It’s COLD Again! What a Crazy Week or So of Weather Swings!

Justin Harris posted this awesome photo at Canaan Valley Resort. Click to Enlarge. Awesome, right!?!

Check out our full SNOW REPORT for all the deets for each and every ski area in the region.

Grab your coffee and have a seat and let’s just talk randomly about whatever comes up this morning.

It is 37°-40° colder this morning than at this time on Friday morning at several ski areas. It reminds me of one of those “The Day After Tomorrow” type weather movies where there are those instantaneous flash freezes.

I’m going to dive right into the query of the day. That question? “How will the slopes be after all that rain?”

Answer: Just fine. Trust me. Yes, many of our mountaintops saw QUITE a bit of under-developed snow (rain) over the last 24-72 hours. I heard from many of you who were experiencing heavy rains in the realm of 4-5″ at your locations and you could just imagine all the snow being gone. I know how you were feeling as at our offices in “greater downtown Foscoe” we saw 6.2″ of rain according to our local weather station – which matched what the official weather up on Seven Devils recorded. Now THAT is a lot of rain and I can tell you that some heavy rain hit Sugar and Beech at times, but crazy enough the weather stations atop Sugar and Beech only recorded 1.2-2.2″ of rain.

This chart is from CoCoRaHs

That does jive with what we saw on CoCoRaHs, but areas like Linville and Foscoe (just a 1-3 miles away) got dumped on. Regardless, quite a lot of rain did hit our mountains, but every ski area had built up so much base depth in the previous two weeks of frigid temps, that all of them are in great shape.

Here’s another few rain tallies we were able to get:

2.2″ Wolf
1.2″ Sugar
2.2″ Beech
6.2″ Seven Devils
4.5″ Our offices in Foscoe
3.6″ Appalachian
2.3″ Snowshoe
1.51″ Canaan
1″ Wisp

So the last 72 hours was rainy and mild with no snowmaking. However, the temperatures have dropped and we are looking at a week of cold and snowy days ahead and that has everyone smiling from fans to resort ops crews. All those whales of manmade snow that we showed you last week are coming in handy for maintenance crews at every ski area and with a little grooming magic – the slopes will be awesome this weekend. That is great news to all of the MLK long weekend warriors that have invaded our mountain communities of the Southeast and mid-Atlantic.

Canaan Valley’s Base “Whale – Old Man Winter”

The temps have already dipped low enough to allow many of the resorts to begin making snow again and natural snowfall is falling as of this post at 9am.

Wintergreen Resort’s marketing crew kind of summed up the sentiments of all ski areas as they posted, “The Sun’ll Come Out Tomorrow (today)! Hold tight – the rain is over. The sun is peeking out. SNOWPOWER resumes as soon as temps allow, which may be in the afternoon or even earlier. Anticipate round the clock snowmaking.”

Base depths are good enough though that many ski areas are really only making snow on unopened terrain and/or overnight. Winterplace is one of the resorts who have reported that there will be no snowmaking during daytime ski sessions.

Speaking of App, they were “flash blasting” their slopes with a blizzard of snowmaking like only they can – early this morning. However, now that sessions are open…they have turned the guns off.

Along with the return of cold temperatures, we’re seeing some light snowfall in the High Country. Here at my home we have around .3″ of an inch of snow, while over at Blowing Rock (home to Appalachian Ski Mtn) there is a report of a TRACE of snow.

It is also 37° colder at Beech Mountain this morning where it is now 10°. They are reporting 1″ of snow this morning. Beech is reporting groomed conditions across their 14 open slopes and trails. If you’re at Beech Mountain this evening, escape the cold in the Beech Tree Bar & Grill with LIVE Music with Travers Brothership from 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm.

Speaking of “groomed trails”, we’ve gotten a lot of emails asking about how the fast transition from rainy, melted conditions to flash freeze can effect the base. Well it can be terrible and icy as hell if not for the snow grooming crews at every resort. I know that some of the ski areas devote their grooming crews to all nighters every night of the ski season, roaming the trails over and over to ensure pristine corduroy conditions. Some of the ski areas kind of hit them early in the morning hours of each ski day. That can certain make for a huge difference in the quality of the product on the mountain.

Snowmaking, Grooming and natural snow will cure anything that the rains of the last 24-72 hours have done. Remember that every resort boasts a ton of base snow, so moving that around and grooming it to perfection will make for some great conditions today.

