5 to 9 inches of Snow and Cold Air Arrives in Time for the MLK Weekend!

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Noon Update: A few people have emailed about our "snow girl" story of a few days ago (view the archives). We got the snowgirl up Sunday and BOOM, it snows! Some of the comments emailed to us were funny. "Don B of Statesville wrote, "I think your wife owes us all a big one. Give your Father-in-law a huge thank you for making a new snowgirl. Next time your wife tells you to take out the garbage, tell her about the snow girl in the front yard. Thank You Snow girl. Let it snow, let it snow. Yahooooooo
Don B, Statesville, NC"

Another similar email from Janette of Richmond wrote, "The next time your wife hints at throwing out the snowgirl, toss HER in the garbage!"

Now, now, people.  Cute emails though.

Packed Powder. I repeat – P-a-c-k-e-d P-o-w-d-e-r. We haven’t been able to say that much this season so bear with me this morning as I report that most all of the resorts in the Southeast are reporting “Packed Powder” this morning.

We still have a few resort closures and we’ll get to that in a moment. You can also check the slope conditions page for more details. Before I get into more information and area snow totals, let me thank Brad Panovich and his cameraman – Scott for this morning’s interview. Since we have a lot to cover this morning AND since I’m late getting to it – I am combining this morning’s report for both SkiNC and SkiSoutheast. However, be sure to check out the Photos of the Day for each site separately as we’ll be updating images as they come in.

Brad Panovich is one of WCNC NBC 6’s meteorologists and a frequent contributor to SkiNC and SkiSoutheast. You can also catch him on the messageboard as “wxbrad”. Brad is a true snow lover and has always excitedly contacted us when snow is on the way! He contacted me a couple of days ago as snow was entering our forecast and as snow began to fall yesterday advised me that he was going to be in the Boone, Blowing Rock and Banner Elk area this morning. (I think like many of us, Brad just NEEDED to see some snow! It’s been that kind of season thus far.)

On-air television personalities work hard. After arriving in Blowing Rock last night, Brad and his cameraman put in three hours of sleep and then headed out to the top of Sugar Mountain at 4am or so this morning. Their new microwave truck had a malfunctioning antenna, so they were hoping for a line-of-sight shot to their receiver in Dallas, NC. They could not get a shot from the top of Sugar Ski and Country Club, and they were not allowed to pull into the parking area of SugarTop (the huge structure that is visible from SPACE on top of Sugar Mountain.) So after circling the High Country, Brad called me a little after 5am and said that they were going to try and get a signal from Blowing Rock. Then at about 6am he called again and said that they had finally achieved getting a signal just around the corner from THE Blowing Rock. For those unaware, there is an amazing view back towards Charlotte from a parking area up there and the sunrise from that vantage point is amazing.

Since Brad was attempting to get a LIVE interview on their early morning show, I hustled to Blowing Rock, driving through some one foot drifts of snow that crossed Shull’s Mill Road. (Most of the road was only covered with maybe an inch of snow.) Once I got there, we spoke for only a minute or so while they got feedback from the station as to whether or not we’d get LIVE before they signed off the National programming. Minutes before 7am, we went live and I do want to thank Brad and WCNC for the opportunity to promote the area’s ski resorts and SkiNC.com and SkiSoutheast.com.

If you missed the interview, I understand they are going to run it again around lunchtime today. Thanks again to Brad (although I think those guys were just looking for any excuse to come play in some snow!)


Snow totals across most of the region were in the 5-6” range. As has been the case this season, Ober Gatlinburg in Tennessee and all of the Virginia resorts only received a dusting to 1” of this particular storm. Meteorologist Brad Panovich was telling me yesterday that he was seeing signs that some areas more to the South might actually see more natural snows than further north and seems to have happened as the BIG winner of the natural snow was Cataloochee. Tammy Brown wrote me yesterday and we also received reports from the road crews up that way that roads were in bad shape late last night as NINE INCHES of snow fell at the higher elevations around Maggie Valley. Wolf Ridge, which is a bit further south picked up 5” so the pockets of higher snow depths were sporadic.

