Snow, Rain, Freezing Rain, Sleet; It’s ALL there Across the Southeast Today! The Potential for HEAVY SNOW IS AS WELL!

First Trax

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I was flipping around on Direct TV this morning and quickly saw and heard about the massive ice storm that is messing with a lot of the southeast and mid Atlantic this morning. However, after doing our tour of the ski areas this morning, while there are pockets of freezing rain and some reports of mixed precipitation around the region, it is not all that bad this AM. Of course this system is still working its way into and across the region and we’ll report on conditions as they change. Be sure to check the road conditions for today as our DOT crews update things. 

Some areas picked up another 1-4" of snow and mixed precip, while areas into North Carolina saw nothing more than a damp day. No rain, just kind of foggy and damp. Some light snow is in the forecast across much of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic today, but nothing really signicant.

The COLD AIR is returning in behind this mess that moves through today and that will bring back snowmaking in earnest across most all of the area. More snowmaking means more sweet conditions for the end of this week and into the weekend.

The weekend is setting up to be a cold, sunny one with VERY NICE-TO-AWESOME conditions. The news that is already beginning to make the rounds among snow lovers is that POTENTIALLY HEAVY SNOW is in the forecast for Monday. We expect for the snow-hound-of-a-meteorologist, Brad Panovich to update us as he’s been so busy being Chief Weather dude for WCNC that he only gets up with us when it is looking snowy! However we heard from Matthew East and then checked out all of the weather resources and they all seem to be in agreement that the potential for a heavy snow event is in the forecast for Monday. According to Matthew East, the top computer models (those with silkier skin and… oh wait, not THOSE MODELS!) are confidently forecasting a pattern that we haven’t seen much of over the last few winters. From the looks of things, some significant snow is in the forecast for the entire region! STAY TUNED FOR THAT GREAT NEWS!

Here’s the quick tour for today:

Wisp Resort – 27° – They received 4" of snow in the last 24 hours but they are now getting that dreaded ice and freezing rain, so things are nasty right now. They do have 31 trails open, the mountain coaster and 10 lanes of tubing open. You learn something new everyday, but we just learned that Kelly Johnson is no longer with Wisp and that our buddy, Lori Epp assumed the position of Director of Marketing. Lori was always our marketing guru up there anyway. Late congratukations Lori! I’m not sure where we were!

Timberline Resort – 36" – January 2009 is going to go down as one of the snowiest Januarys on record at Timberline as another 2" of snow fell in the last 24 hours. That takes them to 58.3" on the month and 128.6" on the season! February looks like it will get a jump start of heavy snow as a big storm is brewing that may hit right on the first or second. Timberline has 32 trails open and awesome conditions.

Timberline’s Jessica Scowcroft wrote us, "This weekend we are hosting our Winter Celtic Music Weekend. As part of the ski area’s winter themed musical weekends, Timberline Four Seasons Resort will feature Celtic music performed on traditional instruments on January 30th and 31st. This event is in keeping with the resort’s focus on the vast musical heritage of this portion of West Virginia."

The public is invited to enjoy Celtic music at 4:00 pm until 7:00 pm Friday and Saturday at the ski lodge. Celtic music with its residual Irish and Scottish influence is now being performed increasingly in the Appalachian Mountains. Appearing at the weekend Celtic festival will be Pete Tenney and Blain Stevens their associates playing traditional Irish and Scottish music on fiddle, guitar, mandolin and vocals. There is no cover charge for any of the performances.

In other great news, according to general manager, Tom Blanzy, the resort’s new hotel is now available for Timberline skiers to reserve. The new facility is slope front and features mountain side private decks, jet style tubs, and flat screen televisions in individual rooms or family suites. The new conference room on the hotel’s first floor is an ideal setting for business meetings and for social events.

In other Timberline news today – The well known Salamander Run, the South’s longest ski trail and all other major trails from the top of the mountain are open.

A lot of our messageboard crew have become more familiar with Timberline of late and they are singing the praises of this old school resort. For more information please call (304) 866-4801 or visit our website at  .

Canaan Valley – 26° – They are reporting a mixed precip this morning of snow and freezing rain. They have 38 trails open and groomed conditions on a reported base of 20-40" (Average of 30")

Canaan has some sweet "stay and play" deals going right now. How about $69.50* per person/per night

Package includes:
Lodging, lift ticket, and Beech Club privileges (indoor pool, fitness center, whirlpool & sauna).

