After a stretch of mild temperatures that lasted almost three weeks and included a high of 66° on January 4th, we are now back into a normal winter mode. In fact, THE LOW so far for this month is the 23° that we are seeing RIGHT NOW at the time of this writing (7am). What a weird month it has been so far! The average low for January around here is 19° and we haven’t even seen that yet. We will definately see some cold temps over the next week as the low temps are expected to drop to 18° tonight, 10° Sunday night and even colder on Monday night. We also have light snow in the forecast two out of the next five days and the long range forecast into next Thursday calls for some chances at snow. So winter has decided to show up again. Thank you God!
The consensus this morning is that the images that you will see on the Live Cameras are night and day different from what you saw yesterday! It is amazing what the talented snowmakers of the Southeast’s resorts can do with adequate temperatures. In fact, I was talking with someone yesterday and I made a quick statement that the snowmakers of the southeast are probably the BEST at snowmaking in the entire country. While that may SOUND like a bold statement…it is PROBABLY TRUE because unlike many areas around the country…OUR snowmakers HAVE to be better since our weather is more unpredictable and with less natural snow than areas further north and west. Regardless, guys WE ALL APPRECIATE YOUR EFFORTS. Those cold nights when you guys are braving the cold, blustery winds, wet and frozen fingers, aching bodies and more…IS APPRECIATED BY US! Thanks.
All of the ski resorts made snow since Friday. Sugar was the first North Carolina resort to crank up the snowguns. They were already firing when we first checked the cameras. We’re not sure why but Ski Beech was still "getting ready" to make snow at around 11am. They did get them going and their efforts made a huge difference in what you’ll see on their mountain. Ski Beech offers FOUR trails for skiing today and they ARE open to the top. However what they are open from the top with may surprise some folks. Upper and Lower White Lightning are the upper trails available today!
Sugar Mountain is also open from the top skiing with seven trails.
Cataloochee Resort is reporting that they added 6" to 10" of base depths to their mountain from what their report read yesterday. If that is accurate…that is an amazing testament to snowmaking.
Wolf Laurel and Cataloochee MAY have the best snow in the state right now as both are reporting more base depths than the resorts in the High Country…including Appalachian. Our On-Snow Reporters HAVE been bragging about those mountains and how they have retained their snow through the mild spell. Remember also that they had colder and snowier temps back in December than some of the areas around Banner Elk…so look for good conditions over there.
One semi-negative comment – We want to FIRST commend Sugar Mountain on their reporting this season. They have been DEAD-ON what our On-Snow Reporters have been reporting and here today Sugar is the ONLY North Carolina ski area that is REPORTING Thin Coverage. The fact is there are certainly going to be some areas of thin coverage at most ALL of the resorts and those WILL ALL GO AWAY with a lot of cold, snowmaking temps over the next few days.
Thanks to Old Man Winter, God and the Snowmaking crews at all of the resorts…Martin Luther King Weekend was saved. So get out and enjoy the snow!
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Don’t forget to visit: http://www.skisoutheast.com