A FOOT OF SNOW POSSIBLE! Read to see where!

First Trax

I'll let Kenny Griffin, Brad Panovich and Herb Stevens provide updates as they feel the need to today, however I HAVE to interject my thoughts this morning. To me the only thing about as bizarre as the Manti Te'o debacle exposed last night on ESPN (first by DeadSpin.com) is the fact that we are looking at 45° readings across the mountains of North Carolina this morning at 7:15am and in the face of those temps I am seeing all sorts of snow forecasts for today through Friday noon in the foot or MORE range! It is also raining rather moderately right now which adds to the wow-factor of this forecast.

Off subject for a moment – I don't know if you guys heard the latest on the Te'o hoax, but after it was revealed that his girfriend didn't even exist, she tweeted late Wednesday night! I've been reading a bunch about the Heisman Trophy runner-up since the hoax story broke and many are talking about how sad they are that Te'o was the brunt of the hoax. Give me a break – I think he was in on it. He claimed the woman was the "love of his life" and talked of "how beautiful she was physically and spiritually" – and he NEVER MET HER. I've got more – but this IS is ski and snowboarding website so I'll move on.


…is the fact that it is 45° at 7:15am Thursday morning and after FOUR FREAKIN' DAYS STRAIGHT of rain – 3.64" of it recorded at Beech Mountain to be exact – forecasters and the NWS are all forecasting 3-6" of snow for most of Western North Carolina with higher amounts 6-10" AND MORE at the higher elevations such as the top of Sugar Mountain, Beech Mountain, etc. This is "supposed" to be one of the heavy-hitters that will dump a lot of snow quickly. The other forecast is that it will be "great for snowman making and snowball fights" as it should be a wet snow that transitions from rain to snow.

So if these guys have this correct – the January thaw, which wasn't supposed to be this severe or last this long or dump this much rainfall – should be ending sometime around noon-to-mid-afternoon today. In fact temperatures are supposed to nosedive throughout the day to 16° atop Beech Mountain. Here are some lows forecasted for tonight.

Beech – 16°
Sugar/Banner Elk – 18°
Wolf Laurel – 19°
Wisp Resort – 14°
Snowshoe – 10°
Cataloochee – 21°
Massanutten – 24°
Canaan Valley – 19°
Ober Gatlinburg – 18°

The NWS is forecasting 3-5" of snow for Ober, which is awesome as these guys could use some natural snow. With THIS particular storm it appears that the heaviest snows will be in the Western North Carolina mountains and perhaps in the Smokies. Massanutten and the Virginia ski resorts could see perhaps 2-4" of snow, while Snowshoe, Davis and Canaan may see around an inch of snow. So the Southern Appalachians may be the major benefactors of this particular natural snowfall.

Of course the MAIN good news (other than the fact that Te'o's apparition of a girlfriend didn't actually die of lukemia – I just can't get past that just yet) is that the COLD temps that are needed for the region's snowmaking crews are on the way. In fact it is already in the upper 20s at Wisp Resort and Canaan Valley this morning.

Using Beech Mountain as a "snapshot of the region" this morning we're looking at lows tonight around the mid teens and then around-the-clock snowmaking opportunities all day on Friday with the high around 30° and the lows Friday night in the low 20s. If you're headed up for the four day weekend you're in for a great one to be able to play in the natural snow that should be everywhere on the ground and the skies should be sunny Friday through Monday with the highs around freezing each day and the lows in the low 20s through Sunday and then Monday it REALLY GETS COLD with a low forecasted to be around 6° with some flurries.


Tuesday's forecasted high should be around 10° at Beech with lows in the ZERO degree range and Wednesday's temps should range from 10-15° all day/night.

You can tweak those temps up or down a notch depending on if you're headed to Wisp/Canaan/Snowshoe or perhaps to Wolf Laurel. (For those who think I'm talking about the ski resort (which is Wolf Ridge) I'm not…I am alluding to the community that the ski area is located within.

Speaking of Wolf, G.W. Weber, who is the Sales and Marketing Director for Carolina Morning's Vacation Rentals over that way – wrote me on Wednesday with THIS pretty awesome deal. He wrote, "We just released a special for the rest of January for folks interested in staying at Wolf Ridge in one of our beautiful luxury cabins at Scenic Wolf!  We're offering $100 off PER NIGHT to fill some vacancy for the rest of January, and that includes MLK Weekend!  Now that the snow is coming, we want a full house, and quick."

Guys ANYTIME you can get $100 OFF lodging, take it! If you are interested call (888) 227-6212.

Editor's note: Hey the guy bragged on my writing style and Wolf commentaries. So what's a guy to do. I'll give them some props!

While on that subject, there are MANY AWESOME people over in that community that could use your patronage and with this snow on the way, we'd share that you should give them your business as well. Dinah Carver and her crew over at Wolf Mountain Rentals (http://www.vacationnc.com/) has some great cabin rentals as well. Let them know we sent you and I'm sure you'll feel the love!

I'm sure that our guy theKenDog, Kenny Griffin is excited looking at all of these forecast models so I'll let him do his thing as the day moves along. I'm certain we'll capture some nice photos and vids of the snow and the snowguns firing back up.

I'll leave you with this closing comment:

Don't just judge what you'll see on the cameras this morning as the product that WILL BE AVAILABLE on your favorite ski area this weekend. Woopie looks pretty bad this morning if you're looking at many of the resortcams. However once the snow and cold hits midday you will not recognize these resorts within a day. The weekend forecast will make for great conditions for riding the snow and more and more slopes should open each day. Saturday should be very nice, Sunday should be great, Monday should be awesome and it gets better going forward.

Email me your thoughts and reactions at: [email protected]

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