Guys and gals our offices are closed today due to the blizzard and early road conditions, so I’m here holding the fort down by myself. I had to get Meteorologist Brad Panovich’s newest Skier’s Forecast Video running early (it’s online now) and also gather all of the news that you guys want to know about like where and how much snow fell!
It never ceases to amaze me that I had to personally call six ski areas (for the entire SkiSoutheast.com report) to get snowfall tallies this morning – which further delayed this summary…so let’s get to it. By the way, check out the live webcams today as a LOT of sun is shining to hit that new snowfall – www.HighCountryWebCams.com
Mid morning on Wednesday I wrote, "Can I get a little SNOW with that Blizzard?" …and gracious did I get my wishes granted! It took the northwest flow snows to create blizzard conditions around the High Country of North Carolina as most of the other resort areas into Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland had all received 8-12" of snow as of 7am Wednesday morning. Around the Western North Carolina mountains all we’d had at that time was 1-3" of snow and a whole bunch of wind.
Fast forward a little to Wednesday evening and after hearing of how Lenoir, Hickory and Morganton had sunny days – and after seeing very little in the way of wind during the afternoon hours and not all that much snow – I drove 15 minutes to Banner Elk and found it! Wednesday’s storm was not only a tale of "different storms for different portions of the Southeast’s ski areas" it was a tale of different storms for the High Country area. While watching Brad Panovich on television last night I kept seeing reports of 55-65 mph winds recorded in Boone and while we had some blustery wind gust periodically during the day – we also had moderate, floating snow that was not all that wind-driven – at least here between Boone and Banner Elk.
HOWEVER, Boone and Banner Elk were different stories! Here’s some crazy differences:
Appalachian Ski Mountain picked up 3-4" of wind-driven snow that created some heavy drifts of snow but officially only 3". Boone, which is ten minutes away at the most – received 14"! Sugar Mountain reported 10" and Beech Mountain saw 13" of snow.
MORE COLD AND SNOW FOR THE MOUNTAINS
We’re still seeing some light flurries around the NC mountains but there should not be much in the way of accumulations today but more snow and cold temps are in the forecast for the weekend and the week ahead. It just keeps on coming, doesn’t it?
The forecast is for more snow Monday through Wednesday of next week and cold temps will hang around as well, so if you’re one of those people who complained over the last few years about the lack of snow and sweet conditions at the ski resorts – there’s no excuse for you this winter. Get your gear (and rear) in your car and make it a point to hit the mountain of your choice RIGHT NOW because things are awesome and this weekend will be a great one.
We’re looking at average highs in the teens and 20s – with lows in the single digits and teens from today all the way through the middle of next week…so turn that computer off and get up here!
Here’s some details of the NC Ski Areas snow and current conditions:
Appalachian Ski Mountain – 13° – 3" of new snow – 61" on the season now and they are 100% with all 11 trails and ice skating as well as all three terrain parks in pristine shape!
Beech Mountain Resort – 7° – 13" of new snow, 14.5" in the last 48 hours and 78" on the season! Beech is 100% open but tubing is closed. Expect a bunch of packed powder conditions for today. Wendy with the Beech Police Department said that roads are snow covered and slick but easily traveled with chains or 4WD.
Cataloochee Ski Area – 6° – 2" of new snow – 51" on the season and they are 100% open with all 16 trails and tubing as well as air-boarding!
Wolf Ridge Resort – 19° – 6.2" of new snow and 7.7 in the last 48 hours and now 60" on the season. Wolf is open with 15 trails today, terrain park and snow tubing.
Sugar Mountain Resort – 7° – 10" of new snow – 12" in the last 48 hours and 72" on the season! They are 100% open with tubing and skating as well! I spoke with Joe White, one of Sugar’s seasoned groomers and ski patrol, last night and he said there was two feet of powder on some slope edges on Wednesday. That had to be pretty sweet!
If you’re into the latest ski fashions, Sugar will be hosting a 2011 Spyder samples are on sale beginning Thursday, February 18th only at Sugar Mountain Resort . Quantities and sizes are limited, so come early. Prices (30% off retail) you won’t find anywhere else! Spyder is the World’s leading winter apparel line.
Sapphire Valley – these days they aren’t talking about THEMSELVES…so neither are we. The last update that they’ve posted to their own website(s) or to the national or regional reporting services was back in January.
For ALL of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic ski area news, snow and photos click to www.SkiSoutheast.com and check out where as much as SIXTY INCHES OF SNOW HAS FALLEN SINCE SUNDAY!!!!! Don’t miss it.
You can email me at [email protected] with your comments, questions, videos, photos and more! See you on the slopes!