From a Dusting to Nearly TWO FEET of SNOW has Fallen Since Thursday!

It May Surprise You Where the Most has Fallen Thus Far…

Due to the volume of emails, photos and other input, we’re combining reports for today…

To use an aprapo quote today (for dual reasons) from President Franklin D. Roosevelt, today (and yesterday is) "…a date which will live in infamy". By the way it is STILL SNOWING across much of our coverage area!

I promise to get our team involved today to post up several photos and videos of all of the snow happenings from around the region. We were so busy on Monday simply keeping up with the phone calls and emails (and the snow) that we only had opportunities to take more photos and videos. We’ll do a video blog from Friday through Monday (and it looks like today) and post that up for all of you who are not in the mountains and just want to live vicariously through the website.

It IS a winter wonderland across much of the region.

I have to tell you that my buddy Joe Steven called yesterday and said, "Okay, Mike – I tip my bogan to the "snow goose" for forecasting all of this snow last Thursday. I admit when I was wrong."

Joe’s cool that way. At this stage even Panovich was kind of wrong in that he didn’t forecast more than a foot of snow for the North Carolina mountains. He DID forecast eight inches for most of the NC Mountains and I’d bet that’s a good average for what much of Western North Carolina has seen over the last couple of days. However there are MANY communities in North Carolina with more than a foot and approaching a foot and a half of snow with drifts 3-4 FEET deep in some areas.

Joe just sent me a West Virginia Ski Association press release from his cozy, Charleston, West Virginia location that reads in part, "The Mountains of West Virginia have received nearly two feet natural snow this week, as all five of West Virginia’s ski resorts are preparing to open for the upcoming season this week including Canaan Valley and Timberline in Tucker County, Oglebay in Ohio County, Snowshoe in Pocahontas County and Winterplace in Raleigh County. Snowshoe is planning to open tomorrow (December 8), Oglebay and Timberline on Thursday, while Canaan Valley and Winterplace will be opening Saturday. The natural snow has allowed the state’s Nordic areas, White Grass Touring Center in Tucker and Elk River Touring Center in Pocahontas County to begin providing cross-country skiing."

We posted the entire press release under the ANNOUNCEMENTS section.

We’re seeing CoCoRaHs snow reports that are pretty impressive.

Davis, West Virginia – Another 8.3" of snow since Monday AM and 23.5" since Thursday! Snowshoe is reporting 4" of new snowfall, 17" since Friday and 24" on the season now.

HERE’S SOMETHING INTERESTING…

Usually the snow prone West Virginia ski areas lead the way in snowfall totals from individual storms and on the season and there’s not much doubt that will probably be the case when the season is all over with. However, TO DATE (December 7th) Beech Mountain Ski Resort in North Carolina is the snowfall leader on the season with 30.1" on the season! Davis, West Virginia’s Canaan Valley and Timberline Resorts have now seen 29.2" of snow and Snowshoe is reporting 24" thus far. Beech Mountain averages about 80" per season and they saw 122" during the 2009-2010 campaign. I know that long range forecasters are saying this will be a slightly sub par natural snowfall season however Beech has already picked up 38% of the annual snowfall and it is only December 7th.

Oh yea – and it is still snowing and the National Weather Service is forecasting another inch or so of accumulation for today.

This storm has dumped Northwest Flow snows across a wide swathe of the southeast and mid Atlantic mountains and it hasn’t been exactly "equal" in "presentation". For example – while Beech has seen 18" from the Thursday-Tuesday storm, some areas like over at Cataloochee have seen much less. Cataloochee is reporting a TRACE of new snow this AM and 5-6" from the storm thus far. While Beech has seen 30.1" on the season, Cat has 10". Sapphire Valley has only seen a TRACE of snow all season thus far and they’ve had borderline snowmaking ops as well. It IS 16° there this morning so Sapphire Valley is making snow and gearing up for a hoped for December 17th opening day.

We mentioned Cataloochee’s snowfall thus far on the season, and yet just south of them at Wolf Ridge Ski Resort they’ve seen a FOOT of snow from this storm and 16" on the season.

STRANGER STILL…

I was speaking with one of our contacts at Bryce this morning and she was excited about the fact that it is 18° there this morning and that they are making snow. They are planning to open Friday. So far this pre-season they have had nothing more than a dusting of snow in the last few days AND on the season to date. Now you know why snowmaking is so important.

