Friday Morning Update –

First Trax

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Morning lows this morning are ALL OVER THE PLACE…moreso than we’ve seen at any point this season. At 8am this morning Beech Mountain was reporting 8°, while Blowing Rock was showing 27.6°. In between those wide variances was Banner Elk with 18°, Sugar with 14° and Cataloochee’s 17°. It will be cold out today with highs in the 20s and reaching into the 30° range but the winds are going to make it feel much colder. We just had a gust of wind here at my office that registered 30mph on the station behind our office. It’s supposed to be like that all day today so if you’re headed out, wear layers!

Holiday Weekend is Looking Good…at least the first half! – This weekend looks like it is going to be a mirror of what the entire season has been thus far. It will be good and not-so-good…maybe. Today will be nice out if you can dodge the wind. Slope conditions should be pretty darn good no matter where you choose to ski or ride this weekend. All of the resorts were making snow like crazy and that should have surface conditions pretty sweet. Most of the resorts will be making snow as long as temperatures allow to really kick up base depths…and the temperatures should allow to snowmaking pretty much 24/7 until sometime on Saturday. Today’s high should be around 30° and dip to 18° tonight. Saturday may bring us a little snow late in the evening. Daytime temps on Saturday should approach 40° with skies becoming cloudy. Saturday night’s low may drop into the mid 20s with a dusting to one inch of snow.

..then Sunday comes…AM snow changing to a wintry mix…and possibly to rain. Light rain is forecasted for Monday then mild temps mid next week and meteorologist Brad Panovich hinted late yesterday that more winter weather (at least COLD) is in the picture for next weekend. He also said that somewhere around the end of the February or early March we could begin seeing a period of significant wintry weather.

So GET YOUR GEAR…AND YOUR REAR…UP HERE and have a great day!

More Base Depth Anomolies… – I know, I know; some of you don’t want to hear it, but for those of you who don’t…you can stop reading now. Go ahead and admit it, it’s kind of like a roadside accident, you have to look further don’t you? Before I dive into this next statement I want to say that I have received a lot of email from you guys asking us to stay on point and continue to press for accuracy in reporting. I actually agree with what SEVERAL people have suggested and that is to DO AWAY with base depths on all reports and just report something like:

Pristine Conditions, Lots of Snow
Mid Season Base Depths, Side to Side Coverage
Good Base, Side to Side Coverage
Good Overall Base, Some thin areas on the sides
Good Skiable Terrain but thin coverage and bare spots
60% Slope Coverage – Thin and Bare Spots
You’re on your own!

Okay this would have to tweaked some…but the base depth system being used right now is a joke and if everyone agrees that it’s not an accurate figure then why use it? Even the most ardent fans of the system agree that the measurements being reported are subjective. Why am I on this subject again…many of you are asking?

About ten days ago we began a new practice. We have kept ALL of the daily reports in a file (I have them on my desk) and we will be keeping these reports from now on to monitor trends. For example, we can tell you that in the last four days Appalachian Ski Mountain dropped ten inches in their reported base depth. With the mild temps of this past week (and the rain) that was an expected drop. Several other resorts reported similar drops, and a few reported NO drop in base depth whatsoever. More on that later.

Then this morning, after a full day of snowmaking, most of the resorts are reporting 2" additions to their slope depths…except for Appalachian which, with all of the wind and everything is trying to say that they increased their base depths by 10" since yesterday morning. All nine trails…ten inches. Any takers out there? No before I receive any hate mail…it COULD HAVE happened. It was a very windy night and the wind will be with us today as well. Late last evening someone emailed us while watching the snowguns at Sugar. The wind was whipping the snow all over the place and evidently all of it must have landed at Appalachian.

Cataloochee’s up 2"
Ski Beech is up 4"
Sugar is up 2"
Wolf Laurel is up 2"
Appalachian is up 10"

I’d be headed to Appalachian for some S-W-E-E-T manmade powder! Regardless, conditions will be great everywhere today.

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