Resorts Get Cold Weather Reprieve
Author thumbnail By M. Scott Smith, DCSki Editor

Natural snow falls on Snowshoe. Photo provided by Snowshoe Mountain Resort.
After a prolonged thaw, area resorts finally had a chance to resume snowmaking this weekend in an effort to make up for lost ground. On Friday, temperatures plunged from the upper-60’s to below freezing in a matter of hours, and the snowguns - already lining slopes in anticipation - began firing. Snowmaking has continued around-the-clock through the weekend, and loose granular conditions are being replaced by packed powder.

Some resorts received a little precipitation help from Mother Nature, and for once, it was in the form of snow - not rain. For example, Snowshoe Mountain Resort received five inches of natural snow between Friday afternoon and Saturday. Although that helped, the cold temperatures were most critical.

“At the current conditions we are making over 2,100 tons of snow per hour,” said Artie Speicher, Mountain Manager at Snowshoe. “That’s just like covering four football fields with a foot of snow in an hour.”

Even Snowshoe, perched at an elevation higher than any New England resort, lost a lot of base during past weeks. Resorts closer to D.C. also saw their base dropping on a daily basis as unseasonably warm temperatures and rain battered the area. Now, with several days of snowmaking, conditions are improving at local resorts. But snowmaking opportunites may disappear early this week as temperatures once again climb.

In the mountains, temperatures will climb into the 40’s midweek, but may drop low enough at night to allow snowmaking. There is a chance of rain later in the week, but until then, some sunny skies and great conditions should greet skiers and boarders.

About M. Scott Smith

M. Scott Smith is the founder and Editor of DCSki. Scott loves outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, kayaking, skiing, and mountain biking. He is an avid photographer and writer.

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