The Roller Coaster Weather Ride Continues for the North Carolina Ski Areas

I was talking with a meteorologist friend of mine at dinner last night who happens to be one of the group of weather gurus that has been saying that our North Carolina resorts will have a tough time of it this season, and I was sharing the early start data with him and he kept nodding his head as if to say, "That what I’m talking about" and then he actually said, "That’s what I’m talking about. The NC mountains are going to have a decent start and the after Christmas, things are going to tough from then on. I see all of the snow staying North this year."

That’s when I mentally visualized myself jumping over three guests at the table with with and cold-cocking this otherwise VERY nice fellow. I simply smiled and replied, "Well let’s just hope that you and numerous others are wrong and OUR GO TO weather gurus, Brad Panovich and Matthew East are much closer to be accurate.

Both say that temps will allow for good snowmaking for the most part throughout the season (Brad says 1-2° below normal temps) and somewhat less-than-normal natural snowfall. We can hope he’s right on the first part and wrong on the second. God could throw them all a twist.

THIS MORNING AND THE WEEK AHEAD LOOK TOUGH ON SNOWMAKERS

7am temperatures:

47.2° on Beech Mountain
45.8° on Sugar Mountain
52° in Banner Elk
53° in Boone
52° at Appalachian Ski Mountain
49° at Hawksnest
37° at Cataloochee (warming to 60° today)
37° at Wolf Ridge (warming to 62° today)

The forecast for the week ahead has Ski Beech making the call to operate today and Sunday and then close for the week and see what the weather brings them to reopen next weekend. If Ray Russell is correct, Beech won’t be open next weekend.

Here’s the forecast:

Saturday, Dec 8: Hi: 43 Lo: 42 – Mostly cloudy

Sunday, Dec 9: Hi: 47 Lo: 42 – Slight chance of a light shower or two

Monday, Dec 10 – Hi: 48 Lo: 43 – Slight chance of a light shower

Tuesday, Dec 11 – Hi: 51 Lo: 43 – Partly to mostly cloudy

Wednesday, Dec 12 – Hi: 51 Lo: 43 – Partly cloudy; Continued mild

Thursday and Friday offer highs in the upper 40s and lows in the lower 40s and rain possible.

THIS WEEKEND LOOKS GOOD AT APPALACHIAN, CATALOOCHEE AND SUGAR

<Appalachian looks darned NICE this AM!

Okay, so the forecast looks yucky for the next week…let’s enjoy TODAY for all of the good it brings! Conditions look nice at App, Cat, Sugar and Wolf Ridge today so get out and have some fun as it should be very nice for Saturday and Sunday.

Trail reports that were sent in showed an already thinning base at Beech after they’d only been able to make snow a couple of days…so they’ll fight to make it today and Sunday, and it doesn’t look good for them to be open next weekend unless things change drastically for next Friday, December 14th.

That will have resort operators nervously watching the weather patterns to see if Mother Nature brings in a timely cold snap that will allow them to make snow such that they can get 100% open for the important Holiday period.

That IS the fight right now, regardless of which meteorologist is correct about the long term forecast. Right now we need some cold weather and some snow would help!

Time to start praying.

I’m running short on time this morning, so check back in a bit for updates and check the Slope Conditions page for all of today’s resort schedule and trail openings!

Until Next time…

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