More than Four More Inches of Snow Fell in the Last 24 Hours!

…and MORE is on the way!

Another dusting to 4.5" of new snow fell across the North Carolina ski resort mountains in the last 24 hours and more is on the way according to the NWS. The highest amounts fell in the High Country areas of Boone, Blowing Rock and Sugar & Beech Mountains. We’ve still seen quite a lot of wind along with this cold and snow that is creating some uncomfortable wind chills if you’re not prepared with the proper clothing.

How COLD is it?

When the final numbers come out at the end of the month – barring some 80° heat wave – we’re going to see some crazy numbers of how much colder than normal this month has been. Typically "colder than normal" months are gauged by temps that vary by something like 1-2 degrees. However lately we’ve seen a stretch of days in a row where our highs are almost 30 degrees colder than normal and our lows are at least 15 degrees colder than normal.

A case in point is today where in Banner Elk, NC the average high is 43° and the average low is 23°. The forecast for today is for a high near 14° (which is about what it has been for a week or so now) and the forecasted low tonight is 9°…again, about what it’s been lately. …and there are several locations at the higher elevations around the entire region where the forecasts are for even colder temperatures than that!

One weather guru emailed me last night that numerous meteorologists are already forecasting that this winter (that just got started two weeks ago) could be the coldest winter in more than 25 years.

MORE SNOW FALLS…HOW MUCH AND WHERE?

We’ve already seen another few inches of snow fall across the region in numerous locations and we’ll address those in a second, however as of Monday most forecasters were only calling for perhaps 2-3" in Western North Carolina and maybe 5-6" in the West Virginia mountains, etc.

Now, after another 4" of snow has fallen on Beech and Sugar, the National Weather Service just released this:

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN GREENVILLE-SPARTANBURG HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR SNOW…WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT EST TONIGHT. TOTAL SNOW AMOUNTS MAY RANGE FROM 3 TO 6 INCHES IN BANNER ELK. HIGHER ELEVATIONS ALONG THE IMMEDIATE TENNESSEE LINE COULD SEE 6 TO 10 INCHES OF SNOW. DRIFTING AND FALLING SNOW MAY RESULT IN AREAS OF DEEP SNOW ACROSS UNTREATED ROADS. IN ADDITION…WIND CHILL VALUES OF MINUS 5 TO MINUS 10 WILL OCCUR AGAIN TONIGHT AND WILL CONTINUE THROUGH WEDNESDAY MORNING.

Hmmm…more support for Global Warming…I mean "Climate Change"…

The Deer Photos of the Front Page

A couple of people wrote us about the POD (Photo of the day) that we posted of some deer blocking a snowmobile trail in Maine late in December. One viewer wrote, "I thought this website was about skiing and snowboarding. What’s with the deer pics? Give us some snow shots. I don’t know if I’d come back to see deer grazing pics."

Hmmm, did someone wake up on the wrong side of bed?

Another guy wrote us about the POD from earlier in the day where we showed some snowboarders parked on Winterplace’s slopes. The photo was posted by a viewer who shot the photo from the parking lot at Winterplace so the photo had cars parked in the foreground and snowboarders parked in the background. He didn’t like our selection and wrote, "From your posting of this image I can see that you don’t support snowboarders so I don’t think I’ll be coming back to your website!"

Like there’s ANOTHER website that can give you your fix of the best of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic ski areas….???!!!

Me thinks the young man protests too much. Nearly every powder video that we post features snowboarders carving the snow like only they can. We feature peeps like Jason Vioral (aka Mellow Yellow) carving the snow on his longboard like we’ve seen no other in this area do…and we support ANY kind of snow play that anyone could invent because we are all about SNOW on this website. Whether you ride it on one board, two slick sticks or find a new way of carving terrain…we’re all about it.

Oh yea – as per the deer photo…we KNOW that the photographer had to have dumped a bunch of deer corn on those snowmobiling trails to get that photo, but who cares? It was neat to see and we thought a bunch of you would like it. Based on the emails I received – you did. For the one or two of you who felt that we let you down, there’s only about two thousand ski and snowboarding photos archived in the photo gallery on our website and those should keep you stoked while the rest of us enjoy a different kind of snowy image from time to time.

Today we take a tour:

Appalachian Ski Mountain – 6° – 4.5" of snow – 7" in the last 72 hours and 30" on the season. App did not make snow (who needed to!) and they are 100% open and offer three terrain parks and ice skating.

Beech Mountain Resort – 0° – 4.5" of snow – 7.4" in the last 72 hours and 36.7" on the season. Even with nearly 5" of new snow Beech is reporting "hard pack" conditions on 11 trails. The Oz Run and White Lightning remain closed…we presume for focused snowmaking but we’ll get you news on that asap. Winterfest is this weekend at Beech and that promises to be fun and interesting. More about that later…

Cataloochee Ski Area – 10° – .2" of new snow – 1.2" in last 72 hours and 25.7" on the season. Cat is 100% open with all 16 trails available as is their terrain park and tubing park.

Wolf Ridge Resort – 6° – 3.5" of new snow – 3.7" in the last 72 hours and 29.5" on the season. Wolf is reporting 11 of 20 trails open today as well as terrain park and tubing park. Several people have emailed asking when Wolf might be opening more of the slopes on the other side of the mountain. We’ll try to get you word on that asap.

Sugar Mountain Resort – 0° – 4.5" of new snow – 7.4" in the last 72 hours and 35.4" on the season. Hats off to Sugar’s comment this morning of, "Frost Bite Warning! Hats and Gloves required." Also hats off to them for reporting 4" of natural snow from this most recent burst of snow. Sugar is 100% open with marvelous conditions on all 20 trails, terrain park, tubing and ice skating.

Sapphire Valley Ski Area – 14° – No new snow and 9" on the season. Sapphire is CLOSED TUESDAY THROUGH THURSDAY and will reopen on Friday.

Hawksnest Snow Tubing & Zip Lining – 4.7° – 4.5" of snow – 7.4" in the last 72 hours and 34.7" on the season. Hawksnest was not open on Monday and will not operate Tuesday either. Lenny Cottom wrote, "The good news is it’s snowing and there is more on the way. The bad news is that this winter storm has high winds that are too strong to snow tube in safely and the forecast is for the wind to intensify. In addition, wind chill factors at times are hovering below -20 degrees, not a good environment in which to enjoy snow tubing. We are closing Tuesday 1/5 because of the intense storm. We plan to open Wednesday, 1/6, on a normal schedule. Thanks."

Be sure to click over to www.SkiSoutheast.com today as we talk more snow and you can check the snow reports for all of the ski resorts of West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee and North Carolina via http://www.skisoutheast.com/skireports.php  as well as videos, photos and more.

Send your comments, videos, photos, trip reports and questions to: [email protected]