LET’S GO BUILD A FREAKIN’ SNOWMAN!!! …OR BURN ONE!

TONIGHT AND MONDAY’S FORECAST IS CALLING FOR “BIG-GER SNOW” OR IS IT?

THIS BLOG IS ABOUT SNOW. So let me go ahead and get this first part out of the way and state EMPHATICALLY that the conditions ON THE SLOPES are truly TRULY VERY VERY NICE (to almost great) at about every ski resort that you choose to visit today.

ober gatlinburgThe TOP CHOICES today would certainly be ANY of the West Virginia resorts, and then Beech and Sugar Mountain in North Carolina – and perhaps Ober Gatlinburg in Tennessee – SIMPLY because they each got a little natural snowfall and actually MADE SNOW as well.

Ober Gatlinburg Ski shown to the left at 10am this morning.

A lot of the other ski areas chose NOT to make snow over the last 24 hours OR they were just outside of the temperatures needed to do so.

However (AGAIN) I want to reiterate that conditions will be VERY GOOD no matter where you may choose to ski or ride on this particular Sunday.

CHECK THE SNOW REPORT for details and pay attention to the fact that many ski areas are NOT open for night sessions on Sundays.

NOW TO THE NATURAL SNOW PART OF THIS BLOG

You know that it’s “getting bad” when local merchants run neon signage proclaiming SNOW!!!! in bright letters – when ONE INCH OF SNOW fell. That was the case over in Banner Elk Saturday evening at Resort Real Estate & Rentals on Hwy 184 just up from Sugar Mountain. MAYBE one-half inch of snow was on the ground.

I drove up to Beech to have dinner with some fellow, snow-loving friends – JUST TO GET INTO SOME “DEEPER” SNOW. The roads was covered with a light dusting, and there was about 1.5″ of snow on the ground. WE WERE ELATED!!! …over 1.5″ of snow!

The truth is – this “SNOW DROUGHT” is beginning to border on crazy. It’s affecting all of us who “live and breathe” for this stuff every winter. I’ll elaborate more in a second…but since we’re now at the halfway point in the season…let’s review. Bear in mind that SEVERAL forecasters were predicting a winter wherein most of our coverage areas (from Maryland down to Southwestern North Carolina) would see 167% of normal snowfall. In other words resorts like Snowshoe which normally gets 180″ of snow would see perhaps 300″ of snow. Hey I didn’t make this stuff up!

(Check out the September 9th post…and old Bastardi wasn’t the only one forecasting big snow…)

Fast forward to TODAY and snow-prone Snowshoe Mountain, which LEADS THE WAY in natural snowfall thus far this season, has only seen 63″ of natural snowfall.

Sugar Mountain, which normally receives around 78″ of snow was “supposed” to see around 130″ and to date has received 27″.

We’re a LONG WAY from normal right now.

November saw above average snowfall and everyone (including moi) got excited. Then December and January “happened”. To effectively illustrate how crazy this first half of winter has been in terms of natural snow – consider Canaan Valley, West Virginia’s winter to date. In November they received 29.6″ of “white gold” only to see 8.7″ in December. They’ve seen 20.7″ in January but that is well below normal.

 

HERE’S THE BREAKDOWN OF SNOWFALL THUS FAR ON THE SEASON FOR OUR SKI RESORTS

Resort24 Hour Snow48 Hour SnowSeason Snowfall
Snowshoe Mountain1″5″63″
Canaan Valley1″1″59″
Timberline1″1″59″
Wisp0″2″43″
Beech Mountain2″2″32″
Sugar Mountain1″1″27″
WinterplaceTraceTrace18.5″
Bryce0″2″18.5″
Ober Gatlinburg1″1″17″
Cataloochee0″0″15.5″
Massanutten0″0″10.5″
Omni Homestead0″0″8″
Wintergreen0″0″8″
Appalachian0″0″7″
Wolf Ridge0″0″7″
Sapphire Valley0″0″1.5″

The thing that jumps out at me from the table above is the fact that Appalachian Ski Mountain usually gets a good measure of the snow that Sugar Mountain would see and yet they are below ALL of the Virginia and Tennessee ski resorts in terms of snow so far this season.

 

EVERYONE’S GETTING JUMPY ABOUT IT EVEN IF THEY WON’T ADMIT IT…

TONIGHT AND MONDAY’S FORECAST IS CALLING FOR “BIG-ISH SNOW” OR IS IT?

I think we’re all beginning to take the position of “We’ll believe it when we see it” because as I was looking around at various forecasts for tonight and the week ahead – I was semi-shocked to see that Ray Russell of Ray’s Weather, Boone Weather, Avery Weather (Sugar & Beech) and several others is predicting FAR LESS SNOW than anyone else I could find. For example:

The WEATHER CHANNEL peeps are forecasting 4-6″ of snow beginning late Sunday night with a dusting and then 3-5″ of snow on Monday and another 1″ of snow on Tuesday.

The NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE is forecasting one-inch of snow tonight, an INCH on Monday, and another inch on Monday night and Tuesday – for around 3″ total.

Last night at dinner my buddies were all talking about all the school the kids will miss this week and how we could all take a snow day and go ski at Sugar on Monday. I was “Mister Negative” and said that we’ll be lucky to see an inch of snow and MAYBE it won’t even cause a school outage.

