Snow Fell (See where), Closings, Season Extendings and more today!

First Trax

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Have you guys ever had one of those days when you just couldn’t get ANYTHING that you needed to accomplish – accomplished? It has been that kind of week for us! What a crazy week! I began today like any other day, first getting to posting the updated ski reports, snow totals, etc. However, ten minutes into my day – a whirlwind came through my office in the form of a sequence of responsibilities and needs that demanded my involvement and the next thing I know it is now 1pm and I JUST got back to doing the "morning" ski report and stories.

Here we are on the 16th anniversary of "The Storm of the Century" or the Blizzard of ’93 for those of us who experienced it. Sixteen years ago yesterday, today and this weekend those of us living in the Southeast and Mid Atlantic saw something that most native southerners had not seen before – FEET OF SNOW dumped on us from one massive snowstorm. Now, sixteen years later there’s no blizzard in the region, but 4" of snow has fallen up into Snowshoe Mountain according to their morning update. According to David C. Lesher’s official reporting station up at Canaan Valley in Tucker County – at David’s 3715′ elevation – he officially measured one-half inch of snow. So Snowshoe’s 4848′ wrung out the most snow from the moisture and temperatures available. According to Wisp Resort’s report, they saw NO SNOW from this system, and neither had Winterplace as of 8am this morning. Now at 1pm I see they’ve seen 4" of snow. Wintergreen Resort, Massanutten and Bryce Resorts in Virginia all reported 1" of snow from this "storm" so some of the white stuff made its way to someplace other than Snowshoe! (If you detected a note of jealousy within the last exclamation – of course I’m jealous! I can love them and still be envious of a bit of snow!)

As we predicted yesterday, there was a flake or two of snow that fell into the North Carolina mountains. Sorry, but we couldn’t grab the camera in time to snap that ONE FLAKE that fell from the sky at 2:43am. (Yes, now I’m being facetious. I’m CONFLICTED, okay?) One of our local weather dudes was still forecasting some wet snow as late as yesterday, as was Sugar Mountain within their slope report, but they were the only ones forecasting snow as it was pretty obvious that the temps were not going to "be there" for the North Carolina mountain areas. Instead we’re looking at the kind of weather pattern that seemed to be in place early on in this season – one in which there was a "Tale of Two Regions". Early in the 2008-2009 season we kept seeing system after system that provided for temperatures that were some ten degrees colder from about Winterplace Resort and up. Typically the temp that you’ll see at Wisp Resort in Maryland is about what you’d get at Ski Beech or Sugar. Not most of this season. As an example of how that colder ridge has formed a line dividing the cold air from the colder air – the temperature at 8:32am at Wisp Resort in Maryland was 24° – while at Ski Beech it was 36°.

This kind of variance in weather patterns is in part one of the reasons that Wisp Resort in Maryland has decided to ski and ride until (get this) APRIL 12th! I just received a phone call from Wisp Resort’s General Manager/ COO, Tim Prather and he shared, "We have a couple of schools that are on break during that time and if it’s a little too cool to go to the beach we’re committed to ski!" He added that Wisp would operate on a regular schedule Monday through Friday skiing and riding only through March 29th, but would then close and reopen on each of the weekends of April 3rd and 10th and then close for the season on April 12th.

According to Wisp’s "snowman", Bob Yaste, they made snow Wednesday night and again "made a little snow" last night. Wisp is still reporting "Thin Cover and Spring Conditions" this morning, so I’m not as sure as they are that they are going to have the snow to make it into April, but we’ll see! Bob and Tim sure sound certain.

As we mentioned on Thursday, several ski areas are now calling it quits for the season, this weekend. Those are:

Ski Beech
Wolf Ridge
Bryce Resort
The Homestead
Ober Gatlinburg

The resorts that plan on shutting down skiing ops on March 22nd are:

Massanutten Resort
Wintergreen Resort
Canaan Valley
Snowshoe Mountain
…and possibly Winterplace

Resorts scheduled to ski until March 29th are:

Appalachian Ski Mountain
Cataloochee Ski Area
Sugar Mountain (tentatively)
Winterplace Resort (if they don’t close March 22nd)
Wisp Resort (planning to go weekends into April)

As mentioned prior, Wisp Resort IS standing pat on their committment to ski until April 12th.

We had planned on doing an "anniversary" story on The Blizzard of ’93 today, but we’ll now save that for tomorrow. So check back then.

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