Snow, Snow and more Snow…but first an awesome “tweener” day!

What a gorgeous sunny morning this is! (If you like clear skies and minus 4° temps!!)

That’s the temp atop Sugar Mountain this morning. Sugar’s weather station is located up top and that is showing some crazy cold this morning. Since we’re on the weather, let’s talk some snowfall numbers and cover the forecast although we haven’t heard from Meteorologist Brad Panovich yet as per HIS forecast for the Monday-Thursday stormy period.

First some snow reports:

Beech Mountain has seen 22.2" of snow since Thursday! That put them over the 90" mark for the season!

Sugar Mountain – 19.3"
Cataloochee Ski Area – 16"
Wolf Ridge Resort – 15.5"
Appalachian Ski Mtn – 6"

You can see that the heaviest snows have fallen south and west with the heaviest snows at the highest elevations. We’ve seen maybe 8"-9" here at my home while just ten minutes up the road at the Eastern Continental Divide and 4000+ feet there’s been 18-20" of snow.

Todd Mingus, one of our snow spotters over at Wolf Laurel, home to Wolf Ridge Ski Resort reported at 8am this morning, "Looks like we ended up with around 15 to 15.5 inches here for the storm total. 6 degrees and a little windy! That wind chime is a goin’ out there. Not a cloud in the sky so it will be beautiful today.

Saturday, the surface conditions were phenomenal just like you would expect, thick fluffy powder everywhere. Drifts at places 3 feet deep. The Bowl and the runs on that side were open briefly until they had to close the top due to high winds. It was still good to get a few deep powder runs on The Bowl, didn’t think we’d see that this year with the predictions of warmer and dryer. The high winds made for a tough day yesterday but that powder was worth it!

I don’t know what kind of snow this is, but comically it has gotten every one of us stuck somewhere at least once this weekend. A snow shovel and gravity got us all out fortunately."

True dat, Todd! We witnessed numerous stranded vehicles out and about on Friday night and Saturday. The main roads will be great today now that the DOT crews have had time to work them (now that the snow has stopped). If you have the opportunity, pack your gear and get up to the mountain of your choice and be here for the NEXT round of snow expected to hit Sunday night and carry into Monday and beyond.

Here are some more storm totals that came in:

Faust (over in Madison County) – 20"
Mars Hill (home to Wolf Ridge also in Madison County) – 9"

The more northerly and westerly areas saw more from this storm.

Also the North Carolina ski areas have seen more from this storm than some of the West Virginia ski areas and we cover that over on skiSoutheast.com so for more storm totals, visit www.SkiSoutheast.com  

WEATHER FORECAST… Hey Where’s Our Snow-loving Meteorologist?

The National Weather Service is forecasting perhaps 4-6" of snow for Monday. Dr. Ray is forecasting 2-6" on his forecast this morning with perhaps a swath of 6-8" in some Western North Carolina counties. How’s THAT for a wide forecast range Joe? (Joe Stevens has brought recent attention to the fact that some weather peeps have been forecasting such wide ranges this season that they can’t go wrong!)

That said, I’ll go out on a limb without a net and forecast from 1" to a foot of snow between now and Wednesday AM! We’ll share Brad Panovich’s forecast with you guys when we have it, but we’re seeing signs that this Monday through Tuesday event could bring a foot of snow to the higher elevations on top of all that we already have.

The NWS summary is:

ACCUMULATING SNOWFALL WILL DEVELOP FROM THE SOUTHWEST AFTER MIDNIGHT TONIGHT AND SPREAD ACROSS THE REGION THROUGH MONDAY. HEAVY SNOW ACCUMULATIONS ARE EXPECTED ON MONDAY…

Let’s get to some awesome powder reports. Since it is Sunday and I’m taking my time, we’ll cover the snow totals for all ski areas this morning.

Appalachian Ski Mountain – 3° – 2" of new snow, 5.7" since Thursday and 46.2" on the season. App has a new setup for you terrain park peeps on AppalJack and they are 100% open with all 12 trails on a base nearing 100" of snow and ice skating is open as well as all three terrain parks.

Beech Mountain Resort – 2° – 1.8" of new snow (Man that’s hard to believe as hard as it was snowing up there on Saturday. However, we stay official around here so 1.8" of new snow it is. That’s 19.8" in the last two days and 23.2" from the storm since Thursday. Beech is now over the 90" mark on the season which is TEN INCHES OVER their average full season snowfall numbers and we have a big storm on the way Monday and we’re only in mid January! Beech is 100% open with all 15 trails of packed powder. They also have ice skating and snow tubing open. You MAY want to call ahead on the ice skating thing as I don’t think I saw a CHANCE for that rink to be open on Saturday. There was too much snow on it.

Cataloochee Ski Area – 9° – 3.8" of new snow, 10.9" in last two days, 16" from the storm and 53.7" on the season! Cat is open for DAY SESSIONS ONLY on Sunday with 100% of their 16 trails open as well as snow tubing. They have a nearly 90" base in spots and packed powder conditions.

Sapphire Valley – 12° – Trace of new snow and 13.4" on the season. Sapphire has both trails open which includes one bunny hill and one intermediate trail and their Frozen Falls Tubing Park open.

Sugar Mountain – -2° up top – 6" of new snow (as I said it WAS bombing snow up there!), 14.6" in the last 2 days and 19.3" since Thursday. Sugar is reporting 28" from the storm total and although someone up there messed up on their totals, I want to say that Sugar has been NAILING their snow reporting this season and have been perfectly ON with the CoCoRaHs reporter who is on top of Sugar. That said, someone in their office blew the snow totals just since Saturday morning as they had it right up until then. We’re thinking they added Friday twice. There is not 28" of new snow everywhere at Sugar. I crawled through it Saturday visiting with friends and there’s a good 19" though and that jives with CoCoRaHs as well. (Just don’t want you guys heading to Sugar thinking you’ll see 28" of deep snow everywhere. There’s tons of snow though!)

Sugar is 100% open with all 20 trails, snow tubing and ice skating with perfect conditions for skiing and riding today.

Wolf Ridge Resort – 8° – 3" of new snow, 10.6" in the last two days and 16.7" officially from the storm total. Unlike Sugar who HAS been dead accurate all season until Saturday, Wolf has been a little exuberant with their snow reporting this season. They are reporting from their website this morning that they’ve received 25" of fresh powder from the storm. The truth IS they’ve seen a LOT of snow and there are piles of it very deep, however officially they’ve seen 16.5" since Thursday and that jives with three snow spotters from on the mountain who all report nearly 15" of storm totals. Additionally Wolf is reporting now 95" on the season and that isn’t accurate either as they’ve seen 72.7" on the season. Man we love those guys, but they DO get overly excited when talking snowfall. Hopefully we can rein them back some without ticking them off.

Wolf will DAY SKI AND RIDE ONLY on Sunday with 17 trails open and great snow tubing as well. If you guys haven’t visited Wolf in a couple of years you owe it to yourself to do so as they’ve had a lot of cool growth over there.

That’s it for today in North Carolina. We invite you to check out all of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic ski areas by clicking over to www.SkiSoutheast.com  and be sure to view the videos and photos of the day with the links below:

Ski and Snow Videos – http://www.skisoutheast.com/videos/  

Weather Forecast – http://www.skisoutheast.com/weather.htm  

Ski Resort Photos of the Day – Simply click on any ski resort link and then click on "PHOTOS"

Email me at [email protected]  and tell me about the snow in your area. Send
pics when you can!