One to Two Inches of Snow Fell Across Most of the Region and Ski Resorts Have Begun Making Snow in Preparation of Openings as Early as This Week!

First Trax

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It’s Sunday, November 16th, 2008 and it is a cold and snowy first day of the week. It is also the first day that more than two ski areas are making snow and THAT is a great signal that we are fast approaching the real start to the 2008-2008 ski and snowboarding season for the Southeast and Mid Atlantic ski areas.

This morning at 9:30am we are looking around and seeing numerous ski areas making snow. A couple of weeks ago Cataloochee and Ski Beech in North Carolina cranked up the snow guns…as did Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia. Cataloochee and Snowshoe continued to do so and as earlier reported Cataloochee opened for skiing and snowboarding most of that first week. Snowmaking ops have been a bit spotty since then with Snowshoe getting more frequent chances in the last week or so.

However as we look around this morning we are now seeing numerous resorts making snow and we’re expecting some resort openings in the next day or so.

Here are some notes and observations as we explore this morning:

<Thanks to David "Coop" Cooper up at Canaan Valley Resort for the nice early morning photos. He reports that they picked up 1.5" of snow this morning and he sent a nice couple of photos. One appears as our photo of the day on the front page of the site and as you can see, this one shows some early season "customers" looking for something to graze on!

It’s 28° at Canaan Valley this morning. There’s no reports of snowmaking yet though. We’ll get you guys some updates ASAP as per expected opening dates, etc.

Wisp Resort in Western Maryland is reporting 32°, but we’re not seeing any snowmaking up there just yet.

I know we’re jumping around a little this morning but I’m getting information as I come to it this AM. With that in mind, Timberline Resort is reporting 30° at 10:55am and since they are one ridge over from Canaan, we can expect that they too have seen 1.5 inches of new snow. They plan on opening December 4th for the season. They have already seen 10.5" of snowfall this early in the season so things look great for the 2008-2009 season. 

Timberline Resort also saw 1.5" of snow>

We haven’t heard anything from Snowshoe Mountain yet this morning but one look at the current weather report from the NWS tells us that they are making snow right now and will be around the clock for much of this coming week. Snowshoe has gotten a HUGE head start on most ski areas in terms of the amount of snow already laid down. They will really crank it out this week in preparation for what should be a great opening day, November 26th!

We’ve not heard anything from Winterplace just yet, but we’ll have our new reporters in touch with them on Monday to get an update on what’s happening up that way.

<Check out this array of guns!

Bryce Resort in Virginia is still talking "golf and driving range" on their website. They have not begun making snow just yet, but will be soon. Check out this array of snowmaking guns primed and ready to fire!

It is 41° this morning at Massanutten Resort so there’s no snowmaking going on there. They are ready to go though and we expect snowmaking to begin at Mass this week.

Wintergreen Resort is at 31° this AM. According to their staff they will be cranking up their primo, snowmaking mechanism this week and opening day is right around the corner.

Ober Gatlinburg in Tennessee plans to open in December and they will probably begin making snow this next week.

Most areas of the High Country in Western North Carolina saw just a dusting to perhaps one inch of snow from the "storm" that began with gusto last night around 7:15pm or so. Some of the highest elevations over towards the Tennessee state line are reporting 2", while most of the rest of the area has experienced a dusting.

Thanks to the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network (coCoRaHS) the highest officially measured snow was around the tops of Sugar and Beech Mountains where .79" of snow has fallen. Perhaps some small drifts will measure 1-2" but that’s about it. It will be great to get some official measurements from some of the areas that historically have been over-reported in the past.

The National Weather Service is forecasting a few more snow showers throughout the day with perhaps 1-2" more snow today.

The great news is that many ski areas are taking advantage of the cold blast of air and preparing to getr open. The highs today will be in the low 30s and lows tonight will remain in the 20s so that means snowmaking around the clock! Monday will "warm" just a bit as temps are expected to reach perhaps 40°. Then MORE COLD and snow is on the way Monday evening as temps dive back into the low 20s. Snow showers are expected Monday night through Tuesday and more important to us snow lovers is the fact that the expected high temps for Tuesday are in the mid to upper 20s…with more around the clock snowmaking temps as teens are expected Tuesday night.

The long range forecast is for MORE colder-than-normal temps throughout the week and more light snow is possible next weekend.

Expect quick openings by Sugar Mountain and perhaps even Ski Beech this week. We’ve provided some additional observations below. Enjoy!

Appalachian is making snow at 26° in preparation for their opening day, which is scheduled to be November 21. Regardless of when they open, make note that their first day of skiing and snowboarding, they will offer free ski tickets to the first 100 guests at the ticket cashier window. Be sure to get there early to take advantage of this great offer, and enjoy some amazing early season skiing and snowboarding at Appalachian Ski Mtn.

We haven’t heard anything from Cataloochee, but they don’t appear to be making snow (or their webcam isn’t working). They are supposed to be replacing that cam, so that could be the case. As we all know Cat made snow first this season and opened a couple of weeks ago. We’ll update you guys when we hear from them.

Ski Beech began making snow moments after Sugar Mountain did so Saturday evening. They are cranking out some snow at 19.7° right now.

Sugar Mountain began making snow Saturday around 3pm. They are making their own snow cloud this morning. It is 19.7° up there as well. Sugar Mountain is reporting 2" of new snow. Look for Gunther to open as early as Monday. If not then Tuesday is a good bet.

We’re seeing 31° and mostly cloudy conditions over at Wolf Ridge. They look to have received perhaps an inch of snow over that way. No snowmaking is happening over there right now, but they will be cranking up again soon.

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David Cooper of Canaan Valley Resort in West Virginia sent this snowy photo this morning after about one and a half inches of snow has fallen (so far)
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Sonny Gower from up in West Virginia walked out on the slopes of Silvercreek at Snowshoe Mountain to snap these images for us – thanks Sonny! Snowshoe
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