No January “THAW” Just a January “CALM” before a Very Chilly FEBRUARY!

Good Morning, folks! Well, the "storm of the season" turned out to be, well, messy and slushy in North Carolina. We won’t hold it against any of our beloved weather gurus, as they all stated last week that it really was too early to tell just what this system was going to do, and how it was going to turn out. Snowfall predictions started out at 14-16 inches and as the days passed and weather models changed, the predictions dropped to a much more conservative 4-6 inches in the highest NC Mountains, and down to around an inch or so in the Cataloochee and Wolf Ridge areas. These more modest predictions were spot on!

Once again, Beech Mountain claims the top spot with 5 inches of snowfall from the current storm, and Sapphire Valley rounds it out at the bottom with a big fat goose egg…that’s ZERO snow.

Here’s where we stand so far this season…

Another Skier’s Forecast came in Wednesday evening from Weatherman Extraordinaire Brad Panovich, and he’s squashing the idea of a January "thaw" and calling it more of a January "calm" before February swoops in with COLD and WINDY weather. As for what’s happening this weekend…we’re looking at a typical CLIPPER system tomorrow, which could bring the NC ski areas another 1-3 inches of snow, and up around Snowshoe there could be an ADDITIONAL 6-8 inches of snow, on top of Wednesday’s bombing.

<<< Taking a look at the 7-day Forecast, this weekend will be a little bit warmer (I hesitate to use the term MILD) as temperatures may creep up into the mid 30’s, and then next week a big ol’ blast of arctic air swoops in and brings the chance of some northwest flow snow along with it.


Enough about the weather this morning. A local newspaper recently did a story on theft at local ski areas. The thefts ranged from snowboards, to stereo systems in cars, to cash stolen out of a vehicle in the parking lot. I’ve got a couple of opinions of my own, so I think I’ll share them with you. It’s MY OPINION that if you’ve got an expensive snowboard or set of skis, you should have a lock for them. I’m not placing the blame on the kids who have had their gear stolen, I’m just saying that the smart thing to do would be to eliminate even the possibility of having your stuff swiped. Ski areas often have ski and snowboard locks that cost around 50 cents, and then others have lockers you can rent for a minimal fee and a key deposit. GET ONE! Ski and snowboard locks cost next to nothing when you’re trying to keep a $600 board or set of skis safe. Ski area security will assist you as best they can, and will help with filing a police report, but it’s next to impossible to track down a snowboard once it has left the mountain.

I’ve taken a look around on the world wide web and found a couple of locks:

<< DAKINE Snowboard Lock ($15) – 37 inch retractable cable to thread through your gear and around a pole or wooden rack. Set the 3-digit code to whatever you like.

BURTON Snowboard Lock ($13) – 30 inch retractable cable that is easy to operate with gloves, is compact, and is easy to use. >> 


<<FLOW Snowboard Lock ($13) – 80 cm retractable cable with 3-digit number combination is easy to operate with gloves on.

Any of these locks can be used with skis if you just take an extra minute and thread them through your bindings and tighten them down. Locks won’t guarantee your stuff is safe, but it will certainly deter any jerk from taking your stuff. Nothing will ruin a ski or board trip like having your stuff stolen by some loser on the mountain!! AND finally don’t leave your valuables in the car. Keep your cash and credit cards on you at all times or rent a locker and lock it up!

Here’s a quick look at what’s happening…

Appalachian Ski Mountain grabbed another 3.5 inches from this Wednesday’s blast of snow. They are 100% open and the Terrain Parks are in prime condition.

Beech Mountain has 5 inches of new snow on the ground and they are 100% open for skiing and riding.

Cataloochee is 100% open today with just a TRACE of snow being reported, but snowmaking overnight means great conditions!!

Sapphire Valley is OPEN today, and they have just started promoting a super fun event in February…the 5th Annual Outhouse Races take place on the 19th. This is a crazy fun event that benefits Ski Scholarships for students who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to participate in after school ski programs! Call for more information, 828-743-1163.

Sugar Mountain is 100% open today with 4 inches of new snow and NO DAY session snowmaking!

Wolf Ridge has 1.4 inches of new snow and they are open on 16 of 23 slopes and trails. They UPPER lodge is closed until tomorrow at 4:30pm.

THINK COLD!! THINK SNOW!!

Hop over and take a look at our sister websites – www.HighCountryWeather.com and www.HighCountryWebcams.com …you won’t regret it.

Email me directly with pics, thoughts, questions, anything… [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.