Borderline Temperatures Overnight Prohibited Optimal Snowmaking For Southeastern Ski Resorts

FeaturedFirst Trax

Stay up to date by getting notified of new posts!

I will be posting a few more updates throughout this weekend, but I feel the need to share that this is the latest that I’ve personally joined in on the content sharing via Typically by now I have already shared videos and updates about Sugar Mountain’s Oktoberfest, Banner Elk’s Woolly Worm Festival, the Autumn color updates, etc.

In the fact this morning I am posting from the lake as we are “battening down the hatches” for the winter. That is an annual ‘rite of passage’ that (for me) always signals the end of the Summer/Fall lake season and the earnest beginnings of the wonderful world of winter.

I’m never quite ready for “SkiSoutheast season” as I truly love every season in its own time. I’m personally kind of opposite of a lot of our region’s snow bird who move to warmer, southern states in the winter. I’ve also shared that my dream is to be at the lake/beach during the Spring and Summer (and the hotter, the better), and then give me our gorgeous mountains in those short, four weeks or so of ‘fall leaf season’ and then bring on the cold and snow (the colder and snowier the better) for the entire winter.

I hail from Columbia, South Carolina in a former life and my old hometown embraces the summer heat there with their promotions of ColaTown being known as “Famously Hot”.

It’s even on all the billboards as you enter the city.

So I guess it is natural for me to enjoy the heck out of the heat. However, I uprooted my family back in October of 1990 and headed to the mountains for the love of hiking, biking, whitewater rafting, golf and for that wonderful stuff called “snow”. Those first few years living up on Seven Devils treated me to lots and lots of snow and even when the Blizzard of ’93 dumped 44″ of snow in the area, I embraced it. No – I LOVED IT.

So here I sit 29 years later, typing up this FirsTrax news for this, my 24th season. It truly seems like only a couple of years or so.

Thanks to staff writer, Matt Laws, for carrying the torch on these early, preseason days. I’ve enjoyed Matt’s October posts and LIVE feeds of ResortCams. Thanks also to my assistant, Lindsay Robles, who made contact with various resorts to get the latest news so that we could begin sharing with you guys.

Click to Enlarge. This is MY cup of coffee…to join you guys.

...and thank YOU GUYS, who are reading this post, for sharing your time with us daily this time of year. I often hear from various readers who have shared that this time of year, they grab their coffee and start their day with us. I hope YOU will begin your day with us and pass the word to your snow-loving friends.

New SkiSoutheast Coffee Mugs
Buy Your Own SkiSoutheast Mug…

By the way, we are now selling a “SkiSoutheast Coffee Mug” via our online store.  We will be adding lots of items to the store and I’m working with a couple of ideas for charities to give any and all monies made via the store. (We’ll share more about that soon.)

Visit the new store…


Rudy Ryback will be rejoining us Monday – IF there are any resorts open for business as he takes on the daily FirsTrax news and Snow Reporting. Joe Stevens will be rejoining us for his 15th season as a columnist for his “Snow News is Good News”. Kenny Griffin is back for his 9th year contributing content, videos and LIVE, Social Media shares.

Meteorologist, Brad Panovich is back again for his 12th season of delivering studio quality, skier’s forecast for all of us.


On Friday, we speculated a bit that we could possibly see a Saturday, November 2nd opening day for either Cataloochee Ski Area or Sugar Mountain. The temperatures were JUST borderline enough to prevent overnight snowmaking…at least in earnest. So any idea of opening for the season will have to wait until at least Sunday morning.

Click to Enlarge


As of this writing (9am), Sugar Mountain and Snowshoe Mountain are making snow with temps hovering from 28-30°. However, one look at the LIVE CAMS will attest to the fact that neither Sugar or Cat is ready for prime time and Snowshoe Mountain is only making snow for its previous announced opening later in the month. Beech Mountain Resort won’t open until later in the month, however they did make snow overnight Thursday night / Friday morning.

Sugar is making snow right now, but only on a couple of sections of Flying Mile as temps or wet bulb temps are preventing full bore snowmaking across all of their terrain.

Cat this morning. Click to Enlarge


The forecast for the mountaintops of Beech and Sugar is calling for highs today in the 40s and then overnight lows of 24° tonight and then 27° Sunday night, followed by 31-34° Monday and Tuesday nights. Interestingly, Snowshoe may be borderline each of the same nights and ditto that for Cataloochee Ski Area in Maggie Valley.

So WILL WE SEE SUNDAY tracks on the slopes? It is going to be close. My guess – YES at both Cataloochee and Sugar. However, stay tuned and we’ll give you the latest.

Until then…

Here are some beautiful scenes from this morning:

Eagles Nest this morning. Click to Enlarge.
Click to Enlarge Eagles Nest from Friday after light snow.


Beech Mountain Resort this morning
Another pretty Eagles Nest view
Love this angle as well! Click to Enlarge
Snowshoe Mountain this morning. Click to Enlarge!

Feel free to email me at [email protected]

We would love it if you would LIKE/FOLLOW US on Facebook and Instagram.

Lots more “What’s New” Content coming daily!

Previous Post
Next Post
Cataloochee Ski Area Opens the 2019-2020 Ski & Snowboarding Season as the Lone Ski Resort Open in the Region
Related Posts