Natural snow also helps and as I looked around the LIVE cams this morning I saw that it was still snowing pretty good at Canaan Valley. See: http://www.resortcams.com/webcams/canaan-valley-resort/

They are doing their usual “Old Man Winter” carving into the whale of snow at the base of the mountain. That is always a welcome sight. Interestingly, Canaan reports no snowmaking.

Cataloochee Ski Area is reporting an inch of new snow and snowmaking ongoing with 14° morning temps. They are 100% open.

Massanutten Resort’s report seems to sum up how most resorts are feeling this morning. They posted, “Temperatures have fallen quickly this morning with the high temperatures falling or holding steady throughout the day. We plan to begin snowmaking this morning on CMB Terrain Park and will begin limited day time snowmaking on open terrain to freshen things up.”

Translation: the rains may have taken away an inch or two of base, but with the return of cold temps, each resort will make a little snow where they want it and groom things up and be good to go.

Exciting news at Ober…

First of all it is 42° colder this morning at Ober (now 17°) than 24 hours ago. They are currently making snow. They also reported, “100% of our slopes are open today– Alpine Way, Grizzly, Ober Chute, Yeti’s Run, Mogul Ridge, Upper Bear, Lower Bear, Castle, Cub Way and the Ski School Slopes are open today for a full day session from 9am -10pm on an average base of 25-30 inches. All slopes are machine groomed except Mogul Ridge.”

As for the exciting news, I’ve been speaking with Marketing Director, Kate Barido and Ober has approved three new, LIVE HD webcams for the resort. Ober is joining our promotional network and over the next week or so we will be replacing the older webcam with a new PTZ high-rez camera and also adding one on the other side of the complex so that you can catch views of that side of the mountain and even catch a glimpse of their sweet, aerial tram that takes visitors from downtown Gatlinburg to the ski area. They are also planning to add one more LIVE cam to the top of their scenic chair lift in the Spring.

We’ll be doing a lot more in terms of sharing of content from the popular, Smoky Mountain resort.

So “welcome Ober!”.

Baby it’s COLD Up There!

It is 44.5° colder at Snowshoe this morning than 24 hours ago. It is 8° now. (Do the math…)

Snowshoe is just showing off now as they’ve seen 2″ of new snow and it is still snowing beautifully. Check out the LIVE cam – http://www.resortcams.com/webcams/snowshoe-shavers-centre/

They are 100% open with 60 trails. Our buddy Shawn posted, “Winter took a short break but it’s back this morning! We’ve received 2 inches of freshies and it’s still coming down out there. It looks like we’re in for a nice, long weekend of excellent skiing here at the Shoe! Stop by one of our shops in the Village if you need another warm layer. Widowmaker will be delayed for ski team practice. Timberjack and Mountaineer are open as ski trails without park features. Subaru Winterfest will be taking place in the Village today and tomorrow – They’ve got s’mores, live music, free giveaways, and much more so check it out!”

Omni Homestead is looking pretty today. They are open with 7 trails for day and night sessions. A representative from Rossignol will be available throughout the day with the latest equipment. Night skiing is open today from 6:00-9:00 pm. Snow making should resume around mid-day.

Winterplace Resort reported 1″ of natural snow and there will be no daytime snowmaking today.

As I am wrapping up this post, the sun is now shining through my window and I’m seeing 14° on my trusting weather station. So it’s cold. Bundle up, wear layers and enjoy your day. The well-timed return of cold air and natural snow will ensure an awesome “skier-visit” weekend for all of our ski areas. So that will officially be a “two for two” in terms of the most important ski/traffic periods that are important to all ski areas. Christmas to New Year and MLK are the two biggest periods each winter and it’s great to see those being such as success this winter. Knock on wood – but every weekend has been pretty great with one rainy weekend exception. We are still in the “first half” of ski season but so far, so good.

If you’re watching the LIVE cams, expect some “well dotted” slopes. If you have not made a trip up to your favorite mountain yet this season, make plans to do so this next week and weekend as the weather looks great for snowmaking and we have some more natural snow coming in mid-week.

Awesome, right?

If you have anything to share (photos, videos, comments, questions), the best way is to email me at [email protected]

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http://www.skisoutheast.com/category/news/weather/ – Brad’s Skier’s Forecast

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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 close to 14,000 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.