Ski Country Ready for George, Abe and You!
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What’s that you say? You are itching to head skiing one last time before spring? Well, to be frank this won’t be the best weekend of the next 6 on the slopes, but it will be a good one. I say that since there will be at least one cold and snowy weekend in March!
But it’s a long holiday weekend and 2 of the 3 days will be good for skiing with Sunday likely starting fine but turning wet, foggy and a bit slushy.
Here’s the slalom and downhill story!
The ski lodges have weathered a sometimes windy and sometimes wet winter OK. The lack of big snowstorms this winter has been apparent from DC to Cincinnati and from Pittsburgh to Charlotte. But many “little” snows have helped our local resorts maintain their bases. “The snows have come at the right time to keep skiers on the slopes” said Laura Parquette of Snowshoe.
Snowshoe and Canaan are working toward a 100 inch winter, down by normal standards (when the high country annually measures 12 feet or 144”) but enough to maintain good bases. Of course it’s the snow making machines that make it all possible and this winter thanks to a generous supply of quick hitting arctic blasts, the snow guns have churned out mountains of snow. Said Joe Stevens, “when the arctic air hits, our West Virginia resorts can churn out a whopping 20,000 tons of snow per hour, enough to cover 4 football fields with a foot of snow in one hour”. No wonder the bases are in good shape as we celebrate President’s Day weekend.
Those snow guns and the groomers that follow will be working tonight and Saturday to get the holiday weekend off to a groomed start. Air temperatures will dip into the teens tonight and struggle to get out of the 20s on Saturday. Winds will be fresh and from the north tonight so flurries will dust the car tops and ski slopes.
By Sunday a Midwest storm will send a surge of warmer and wetter air toward the high Cheat Mountains. I am predicting afternoon rain to arrive along with fog as temperatures jump to 40 degrees. So consider skiing early for the best conditions.
I also expect Sunday to be windy in the mountains though not as ferocious as last week when some lifts and slopes had to be closed. That’s right winds gusted to 79 miles per hour last Sunday at Snowshoe where parts of the Western Territory including Cupp Run and Shays Revenge were closed due to safety issues.
Since cold blusters and accumulating snow are slated to return by Monday and Tuesday in the high country, Honest Abe says the slopes will be the place to be as we celebrate our presidents!
Oddly, I feel Monday afternoon will be better than morning (temps in the 30s) since the change from rain to snow will occur in the morning and the snow will be a few inches deep by noon (temps in the 20s). Should be a wet snow to start but a dry powder will be falling by Monday afternoon as the air chills to frigid levels in the teens by dusk.
If you can stay and ski on Tuesday, you will have the slopes to yourself and a half a foot or more of fresh powder to ski upon!
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