Opening As Soon As Possible

(This story was written Monday AM and never posted…)

Hey, what the heck happened to the Thanksgiving Day cold temps? On Sunday every weather guru in the land was forecasting cold enough temps on Turkey Day to not only make some manmade snow, but to even transition the "few showers" that were forecasted for early on Thursday to "snow showers".

Now, just 24 hours later is advising me to "check local mosquito activity" on Tuesday, whatever the heck that means. Being the inquisitive type I HAD to check it (click it) and it reported NO mosquito issues, but I could have told you that prior to clicking it. I don’t think I saw a mosquito around here all summer long.

We looked at all of the forecasts via all the major players and here’s the consensus.

Beech Mountain Weather Forecast:

Monday: Hi 58° Lo 44° – Sunny
Tuesday: Hi 56° Lo 36° – PM Showers
Wednesday: Hi 49° Lo 41° – Partly Cloudy
Thursday: Hi 57° Lo 41° – Few showers
Friday: Hi 44° Lo 21° – Chance of Snow
Saturday: Hi 39° Lo 23° – Sunny
Sunday: Hi 49° Lo 27° – Sunny

Snowshoe Mountain Weather Forecast:

Monday: Hi 58° Lo 44° – Sunny
Tuesday: Hi 57° Lo 29° – PM Showers
Wednesday: Hi 45° Lo 34° – Partly Cloudy
Thursday: Hi 49° Lo 29° – Few showers
Friday: Hi 36° Lo 18° – Few Snow Showers
Saturday: Hi 34° Lo 21° – Few Snow Showers
Sunday: Hi 39° Lo 25° – Sunny

Massanutten Resort Weather Forecast:

Monday: Hi 69° Lo 46° – Sunny
Tuesday: Hi 70° Lo 35° – Showers
Wednesday: Hi 54° Lo 36° – Partly Cloudy
Thursday: Hi 54° Lo 45° – Few showers
Friday: Hi 51° Lo 27° – Variably Sunny
Saturday: Hi 50° Lo 27° – Sunny
Sunday: Hi 53° Lo 29° – Sunny

So we’re still waiting on those cold-enough-to-make-snow temps. The only resorts with any kind of snow on the ground right now are Cataloochee and Snowshoe. Sugar’s snow is all but gone and they’ll be starting all over to get open…so they’re playing the waiting game like all of the other resorts in the region. You COULD ski or ride top-to-bottom right now at Cataloochee but you’d probably want to use rental equipment as things are sketchy this morning.

Tammy Brown of Cat posted, "We plan to reopen on Friday, November 26 at 8:30am, snowmaking permitting."

So they will be keeping an eye on the forecast but as of now that could mean a Saturday reopening at Cat. We saw Sugar open for the season after only a day and a half of snowmaking three weeks ago so depending on when the cold arrives on Thursday evening or Friday…it could make for a Saturday midday opening for Sugar…but right now it’s looking like perhaps a Sunday reopening for them if not Monday.

Snowshoe had plans to make Wednesday, November 24th their opening day. A photo taken a week ago showed lots of base and piles of snow on the hill, however as of her last post Laura Parquette shares, "We’ll continue to watch the forecast and we will make an announcement regarding opening day on Monday, once we have all of the information required to make an informed decision."

(Snowshoe has NOW updated us to state that they will open as soon as temps allow more snowmaking.)

She added, "Our snowmakers have been doing a fabulous job with the conditions they’ve been given, and they’ve made “smart snow”, piling it up in areas to preserve it for as long as possible. The mild November wasn’t too big of a surprise for weather gurus, as it’s a La Nina year, which typically means a mild, wet fall. The good news is that as we turn the calendar in just a few days, we’re looking at a cold snowy December. That means the Holiday period and really the rest of the season should shape up nicely. Be sure to continue to check out the daily pictures on the website for updates on conditions."

Snowshoe could see some snowmaking "windows of opportunities" as early as Tuesday night and perhaps again Thursday night…but the really cold temps look to be arriving on Friday along with perhaps a few snow showers. Thanksgiving Weekend looks cold at Wisp, the WV and the NC ski areas. The Virginia ski resorts and Ober Gatlinburg look to be cold enough by Friday evening to make snow and we’ll keep an eye on those forecasts as well.

Until then, work out and get yourself in shape (or get your gear tuned up). Don’t do like the kids on the Photo of the Day did on Sunday. I had lunch at Dunn’s Deli in Banner Elk and after a couple of minutes in there it was obvious that five guys sitting around one of the tables in there were having a sandwich eating contest. The winner took down FIVE sandwiches in 36 minutes. Let me tell you that the sandwiches at Dunn’s are overstuffed with meats, cheeses and all of the trimmings.

More updates coming soon…

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Mike Doble
Mike is the Editor and founder of, and 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.