Winter Officially Began at 5:44am Today; #Bring It!

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For the lead photo today, we brought out a great photo by Deanna Fryfogle of Maryland who submitted this photo just after the blizzard of 2010 dumped in that area around Garrett County and Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. Of course, heavy snow fell through WV, VA, TN and NC as well.

So Winter is officially here. I must have “felt it” arriving because that is about the same time I woke up this morning and couldn’t go back to sleep. It is plenty chilly here in the High Country this morning, although not quite “wintry enough” for me. As I type up this morning “meet up” with you guys – it is 34° and sunny here at our offices between Boone and Banner Elk, North Carolina. Cold, but not too cold.

Thankfully it was cold enough for all but three of our ski resorts to make snow overnight and some are still doing so this morning. Only Appalachian, Wolf Ridge and Ober Gatlinburg ski areas were NOT able to make snow. For App – that was their 3rd night in a row of just missing out on the ability to lay down some white gold. FYI – things look rather nice there, with plenty of base and good side-to-side coverage there – so NO WORRIES…things will be quite nice for a Christmas ski getaway for App fans.

Looks like most, if not all ski areas that made snow last night SHOULD be able to do so again tonight although temps might bit somewhat more challenging on this first day of Winter. The GOOD NEWS is that we should more winter-like temps on THURSDAY as highs and lows may allow for around-the-clock snowmaking across all mountains.

Once that cold front moves through, we MAY not see snowmaking temperatures or natural snow for about a week. So what we see open across the region as of Friday morning – might be what you’ll find when you make your vacation travels to your favorite ski resort for the Holidays.

There ARE SIGNS that we’ll be getting another wave of cold air and some good chances of natural snow as we get into the days PRE-NEW-YEAR’S. That could make for great snowmaking and more slope openings as we get into the BUSIEST SKI WEEKEND OF THE SEASON, December 30th-January 1st. It is looking like plenty of cold air and some moisture may be making its way into the region. We’ll let our meteorologist, Brad Panovich do his thing and see what he says later in the week.

Those snowmaking whales at Wisp look like they could be fun…once they push them around a bit!

If you want to see the effects of good snowmaking, check out the whales showing up on the “skier’s-left-side” coming down the Squirrel Cage slope at Wisp Resort.

As mentioned earlier, Appalachian Ski Mtn. has not been able to make snow in the last three nights. There was some hope that they would last night but, alas, it didn’t happen. Cat SAYS they made snow but I’m thinking that was 24 hours ago although things look great at both Cat and App.

In one of the weirdest twists of temps we’ve seen in a while, Sapphire Valley is making snow this morning and all last night. They may open the slopes tomorrow. They are showing 29° this morning while higher up the state (and elevations) Cat is at 40°.


Some Peeps are Tracking Santa; We’re Tracking the Cold Temps, Snowmaking and Slope Openings!

As has been the case thus far all season long – the colder temperatures and most ideal conditions are into Maryland and West Virginia. All four WV resorts and Wisp are reporting the five coldest temps this morning. You can almost “SEE” the wedge of cold air and where things “mild up” slightly.

19° – Canaan Valley Resort – Davis, WV – 14 trails open. Added one. Made Snow!
19° – Timberline Resort – Davis, WV – Opens Friday. Made Snow!
23° – Snowshoe Mountain – Snowshoe, WV – 33 trails open. Made Snow.
24° – Winterplace Resort – Ghent, WV – 17 trails open. Made Snow.
26° – Wisp Resort – Deep Creek Lake, MD – 12 slopes open. Made Snow.
26° – Oglebay Resort – Wheeling, WV – 2 slopes open. Made Snow.
28° – Omni Homestead – Hot Springs, Virginia – Opens Friday. Made Snow.
28° – Bryce Resort – Basye, Virginia – 7 slopes open. Tubing Open. Made Snow.
29° – Sapphire Valley – Cashiers, NC – Slopes CLOSED. Tubing Open. Made snow.
30° – Massanutten Resort – Massanutten, VA – 7 trails open. Tubing Open! Made Snow.
30° – Beech Mountain Resort – Beech Mtn, NC – 9 trails open. Made Snow. Tubing Open!
30° – Sugar Mountain Resort – Sugar Mtn, NC – 9 trails open. Made Snow. Tubing Open!
31° – Appalachian Ski Mtn – Blowing Rock, NC – 10 trails open. Did NOT make snow.
32° – Wintergreen Resort – Wintergreen, VA – 9 trails open. Made Snow.
35° – Wolf Ridge Resort – Mars Hill, NC – 6 slopes open. Did NOT make snow.
38° – Ober Gatlinburg – Gatlinburg, TN 0 5 slopes open. Tubing open. Did NOT make snow.
40° – Cataloochee Ski Area – Maggie Valley, NC – 10 trails open. Says they made snow…

By the way, since I brought up tracking Santa a bit ago. If you’re lucky enough to be skiing or riding today and into Saturday – you will probably run into Santa at several resorts. (Not sure HOW he does that!)

Santa and his pals might be taking some time off before Christmas to get a few turns, so keep an eye out for them on the slopes!

Let’s all THINK SNOW!

That’s going to do it for me. Email me as you prefer at: [email protected]

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