Story by Mike Doble – [email protected]
December 2nd is looking like "THE DAY" when the 2011-2012 Ski and Snowboarding Season just MIGHT get cranked up in earnest. Colder temps and even some wet snow is in the forecast for this week. 1-3" of wet snow is being forcasted for portions of the higher elevations of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic as we get into Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning. Not coincidentally THAT is also when we should see temperatures take a needed nosedive to cold enough for the snow guns to crank up.
We’re expecting to receive reports of widespread snowmaking from Cataloochee, Sugar, Wisp and Snowshoe (which have BEEN making snow since early in November – whenever possible) to App, Beech, Wolf, Massanutten, Wintergreen, Timberline and all the rest of those ski areas which have waited on more consistently cold temperatures to arrive.
My INBOX is full of amatuer and pro weather peeps who have been sharing the fact that cold temps are on the way this week. From what we’re seeing this morning, they aren’t quite as frigid as we’d like to see them, but right now beggars can’t be choosers, right?
Here are the most recent expectations:
The cold temps look to be arriving sometime on TUESDAY with lows dipping to around 27-29° at several locations from Sugar, to Beech, to Snowshoe. That COULD mean that some ski areas might NOT quite see cold enough temps to make snow until WEDNESDAY evening when things are forecasted to drop a notch colder to lows in the 23-24° across the entire, high elevations of our mountains.
Thursday and Friday nights look equally as cold with lows in the 22-24° range across much of the region. While daytime temps will not allow for around-the-clock snowmaking opportunities…those nighttime temps for THREE TO FIVE NIGHTS will make for enough snowmaking to see several ski areas open as the week progresses. Look for Cataloochee to wait until Saturday to make that happen, while Sugar will most likely open sooner…maybe as earlier as Thursday or Friday.
We haven’t spoken specifically with the resort management crews, but we have a feeling that Appalachian, Beech and others could be opening Friday or Saturday as well.
Winter 2011 doesn’t officially begin until December 22nd – and the long range, winter forecast is for temps to average 1-2° colder than average with about normal snowfall from the West Virginia state line south…and much more snow than average from there north.
Although none of the ski area management crews are concerned over the mild temps that have not allowed for an early opening, snow lovers are growing restless. I received numerous emails over the long weekend from people suggesting everything from snow dance videos to prayer to erecting snow-promoting rulers at every mountaintop. Admittedly, I’d never thought of that last one!
At any rate…just be patient as the cold temps are headed our way and we should see some wet snow behind all this under-developed stuff.
Stay tuned and we’ll update you the moment the guns fire up!
THINK COLD! THINK SNOW! THINK COLD – AGAIN!
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