I don’t know about you guys but there’s something to this “karma” thing. Cataloochee seems to be pushing all of the right buttons over the last two seasons and whatever the reasons, Old Man Winter seems to be rewarding them. They already had the best conditions in the state of North Carolina yesterday and when you add nine inches of fresh powder to the mix…

Here’s some reported snow totals as of 7am this morning.

Appalachian – 5”
Cataloochee – 9”
Hawksnest – 5”
Ski Beech – 6”
Sugar Mountain – 5”
Wolf Ridge – 5”

Bryce Resort – Trace
Massanutten Resort – Trace
The Homestead – Trace
Wintergreen Resort – 1”

Canaan Valley – 7”
Snowshoe Mountain –5
Timberline Resort – 6”
Winterplace Resort – 5”

Wisp Resort at Deep Creek – 7”

Ober Gatlinburg – ½”

Resort Notes and Information

Snowmaking is the word of the day (in addition to snow!) as every resort in the region made snow. Many areas have made snow since Monday afternoon and some earlier than that. With more than 24-36 hours of snowmaking and the added benefit of additional snowmaking today, you can expect great conditions to ride no matter where you go.

There ARE some resorts that have no resumed their ski and snowboard operations. Sapphire Valley in North Carolina is making snow and hoping to open Friday at 5pm. Massanutten’s Josh Brinkman told us that a decision would be made later today as per when they’d reopen, but they are making snow and plan to resume skiing Thursday and Friday.

The Homestead is making snow and preparing to reopen Friday for the Holiday weekend.

Another top Virginia resort, Wintergreen Resort reported, “Cold air returned Monday allowing us to start making snow. We expect to make snow all this week in preparation for a great MLK holiday. We will remain closed today so that we can concentrate our snowmaking. By being closed we can run our guns harder and pull them out in places where we need to concentrate our efforts. We want to get a lot of snow down in a hurry. We plan to reopen Eagles Swoop, Upper and Lower Dobie, Potato Patch, The Lower Cross Trail and our new learning area on Thursday. There is a chance that we might open tomorrow, so if you are itching to go skiing, keep checking this report to see how we are progressing.”

Snowshoe Mountain’s Andrea Smith wrote, “All open slopes were groomed overnight except Grabhammer and over 200 snow guns have been pumping for the last two days to help pad the base and prepare to open more slopes by the weekend. The Cascade trail is opening today at the Silver Creek area. The Grabhammer lift will be running in place of Ballhooter at the Snowshoe Area today. Please be aware of snow guns on the slopes and thin spots and ski and ride with caution. The Snowshoe Ski Area will be open today from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. The Silver Creek Ski Area will be open today from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. The 3-Day Martin Luther King Holiday is this weekend and new Stay and Ski Packages are Now Available for as little as $104/ person / night! Book your reservation today!”

Lori Epp at Wisp Resort at Deep Creek reported that they received 7” of snow and non stop snowmaking since 5pm Monday. They have 9 trails open early with more opening later in the day!

Ober Gatlinburg – ½” of snow and snowmaking is happening at every available moment and they expect to reopen soon! Kathy Doyle states, “The slopes are temporarily closed due to the recent warm weather. We began making snow Monday night and will reopen Thursday at noon. THINK COLD! Ice skating and other activities open daily.”

GET OUT ON THE SLOPES AND SNAP SOME PHOTOS AND…Email your comments and photos to [email protected]  

Until Next Time…


Send comments and emails to: [email protected]  

For more information about the ski resorts of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic visit www.SkiSoutheast.com  


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This photo was taken on January 6th at Wolf Ridge which had 3 slopes open at that time – This is looking down the Eagle Trail – Photo by Elsa Barnes
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