“IDA” rather had snow! Two to Eight Inches of Rain falls across portions of the Southeast and the Mid Atlantic

More About IDA and the rain in a moment.

It’s funny. By this point in time over our previous thirteen seasons we’ve typically only posted the Woolly Worm forecast and maybe a Farmer’s Almanac update for the upcoming Winter. Normally, we’d still be chillin’, waiting for interest to pick up and then once the snowguns fire in earnest – I’d be dragged to the keyboard to begin reporting on the fact Gunther at Sugar or Chris at Cataloochee was making snow and opening up ridable terrain. That typically happens right about now even though the traditional opening dates for most of our Southeastern and Mid Atlantic ski resorts is around Thanksgiving Day or that weekend.

Of course, last season we had a little Halloween skiing and snowboarding at Cataloochee and then things got really cranked up about this time a year ago.

FAST FORWARD to this year and Cataloochee made snow a week or so BEFORE Halloween and Snowshoe’s made snow for perhaps four days or so since that time (even as late as last Friday) and that has you guys clamoring for more information.

We’re still working on all of the "What’s New" stories for all of the ski areas and we plan on sharing that with you guys as early as this week (maybe the first of next week), but there hasn’t been a lot to write about thus far as we’re still plugging in a ton of content on the new sites. You’ll notice a few announcements of late with The Biltmore House promoting their Christmas extravaganza (see the front page announcements). Snowshoe Mountain is hosting a preseason Big Air Competition and Rail Jam THIS FRIDAY, November 13th at the new Liberty Mountain Snowflex Center in Lynchburg, Virginia. Our AppNet and SkiSoutheast staffer, Will Mauney has been there a few times already and is a huge fan of the newly opened year round snow skiing center.

(For those of you viewing SkiNC, you can click over to SkiSoutheast.com for more on that event.)

Anyway, we went a few days without posting any updates (after all it IS still pre-season) and my INBOX was full this morning from people wondering if I or our entire staff was sick with the flu or other malodies.

We heard from Andrea Sachs of the Washington Post yesterday and SHE wanted more information, so I guess we’ll post another update for you guys! (THE PRESSURE!)

Nobody around here is sick. We’re all busy as heck plugging all of the new content and sponsors into the mix. It has been a bit of a relief that the cold weather has held off for a bit until we’re fully ready for prime time! (We have A LOT OF PULL with "you-know-who" and He’s holding things back for us for about another week and then we’ll give Him the thumbs up (or vice versa) and we’ll be off and running for what promises to be a phenomenal ski and snowboarding season.


One of our emailers wrote me this morning, "If all of this rain was snow, how much snow would we have received?" – Cyndi Graham of Raleigh, NC.

We’ve written about the rain-to-snow ratio subject many times, but old school thinking is that ONE INCH of rain would make about TEN INCHES of snow. The National Weather Service and many of our weather guru friends have written me many times that this isn’t necessarily so. In some of the driest climates one inch of rain could make for 100" of snow. While that is the highest (and craziest) ratio ever, an inch of snow in high humidity climates can make for maybe three inches of snow. Most of our meteorological buddies say that a 1:5 to 1:8 inch estimate is best.

I replied to more than 20 emails this morning with simply, "IDA rather had SNOW than this 1-3" of rain that we saw around here in the last 24 hours." The NWS is forecasting as much as another 2-3" (or more in some areas) before IDA passes on off and if that’s the case, then using our ratio we’d have seen perhaps as much as 40-60" of snow!

It is all of this consistent moisture that has all of the meteorologists predicting a snowier than normal winter for those of us in the Southeast and Mid Atlantic. Some, like our official meteorologist Brad Panovich agree that it will be snowier, but according to him it will also be wetter. Let’s hope for a snowier and even somewhat colder winter that will keep the under-developed snow from occurring too often.

One of our ski area’s staffers responded to me this morning on my "IDA rather had snow email responses" and he wrote, "Hey don’t publish my name but I don’t think that many of the ski areas would like 40"+ of snow right now. A foot would be nice, but 40" would not be fun to deal with just yet. That much snow scares people away. Give us a few inches of snow every time and the masses will come! By the way, all of us here love the new site and are looking forward to working with you guys even more this season. Keep up the great work."

Well thanks for that.

According to the National Weather Service all of IDA’s rain will move on out and though we’ll have some lingering rain through Friday things will turn off pretty for the weekend. There is not any cold air coming in through at LEAST Tuesday with the coldest nighttime temps coming in tonight (Wednesday). After tonight we’re not seeing any temps cold enough to make snow through at least Tuesday with the overnight lows through that time in the upper 30s and low 40s.

So we’re still in a holding pattern.

(As soon as we can get our website all plugged in we’ll pass that news on to "you-know-who" and we’ll get some colder weather coming on in.)

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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.