Old Man Winter Officially Arrived Last Night!

First Trax

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Did any of you guys feel that? No, I mean THAT. Winter officially began at 1:08 AM this morning, in case you didn’t feel anything. It’s disappointing that those of us living in the mountains of North Carolina didn’t at LEAST feel winter-like temperatures as Old Winter Winter made his official debut. It seems that at about the same time he was due to arrive, the colder temperatures went away.

At midnight last night the temperature up at Ski Beech was 25.6° and then shortly after winter officially hit, the temps began creeping up to the point that now as I type this update (8am) it is 36° at Beech, 33° at Appalachian and Hawksnest, 32° at Sugar, 34° at Cataloochee and 38° at Wolf Ridge.

Now it’s ONLY the first day of Winter, but if the woolly worm is going to be able to claim it was correct in predicting this winter’s weather it will need to kick in – in a hurry. This past October Armstrong, the winning woolly worm predicted that the first four weeks of winter will be cold and snowy.

Dr. Ray Russell of Boone Weather fame also predicted a cold and snowy first week of winter…so Old Man Winter…you got some ‘splainin’ to do! Come to think of it, Brad Panovich – you got some explaining to do as well.

Okay, I know that the factors surrounding the forecast from days ago were very complex, and I KNOW that there were sixteen GAZILLION computer models that were predicting everything from an earthquake atop Sugar Mountain, to a flood on Beech, to a volcano erupting at Cataloochee and, oh yes – SUBSTANTIAL SNOWFALL FOR THE MOUNTAINS OF NORTH CAROLINA!

We have GOT to figure out if God is sitting up there going eenie, meanie, mynie, moe over all of these computers and simply hack into His system. Just k-i-d-d-i-n-g God, you know I’m patient, but we could do with some REAL winter weather here in the mountains of North Carolina. P-L-E-A-S-E!

Depending on where you choose to get your poison (The National Weather Service, Ray Russell, or your choice of meteorologists) the forecast for the next few days looks something like this:

We’ll have some drizzle today (as we have expected for a few days) and Sunday. Sunday night’s low should allow for some snowmaking (yea! to that) and now Monday through Wednesday look pretty nice as far as things being dry for your Holiday skiing and riding (YEA TO THAT TOO). The highs should be seasonable…nothing frigid, but not mild either (MORE YEA!). Overnight lows should allow for MORE SNOWMAKING with temps around 26 to 27° each night (CAN I GET A COUPLE MORE YEAS!?)

After Wednesday, the jury is still out, but it looks like that wedge of cold air that many were saying would keep us cold enough to make snow…AIN’T (yep I said "ain’t" GONNA HAPPEN. Temps are expected to provide mid 40s for highs and mid 30s (no snowmaking there) for lows.

So as far as terrain and slope openings, look for resorts to make some snow Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights and then you’ll "have what you have" as we move through the rest of the Holiday week.


Before I am bombed with emails for being a sour-puss this morning, I have to just admit that all of us were hoping for a bit more cold temps and some snow in the days ahead…after all, some forecasters were predicting good chances for some substantial snow for Christmas Day. Nevertheless, the surface conditions at the resorts ARE DOG-GONE nice right now. So don’t misunderstand my sour-puss mode.

Once we get past this on and off weekend of light drizzle (there will be some decent skiing today and Sunday), things DO looks SWEET for Monday-Wednesday and your Holiday trip will provide some nice conditions at your favorite ski area. JUST NOT THE HEAVY HIT OF WINTER YOURS TRULY WAS HOPING FOR – for our North Carolina Mountains.


None of the NC ski areas made snow last night.

The rain that we had on Friday didn’t do any real damage to the good bases at the resorts.

All of the resorts have done some overnight and early morning grooming that should make for nice conditions this weekend. (You’ll probably dodge some drizzle here and there.)

All will blast the slopes beginning Sunday night.

Hawksnest wrote, "We have boxes and snow hits spread over the mountain for your enjoyment." That means Terrain Park lovers should head over to Hawksnest today and try them on for size.

Ski Beech wrote, "The temperature at 6:30am was 36 and cloudy. The forecast calls for drizzle with a high in the 40’s. There will be a Christmas Eve service at 4:30 on Monday beside our outdoor ice rink in the Beech tree Village."

Nobody else wrote anything. Many are busy forming a posse to hunt down and beat the &^% out of Old Man Winter! We have already found his replacement. His name is Brad Panovich. We KNOW our man Brad loves COLD and SNOW and will provide at most every turn. So if we are successful in our "coup d’état" then will get us some winter here!

That’s it for now. Go enjoy your day and get off of this computer and onto the slopes! Pack your gear and get your rear up here as Holiday Skiing will be pretty nice.

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

For reports and weather from ALL of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic Ski Resorts, visit www.SkiSoutheast.com (There’s a bunch of Winter up that way!) 

See You On The Slopes!

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