Call them now at (800) 622-4121 or book online and tell them we sent you as this offer is valid only for January 30th and 31st.

*Based on double occupancy and Kids Stay & Ski Free promotion not included with this offer.

Snowshoe Mountain – 34° – They are getting a little ice this morning and some pockets of freezing rain up that way this morning and that could change over to snow as the cold front digs deeper into the region later today. Snowshoe picked up another 2" of snow to take their seasonal total to 135"! They also moved to 100% open again with all 60 trails in operation. Snow tubing is also available.

The annual Cupp Run Challenge takes place Monday, February 2nd. Ski racers are invited to participate in one of the East’s most demanding races on a course which covers nearly 1,500 vertical feet. Registration begins Sunday from 6-8pm at the Shavers Center. (Editor’s note: A HUGE SNOW STORM IS EXPECTED FOR MONDAY AND THAT COULD MAKE THE CUPP RUN CHALLENGE A POWDER EVENT!)

Winterplace Resort – 39° – They are too warm to be getting the ice that is hitting a lot of the area up there. Winterplace is looking at some light drizzle changing over to snow later today. They have 27 trails and snow tubing open.

Wintergreen Resort – 36° – They are reporting a 40-60" base (Average of 50") on 26 trails today. Tubing is open as well. We’ve received some reports of some thinning areas on a few trails so we are rating the base coverage as a "9" which is about as good as it gets – with only a few thin areas popping up around trail merges, etc. From what we’re hearing, Wintergreen is missing the ice and freezing rain event today and that is good news.

Massanutten Resort – They are about 10 degrees colder than Wintergreen right now and that puts them at 26° and it appears that they are getting a little in the way of freezing rain and mixed precip. They ALSO are reporting an inch of new snow and that takes them to 3" on the season. They have all 14 trails open and Tubing today. They report a single number 50" average base!

Bryce Resort – 32° – The big news here is that they picked up 3" of new snow in the last 24 hours and that DOUBLES their snowfall total on the season! (6" now.) They closed up their only black trail (Hangover) and have 7 trails open for today and snow tubing on a base of 35-61" (Average 48" base).

Ober Gatlinburg – 55° – At least they are not suffering from ice! They have 6 trails open and are reporting a base of 34-68" (Average of 51"). We rate their base as an "8" of 10. They have some thinning coverage and can’t wait to make snow – hopefully tonight although it will be close as to whether or not the temps allow.

Wolf Ridge Resort – 41° this morning. They are reporting a base of 46-66" (Average of 56") on 10 trails and they offer snow tubing as well. Wolf reports, "Colder weather returning Thursday! Just in time for the weekend! Slopes are in great shape! Come out and Ski the Wolf! WEDNESDAY/THURSDAY STUDENT SPECIAL: NIGHT: 6pm-10PM Lift Ticket: $18.00: Ski Rental $5.00: Snowboard – Rental: $10.00

Appalachian – 35° – It is 2° colder now than the reported low overnight by App’s crew. They did not make snow, but really don’t need any snow as they have a reported base of 78-104" or a single number AVERAGE BASE of 91"! All ten trails, both terrain parks and their ice rink are open.

Cataloochee – 45° – They are reporting a 38-85" base (Average of 61.5") on 14 trails, serviced by 5 lifts. They will reopen for Tubing on Thursday.

Ski Beech – 39° – They are reporting a base of 30-60" (Average of 45") on 11 trails. They have the terrain park set up on Powder Bowl and the ice rink is open. Beech has plenty of snow and very good coverage although they are showing some thinning areas. We’ve dropped their conditions rating to a strong 8 out of 10, but they are ready to make snow and in more need than most of the other ski areas for tonight’s snowmaking temps.

Sugar Mountain – 37° – They are reporting a 37-76" base (Average of 56.5") on 20 trails. They have tubing and ice skating open as well. We have dropped their base conditions rating to an 8 as well. They have plenty of good coverage and good snow, but there are a few thinning areas at trail merges.

Sapphire Valley – They are closed Wednesdays and Thursdays and will reopen on Friday at noon.

Hawksnest Snow Tubing Park – Is closed until Thursday.

So cold is headed our way and that means snowmaking and great conditions for the end of the week and the weekend ahead. If you can get away for the weekend and stick around into next week, you’ll probably experience some really good natural snow and conditions that are AWESOME!

Until Next time…

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