George Willetts who serves as Night Manager at Massanutten shared this funny story this morning. He said, "Mike it’s funny but just 20 minutes from us they’re getting snow and over toward’s Roanoke, etc. they’re getting lots of it. It’s the same with rain – the forecasters will call for it, but the ridges just over from us will grab that moisture and we just won’t get it."

That’s obviously GOOD when it comes to rainfall. George did tell us that Mass is planning on opening this weekend from the top and "DJ" (Diamond Jim) will be open. He’s thinking that the terrain park will get an early opening as well. We’ll get a word with Kenny Hess or Steve Showalter there asap and talk more about what Massanutten has planned for this weekend.

Ditto Wintergreen Resort which has thus far seen only 2" from this storm and 2" of natural snow on the season. Like Massanutten, Wintergreen is bombing the slopes with manmade snow and at 8° at Wintergreen this morning – that manmade variety rivals real powder. Wintergreen opens this weekend as well.

BACK TO THE DEEP…

As reported a bit ago, Davis, WV’s Canaan and Timberline have seen the most natural snow in the state, thus far – and as of this morning David Lesher is reporting:

8.3" in the last 24 hours
14.9" in the last 48 hours
17.3" in the last 72 hours

…we’re not done.

20.7" in the last 96 hours
21.7" in the last five days
23.5" since Thursday (6 days)

They are at 29.2" on the season.

Snowshoe Mountain is always in on the deep stuff and they picked up 4" more snow in the last 24 hours and 17" in the previous 72 hours. They’re now at TWO FEET of snow on the season. REMEMBER THAT SNOWSHOE OPENS TOMORROW – WEDNESDAY and they’re still getting snow and the opening day conditions should be EPIC! They’re thinking that they’ll open with 14 trails and 4 lifts with powder and packed powder conditions. Too cool!

Wisp Resort is cranking out the snow with their top-rated snowmaking system. They’ve also seen more than a FOOT of snow from the storm. We received a few emails from people asking because Wisp is reporting 11" of snow on the week and 5" on their snow report. We tried to get through to Marketing Director, Lori Epp but the line was busy. We spoke with some other contacts there and they all report what we’re seeing via CoCoRaHs up there. Wisp has seen 14" from the storm and now 18" on the season.

Ober Gatlinburg plans to open Friday for all you "Ober" fans! They’ve seen a bit of snowfall over the last few days (3" according to three sources) and they’ve been blasting the trails with snowmaking as well.

While we’ve covered the snowfall totals, etc…here’s the tour of the OPEN ski areas for today:

Appalachian Ski Mountain – 10° – 4" of new snow and 10" from the storm – 13" on the season. They dropped one of the terrain parks from their open terrain for today and are playing on 7 of 11 slopes and one terrain park for Tuesday and Tuesday night. Ice skating is open as well.

Beech Mountain Ski Resort – 3° – 8.5" of new snow and 18" from the storm and 30.1" on the season! Beech is open with 5 of 14 trails for day sessions only today. People have emailed asking about Beech’s ice skating rink – it is not open just yet. We’d guess this weekend…

Cataloochee Ski Area – 12° – Trace of new snow – 5-6" from the storm and 10" on the season. Cat has been BOMBING snowmaking as well and are open with 11 of 16 trails from 1pm to 10pm on Tuesday.

Sugar Mountain – 0° – 6.4" of new snow and 16.2" from the storm so far and 21.7" on the season. Sugar has 12 of 20 trails open for day and night sessions on Tuesday and ice skating is open as well. Sugar is reporting 13" of snow in the last 24 hours (15" on the SSAA report) and that’s just off a bit. You can’t blame them for being a bit excited. The official CoCoRaHs reporter which is up at the TOP of Sugar is reporting 6.4" of new snow and that compares more accurately with the 8.5" report at Beech.

(This is why Sugar’s peeps don’t like us much, but it’s also why we wrote on Monday that we still tell it like it is. We have it on pretty good authority that the weather stations over there are purposely tweaked down a couple of degrees lower than it is and that is why Sugar’s temperature is ALWAYS 2-3° colder than that atop Beech. If you’ve ever been on top of Beech, you just know it’s colder on average. We report, you decide. The bottom line is it’s PLENTY cold everywhere and there’s lots of snow, but we don’t want you guys deciding to head to one place because they are reporting 13" of snow in the last 24 hours when there is simply MORE SNOW up on Beech Mountain. If you doubt us, go look yourself.)

THINK COLD! THINK SNOW!

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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.