There was once a time when it snowed in the Mid-Atlantic in December.
Sadly, this is not one of those years. On Christmas Eve, temperatures are forecast to reach the mid-70s — possibly smashing records. Throughout December, 2015, Mid-Atlantic temperatures have been unseasonably (and unreasonably) warm. Local ski resorts have yet to see any significant natural snow, and have had fleeting moments to make snow. The long-range forecast doesn’t show much relief — temperatures into the New Year will remain warm.
Some resorts have managed to open a few slopes — barely. For example, in West Virginia, a few nights of snowmaking allowed Snowshoe Mountain Resort to open 13 trails, but that’s a historically low count heading into the holiday week. To compensate and appease guests who have already booked trips, Snowshoe will re-open its off-slope activities through the holidays, including golf, art classes, mountain biking tours, whiskey tastings, and more.
Similarly, West Virginia’s Canaan Valley Resort is also reopening part of its golf course and sporting clay range on December 26 to supplement limited skiing options.
“We have found that ‘sweet spot’ where the weather has been warm enough to reopen nine holes for golf while we still have skiers making turns on the hill,” explained Steve Drumheller, general manager of the resort. “With the forecast for daytime temperatures to be high enough to hit the links, we figured our holiday guests would like more activity options.”
In Virginia, Wintergreen Resort had two slopes open for a few days, but plans to close at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, December 23 until cold weather returns.
In Pennsylvania, Seven Springs Resort plans to open with very limited terrain on December 23, 2015. However, the weather forecast on opening day calls for scattered showers with a high of 62 degrees. Other lower-altitude Pennsylvania resorts, such as Whitetail, have little chance of capturing an opening date until there is a sustained stretch of sub-freezing temperatures.
So it’s not exactly a great start to the season. Mid-Atlantic skiers and boarders may have forgotten what snow looks like. As a public service, and to help you get through the next couple snowless weeks, DCSki presents this series of photos showing snow. (You’re welcome.) All of these photos were shot by DCSki’s Editor, M. Scott Smith.