Winter Returns to the Southeast’s Ski Areas!

Everyone is asking us about the BLIZZARD headed towards much of the region. Actually some areas into Virginia and even portions of West Virginia are looking at getting a little drizzle…some are expected to get a snow/rain mix and others (particularly Snowshoe and Wisp areas, look to be getting dumped on with snow. The call right now is for 4-6" of snow at Snowshoe, and slightly less in the North Carolina mountains…and some drizzle in between.  Some models are suggesting more snow…so we’ll just keep you updated as we find out more.

I wish that I could report that this particular blizzard was packing some deep snows, and that could certainly happen…because we all know that the biggest snowstorms are ALWAYS those that are not forecasted. However the speed and intensity with which this storm is heading our way, sure looks like it will pack little in the way of snow…and a WHOLE LOT in the way of wind.  That’s not the kind of winter storm we all dream and pray for.  However, let’s make the best of it and for now let’s look at things in the “glass half full” mode.

We’re getting COLD and SNOW and that will make for some very beautiful days following the end of the storm.  Today…get out and have a great time skiing and riding and welcome in the precip when it starts later today.  Unless things change (and you can check back here often for updates!) it appears that we’ll get some “under-developed Snow” to start off with.  The temps will come in and change that to snow overnight tonight.  The forecast is that some heavy duty winds will also blast the area.  If you’re planning to ski tonight, just bear in mind that winds CAN cause the slopes to close a lift or two. It shouldn’t be too bad tonight though as winds in the 15-25mph range are not all that bad.  The REAL winds kick up on Saturday when they are expected to be in the 30-40mph range as a NORM, and gusting to 60mph!  We are seeing reports that we should expect from 2” to 6” of snow.  Some are reporting that kind of accumulation all across the region and others are forecasting only an inch or two for most areas and heavier amounts in the normal areas along the Tennessee line.  We’ll keep you posted on that as well.

If you want to say that you skied in a blizzard, be prepared and where goggles, and dress in layers.  Have a face mask to cover exposed areas and you might want to call the resort that you’re planning to ski at ahead of time.  Saturday’s kind of winds and snow COULD cause a closing or two – maybe even temporarily.

The phrase for today should be – BE PREPARED.  It may be less wind…more snow.  It may be perfect.  There may be some closings.  Being prepared is the way to go.  If you are visiting us, you might even think about staying in your cabins or accommodations and enjoy winter in the mountains on Saturday and play things by ear. 

Sunday and Monday should be phenomenal.  The winds will surely challenge the snowmaking crews to get and keep snow on the slopes.  These kinds of winds can certainly cause some icy conditions.  However, Saturday night will make for great snowmaking temps and I’d bet that by Sunday we’re going to see some GREAT conditions everywhere.  Resorts should make snow Sunday night as well…which means that Monday will be even better!

If you’re planning on skiing tonight…know that at whatever point the temperatures allow…that the snowguns will be blasting!

Enjoy your long weekend and have fun – and BE PREPARED out there!

Frankee Love at Wintergreen Resort in Virginia posted this eye-opening statement about snowmaking this morning and we think that it is perfect for all of the people who have been emailing us about what conditions might be like this weekend.

"Take a moment … close your eyes. Now, picture a football field. Got it? Great. Now, picture 13 1/2 feet of white powdery snow covering that football field. That’s how much snow our one of a kind York snowmaking system system can make in just one night. And remember, we are the only resort to offer such a system to you, our valued winter sports guests."

Pretty cool huh?  The bottom line is that ALL of the ski areas can make a lot of snow…so the weekend and beyond should be very nice.

Until Next Time!

Be sure to email photos, snow reports and comments to: [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.