Will this be a SNOWY winter?

This is our sixteenth season covering the regional ski scene and I am confident in stating that I personally have not seen another season in those previous fifteen seasons (pr preseasons) where we’ve had every single day of August provide us with a veil of fog.

As I drove out of Sleepy Hollow this morning I was thinking that this might be "the day" that no fog was around. However, as I crested the hill and pulled down Hwy 105 around the entrance to Echota there it was – as heavy a fog bank as I’ve seen this month. One of our crew came in saying. "Every morning this month has been foggy!"

Yep, it certainly has. She shared that Boone was fogged in pretty heavy. That’s 26 mornings out of 26 thus far. If the old wives tale has any real bearing on winter snows, then this upcoming season will be a big one.

I know that many regional storekeepers (The Mast Store is one of many) keep a jelly bean jar and on every morning that we have fog – they drop a jelly bean in it. Then when winter arrives they pull a bean out of the jar each time it snows. ALL of them have shared that every single winter they are usually plus or minus only one or two beans. If that holds true for this season, we’re in for 24-28 snowfalls so far.

I have been a part of a few preseason conversations lately about the upcoming winter wherein one or more people have shared, "I hope we don’t have a winter as bad as last winter." Remember that what they are calling "bad" was enormous for snowlovers, skiers and snowboarders across the Southeast and Mid Atlantic.

Len Bauer (of Sugar Mountain) and I were hanging out last week at Watauga Lake and repeated that he’d heard the same sentiment. We both laughed and agreed that we’ll take another season just like last one! Maybe minus an ice storm or two – but BRING IT ON!!!

…okay maybe not quite yet! Len’s daughter Dakota was sharing that she "can’t wait" for winter. I’ve heard from others wishing a speedy arrival of the cold and snow. I’m more of a "let’s enjoy the heck out of each of the wonderful seasons that we get to enjoy here in the mountains".

For me there’s nowhere else I’d want to be when football season first begins. App is playing their first game this weekend. The high schools around here started last Friday night. College football begins next Thursday with my Gamecocks playing one of the first games of the season against Southern Miss on ESPN. As the seasons transition to cooler and cooler nights and Autumn colors begin to pop – where else in the world can you witness God’s spendor any more colorful than in the higher elevations of the region? Once peak leaf season comes and goes over a two-to-three week span then there’s the Woolly Worm Festival, OctoberFests at various locations, the Halloween…and THEN – bring on the snow guns and natural snows.

For ME, that’s when I’ll be ready…and it will get here sooner than you think!

August 26th update:

So far:

Thursday, August 26th – Moderate to Heavy Fog

Wednesday, August 25th – Moderate Fog

Tuesday, August 24th – Moderate to Heavy Fog

Monday, August 23rd – Heaviest Fog of the month

Sunday, August 22nd – Moderate to Heavy Fog

Saturday, August 21st – Moderate to Heavy Fog

Friday, August 20th – Heavy Fog

Thursday, August 19th, – Moderate Fog

Wednesday, August 18th, – Moderate to Heavy Fog

Tuesday, August 17th, – HEAVY Fog

Monday, August 16th – HEAVY Fog

Sunday, August 15th – Moderate Fog

Saturday, August 14th – Heavy Fog after Friday evening downpours

Friday, August 13th – Heavy, Dense Fog.

Thursday, August 12th – Moderate to Heavy Fog due to overnight rains.

Wednesday, August 11th – Heavy Dense Fog. Oh Boy!

Tuesday, August 10th – Light Fog again…

Monday, August 9th – Light Fog this morning.

Sunday, August 8th – Light to Moderate Fog.

Saturday, August 7th – Light Fog. I was staying over at Watauga Lake this weekend, but word came to me from Michelle Bauer of Banner Elk. She reported, "…there was definately some fog this morning that quickly burned off around 9am or so."

Friday, August 6th – Heaviest Fog of the month. Heavy thunder and lightning took place Thursday evening and the leftover moisture and humidity made for some dense fog this morning. If this translates to SNOW this winter, it’ll be a HEAVY ONE!

Thursday, August 5th – Dense Fog

Wednesday, August 4th – Moderate Fog, mostly around Valle Crucis

Tuesday, August 3rd – Moderate Fog, particularly towards Boone

Monday, August 2nd – Heavy Fog

Sunday, August 1st – Heavy Fog

We’ve been tracking foggy August mornings for years and have never seen a 26 for 26.

We’ll keep you posted…but at this rate we’re in for one heck of a winter!

If you have some news or photos to share, email us at: [email protected]  

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Mike Doble
Mike is the Editor and founder of SkiSoutheast.com, SkiNC.com and ResortCams.com. 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.