Several people have been emailing us asking things like:
"Have you guys ever seen anything like the snows we’ve been getting day after day?"
"Has there EVER been a February as snowy as this one?"
"Are we setting any records for snowfall this season?"
There are a lot of our readers who are smarter and better equipped than I am to answer those questions. Perhaps some will share some data that I will, in turn, share with you guys, but it sure has been snowier than any season that I have experienced in my 19 years living in the mountains. Old timers tell tales of the mid week snows of the early sixties when there was vastly more snow on the ground around here than we have right now in the Western North Carolina mountains. So I’m doubtfull that any records have been set around these parts, but further north into West Virginia and Maryland…maybe.
Snowshoe, Timberline, Canaan and Wisp have been hammered this season with deep snow after deep snow all season long and there are some crazy numbers that we can share with you. More on those in a minute.
The Virginia and Tennessee ski areas have only had snow on a few occasions but as an example Wintergreen has now seen 85" of snow on the season but literally 60" of that snow came in two big storms where 28" fell in a 24 hour period – TWICE!
The Western North Carolina ski areas have not been DUMPED on although that is the perception. We’ve seen much more consistent snows this season. All of the NC Ski areas are OVER their average seasonal snowfall numbers with weeks left in the season, but the largest single day snowfall was 13.7" that fell back on December 19th.
Beech has seen:
23.1" of snow in December
38.2" of snow in January
48.8" of snow in February
They average around 80" or so of snow per season and have exceeded that with 110.1" of snow so far.
There’s been a good snowpack on the ground since December 19th and it snowed:
9 days in December
16 days in January
16 days in February
Pretty consistent, huh?
Beech has the most natural snow found in Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina to date this season.
As impressive as that is, consider this:
Wisp Resort in Maryland had a ONE DAY snowstorm where 31" of snow fell on February 6th!
The snowpack ON THE GROUND right now around Snowshoe, Canaan, Timberline and Wisp is in the 41" to 50" range! The northwest snows that have been depositing consistently nice snows on the North Carolina ski resort communities – have been BOMBING those ski areas in WV with as much as 116.4" of snow in February alone.
Check these numbers out:
Canaan and Timberline have seen:
48.4" of snow in December with 20 days of measureable snowfall
68.7" of snow in January with 23 days of snowfall!
116.4" of snow in February with another 23 days of snowfall!
244.5" on the season.
…and we still have another month-PLUS left!
It has INDEED been a VERY snowy winter and most of the ski areas have either NOT MADE ANY SNOW in the last month or only in a minimal effort.
I know ONE record that HAS been set this winter. I’d bet my next year’s income that the ski areas of the southeast and mid Atlantic have made the least amount of manmade snow this season than in any of the previous ten seasons and maybe longer!
Meteorologist Brad Panovich shared his newest Skier’s Forecast video which basically says things will continue into March just the way we’ve seen things so far this winter – SNOWY! Brad’s forecast video title is "More Snow, March comes in like a lion!"
The Northwest Flow Snowmaking Machine has been a thriller all season long and although most weather gurus blew the forecast on these past two storms for the mountains of North Carolina and Virginia – not so for West Virginia and Maryland as they’ve seen two more snow dumpings in a row. The NWS office out of Blacksburg, Virginia (along with Ray Russell of RaysWeather) were forecasting up to 12-18" of snow from Thursday through this morning for the High Country area and at least 3-6" of snow for the entire area and all we’ve seen out of these last two events have been TRACES of snow.
Snowshoe Mountain, which will play host resort for our 3rd Annual SkiSoutheast/Snowshoe Summit next weekend – picked up another 4" of snow, 28" in the last 72 hours and they have piles of snow everywhere! Snowshoe has now seen 223" of snow this season. They have another 4-6" of snow in the forecast for today, and snow is in the forecast everyday between now and Friday!
Canaan and Timberline are reporting YET ANOTHER round of heavy accumulation. Another 4" of snow fell on Saturday, 11" in 48 hours, 24" from this three day storm 116.4" in February alone and 244.5" on the season. Crazy stuff!