Looking at Ray’s Beech Forecast this morning tells me that he’s beginning to lose faith in the snow as well. His report reads, “…after a brief mild period Sunday, we’ll see clouds increase in the afternoon. Rain and snow showers will develop just before midnight (maybe as early as 9pm), changing to all snow early Monday morning. As the low slides over the Appalachians early Monday, much colder air dives in behind it. By Monday afternoon, the cold NW flow will kick in with some gusty winds. We will continue to see off and on snow showers through Monday night, into Tuesday with a dusting to maybe ½” of accumulation.”

THAT IS HOW BAD IT’S GETTING.

Traditional SNOW LOVING FOLK like me are beginning to lose faith that we’ll get ANY decent snows this winter! Heck our snow goose weatherman, Brad Panovich isn’t even talking about it.  The other day he was forecasting some good snow this weekend and a possible BIG SNOW EVENT NEXT WEEKEND.  That seems to be vaporized. (Not Brad – the big snow chances.)

 

THAT DAMN RODENT BETTER SEE HIS DAMN SHADOW!!!

2015-01-25-philPunxsutawney Phil, of Groundhog Day fame will emerge out of his burrow EIGHT DAYS from now and according to folklore if it’s cloudy and doesn’t see his shadow, we’ll get an early Spring. Conversely if it’s a bright, sunny morning and he sees his shadow – then we’ll see six more weeks of winter. Heck it’s BARELY been winter thus far. Skiers and snowboarders will be paying attention to see that annual forecast. But will we give a flip?

Maybe not – because right now most of us are at a point that we’re thinking that we may never see a two foot snowfall around these parts – again.

DON’T JUNO THAT IT’S ‘POSED TO SNOW HERE???

I’m personally not a fan of the fact that some weather broadcasters have started naming winter snowstorms. When I saw that the nor’easter that is hitting the Northeast over the next few days was named “JUNO” I had to chuckle as I was thinking “YOU KNOW” it SHOULD be hitting here too.

Most states from the mid-Atlantic coastal areas and into the Northeast have all put out BLIZZARD WATCHES while we will probably be able to leave our snow shovels put away.

SOME OF OUR SKI AREA PEEPS ARE STILL HOLDING ON AND HOPING!!!

As I was looking at posts from all of our resort ops this morning I DID find a couple of people who are still thinking positive.

Wintergreen’s post states, “We might get a few inches of snow overnight tonight into tomorrow…perhaps you should spend the night and play hooky from work tomorrow???”

Okay that was only halfway positive. They used the word “might”…

Lenora Testerman and David Vance seem a bit more positive as they posted, “Big snow coming our way. See you on the slopes.”

So there’s STILL some people holding out hope and THINKING SNOW!!!

I’M NOT TAKING ANY CHANCES AND LONGER…

I know that I threatened last week to take desparate measures and sacrifice a helpless, wooden snowman that we erected five years ago – but I thought better of it – U-N-T-I-L NOW!!! NOW “FRANKIE THE SNOWMAN” IS GOING DOWN!

My wife and youngest daughter and I actually carried the darn thing into our back yard the other evening and started to set it on fire. We wanted to, but it was kind of windy and we didn’t want to be watching a fire all evening. So we backed off.

NOW, we’re going to setup a wood pile that will resemble the one that took down Joan of Arc and Frankie is going to burn!

We figured we’d let this “BIG SNOW EVENT” of tonight and Monday get out of the way and then depending on what goes down, we will be setting fire to old Frankie next Saturday in advance of Punxsutawney Phil’s announcement on Monday.

NO I don’t believe in this “stuff” but then again I wear the same shirt to football games and I’ve been known to put on and switch around my rally-baseball-cap during late inning rallies for my Gamecock baseball team. Heck we won two straight National Championships during that stretch!

Ski Resorts have been conducting snow dances for years and I remember when old Hawksnest Ski Resort invited the Cherokee Tribe to go up to Seven Devils to “invite the snow”.

So while there’s up to TWO FEET of snow forecasted for portions of the Northeast this week – we’ll try to DIG OUT from this 1-3″ of snow that we seem destined to get. THEN I’m taking things into my own hands. If any of you guys are in the neighborhood, you’re welcome to join me. I’ll film it for those of you who can make it or who have lost faith that ANYTHING will work!

SOME QUICK NOTABLES FOR SUNDAY

Wolf Ridge posted, “Our quad chair is back up and running today and we will be skiing from the top today. We appreciate everyone’s patience with us and look forward to seeing you on the slopes.”

JOIN US FOR THE SKISOUTHEAST SUMMIT!

We’re still INVITING YOU (if you’re reading this, YOU are invited) TO JOIN US and ski or ride at Snowshoe Mountain on February 28th-March 1st for our SkiSoutheast Summit. All you have to do is HOP OVER TO http://www.skisoutheast.com/ski-southeast-summit/ and simply call Snowshoe and BOOK your reservations. MENTION THE PROMO CODE of “SKISOUTHEAST” and you’ll get 20% OFF any lodging on the mountain AND a TWO DAY LIFT PASS for Saturday & Sunday lift tickets – FOR THE PRICE OF ONE.

There are other goodies that go with joining us that weekend and we’ll share more as we get closer. HOWEVER, BE SURE TO BOOK YOUR RESERVATIONS BY MENTIONING SKISOUTHEAST and then tell us you’re coming by filling out the online form at the LINK ABOVE.

Email me your comments at: [email protected]