Snow and Ice?

"Snow and Ice" is the title of Meteorologist Brad Panovich within his newest Skier’s Forecast video. "Ice" should never be in a forecast – but there it is. Brad starts his forecast off by showing a high pressure system over us right now that has allowed for what he terms is a "shallow layer" of cold air. By overnight Thursday night most of the ski areas in North Carolina may be seeing sleet and snow falling as the moisture invades from the south. The Virginia and West Virginia resorts look to be pretty dry overnight but by Friday AM it looks like the forecast right now is for a huge ice storm to hit the NC ski areas. Further north there may be a little more in the way of some snow, but even those resorts will see some ice in the mix as Friday begins. By 11am it looks like and ice storm for most of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic ski areas with more in the way of snow for the West Virginia and Maryland ski areas.

Brad’s thinking is that on the back side of this system things will change over to snow for all of the ski areas into Saturday. Right now Brad is thinking we’ll see 3-5" of mixed precip for the NC Mountains and as much as 10-16" of snow for the WV ski areas and into Maryland.

So this storm is going to be a good one for the West Virginia resorts which is good news for one of our staffers, Lisa Herring, who is headed up to Canaan Resort this weekend. She’s promised me some pictures of the airboard race this weekend. Maybe she’ll get licensed and compete. The ski areas up that way are looking pretty snowy. This weekend will be pretty scary for the rest of us further south with the strong probability of more in the way of ice. That isn’t good news for the ski areas that depend on good skier visit numbers on the weekends.

It IS what it IS as they say. We’ll keep our "half glass full" glasses on and hope that perhaps we’ll see a little wiggle in the storm system and get a bit more snow than ice for the lower tier of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic ski resorts.

The good news is that we’re seeing a COLD WEATHER PATTERN that will allow the ski resorts to make snow pretty much anytime they want between now and Wednesday of next week with highs in the 20s and low 30s – and lows in the teens through the next several days. We’ll hope for good snow on Saturday after this first bit of Friday ice gets out of the way and there’s more snow in the forecast as we look towards Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.

So the "snow measured in feet" early forecast is not going to happen unless God throws these weather gurus a curve…but at least we’re not in a thaw, right? Come to think of it, the resorts probably wouldn’t mind a thaw this weekend because they are blanketed with deep manmade and natural snow on all trails and in great shape right now. The problem is going to be that this forecast may scare off the huge skier visit numbers for the approaching weekend. We’ll see, I guess.

NC Mountains:

Tonight and into Friday morning we should see some snow developing and about 2-5" of snow and sleet. THEN that looks to be changing over to light rain/freezing rain into Friday evening. Things should go back to snow late Friday night with light snow and snow showers Saturday. So we could see a snow to rain/ice to snow that makes for some problematic travel.

Lows Thursday night: 25°

Friday: High: 34° Low: 28° – Mixed precip

Saturday: High: 33° Low: 21° – Snow showers

Sunday: High: 30° Low: 17° Snow early but sunny later

Virginia Resort Forecast:

Tonight: 26° snow developing around daybreak Friday

Friday: High: 30° Low: 13° – 5-9" of SNOW before 4pm.

Saturday: High: 31° Low: 13° – Snow most of the day with additional accumulations.

Sunday: High: 31° Low: 12° – Partly Sunny

West Virginia Resort Forecast:

Tonight: 29° Snow after 4am

Friday: High 29° Low: 19° – 3-5" of snow

Saturday: High: 22° Low: 12° – Deep snowfall expected. By the end could see 10-16" of snow totals.

Sunday: High: 24° Low: 7° – Mostly cloudy but no real accumulation

We’re on day 68 and there are 69 more days of opportunities to enjoy the snow for the 2009-2010 ski and snowboarding season!

That’s it for today. Go enjoy the snow! Check out the Snow Report at and please send us your favorite ski photos, ski videos, trip reports and comments to [email protected]

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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.