Next Winter Storm is on the Way!

First Trax

Much of the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic mountains and resorts have been issued some sort of alert from the National Weather Service.  In fact, a number of the resorts have been issued multiple alerts.  Here in North Carolina, Appalachian Ski Mountain has 4 active alerts – A Freezing Rain Advisory until 10am this morning, a Winter Storm Warning starting at 12am on Monday and going through 7pm on Tuesday, a Wind Chill Advisory from 5pm on Monday – 3pm on Tuesday, and finally a Wind Advisory from 12am on Monday to 1pm on Tuesday.  If everything plays out like THEY are predicting, we could see 1-3” of snow for most of the North Carolina resorts with possible accumulation up to 5”.  The western side of our mountains in Eastern Tennessee, where Ober Gatlinburg is located, is looking at 2-6” of snow.

Up in Virginia, Winterplace has 3 alerts including a Winter Storm Warning from midnight tonight to 7pm on Monday, a Wind Chill Warning from 5pm on Monday to 3pm on Tuesday, and a Wind Advisory from midnight through 1pm on Tuesday.  2-5” of snow is expected with 6-9” possible in some areas.  And over in West Virginia, Snowshoe has a Wind Chill Warning from 4pm on Monday to 3pm on Tuesday along with a Winter Weather Alert from 2am-5pm on Monday.  Snowshoe could see 2-4” of snow and wind chill readings as low as 50 BELOW ZERO.

We’ve seen pretty steady cold temps since Christmas and the resorts are taking in the natural when they can and pumping out their own snow in earnest.  Given that most of the resorts already had a good base to work with, this means that they are able to open new terrain on an almost daily basis.  Beech Mountain has opened the diamond Lower White Lightning; Wolf Ridge has opened the green Ridge Runner along with the blues Whistling Dixie and Powder Hill.  Wintergreen has opened 5 runs including the diamonds Devils Elbow and The Gap.  In West Virginia, Snowshoe has opened the first diamond at Silver Creek, Bear Claw and Timberline has added 3 more to their list.

Wintergreen Resort
Wintergreen yesterday

All of this new terrain is pushing the resorts closer and closer to 100% open.  Snowshoe has 52 of their 57 runs open which equates to 202 of their 251 acres (~80%) open for carving, while Winterplace is skiing and riding on 25 of their 27 runs (~93%).  Wisp resort is about 78% open with 25 of their 32 runs.  In Virginia, Massanutten is operating on 12 of 14 (~86%) and Wintergreen is at 80% with 20 of 25.

Down here in North Carolina, Appalachian has been open 100% for a week or so now, Beech has 12 of 15 open for 80% as is Sugar with 16 of their 20 runs.  Good Ole Cataloochee is skiing on 16 out of 17 (94%).  And finally not to be outdone, Ober is running at about 66% with 6 of their 9 runs open with the addition of the blue Lower Bear.

Lower Bear at Ober
Lower Bear at Ober

We’re getting close folks.  I would not be surprised if we came out of this next batch of weather with a number of the resorts operating at 100%.

As you head out today, the temps are a bit warmer than they have been in the past couple of days with a little sun possible this morning before the clouds take over for the most part.  The clouds will drop a combination of rain and snow over the next 24-48 hours with rain as the starting point, generally speaking, as the highs should get into the low 40s.  A wintery mix will develop tonight for most the western resorts, with Snowshoe expecting the turn to happen a bit earlier in the afternoon.

I’m loving reading the trip reports in the message boards.  Looks like we had a little ad-hoc summit at Beech yesterday.  I still have plans to make it to Appalachian today and tomorrow to take in the Alpine Skiing & Snowboarding North Carolina Special Olympic games.

Take care out there today everyone!

Tim Bahlke
Drop me an email at [email protected] to let me know what you think or with suggestions on what we could be doing better.


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