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It is a “meh” Sunday unless you happen to be lucky enough to ski or ride at Cataloochee today…where it is STILL snowing as of 11:40am. Elsewhere is is drizzly, cloudy and not pristine.

So I figured I’d add a little more gloom. I promised about two weeks ago to update and share just how far below average our Southeast and mid-Atlantic ski resorts ARE in terms of natural snowfall this year, compared to the 10-15-20 year, long term average.

We are on DAY 80 today of a typical ski season that runs the 127 +/- days from Thanksgiving Day through March 31st or so of each year. There are a few ski areas that don’t open until just prior to Christmas and there are a couple that may close up if the urge presents itself. These numbers reflect a full 127 days on the calendar and the amount of snow that has fallen to date.

“Normal” is taking the last (18) years for each resort:

(Bear in mind that many resorts report more average/normal snow per winter for marketing purposes, but these are the actual numbers.)

We’ve been keeping up with every North Carolina snowfall for the last 26 seasons and we’ve posted those snow totals here on for every ski area in the Southeast and mid-Atlantic since the 2004-2005 season. Many ski areas still promote that they receive 50″, 80″ or 180″ on their marketing brochures, etc. We don’t have perfect data for every ski resort for every year prior to 2004, however, we can attest that the snowfall numbers in the “normal” column below IS the accurate average for the last 18 seasons.

Some of those marketing numbers are significantly off from perhaps where they were 25-30 years or more ago. For example, Beech and Sugar still promote 80″ per season, but they average 7.7″ less. Canaan, Timberline and Snowshoe still promote 180″ average snow each season, when they only see 142+/- (some three feet less).

Here are the numbers by State:

Resort 18-Yr Avg This Season Should be to date – normal to date To Reach  Average
Beech Mountain 72.3 26″ 45.5″ 19.5″ 46.3″
Sugar Mountain 66.3″ 22″ 41.7″ 19.7″ 44.3″
Cataloochee 37.8″ 15.5″ 23.8″ 8.3″ 22.3″
Wolf Ridge 43.3″ 11.6″ 27.3″ 15.7″ 31.7″
Appalachian 33.5″ 5.1″ 21.1″ 16″ 28.4″
Sapphire Valley 12.5″ 1″ 7.9″ 6.9″ 11.5″
Canaan Valley 143.1″ 41.4″ 90.2″ 48.8″ 101.7″
Timberline  Mtn 143.1″ 41.4″ 90.2″ 48.8″ 101.7″
Snowshoe Mtn 142.3″ 36.5″ 89.6″ 53.1″ 105.8′
Winterplace 70.9″ 18.5″ 44.7″ 26.2″ 52.4″
Wintergreen 28.9″ 4″ 18.2″ 14.2″ 24.9″
Massanutten 26.9″ 4″ 16.9″ 12.9″ 22.9″
Bryce 26.8″ 3″ 16.9″ 13.9″ 23.8″
Omni Homestead 25.3″ 2.5″ 15.9″ 13.4″ 22.8″
Wisp 112.6″ 38″ 70.9″ 32.9″ 74.7″
Ober Mtn 24.3″ 5″ 15.3″ 10.3″ 19.3″

As you can see, every resort in the region is way off of average snowfall on the season. While every mountain and state has been snow starved, the Virginia ski areas have definitely had it the worst.

The best news to share is that AT LEAST we have had well-timed cold snaps to allow for our mountains to MAKE SNOW, right. This entire post is a testament to WHY snowmaking is so important!



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