North Carolina Mountains Await COLD AIR for Snowmaking – That should come Monday!

The temps this morning around the North Carolina mountains are all hovering in the mid to upper 30s, just outside of the wished for snowmaking temps.  However resort snowmaking crews have their snowmaking guns cocked and loaded (some with them in-hand) waiting for THE MOMENT that Mother Nature cooperates with the cold blast that is forecasted for Monday.

Our "team meteorologists" Brad Panovich and Matthew East have both forecasted COLD temps to invade the area and stick around for a bit. Right now it looks like the HIGHS for Monday will be around 34°  with lows diving to 23°  and THAT should have every piece of snowmaking equipment available making snow.  THERE’S EVEN SOME SNOW IN THE FORECAST for a flurry or two Monday and then SNOW SHOWERS for Wednesday and Thursday!

The most important thing is that CONSISTENT COLD is on the way.  After around the clock snowmaking ops for Monday, TUESDAY looks nearly as good with a high of 36°  and lows near 23° . Wednesday forecasts a high of 37°  and lows in the mid 20s with PM snow showers. Thursday looks GREAT for snowmaking both from the snowguns and from Heaven. Highs in the low 30s with early snow and lows near 20° ! Friday looks near normal with highs around 42°  or so and lows in the mid 20s.

That forecast is GREAT news for all of the North Carolina ski areas as those that have yet to open (or even make snow) WILL look to make snow and open for next weekend.

APP, CAT and SUG(ar) Ski and Ride On…Baby!

Of course three ski areas have been riding for weeks now…and they semi-limp on with some decent terrain for Saturday. Don’t get me wrong, these guys have fought the fight and won as they have ski uninterupted since opening despite the claim from some weather gurus (not our guys) that they would not be able to make it.  THEY HAVE and here’s the report for all NC Ski Areas.

APPALACHIAN SKI MOUNTAIN – They reported a low of only 35° this morning and a current temp at 8:21am of 40° so they are already on their way up to near 50° today. Snowmaking took place a couple of nights ago and like all of the North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia resorts they are looking for those frigid temps that are coming in beginning Monday! Appalachian has skied uninterupted since opening with decent conditions and offer three trails and two lifts for your riding pleasure today. They have several terrain features up as well.

Look for more terrain to open quickly at App as soon as the cold weather hits Monday.

CATALOOCHEE SKI AREA – They show 29° this morning but we’re thinking that may be off a bit as they are not making snow (per their camera). (For all of you who have emailed us about asking them to improve their webcam – I passed that request on. Knowing Tammy, Chris and their crew, they’ll probably consider it strongly.)

Cat is playing on three trails today with two lifts servicing them and they are open for DAY SKIING ONLY today. We have not heard much from Tammy and crew this early in the season yet as they usually tell us about the annual Can-U-Ski Drive…but thankfully we saw it. Here’s that promo!

"Don’t forget our 6th Annual Can- U-Ski Food and Coat Drive scheduled for Sunday, December 2. In conjunction with Haywood Christian Ministries, Cataloochee Ski Area seeks to help with the increased need for food and warm winter coats for special families throughout our region. We ask all Cataloochee skiers and snowboarders to bring at least 6 cans of food or a winter jacket of any size that is in good condition to the ski area on Sunday, December 2nd and you will receive your lift ticket on that Sunday for FREE! Skiing on that day will be from 8:30am – until 4:30pm and rentals and lessons are not included. It’s a $49 value!"

Get over to THE CAT and ski and help a good cause!

HAWKSNEST RESORT – As reported earlier in the week, Hawksnest is planning to begin blasting their hill with snowmaking beginning Monday (as soon as the cold blast hits the mountain) and plan on opening for skiing, snowboarding and tubing on December 7th!

SAPPHIRE VALLEY – It’s still pretty quiet at Sapphire as we have not heard from RJ and crew as to when they are planning on opening. We’re guessing they too will make snow this week and open either December 7th or 14th. We’ll keep you posted.

SKI BEECH – It is showing 38° up on Beech this morning at 8:38am and as we have already reported earlier in the week, Beech plans on beginning their snowmaking for the season on Monday as soon as the temps allow. They will probably open a few beginner trails for December 7th and crank open more ASAP. We’ll keep you posted.

SUGAR MOUNTAIN – It’s 37° up there this morning and they are self-reporting thin cover and some bare spots. However they have skied uninterupted so far since being the first to open for the 2007-2008 ski season in the Southeast and Mid Atlantic region. Sugar has 4 trails open today and we’ll ski tonight as well.

Look for Sugar to blast snow THE MOMENT it turns cold enough to do so and open more terrain pronto. This mountain is managed by a skier and he wants more terrain! You HAVE to love and respect that!

WOLF RIDGE RESORT – We haven’t heard anything yet from these guys, and it does not appear (via their webcams) that they are making snow yet, but we suspect they will crank ’em up sometime Monday and blast away for what will probably be an opening weekend of December 7th or 8th.

I had to chuckle a bit when I visited Wolf’s webpage this morning as they have a "MYSPACE" page link that takes you to a page with posts by (and I quote) "A 90 year old man". I am not certain what they are trying to accomplish with MySpace that they couldn’t do better with the main website…but that’s just me.

We’ll keep you posted on when their snowguns crank up and planned opening dates.

YOU GUYS NEED TO CLICK OVER TO www.SkiSoutheast.com FOR AN IN-DEPTH REPORT OF ALL OF THE REST OF THE SOUTHEAST AND MID-ATLANTIC RESORTS. (Yes, it is a completely different morning update! We do that you know!)

Until Next Time!

Be sure to check out www.SkiSoutheast.com  for more news and stories for all of the Southeast’s ski areas.

Be sure to email photos, snow reports and comments to: [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.