What a crazy, mixed, bag of weather we’re are experiencing Sunday morning. First, it is WET everywhere from Wisp Resort in Maryland (where it is 30° and under an ‘ice storm warning’) to drizzle and rain most everywhere else.
Not a Great Welcome to December for Southeastern Ski Areas, however, things are about to change!
I feel a little bit like those football game announcers who have to talk about SOMETHING in the midst of a football massacre. When a game has gotten so out of hand at like 45-3 early in the fourth quarter and they start breaking out human interest stories of how great a scholar this or that kid is.
That’s what this morning feels like for me after nature dumped from about a half-inch of rain across the West Virginia and Virginia mountains to way too much rainfall on the ski mountain communities of North Carolina over the last 24 hours. We’ve detailed how much rain fell a bit further down the page.
However, for right now let’s chat about conditions for TODAY and share WHAT’S HEADED OUR WAY…
As mentioned, only about a half-inch of rain fell on Snowshoe’s 14 open slopes. That spared them from any base deterioration to speak of. They are definitely getting some drizzle and “meh” conditions this morning, but the slopes are in good shape.
Snowshoe Mountain Resort – they have 14 trails open today and here’s the forecast for Pocahontas County.
…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 7 AM EST TUESDAY…
*Snow expected from midnight Sunday night to 7am EST Tuesday. Total snow accumulations of 3 to 8 inches. Winds could gust around 45 mph. Higher snow amounts will occur along the higher windward terrain.
As we skip down into Virginia, Massanutten Resort – has temporarily closed the slopes. Tubing Only Sunday from 10am-5pm. Plan to reopen slopes Saturday, December 7th.
Moving over to Tennessee – Ober Gatlinburg – I watched as they were “spraying” “shaved/powderized ice” from their refrigerated snow making system called Snow Magic. It allows them to put snow on their tubing park even when it is 53° like it is this morning at the Smoky Mountain ski area. They are open with TUBING Sunday and the slopes will open later this month.
…and NOW into the rain-damaged slopes of North Carolina…
The rain hit here in the High Country late on Saturday afternoon and it was painfully obvious that the intensity of the rain I heard hitting the deck outside my window – was going to close down some slopes…if not ski areas. We are seeing some blue skies on this Sunday morning, but the damage was done.
Here are some rain amounts I found:
Beech Mountain – 1.49″ before midnight and another 0.64″ since.
Sugar Mountain – 1.26″ before midnight and another 0.84″ since.
Appalachian Ski Mountain – 1.05″ before midnight and another 0.76″ since.
Cataloochee Ski Area and Appalachian Ski Mountain have weathered that rain the best as:
Appalachian Ski Mountain – is open with (6) slopes for day and night sessions. They did close the Appal Jack terrain park, however Appal Jam is open with (5) features. The ice rink is open as well.
Cataloochee Ski Area – is open for day session only on (3) slopes. They actually have a good path, side-to-side with 3 slopes open from the mid-station down. I saw Chris Bates out grooming early to push snow around. Some of their crew was shoveling snow at the loading station…so they will be good to go today.
Sugar Mountain Resort – has closed their main slopes from the top and only have EASY STREET open today for day sessions only.
Beech Mountain Resort is now CLOSED TEMPORARILY awaiting cold temps to make snow and reopen.
CHECK THE SNOW REPORT FOR ALL THE DETAILS (TEMPS, ETC)
RANDOM OBSERVATIONS AND WHAT IS HEADED OUR WAY!
As mentioned earlier, the West Virginia resorts did not see NEARLY as much rain. The NWS station at Snowshoe is reporting 0.37″ of rain and David Lesher’s Canaan Weather is reporting 0.15″ at Canaan Valley. So they escaped the heavy rain damage to the slopes.
It is WET EVERYWHERE Sunday morning, but here comes the snow storm for a large portion of our coverage area. While “under-developed snow” has wreaked havoc on the slopes over the LAST 24 hours…the next 30-36 hours should usher in winds and gusty conditions (wind gusts to 45 mph on some mountaintops) along with as much as 3″ to 8″ of snow at Snowshoe and Canaan Valley and from:
1″-3″ around Asheville
3″-6″ near Blowing Rock and Appalachian Ski Mountain
3″-6″ near Waynesville and Maggie Valley (Cataloochee Ski Area)
3″-6″ into the Virginia Mountains with from 2″-6″ at The Homestead, Bryce, Wintergreen and Massanutten
3″-8″ around Snowshoe and Canaan Valley
…and the latest from the NWS is forecasting as much as 6″-12″ inches at various peaks.
HERE IS THAT LATEST FILE REPORT for Beech and Sugar Mountains…
The National Weather Service has issued a WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR AVERY COUNTY (Home to Beech and Sugar Mountain)
A PERIOD OF ACCUMULATING SNOW AND VERY WINDY CONDITIONS WILL OCCUR TONIGHT THROUGH MONDAY NIGHT…
In the wake of a vigorous cold front passage late today, northwest upslope flow and associated moisture will spill into the southern Appalachians from the west starting tonight. A fairly extended period of snowfall and very windy conditions will then continue through Monday and linger well into Monday night.
Snowfall accumulations will range wildly, from 3 to 6 inches in some places along the immediate
Tennessee line, to 6 to 12 inches at the higher elevation locations above 4500 feet, especially in the Smokies.
…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 7 PM THIS EVENING TO 7 AM EST TUESDAY…
Snow accumulations of 3 to 6 inches are more likely above 4000 feet, with the highest peaks possibly
seeing 9 inches. Winds gusting as high as 50 mph at times.
As I wrap up this FirsTrax report, the sun is shining here at my home in Sleepy Hollow. There is NO HINT to the weather that is coming. However, like every snow-loving soul in the area – I am excited at the prospects of some cold and snow. Look for those snow guns to re-fire everywhere later this evening as the temperatures allow. With some focused snowmaking and natural snow as well…we’ll see an amazing transformation to really nice conditions from Tuesday through the week and into next weekend.
Until Next Time…
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