From Blizzard to Drizzlard…More Snow is on the Way!

Last week nearly every weather prognosticator was glued to his computer models as all were forecasting strong chances for the biggest snowstorm of the season to invade the Southeast and Mid Atlantic beginning today and lasting into Thursday. Some like our own Meteorologist Brad Panovich, Fox News and others were talking early looks at an event that could dump 14-16" of snow in some of the higher elevations of the mountains.

To their defense, they DID say very early on that those models were flip-flopping back on forth from a BOMBING OF SNOW to a bomb that could be a dud. Over this past weekend the forecast became as clear as my salt covered windshield when my window washers froze up last week. Translation: Nobody had a clue what would go down this week.

Even on Monday things looks iffy as the main players in this particular weather event just wouldn’t reveal "their hand". Even this morning there remains some mystery as to how this system will play out, however now that we’re 18-24 hours away from whatever is coming it seems that most are in agreement that we’ll now see RAIN and YUCK later today, tonight and early Wednesday. So a fair amount of under-developed snow (rain, sleet, freezing rain and wet snow) will probably come in today. That’s pretty much the call from the North Carolina mountains up through the West Virginia resorts and into Wisp Resort in Maryland.

THEN SNOW?

It is hard to put any "faith" in this forecast because it has literally been all over the place in the last few days, however if things play out the way Brad, the NWS and others seem to feel it will – then we’ll see anywhere from 4-6" of snow and maybe locally higher amounts in the 8-10" range from midday Wednesday into Thursday.

Whatever amounts come out of this system will be a relatively quick burst of it according to all of the weather gurus out there.

This morning’s temps across the entire region are some 20-25° milder than Monday AM. The coldest temperature we found at the resorts this morning was a 24° reading at Appalachian Ski Mountain and Massanutten Resort. The average across the regions seems to be around 30° with Ober Gatlinburg the warmest at 39°.

If the snow does hit as predicted and we see a 4-8" variety we’ll be in great shape heading into this weekend with yet again some great conditions across the region. Low temps Wednesday night and then all day and night Thursday and Friday should be plenty cold enough to create some natural snowfall as well as allow the ski areas to make snow if they choose to do so.

Just an FYI…some weather guys were on television last night talking about this rainy, yucky event "melting snow" but that we’d see a "rebuilding of bases" into late Wednesday and Thursday. That is simply not an accurate message to relate. A lot of weather peeps are not skiers and snowboarders and they’re not "educated" as to the ways of manmade snow and the base depths the ski areas are enjoying right now. Whatever "melting" we might see out of a 24 hour rain, mix type of an event MIGHT drop the base depths on our ski areas MAYBE 2-4" across the board. When you consider the fact that our ski resorts have MINIMUM BASE DEPTHS in the 40-60" range – it would take a ten day monsoon to reveal significant bare spots.

We’ve been spoiled over the last two seasons with remarkable weather and lots and lots of natural snow. Our ski areas have actually had to make less snow last season and this season (to date) than perhaps within ANY 1.5-2 year period previously. In other words it has remained consistently cold most all of last season and so far this season. There’s been very little in the way of having to rebuild bases with the exception of the first few days of the season, which is expected. We’ve had no real thaws that have lasted more than perhaps two days or so and that has allowed our ski resorts to make snow and keep it around for prolonged periods of time. There are some mounds on some of our slopes that won’t go away until sometime in May or even later.

The long range forecast for the region is for continued cold temps right into February so that will certainly be good news for skiers and snowboarders.

Check out Brad’s Skier’s Forecast and stay tuned for more information as this next winter weather event closes in on us.

CLOSING DEAL…

We had some people email us on Monday asking about any kind of great discounts on skiing up around Canaan and we found this for you guys. Check it out:

Offered through March 11, 2011 (non-holidays) *See restrictions below for
black-out dates.

Food Bank Mondays
Bring a non-perishable food item and receive a lift ticket for $15.00.

Tubing Tuesdays
Tube all 3 sessions for just $25.00. Session times: 9am – 11am, 11:30am –
1:30pm, 2pm – 4pm.

BOGO Wednesday
Buy one ski lift ticket, receive one of equal or lesser value free.

Heroes Day Thursday
Half price lift tickets and rentals for all military, firefighters, EMS, or police officers with valid ID.

College Fridays
College students (with valid ID) receive half price lift tickets and rental equipment for the day.

*Restrictions: Winter promotions & specials are not offered during holiday time periods, unless otherwise noted. The observed holiday dates are as follows: December 26, 2010 – January 2, 2011; January 15 – 17, 2011; and February 19 – 21, 2011.

See you on the slopes. Feel free to email me directly at [email protected]

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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.