The snowguns have cranked up at most locations around the Southeast and it’s a good thing as we started seeing some discoloration in the middle of a couple of runs at Ski Beech yesterday. We also received some scattered reports of thinning areas at trail intersections at Sugar as well…and mostly likely that was the case at numerous locations yesterday.
Today is a different story! Overnight snowmaking and grooming certainly took care of any thin areas and with snowmaking going on pretty much 24/7 from now through Sunday things will shape up nicely for weekend slope conditions. If you have a trip planned for the President’s Day Weekend you’re going to find very nice conditions most everywhere. Sapphire Valley Ski Area, the most Southerly resort in North Carolina is reporting Spring conditions and they’ve had to fight hard for the conditions that they have as Mother Nature hasn’t been cooperating very well this Winter. So while they may not be in the best shape…that will improve with snowmaking temperatures down there.
The rest of North Carolina’s ski areas will be in VERY NICE shape for today and the coming weekend. We DO have some "effect" Snow Flurries in the forecast for this evening and Friday but more importantly it will be COLD. Highs today and Friday should be around 32° and overnight lows tonight and Friday night look to be falling to near 18°. Saturday look like a great day to be skiing or riding at your favorite resort with partly cloudy skies and a high of 39° and lows Saturday night around 25°. From there…there’s only questions. Right now it looks like more "underdeveloped snow" may be coming in on Sunday and although it looks to be light…we may see rain sometime Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. So if you’re planning on skiing for the next little while…THE BEST DAYS WILL BE TODAY, FRIDAY and SATURDAY…with an outside shot at a decent SUNDAY.
What’s Ahead with this Weather?!? – I’ll save the evaluation of what kind of Winter we’ve had for the END of the season, but everyone knows we’ve had to fight Mother Nature every step of the way. …and ACTUALLY we should thank GOD for the perfectly timed cold spells that we’ve had where snowmakers could do their magic or this Winter would have been atrocious up to now. We’ve had our share of emails over the last week pertaining to the subject of "rating this winter". Even the messageboard has a thread that was started addressing the subject. Seems everyone has this season receiving a 3 to 4 out of ten thus far with a few lower grades thrown in.
I’m more of a "glass half full" kind of guy and I can tell you that while this winter HAS been a roller coaster thus far…it HAS been one that resorts all across the Southeast would take every year. We don’t want to quote any individual resort until the season comes to an end, but we can tell you that Numbers-wise, regarding skier traffic, that we have received several appraisals that tell us that most resorts are about 10-15% off thus far this season…from great seasons like last year.
THANKFULLY, the cold snaps have been almost perfectly timed to keep snow on the slopes and other than the prolonged mild period of early January, things have been "pretty good". …and that’s been the frustrating part…we all want perfect, pristine conditions. While it’s been great on a handful of days thus far…this has not been a season full of pristine days.
We’ll put the question of what lies ahead to meteorologist Brad Panovich as to what the rest of this month is looking like…but there are some sources saying that once we go through this little cold snap this weekend, we could be seeing more mild air for several days before significant cold and snow returns toward the end of the month and into March. THINK SNOW OUT THERE PEOPLE!
Get out and enjoy the conditions NOW! – Today is a FREE day at Ski Beech for the guys. The conditions up there should be VERY NICE today so get out and have some nice turns.
Speaking of the end of the month – Plan to visit Sugar during the Spyder Sample Sale: March 3rd-6th. Get a sneak peak at the world’s leading winter apparel line. The 2005-06 Spyder line will be available for purchase only at Sugar. Quantities and sizes are limited, so be sure to get there early. They say that they will have prices that you won’t find anywhere else or at any other time!