Rain in the North, Dryer in the South – Mild Everywhere for the Week Ahead!

I’ll be on the road again today, heading home to my beautiful, North Carolina mountains. I did want to say a special thanks again to President and Chief Operating Officer, (and all-around nice guy) Bill Rock, Brad Larsen, Laura Parquette, Brad and Katherine over at Sawmill Village, and Brian Ball (who is one phenomenal restaurantuer). It was great hanging out with Bill and Laura, good visiting with my buddy, Joe Stevensand his family) and great to meet one of our newest Trail Reporters – Kevin Stewart. I also was able to work in a short visit with Ed Galford, Snowshoe’s 30+ year Mountain Ops man (and officially one of Snowshoe’s Vice Presidents). I always enjoy talking with Ed. He has such an easy demeanor about him and he is truly one heck of a SNOWMAN. Laura Parquette is Snowshoe’s Communications Head and while she is young and fresh out of college (Graduated from Syracuse), Laura has a great presence and will no doubt do well in helping to serve Snowshoe’s marketing needs.

The crew at Snowshoe Mountain love what they’re doing and that is so easy tell in pretty much every aspect of what makes a mountain a success. Anyway, thanks tons again Bill and gang. I’ll look forward to visiting again December 26th.

OKAY TO THE NEWS…

Into every life, a little rain must fall and according to the National Weather Service and Meteorologist Matthew East of Carolina News 14, that rain will fall and temps will rise to a rather mild status for much of the next week. We alluded to that somewhat on Saturday, and it looks like nothing has changed Mother Nature’s mind. It DOES appear that we’ll get a cold snap towards next weekend where resorts can crank the snowguns back up, but the next 5-7 days looks like a NO snowmaking period and one that will have the resorts that have sufficient bases PUSHING that snow around to provide some decent terrain. Several will be able to pull it off, some won’t.

Much like the period to date, Mother Nature continues to be a bit unequitable with her snow and temps. Even though resorts further south might see a bit less rain this coming few days, the temps will be even more mild and a 64-65° will be possible in the North Carolina mountains by Tuesday and Wednesday.

While the areas south could use some substantial rain due to the drought, this round of rain showers doesn’t look like "all that" for the resort areas into Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina…so it probably won’t be anything more than a nuisance.  The rains may be a bit more prevalent into West Virginia but they’d gotten off to such a great start…the rains won’t hurt too terribly much.

For those unaware, it won’t be a snow destroyer rain either. As mentioned a second ago, the resorts like Appalachian and others that have a pretty deep base…THEY will be able to look in pretty good shape on Wednesday of next week and probably provide a nice ride for guests next weekend.

However, we’re really needing some consistent, long term cold blasts…and some snow wouldn’t hurt either. I was talking with Meteorologist Joe Mergo last night and he gave me another one of his, "Mike I’m going to give you the worst forecast possible" looks and stated that he felt that we’re NOW going into a period that he called a roller coaster of weather patterns. He said that we will get a period of mild weather, followed by a period of cold, but UNLIKE early December – the cold blast won’t be as cold.

WHAT?!!! So he thinks that we’re just NOW getting into a roller coaster pattern of weather? It hasn’t exactly been a flat railroad track that we’ve been riding thus far!

Oh well, we’ll see what God has in store for us. If you think about it…say a little prayer. There’s certainly a LOT more important issues facing our world than a lack of cold and snow at the ski resorts, but THESE people that own and operate these things have a life as well, and the livelihood of a lot of people depend on a good winter. Hopefully we can get some good, consistent cold that enables the resorts to provide a good product for the Christmas and New Years Holiday and beyond.

Ed Galford, Snowshoe Mountain’s longtime Mountain Ops guy thinks so. He told me yesterday while chilling at Starbucks in the Snowshoe Village that they would be in great shape by Christmas. Ed may LOOK like Harrison Ford, but he’s the closest thing to a SNOWMAN that I know and I’ll put my money on what he says. If Ed says the conditions will be sweet by Christmas, then bank on it. Still say the prayers…but we’re going with Ed’s assessment. 

So let’s weather this week of mild weather ahead and hope that resorts can get back to some beneficial snowmaking sometime around Thursday to Saturday of next week. We’ve had an early taste of some pretty impressive conditions that resembled near, mid season form and some resorts into West Virginia and Maryland have actually gotten off to a MORE THAN NORMAL for this time of year snowfall total. So we’re keeping the glass half full and looking forward to a good ski season…once these next few days of early Summer weather gets past us!

Check the slope conditions for the trail openings and details for your favorite hill. Today we add a numeric figure to the right of the base depths being reported to show you the drop in snow depth from the previous 24 hours. That will help to show you guys that the snow doesn’t just disappear overnight during mild periods or rain (unless that rain in a gulley-washer!)

Enjoy your day! Expect some pretty good conditions out and about today with dry weather south and a bit of rain north. Look for mild temps for the week ahead, getting back to some snowmaking weather around Thursday north and Friday night south.

PHOTOS AND TRAIL REPORTS WILL POST THIS EVENING!

I have received a bunch of reports and photos – plus I tool a ton this weekend enjoying some amazingly snowy treks down Snowshoe.  I put in some 25 runs and have lots of photos and videos to share.  I will work on getting those live Sunday evening. Thanks to all who sent them…keep sending them…we’ll get them posted!

Congratulations to Appalachian State and their amazing football machine! They won Saturday and we’ll return to the National Championship Game next Saturday in Tennessee. This is their 3rd straight trip to the big dance. Maybe they CAN THREE-PEAT! They also garned national attention AGAIN this weekend by having a play in their game against Michigan selected as the Play of the Year – selected by ESPN’s readers. That play, of course, was the block of a field goal attempt in the final seconds of their win over Michigan to start the season.

Until Next time…

Be sure to visit www.SkiSoutheast.com  for more stories and skiing in the Southeast!

Send comments or emails to: [email protected]  

SHARE
Previous articleMild, mild, mild…. December 9-13 Skier’s Forecast
Next articleSkiing at Davis, West Virginia’s Timberline Resort!
Mike Doble
Mike is the Editor and founder of SkiSoutheast.com, SkiNC.com and ResortCams.com. 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.