Wisp Resort has just DOUBLED their annual snowfall average. The Garrett County, Maryland ski area usually picks up 100" of snow per season however with 18" in the last three days they are now at 217.5" on the season and that is 117.5" OVER their average! They have nearly 50" of snowpack on the ground right now and 97" of snow in February! Wisp is reporting a bit more than that but they’ve been under-reporting all season long and we had to help get them corrected UP.
Not to worry, there’s more headed our way. Brad shared that it’s never too early to talk about snow and he’s forecasting a "Big Tuesday Storm" that might bring more snow to some parts to our south than we’ll get here in the mountains of North Carolina. That is the early call but Brad mentions for our viewers to "stay tuned for the big SkiSoutheast Summit forecast for Snowshoe." He’ll provide us with some news of what to expect for NEXT weekend.
The early call is that we could see feet of snow on the ground, excellent ski and snowboarding conditions and temperatures that will be in the 20s and 30s for our SkiSoutheast/Snowshoe Summit next weekend. Moderating temps could time out perfectly for highs in the upper 30s for Snowshoe with sunny skies for Saturday and Sunday – with overnight lows in the teens and 20s. Snow is in the forecast for every day leading right up to our summit, so things are setting up for a GREAT week ahead and perfect for the annual gathering at Snowshoe Mountain. Check out the information below and JOIN US – YOU’RE INVITED!
Some Resort Notes:
We’re seeing signs of schedule changes as we now head into the first of March. Sapphire has announced that they’ll ski longer into March than normal, and Wolf Ridge is only doing DAY sessions today. They posted, "We will be open from 9:00 AM until 4:30 PM today with 14 runs and 2 lifts in full operation. The Upper Lodge and Breakaway tunnel slope and lifts will be closed today and will re-open next Friday evening for the weekend."
We’re guessing those 14 runs will stay open for day sessions during the week ahead, but this is the time of year that many ski areas begin staying open weekends only. We’ll keep you posted.
Bryce Resort is doing day sessions only today and they are promoting their "Grand Finale winterfest" activities for next weekend.
I really like the new SkiBeech.com trail map. Check it out at http://www.skibeech.com/trails.html
It’s a lot more informative than their past trail maps and snow report page. Way to go Beech. Of course, like all of the resorts, they have everything open as far as slopes and trails.
Welllllll, oops I spoke too soon. If Sugar’s trail report is correct this morning, they only have 17 of 20 trails open. They updated their trail report at 7:08am this morning and show the black diamond trails of Tom Terrific, Boulderdash and the double black of Whoopdedoo as CLOSED. That COULD be an error by whomever posted the report because those trails are not lit and are typically closed each night. They are in GREAT shape with tons of snow on those trails so we’re guessing they are open with all 20 trails.
This has been such a snowy winter that Sapphire Valley, which much like the groundhog only comes out once a winter to pass on a message about conditions. They shared that they will stay open this season until March 14th, weather permitting. They traditionally open Sapphire a day or two prior to Christmas and are the first to close in early March. Even they are extending their season.
IF YOU ARE READING THIS YOU ARE INVITED TO JOIN US NEXT WEEKEND FOR A GREAT SKI GETAWAY!
WE’LL GIVE YOU A FREE LIFT PASS FOR SUNDAY, MARCH 7th, A FREE SKI PARTY with some live entertainment, and as added incentive we’ll knock $100 OFF any two night stay at Snowshoe Mountain for next weekend!
Okay, we’re really not doing any of the above – SNOWSHOE IS. They’re doing that JUST because you’re a friend of mine…or this site’s. Need more incentive? Hop over to the invitation page and join the 120 or so of us who are really, really snow loving freaks who will be skiing and riding at Snowshoe next weekend. Snowshoe is now up to 219" of snow on the season with half of it falling in the last 27 days and there’s mounds and piles of snow EVERYWHERE!
Make plans to join us at Snowshoe next weekend for the SkiSoutheast / Snowshoe Summit! Check out the details at: http://www.skisoutheast.com/2010_SkiSoutheast_Snowshoe_Summit.htm
We’re on day 94 and there are 43 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 http://www.skisoutheast.com/skireports.php and please send us your favorite ski photos, ski videos, trip reports and comments to [email protected]