First Trax :: Daily News
Snow and Cold Air Return This Week!! - Blast from the Past with More Memorable Blizzards
02.7.11 07:16 AMGood Morning gang! It’s the Monday after Super Bowl Sunday. Congratulations to the Green Bay Packers on their National Championship victory. They defeated the Pittsburgh Stealers in what I thought was a really great game. They went tit for tat for the majority of the game and it was really exciting. What was NOT so exciting was the National Anthem being absolutely doofed (I made that word up) by Christina Aguilera. And what was even worse? The Halftime Show. Good heavens it had to be quite possibly the worst halftime show I have seen in years. I didn’t care for the Blacked Eyed Peas to begin with, and now my opinion is cemented in stone. The sound guy, whoever he is, will probably join the other 9% of Americans facing unemployment. I know I seem harsh, but you guys saw it right? I would have been waving my TERRIBLE TOWEL around too – and it wouldn’t have been a good thing. Enough about that, but I just couldn’t go into the week without griping about the lackluster performance.
Now. On to more important things. This weekend was MILD! Wow! Several of our loyal messageboard members posted trip reports likening the weekend’s snow to sand. I’ve even heard it referred to as “CORN” – typical spring snow. But, it’s not spring just yet. It was very warm on Sunday, as temperatures were well into the 40’s across the southeast. I was in Abingdon for the weekend and my Sunday afternoon was spent attempting to hit golf balls on the driving range. And by attempting I mean it was the second time EVER I have attempted swinging a golf club and I missed the ball completely every 3rd swing. You’d think I was swinging at a 90 mph fast pitch with everything I had in me rather than a stationary ball sitting on a little wooden stick in the ground. They say practice makes perfect – I don’t think there’s enough time in this world for me to get perfect. I managed to hit a few balls really well, but it wasn’t an impressive showing. And I have a sinking feeling I am going to be quite sore the next couple of days. Skiing is a lot like golf for me – in both sports I use muscles I never thought I had and they ache incessantly for the next week.
The next few days will bring cold temperatures back to the region for several days, with chances for snow on Wednesday night and into Thursday. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed. It’s been quite a few days since we’ve seen any significant natural snowfall and we could sure use it – if for no other reason than Mike just bought two new-to-him snowmobiles and I’m trying to see what kind of action those things have. So, stay tuned for weather updates as the week progresses. I’m sure we’ll hear from weather man Brad Panovich sometime this week as snow returns to our forecast.
Some awesome events went down over the weekend in the southeast and mid-Atlantic at Appalachian, Wintergreen, and Snowshoe so check back for recaps on those events a bit later in the week. I am hoping to have some pictures of the great freestyle events that went off in the next day or so, and if any of you all were out there on the hill watching either the Shred for the Cup Big Air at App Ski Mtn or at Snowshoe for the Red Bull Super Hit event send them to me, I’d love to share them with the rest of our readers!
Last Friday I did a little flashback to the great Blizzard of ’93 or The Storm of the Century, and reading about the impact that storm had on the country really piqued my interest in other blizzards that have made history in the United States. So I did a little more digging and poking around and found a bunch of other storms that impacted the nation as well. So I thought I would share some of those winter events with you, even though not all of them are southeast or mid-Atlantic concentrated events. So just sit back and relax as I recap some of the country’s most historical winter storms…
The Great Blizzard of 1899
February 11-14, 1899 – no deaths
This storm lasted about 4 days and mostly affected the southern part of the United States including parts of Florida, Louisiana, and even Washington, DC. This storm made a path along Florida gathering moisture and creating ocean-effect snow. Record low temperatures were recorded across the country as a result of this winter event. Fort Logan, Montana saw a low of -61 and in Monterey, Virginia it was recorded at -29. Washington, DC got over 20 inches of snow.
The Great Lakes Storm of 1913
November 7-10, 1913 – 260 deaths
This storm, in 1913, stands as the deadliest natural disaster to hit the Great Lakes region. This blizzard caused over 250 deaths. This storm is said to have carried winds sustaining 60-90 miles per hour and destroyed 19 storms, stranded many more, and left many sailors dead due to waves reaching over 25 feet. This storm was significant in that it lasted for about 16 hours while other storms of this magnitude usually last about 4-5 hours.
The Great Appalachian Storm of 1950
November 24-30, 1950 – 353 deaths
This storm brought tons of snow and extremely heavy winds, reaching over 100 mph in some places. This storm was most costly for insurance companies who ended up paying out millions of dollars in insurance claims. This storm cost 353 lives, $66.7 million dollars in damages, and left 1,000,000 people in 22 states to be without power.
