for snow sports my whole life, and that fire continues to burn bright. I spent six years as an instructor at Hidden Valley ski area and loved sharing the gift of skiing and snowboarding with others.Since moving to Western NC I average about 30 days per year at the local mountains and I'm excited about being a part of the SkiSoutheast team.