Great Conditions for this Weekend as Perfectly Timed 2″ of Snow and Cold Weather Hits Ski Mountains

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The title of today’s FirsTrax post might look like click bait, but I assure you it wasn’t my intention. 2.6″ of snow HAS FALLEN within our coverage area, but only in the northern portion. Wisp Resort in Maryland, and all four resorts in West Virginia picked up some natural snowfall overnight.

…and 2.6″ of Natural Snow has fallen at Canaan Valley Resort and Timberline Mountain overnight. Snowshoe Mountain shared that 2″ of natural snow fell atop their 4848′ elevations overnight. That takes Snowshoe to 23.5″ on the season. Winterplace Resort picked up 1″ of new, natural snowfall and is now one inch away from getting ton a FOOT of snow on the season. Wisp Resort also saw from 0.5″-1″ of snow snow and light snowfall this morning.

While natural snow is like “white gold” from a marketing standpoint, more importantly the cold air allowed every ski area in the region to make snow with the exception of Sapphire Valley Resort and Bryce Resort. Snowmaking conditions were borderline at Massanutten Resort as they reported:

The snowmaking team worked primarily on the upper mt trails overnight with temps just a little too warm lower mt.

Ober reported NOT making snow, and wet granular, but it looks like tons of snowmaking going on early this morning.

This isn’t a CLEAR photo, but it was “pretty” as snowmaking was happening at Ober Mountain this morning. Click to Enlarge.

Quick Sidebar…

I posted a LOT of content over on our Facebook page this morning. Brad Panovich shared his latest, Skier’s Forecast video and it looks good for the week ahead. I also captured a bunch of photos this morning and you can see those on Facebook and here:


I made a new friend this season in Kristin Skeweris of Railey Realty in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. We’ve actually known OF each other for a while as she’s the Marketing Director & Associate Broker at Railey Realty and we’ve worked together on providing LIVE webcams there around the mountain. However, we have become better acquainted this season and a few weeks ago Kristen shared that she and two other Railey associates, co-owner and agent Jon Bell, and agent Mike Fenton had started a podcast called “Not Salty”.

The trio launched their podcast in late November and drop new episodes every Friday. The episodes are streaming everywhere you normally find podcasts, like Audible, Apple Podcasts, and Spotify, as well as full-length video versions on YouTube. You can find them on all social platforms @notsaltypodcast

The trio are quite comfortable in interview mode and naturally quite funny, engaging and gracious. Kristen invited me to come on their show and I did so a week or two ago. The episode aired Friday and I pushed it over to our Facebook content so that we’d get a ton more eyes on it.

When I mentioned them being “gracious” a moment ago, I MEAN gracious and somewhat tongue-in-cheek as they share an introduction to the episode that said:

In this episode, the Not Salty crew chat with Ski Legend and Ski South East’s very own Mike Doble! We cover all things Mid-Atlantic skiing, snow making, how he pioneering a ski website way before it was cool, creating one of the top webcam websites in the country, and everything in between. Mike was our first Zoom guest but don’t worry, he still had a beer on hand.

We had a ball, but I can assure you the “ski legend” tag was added post our interview. I have embedded the full video below OR you can download the podcast everywhere you do your podcast listening.

I’M SO PROUD…(We love being an influencer.)

With all of that manmade snowmaking happening overnight, I fully expected to look at some snow reports this morning where manmade snow was labeled as NEW SNOW. It does my heart good AND it always impresses me of the “power of the pen” aspect of this website. In our 27+ years here at we’ve made some influences in many small ways and in some more significant ones. A week or so ago I was being interviewed by the Not Salty crew and the subject of “NO BULL SKI REPORTS” came up.

I also recently shared that some ski areas had begun to report “manmade snow” as “New Snow” in their reporting. I think it was a bad practice and misleading and said so a few times as late as last week. As I returned to my weekend post of handling the snow report this morning, I found where every resort that WAS doing that – has stopped. Sweet.



That 2.6″ of snow overnight has taken Canaan Valley to 28.1″ on the season. That is nearly 40″ UNDER the normal amount of snowfall on the season, based on the long-term expected snowfall of 170-180″ per winter season.

A Quick Aside: This part of today’s post is not a comment about climate change; a belief (or disbelief) in it as most interpret it and it is not meant to generate a debate. I know what a great portion of our readers believe and we have professional meteorogists on our staff and dozens more who contribute intel periodically. We all have great, mutual respect for each other and we support each other’s rights to how to interpret short and long term data. That said, I feel it is newsworthy to share some comments from another weather guru, David Lesher of Canaan Valley Weather.

He recently shared:

It’s easy to understand that a winter with a higher average temperture correlates well with less winter snowfall. But what will happen in distant future years when the average temps near the 40F point? Could there really come a time when very little snow falls on Canaan from December to March? Maybe when the grandchildren of our grandchildren are very old, the answer might be known.

For the period of nine consecutive winters from 2013-14 to 2021-22, the five-year running average temperature rose from 27.1F to 30.1F.

During the same nine-winter period of rising temperatures, the five-year running average snowfall fell from 170 inches to 99 inches.

David summed up by adding, “The shortfall of snowfall since Dec 1 now totals more than 40 inches. The snow drought continues although there’s still plenty of time for that to turnaround over the next ten weeks.”

Here’s a capture from Lesher’s content showing snowfall for every season back to 2001-2002 when only 81.7″ of snow fell. Might we beat that this season? Check out what happened in 2002-2003 – 241″ fell! Gimme some of that!

Closing Notes and Some Photos

Our own, Brian Dix is at Winterplace Resort today. We will look for his report and some photos and videos in a couple of days.

Here are some closing shares:

Appalachian was grooming some corduroy this morning! Click to Enlarge!
Canaan always looks pristine in a bit of snow. Click to Enlarge!

Here’s Brad Panovich’s Skier’s Forecast Video!

Ski Southeast Forecast for Jan 20th, 2023: The cold & some snow are back better pattern next week.


Stay tuned and THINK SNOW. THINK COLD!

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