SNOW! Glorious SNOW is Falling!

First Trax

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It is Thursday, January 8, 2009 and after what has felt like an eternity of moisture laden weather – it continues to be dropping moisture AGAIN today! Of course, THIS kind of moisture is more of what the doctor ordered to heal the slopes of the ski areas (and the hearts of ski and snowboarding enthusiasts) across the region!

Beautiful, white, fluffy, wonderful, gorgeous SNOW began falling on Wednesday afternoon and has continued overnight and this morning. As I type this update (at 8am) it is snowing and all is well with the ski world.

Temperatures are where they should be for this time of year with the following observations noted:

Beech Mountain – 22.5°
Sugar Mountain summit – 22.8°
Cataloochee – 26°
Appalachian – 27°

There is a WINTER STORM WARNING for our area (ain’t life GRAND!) For elevations above 3500′ we’re looking at perhaps 2-4" more snow. The Winter Weather Warning is valid until 7pm this evening. Weather guru, Ray Russell of is saying that we should expect 3-5" or so. Meteorologist Matthew East says maybe more in some areas! Yea baby!


According to forecasters, we’re looking at the following forecast for the next week:

Thursday: Hi 32° Low 18° tonight (around the clock snowmaking in a lot of locations!

Friday: Hi 42° Low 29° (Sunny with some night time snowmaking probable.)

Saturday: Hi 44° Low 22° (Starts off a little drizzly then cold and snowy Saturday night with lots of snowmaking temps!)

Sunday: Hi 32° Low 22° (Sunny and COLD with around the clock snowmaking temps)

Monday: Hi 40° Low 24° (Sunny and seasonal temps with overnight snowmaking!)

Tuesday: Hi 27° Low 12° (SNOW! …and around the clock snowmaking!)

Wednesday: Hi 30° Low 16° (SNOW! … and around the clock snowmaking!)

AFTER THAT Meteorologist Matthew East says that next weekend is looking like a "BRUTAL SHOT" of cold air that will have us even colder still.

One look at this forecast and all you need to know is that the base depths will be growing and so will the open trail counts. Expect more slopes to open as resorts get to the weekend.

Matthew East says snow should continue through the day and we could see 6-7" at some of the favorable, upslope areas of the North Carolina mountains.

He calls Saturday at "speed bump" with a quick shot of some rain that is in and out quickly. He’s confident of a LOT of cold air for the next couple of weeks with some additional shots of natural snow.  Check out his latest Skier’s Forecast


Appalachian Ski Mountain – 27° and about 1" of new snow so far. 8 of 10 trails open and absolutely GREAT CONDITIONS for today. They are making a huge cloud of snow at this time.

Cataloochee Ski Area – 25° and about 2" of new snow so far. They added 3" of manmade on top of that and reopened 3 trails and now offer 8 of 14 trails and have night skiing as well. Tubing will reopen on Friday!

Ski Beech – 23° and 2" of new snow and it’s pouring snow right now! Beech began making snow at about 3pm on Wednesday and they are focusing hard on the main portion of the mountain today as they had a lot of terrain to cover to get those top three trails back open. They ARE open today and tonight with 2 slopes and will reopen to the top for Friday!

Sugar Mountain – 19° and 2" of new snow and they are currently receiving more snow and making snow like crazy! Sugar will have very nice conditions on 11 trails for today and they are open with night skiing tonight as well. Ice skating is open but tubing is closed for snowmaking today. Expect it to reopen on Friday.

Wolf Ridge – 33° and 2" of new snow to take them to 13" on the season. (They are only reporting 8" so far this season.) They have 4 of 20 trails open for today.

Sapphire Valley – There’s been no reports since December 29th on their own website and the NC Ski Areas is reporting that Sapphire will "open
on December 19th! We were just about to give up on these guys as to getting any valid updates, but we spoke with Chris Green over there this morning and he’s promised to start sending us morning reports. That would be great for Sapphire fans and you know who you are! Sapphire has received 1.5" of snow since yesterday and they made snow. According to Wendy, they just turned the snowguns off due to the temperature getting about 32° over there. They are closed today as they normally are on Thursdays but WILL open Friday for skiing and tubing.

Hawksnest Tubing Park is making snow and recieved 2" of new snow. They will reopen on Friday with some great lanes of tubing.

As always, be sure to click over to  for more news about ALL of the ski resorts of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic including more photos of the day, more snow news, more videos…and just MORE!

Send your comments, photos, videos, and trip reports to: [email protected]

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