First the GREAT NEWS!

Cold air is already beginning to filter in and the temperatures that we are seeing right now as I write this at 7:00am may be the highs for the day. The thermometer could inch up slightly, but expect temps to begin dropping all the way into the teens this evening. Sugar Mountain has ALREADY begun making snow and we should see the others firing up all across the state the moment that temps allow. With almost around-the-clock snowmaking opportunities the slopes will look pretty good by AM Saturday.

I was looking at BooneWeather.com and Boone’s weather station record over THREE INCHES of rain yesterday and I can believe it. Last night the rain was coming down in heavy bursts that resembled the flooding rains of this past September when the remnants of two hurricanes bombed the area. Last night we had hard driving rains, high winds and lightning as well. All of that rain has really played havoc with the resorts in the region, as you can see on the ski report. However, with snow guns pouring on the snow from NOW for several days…we can expect to see a successful Martin Luther King weekend afterall. Saturday will be a good day for snow lovers everywhere…as well as the weather forecast for this weekend all the way through the forecast period (Thursday) when SNOW is in the forecast. More on the forecast in a moment.

First we have to get through today – THANK GOD this is the last day that I will have to bemoan the mild weather for at least a while anyway. However, we have to get through today. The good news is that ski resorts will be making a TON of snow and the snowguns should be on everywhere within an hour or so. The reality of today is that last night’s rains DID take a toll.

Appalachian – The rains caused their base depths to drop 16" in the last 24 hours. They have also closed several slopes and are operating today with two slopes and two lifts. They will rebound the quickest with snowmaking though…and there WILL be more trails open for Saturday. Keep checking the report.

Hawksnest – Will reopen on Saturday, Jan 15th at 9am. Saturday’s hours are 9am to midnight. Snow Tubing will reopen on Sunday, Jan 16th, weather permitting.

Ski Beech – They ALMOST made it staying open through this mild stretch. However, Beech will be closed today (Friday) and will reopen AM Saturday. Watch the snowguns pouring the snow to the slopes via the webcam!

Sugar Mountain – One of the funniest statements that I have ever seen coming from one of the ski resorts was posted by Sugar this morning. Here is a quote from their website, "We will be skiing from the mid station on the Yellow lift and from the top of the Green and Brown slopes." THEY SAID IT. Great attitude…you might as well have fun with it…

Editor’s Note – There’s a LOT to look forward to today with great weather making a return to the mountains of North Carolina. The only negative thing that I HAVE to say this morning is that TWO resorts didn’t drop their base depths ONE INCH since yesterday morning…even with the rains and mild temps. We’d SURE like to see these base depths get realistic across the board!

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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 more than 13,000 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.