Light Snow Falls Across West Virginia and Maryland – Cold Returns to the Entire Southeast!

First Trax

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Almost NOTHING matches the beauty of the sun coming up in the mountains. During certain conditions it causes an adjacent mountain to cast its shadow on the next hill, while setting the ridgetop ablaze in an orange glow. This morning was such a mountain. There’s no way that one grows complacent with that!

It is also a "red sky" morning and sailors BEST take warning and stay the heck off of any body of water as winds are howling out there!

Before I get too far into this morning’s update, Tammy Brown of Cataloochee wanted us to pass along the following, "A BIG THANK YOU to all Cataloochee skiers and riders who came out for Can-U-Ski Day on Sunday – we collected over 6,000 cans of food and over 100 coats for special familes in our region! Happy Holidays to all of you!"

Cataloochee will not operate Monday, December 3 but will reopen Tuesday through Friday from 1-10pm and Saturday and Sunday from 8:30am-4:30pm.


WISP RESORT – We got a few emails this morning about some confusing data on Wisp’s website as it is display "0" trails open for today. However, they do show three trails "checked" open on the trail list. We called up there and spoke to them personally and there ARE, in fact, three trails open from 9am-9pm today. They are seeing a WINTRY MIX of snow today and snowmaking will happen at every opportunity.

(If you missed the story on snowmaking yesterday, be sure to check out Wisp’s phenomenal snowmaking video by Clicking Here!

SNOWSHOE MOUNTAIN – They are reporting 31° this morning and are making snow. They dropped their open terrain from 11 on Sunday to 7 open today so that they can focus snowmaking on the other slopes and trails. Laura Parquette writes, "It’s a great day to be at Snowshoe! We will be offering 2 lifts and 7 trails, with 5 terrain park features in the Powder Monkey Terrain Garden today. Snowmaking will take place throughout the day as temperatures allow."

The forecast at Snowshoe this week looks p-r-e-t-t-y good for snow and snowmaking. Temps never rise above 34° from today through Thursday with highs each day hovering around 30° or so and lows in the 20° area. Snow is in the forecast at Snowshoe Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

A light snow is falling up around Timberline and Canaan Resorts in West Virginia.

Further south into Virginia, Wintergreen Resort writes, "Snowmaking Temperatures are back! We plan to keep making snow whenever temperatures permit. Opening day remains elusive. However, we continue to make good progress with our snowmaking. There is great news for this week. Canadian air is expected to take over the region allowing for sustained snowmaking. Weather conditions might allow us to open prior to next weekend so check this report to find out what our plans are. Like you, we are pumped to get on the snow. We may forgo a typical Saturday opening day and open a day or two early to get some extra time on the snow."

Massanutten, Bryce and The Homestead are planning on making snow as soon as temps allow.


We’re seeing some cold readings across the state of North Carolina as the mercury begins to fall. Last night at midnight it was 52° at Appalachian Ski Mountain in Blowing Rock and as of 8am it is already 35° and the temps should continue to fall into the low to mid 20s today and tonight. Watch for the snowguns to fire at App as soon as temperatures allow. They have 3 trails operating today.

Sugar Mountain is reporting 26° already at 8am and they ARE making snow! THEY MADE IT! After last night’s rain I was personally questioning whether they’d be open today. With the wind and thin coverage there probably won’t be many (if any) skiers on the hill, but hand it to Sugar – they have to be there anyway…monitoring the snowmaking, etc…so they might as well stay open and keep their consecutive days open streak going. (They’ve now skied for 30 days straight – uninterupted and no other resort in the Southeast or Mid Atlantic can say that.)

Expect only two trails open to their 3/4th station on Monday with VERY thin coverage. However, now that snowmaking has resumed things will improve quickly.


We’re watching the weather stations around the area and just spotted two different temps up on Beech Mountain and they are reporting 26° and 31° respectively…but Ski Beech has yet to crank up their snowmaking equipment. Temperatures are marginal right now up there so it should happen at any moment!

The same is true at Cataloochee, Hawksnest and Wolf Ridge…but at some point in the next few hours we can expect snowguns to fire all across the state!


While the temps are still good for snowmaking at night – there doesn’t appear to be the extreme cold, around-the-clock snowmaking ops that looked so promising just yesterday. For the last several days most meteorologists have been telling us of a week or more of frigid temperatures and while we will take anything we can get…the cold blast doesn’t look nearly as cold or as long-lasting as once promised. I have to hand it to Mike Stinneford of Washington DC who wrote me a couple of times after we posted some of the weather updates. He warned that the cold would not be "all that" that it was being billed.

Oh well! We SHOULD be able to make snow most all day today and all night tonight. Tuesday looks good for snowmaking for most of the morning and then again Tuesday night. Wednesday will see temps rise to a near normal 44° and then drop to 24° overnight (more snowmaking!) and we even have some chances for measureable snowfall on favored peaks.

Thursday could provide some around-the-clock snowmaking opportunities with a high in the mid to upper 30s and lows around 28°.

Right now, next weekend looks milder (around normal) with highs in the mid 40s or so, but overnight lows just above snowmaking temps.

Conditions should improve phenomenally by mid week and skiing and riding by the end of the week and into this coming weekend should be quite nice.

Until Next Time…Send your comments, photos and videos to: [email protected]  

See You On The Slopes!

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