Notes and Quotes this morning

First Trax

First things first…we, again, missed a really good chance at deep snows here in the North Carolina mountains. Instead of the 6-12" of wet snow, we have one-quarter inch of treacherously slick ice on everything and it is still coming down in some areas. I could not get out of my driveway by car or foot this morning and my dog is slipping just getting to the front steps! Forecasters are saying that this will change over to light snow around mid-morning and that we could still see an inch or two…but this will make for some dangerous conditions out and about. We ARE seeing traffic move on Hwy 184 and 105…as things are a little wetter and roads have been worked.

Virginia and West Virginia Seeing Snow! – The forecasters were early on saying that Virginia and West Virginia would miss out on this little snow event…but not so fast! We have already seen several reports of snow throughout the region and more in forecasted throughout the day.

The official word from the DOT crews in Western North Carolina is: Overnight precipitation has caused hazardous roadway conditions in and around Avery County. Approximately 1/4 of ice has coated roadways making for dangerous conditions. Road crews are out and applying materials at this time. Use extreme caution while driving.

OUR VIEW IS THAT THE MAIN ROADS ARE FINE AND TRAFFIC IS MOVING FINE…it just the secondary roads and neighborhoods that are iced in.

Secondary roads are literally impassable right now. If we get some snow of any significance it will help driving, but for now, we’d suggest sitting tight. You’ll notice that we have changed the road conditions page to reflect new links to each of the county DOT websites which have the resources to update you better than we can. We will be editing that page a little later today to provide you with some live images and we will add links for all of our coverage area today as well.

VIRGINIA AND WEST VIRGINIA DOT reports that some areas in both states have snow/ice covered roadways, but traffic is moving there.

Frustration abounds – My INBOX and the messageboard is full of comments this morning and all of the remarks show that we are all bummed over the second straight "non-event" when it comes to snow in the mountains of North Carolina. 36 hours ago all of the forecasters were seeing this as a 6-8" snowstorm with decent chances at a foot of snow at higher elevations. The closer it got…the more things deteriorated to the point that we are now left with looking forward to this weekend for the forecasted partly cloudy skies and mild conditions. Lets celebrate what should make for some phenomenal skiing conditions for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Highs will be in the 40s and reaching to 50° this weekend, with mostly blue skies and overnight lows will dip into the 20s which should allow the resorts to make snow. The BEST thing about the milder temps, is that it will allow grooming crews at all of the resorts to work surfaces to a near-perfect corduroy. THAT should bring a smile to those frowny faces out there! Come on guys and gals…we can’t control what kind of weather we did or didn’t get today…but we CAN control how we deal with it! Remember, I told all of you who were emailing and posting to the messageboard to guard against getting too pumped about this storm…because the higher you get stoked…the farther you fall!

I can almost hear the sigh when I make this next statement, but forecasters are looking ahead now…to the 9th or 10th for the next shot of very cold air and perhaps that big snow is only a short time away. Keep the faith.

News from around the resorts

Bryce Resort in Virginia – Is 100% open for the first time this season! That actually happened yesteray when they opened the black diamond – Hangover trail. Conditions are looking good up that way!

Wintergreen Resort in Virginia – They are getting snow this morning and rightfully bragging about it! Over 2" has fallen thus far and things are looking sweet at Wintergreen!

Canaan Valley in West Virginia – Has received a trace of snow thus far and they have a 50% chance of snow showers throughout the day and are skiing on 33 trails of a groomed and packed surface.

Snowshoe Resort – They have also received 2" of snow so far this morning and that takes them to 59" of snow on the season. Conditions will be sweet for this weekend’s Jose Cuervo Games of Winter Weekend. This weekend February 4 / 5. Enjoy fun and games on the slopes, Happy Hours, live entertainment and much more. Plus, get two nights lodging and two days lift tickets for only $149 per person. Note: We received several emails from you guys about code errors on their pages. We looked and we are getting them as well. We’re sure they will have that fixed pronto.

Winterplace – Snow is forecasted throughout the day at Winterplace Resort today and that will make for great conditions on the 2 trails that they are running.

Hawksnest Resort – There’s good news up at Hawksnest. They repaired the Red Lift and have everything opened back up. Actually we were watching the Hawksnest camera last night and they had it opened last evening. That camera shot is probably the clearest camera view of any of the resorts and offers some really sweet shots of the hill – day and night.

Sugar Mountain – The next Edge of the World Snowboarding Comp is this weekend at Sugar. You can see team SkiNC) Patrick Kidda, Lindsea Lumpkin and all of your favorite tricksters out there this weekend. We will try to update you a little more on Friday.

Conditions are going to be GREAT ON THE SLOPES…if you can get there today. The mountain ops at each resort have, no doubt, worked the surfaces and skiing and riding should be great. Just be careful getting there!

A Glance at the Weather – We’ll wait and get the official word from meteorologist, Brad Panovich later this morning, (and you guys be nice, because he’s been about 85% perfect on forecasting of late), but from what we’re seeing it looks like a nice weekend, followed by some cloudy skies and slight chances of light showers going into next Tuesday/Wednesday and milder temps (highs near 50° and overnight lows mid week that won’t allow for snowmaking)…but there’s plenty of snow base at all of the resorts and things should be quite nice going into the next wave of cold air that should arrive around the 9th or 10th.

Get me see cool pics of the ice (and hopefully the snow!) Email me at: [email protected]

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Snowshoe Resort was looking pretty on this blue sky day atop the Ball Hooter lift – Photo by Greg Huff.
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