Southeast and Mid Atlantic Ski Resorts Making Preparations and Playing the Waiting Game

The four feet of snow that hit South Dakato and other areas west sure got snow lovers all across the Southeast and Mid Atlantic to thinking about how nice it would be if our region got a taste of that! Okay, maybe not four feet, but you know what I mean. I was reading reports from Sioux Falls where the 50 mile an hour winds that accompanied that heavy snow created snow drifts more than TWENTY FEET DEEP. That’s what we’d call perhaps a little too much of a good thing! I wouldn’t mind one of those 40" snowfalls with no winds later in the season, but honestly the ski areas would prefer that we get about 6-12" of snow each Wednesday and "Chamber of Commerce-like" blue skies and nice temps every weekend. That would probably create some record skier visits.

Seeing all that snow sure reminded me of the Blizzard of 1993, which was the last time that I saw THAT kind of snow depth. It is hard to believe that it has been 15 years since that record snowstorm. Coincidentally I ran into someone this past weekend that I had not seen since that storm. The last time I saw him he was a little, seven year old kid. Now he’s grown and has children of his own!

<Calataloochee on Valentine’s Day, 2006

Maybe it’s time we get some serious snow! We’ve seen some nice, late season snowfalls in the last couple of years. I remember two seasons ago, there was a mid-March snowfall that had everyone screaming "POWDER" around Beech and Sugar. We received some amazing photos from over at Cataloochee that rivaled about any photo you’d see out west. Of course resorts further north into West Virginia and Maryland have seen some nice snowfalls. The snows of just two weeks ago left 9" of snow at Snowshoe Mountain.

You can probably tell that I’m just rambling. As I read the flood of emails in my "skiMail" inbox it was apparent that many of you are also thinking about snow and the question of the day is simply: "When does it look like the resorts will be able to make snow and get open?"

Obviously, SEVERAL of the ski areas could have made snow this morning (and this past weekend) as temps took a nosedive each night. Sugar Mountain is showing 22.5° this morning at the top of the mountain. Beech is recording 28° and Snowshoe Mountain is in the low 20s as well. The only resort in the region that took advantage of this burst of cold air and made snow was Snowshoe. They started their snowmaking equipment again on Saturday and made snow at each opportunity over the weekend and this morning. Click here to see some GREAT video of their snowmaking from this weekend!

Laura Parquette of Snowshoe wrote, "Snow making began again on Saturday night. Right now, snow is being made across the Silver Creek area and numerous slopes in the Snowshoe basin!"

Snowshoe plans on opening November 26th.

So WHEN will the rest be able to crank up?

This week is looking pretty wet from Wednesday forward, and I am certain that all of the resorts are looking at that same weather data. Highs across the Appalachian Mountains are forecasted to be in the upper 40s to low 50s (which is about normal) and lows should be in the upper 30s and low-to-mid 40s through Friday night and that means NO SNOWMAKING. Combined with a bit of light rain…that spells another week of waiting. Just bear in mind that it IS NOVEMBER 10th and any snowmaking weather (or natural snow) this early in the month is a BONUS. The cold temps are coming and our ski and snowboarding season will be here before you know it.

The forecast for this weekend, November 15th and 16th is for temperatures to turn MUCH COLDER and there’s a chance for some light snow as well. Highs will be in the 40s and lows in the 20s. Sunday should see highs in the upper 30s and lows in the 20s with SNOW SHOWERS.

Look for the snowguns to crank up if ski areas see some consistent cold temps behind that.

UNTIL THEN – get on the treadmill, step climber and work those upper thighs and get in shape. Like many of you, I’m still in "college football tailgating mode" and that (for me) means taking in too much in the way of food and drink! I may be starting a bit late, but I am hitting the workout room today and every day from here forward in an attempt to get into "winter sports" shape. So if you’re like me and you’ve been putting it off, time is running out to get moving!

We’ll be taking this week to get in good "WEB SHAPE" as well as we spend some time visiting several of the live cameras to get them operational. We’ll be posting contest data as well…so stay tuned!

Editor’s Note:

In much the same way that the ski areas operate on an "early season schedule with reduced slopes" our ski network of and is gearing up as well. We are trying to get everything cranked up (contests, content, whats new, etc) and for a short time we will be COMBINING the morning updates for all of the ski areas within the Southeast and Mid Atlantic region. Segregated content covering JUST the North Carolina ski areas will begin on shortly. Until then enjoy some unique photos of the day on the two websites and keep checking back as we post new data.

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