As of this writing (8:20am) it is POURING SNOW!
First, let’s get past the negative part of this morning’s update. We saw more than 2” of rain yesterday in many locations with the bulk of it hitting after the sun went down. Almost an inch of rain fell at Beech Mountain, 1.46” of rain fell in Banner Elk, 1.47” at Sugar Mountain, 1.54” in Blowing Rock. That would normally spell doom for the ski resorts as they were already looking pretty ragged. We saw bare spots on the cams at Beech and Sugar…and we were up at Hawksnest for a couple hours yesterday and Rowe up there was telling callers that, “things just looked terrible. That was yesterday. Things looks pretty sweet right now.
Last night I would not have given you a nickel to ski today, because with all of that rain we witnessed yesterday evening I even made the comment, “If any resort doesn’t record a base drop in the morning, they’re just nuts.”
Heavy rains overnight depleted snow at Sapphire and most all are reporting less this morning. (I’m relieved!) 1.46” of rain at Ski Beech had to do some damage to an already depleting base. That was before the cold dove into the region and the snowguns, both from heaven and manmade began blasting the area. Beech is reporting 1” overnight and that’s what we heard from three other sources this morning. It has been POURING SNOW in the last hour so we’re certain that all of the resorts will be reporting more.
This has been SOME kind of roller coaster that we have been on, but we want to THANK God for the perfectly timed cold days of snowmaking temps and timely snows that have been keeping the conditions at all of the resorts pretty doggone good! Without these timely cold snaps, we’d be looking pretty bad. It is amazing what a day or two of cold and snow can do!
It will be another WINDY day. Forecasters are saying to expect 50mph winds and we’ve seen those already. The snow should move on out relative quick (by noon) and we can expect Sunny skies this afternoon. As I sat down to compile all of the data and write this report, the skies were clearing back towards Boone and I could already see the moon and clear skies down that way. Looking back towards Sugar and Beech, things looked very dark! Then this burst of snow hit. Looking at the radar, we are on the backside of the front that is still pouring rain on the eastern portions of the state. This driven snow that we are experiencing right now looks to be running out of gas within a couple of hours.
This has been yet another timely cold snap and snow for sure! I don’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth but I’d sure like to see a few quiet, no wind, 1-2 foot snowfalls in February!
Notes from the resorts:
Appalachian Ski Mountain is reporting that they did not make snow last night. However Rochelle up there tells us this morning that they ARE making snow now and will continue as long as temps allow.
We spoke with some of the staff at Cataloochee this morning and they have received and inch or so of snow and they too are blasting the slopes as we speak. Don’t forget to join the Cat Crew on Thursday nights here for the Cataloochee Challenge Cup Race Series. Individuals race against the clock for the best of two runs. Top three challengers in both men’s and womens’ age divisions win cool stuff. You must be 21 years of age or older to participate. Racing begins at 8pm with a post awards party at 10pm, so dust off those racing skills and test your luck. The Cat is where it’s at on Thursday night’s Challenge Cup Race Night. Call the ski area for more information.
Don’t forget that TODAY is LADIES DAY at Hawksnest! Ladies ski free today. Hawksnest is looking pretty nice this morning on 9 trails. What a difference snowmaking and natural snow can make in one day!
It was good to see Sapphire Valley turn in a report this morning! They report, “Tremendous rains have diminished the quantity of snow on mountain. Conditions are still good. Spring like conditions. New snow making expected to resume on Wednesday night making conditions good for the weekend.”
Ski Beech is making snow and they will no doubt be reporting more natural as it has been falling pretty hard this AM. Maybe another inch or so will come out of this. This is Retro Rate Wednesday…$15.00 slope tickets and $10.00 ski rentals! Seven lifts scheduled as needed. Beech has 14 trails going and conditions should be pretty good…windy but good!
Sugar posts their reports a little later in the morning and they are reporting 2” of snow thus far. That is consistent with several emails from over that way. Sugar continues to impress with their snow reports this season! Sugar is skiing on 18 trails (the most in the region.) Snowmaking is ongoing and their tube run is closed at this time.
Oh my goodness Wolf Laurel changed their base depth. After three weeks of no change, they finally dropped it 2” – albeit only on the maximum side – but a drop is a drop. With one-inch plus of rain yesterday that had to come. Wolf Laurel is reporting that they are making snow but that’s not showing up on the webcams???
As I am finishing up this morning report, the sun just burst through and the snow has stopped. We should see some remarkable blue skies and great photo ops for today. Get us some photos guys! The winds just died down once the heavy clouds moved out and while we’ll still see some windy conditions…it should be nice today!
A New www.HighCountryWeather.com Coming!
As mentioned, we were up at Hawksnest configuring a new weather station that is pulling readings from the third pole up on Blue. That is the first of MANY stations that are going live via High Country Weather. We are adding stations at Sugar and Beech later in the week. Then we’ll be getting with all of the rest of the ski areas to coordinate bring you the actual weather from the ski areas…and not some 2000’ lower in elevation. We’ll bring you the forecast FROM the ski areas, rather than from the nearest reporting station which could often be thirty minutes away. Twenty miles and a 1000’ in elevation can make a whole lot of difference in the weather around these mountains. HighCountryWeather.com is already the most visited weather website in the region, specifically monitoring the High Country. Over the last few years we have devoted no resources to that site and now we are pooling a lot of resources to bring you not only the most visited, but the best weather website devoted to bring you the forecast and weather data that you can count on.
We began posting the new weather forecast data on the front page of this website, and if you visit www.HighCountryWeather.com you will begin to see changes occurring with regularity as we move through the next few days, weeks and months. We invite you to visit the site often and bookmark it as your source of weather information for the mountains and ski areas. Give us some time and we’ll earn your respect.
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: mail@skiSoutheast.com