Three or Four Nights of SNOWMAKING AHEAD! Will some ski areas open?

We’re looking for some snow dances and we’re giving away a Ski Getaway as a reward for the best!

Let’s talk weather first. We’ve been getting a lot of anxiety filled emails of late. Everyone’s ready for winter to begin. Ski areas like Cataloochee and Sugar Mountain have had their finger on the trigger since early October. If any kind of consistent cold weather had happened, those ski areas would have already been skiing and riding. Other resorts like Beech, App, Snowshoe, Winterplace, Wintergreen, Wisp and others were ready to make snow early on, but they were opting to make as much snow as possible and open with more snow and more terrain. That all went out the window with the mild, late Fall weather that we’ve experienced since a mid-October snow and cold snap left 2-4" of snow across much of the region. Since then – NADA.


Check out Chief Meteorologist Brad Panovich’s Skier’s Forecast for this weekend.

I was speaking with Brad Moretz today about some pretty cool stuff that we’re doing together (more about that Monday) and he was reservedly excited about three or four nights of snow making opportunities that are headed our way beginning Thursday night. The forecasted lows around much of the higher elevations are predicted to be in the mid 20s for Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Friday’s high is forecasted for 34° for the Western North Carolina mountains. Tweak those temps down a notch for resorts in West Virginia. The high around Snowshoe for Friday is 27° with snow.

So SNOWMAKING is on the minds of every single resort operator.

I spoke with Cataloochee’s Marketing Babe, Tammy Brown (notice the cap in "babe" because that’s her official title as far as we are concerned) and she is cautiously optimistic about the temps. She said, "Mike, our guys are going to be here tomorrow night; they will be here Thursday night and each night watching the weather and when we can make snow we’ll be doing it."

I asked about the possibility of opening Friday or Saturday and you could tell by her answer how much Cat’s crew cares about the message that we would deliver about that possibility. She answered, "There are SO many people calling who are past READY to ski and ride and we love ’em and would love to be open Friday. If we can open Friday, we will."

She spoke more about the subject and then ended our call with, "Sweetie, I hope I talk to you a lot before Thanksgiving!" ("Sweetie" is my unofficial title according to Tammy. You gotta love those people at Cataloochee!)

So there are ski resort operators sitting on ready. There are hard working (needing to work) snow making crews who will be working overnight with one eye on the wet bulb and thermometers and if things go according to the forecast we should see some manmade blizzards erupting all across the Southeast and Mid Atlantic and we might even see anywhere from one to four ski areas open for business.


Man that is going to be a close call right now, but it doesn’t look great past Saturday night for most of the ski areas. The long range forecast through Thursday, December 3rd is for borderline snowmaking temps December 2nd and 3rd…and warmer than needed temps Sunday through Tuesday of next week for resorts from Virginia into North Carolina. The WV resorts might get snowmaking temps each night through the next week but even those are going to be a close call.

It looks like the preseason winter forecasts are holding true thus far and while that is frustrating right now, let’s hope that their forecasts come true for the entire winter as most experts are calling for a snowier and colder winter than normal. See 2009-2010 Winter Forecast 


<Send us YOUR snow dance videos!

It is now November 24th and all ski and snow lovers are certain to be aware that we’ve had a mild late fall weatherwise and that has prompted Snowshoe and others to email us about snow dances that are going on across the region. Evidently Ma Nature is still vacationing here in the Southeast and not allowing the heavy snows that are out west to filter into our region.

Snowshoe’s Laura Parquette emailed me the other day about several of their staff participating in snow dances and they now have a contest going on for people to submit their best snow dance videos – with the chosen winner receiving two free lift passes.

That prompted us to join in on the act and we’re going to ask you guys to send us your own snow dance videos and we’ll pick a winner from those submitted. We will post that video for all to see and award the winners with a FREE SKI VACATION, compliments of and our sponsors!

Depending on where the winning submission comes from, we’ll tailor the ski getaway to something for them. We’ll give away free lift passes, and a FREE SKI VACATION CABIN (most sleep from 6-10 people) to enjoy this season.

So what are you waiting for? Get to dancing! Film it and submit your entry to: [email protected] . If you have any trouble submitting your clip to that address, feel free to send it to [email protected]  and we’ll pick a winner and post it.

With all of these snow dances going on – cold and snowy weather has to follow – and soon!

We posted a new video on the front of SkiNC and SkiSoutheast with contributions from Ed Ed Schneider of Snowshoe Media to give you some inspiration. NOW GET AT IT!

Send your comments and videos 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.