The Great Blizzard of 1888
March 11-14, 1888 – over 400 deaths
This storm brought 40-50 inches of snow to many states including the northeastern states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey. Along with this storm came drifts up to 50 feet high because of sustained 45 mph winds. During this time railroads were the main form of transportation and as a result of them being closed, people were stranded in their homes for weeks because of the poor travel conditions.
The Blizzard of 1999
January 2-4, 1999 – 73 deaths
This storm dropped 22 inches at Chicago’s O’Hare airport and hit Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois as well as areas in Canada the worst. These areas saw at least a foot of snow. In Chicago the storm dumped over 18 inches of snow on the first day. This storm sound a lot like the most recent storm to cripple Chicago just last week, which all but shut down the city for nearly two days.
The Storm of the Century
March 11-15, 1993 – 300 deaths
I know I covered this one already, but I just wanted to add it in quickly. This storm dumped massive amounts of snow across the southeast. Snowshoe saw over 50 inches of snow and Boone, NC saw several feet as well.
Take notice that several of the most memorable storms occurred in March. So, to all you naysayers who say that the winter is almost over and that we’re in for an early spring, I encourage you to think twice about that prediction. February and March both have the potential to bring tons more snow. It’s crazy. March historically has the potential for big storms and truckloads of snow. So I reiterate to people who are doubtful about the longevity of the seasons up here – THINK SNOW!! It’s highly possible that we’ve yet to see some of the season’s biggest snows!!
Besides, people, THIS IS WHAT WE LOVE! We’re snowsports-aholics and we don’t mind if we get absolutely pummeled with snow later on in the season. IT JUST MEANS MORE DAYS ON THE SNOW!!!
Now…here’s a peep at what things are looking like today. Check it out!!
At your North Carolina ski areas we are looking at 100% open terrain with the exception of Wolf Ridge. They are running at about 12 with 13 of 23 slopes and trails open with more set to open up again on Friday for the weekend. Nobody is reporting snowmaking for the last day or so but expect that to change soon!! Get out there during the week and enjoy little to no crowds, it's the perfect time to enjoy what North Carolina skiing has to offer you - and it's far less expensive during the week than on the weekends!!
In our neighbor to the north Virginia ski areas are 100% open, as well, except for The Homestead, where we're not 100% sure what's going on. At last report they were open on 9 out of 10 slopes and trails. I'd recommend giving them a call if you've got any questions. Wintergreen is gearing up for another event filled weekend and I'll share more about that later in the week.
West Virginia is wild and wonderful so they tell me. Canaan is 100% open and they've got ice skating and tubing, too! Timberline is open on 38 of 39 slopes and trails. Winterplace is 100% open, too. Snowshoe is coming off an exciting weekend and they are open on 58 of 60 slopes and trails. Cupp Run is closed today for the annual Cupp Run Challenge.
Here's what Snowshoe is saying this morning..." We're very lucky for a lot of reason to work at a ski resort, but one of those reasons is the lack of the Monday morning blues. In fact, on Mondays like today, with snow in the forecast, we couldn't be more excited to kick off another week! As seems to be the trend lately, we're going to start the morning off somewhat mild, and watch temperatures drop throughout the day. We may see some sunshine during the day today, but clouds will move in and precipitation will start in the early evening hours. We may start things off with some very wet snow, or possibly even a raindrop or two, but as those temperatures continue to drop into the low teens overnight, we'll see all snow, and possibly as much as 3" of accumulation. That snow should continue throughout the day tomorrow and we could end up with as much as 7 wonderful inches of new snow by Wednesday morning. And Mother Nature is really smiling down on us, because Wednesday we may be able to enjoy that new powder under blue skies and sunshine! It really doesn't get much better than that.
Overnight we did make snow in select areas, and our grooming team was out working their magic everywhere. In some ways it feels like we're pushing towards the end of the season, but if you take a look at the calendar we have at least 7 weeks left of great skiing and riding. Snowshoe will continue to offer the best conditions possible, and for now we'll continue to make snow whenever possible and necessary. And don't forget, February is traditionally the snowiest month of the season at Snowshoe. Last year ended up with over 100" of snow in February alone! So there's still plenty of good snow to come! And we're sweetening the deal with great offers like KIDS SKI FREE, which returns beginning Feb 21st."
Wisp Resort is open today for DAY skiing and riding only on 100% of the Mountain!!
Over in Tennessee at Ober Gatlinburg they are skiing and riding on 100% of the Mountain beginning at noon today and running until 10pm!
Like I've already mentioned cold air is returning this week so conditions should be back up to being quite excellent a bit later in the week and certainly for the weekend!!
I truly hope none of you all have a case of the Monday's and if you do, chin up!
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