A Quiet Monday; Three Ski Areas Open; All Eyes Are on the Forecast

Appalachian Ski Mountain is open for day and night sessions today (Monday) and with 8 slopes open as well as terrain park features. Catalaloochee and Sugar are open with day sessions only. Cat is playing on three slopes from their mid-station down and Sugar has five slopes open.

Snowshoe Mountain is just sitting pretty, primed and ready to open on Wednesday with what appears will be more terrain that the rest of the region combined.

Everyone else?

Well, all other ski areas are simply keeping an eye on the weather forecast and hoping for a prolonged window of cold air to begin making snow in earnest. Most all ski areas have made some snow, and there’s even some natural snow on the ground at a lot of the mountaintops across the entire region. Beech Mountain, Banner Elk, all of the ski areas in Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland ALL have some natural snow (at least a dusting) on the ground. So everyone is “feeling it” and ready for some cold air to hit that will trigger the best snowmaking crews in the entire United States.

Does the Forecast Favor Ski Resorts and Snow Lovers?

According to most every weather expert in the region, things look really good for a cold and snowy winter. However, winter doesn’t start until just before Christmas. Right now we’re dealing with Fall and to be honest, Fall can be a bit of a wait and see, frustrating time for ski resort management teams and the skiers and snowboarders that want to play.

Okay, here’s a bit of full disclosure – ski resort ops are used to this. While they might be a little antsy or trigger happy and ready to get going, they have all grown accustomed to simply doing everything they can that is within their control to prepare their equipment and staffs to be ready to move at a moment’s notice. However, they also know – better than all of us – that what they have no control over is the weather.

Right now, that forecast looks a little inconsistent for snowmaking opportunities, and we think we’ll see some bursts of snowmaking here and there. However, the likelihood that we will see more resort openings over the next week is slim.

Looking at the forecast for the two highest, ski resort elevations in the regions looks like this:

Snowshoe Mountain: Looks like some snow and snowmaking temps Tuesday Night. More cold Wednesday and Thursday nights. So things should be GREAT for their Wednesday opening and for the coming weekend.

Today – A slight chance of rain after 3pm. Cloudy, with a high near 47. Southwest wind 10 to 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Tonight
Rain likely before 1am, then a chance of rain and snow showers between 1am and 3am, then a chance of snow showers after 3am. Cloudy, with a low around 32. Southwest wind 9 to 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

Tuesday
A chance of snow showers before 7am, then a chance of rain and snow showers between 7am and 8am, then a chance of snow showers after 8am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 34. Northwest wind 11 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.

Tuesday Night
A slight chance of snow showers before 9pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 24. West wind 9 to 14 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Wednesday
Mostly sunny, with a high near 35. West wind 10 to 13 mph.

Wednesday Night
A slight chance of snow showers between 9pm and midnight. Partly cloudy, with a low around 25. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Thanksgiving Day
Mostly sunny, with a high near 35.

Thursday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 22.

Friday
Sunny, with a high near 38.

Friday Night
Snow likely, mainly after 2am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 31. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

Saturday
Rain. High near 43. Chance of precipitation is 80%.

Saturday Night
Showers likely. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 36. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Sunday
A chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 46. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

hat’s it from yours truly today. I have to cut things short this morning to make it down to the hotel restaurant before they stop serving breakfast!

Beech Mountain: Could see snowmaking temps Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights. That could mean an opening here and there. However it could also be borderline snowmaking ops. We’ll see.

Today
Patchy fog before 8am. Otherwise, partly sunny, with a high near 54. Calm wind becoming west 5 to 7 mph in the morning.

Tonight
Showers likely, mainly between midnight and 5am. Cloudy, with a low around 37. West wind 5 to 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Tuesday
A chance of rain and snow showers before noon, then a slight chance of rain showers between noon and 1pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 41. Northwest wind around 11 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Tuesday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 26. Northwest wind 5 to 8 mph.

Wednesday
Sunny, with a high near 45. Northwest wind around 6 mph.

Wednesday Night
Clear, with a low around 28.

Thanksgiving Day
Sunny, with a high near 50.

Thursday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 26.

Friday
A chance of rain after 1pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 43. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Friday Night
Rain likely, mainly after 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 34. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

Saturday
Showers likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 48. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Saturday Night
A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 39. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

Sunday
Partly sunny, with a high near 52.

 

All said…it’s early. Way early. So for now, go play at Appalachian Ski Mountain and Cataloochee today. Snowshoe will be ready for you Wednesday. The weekend looks great for all of those guys with SOME additional snowmaking temps.

We’ll see about others…

If you want to drop me an email or comment, feel free. Your thoughts, trip reports, input, suggestions or general commentaries are welcome.

Email me your thoughts, comments or any news 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 close to 14,000 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.