Nothing like a warm, rainy January day to melt the base away.
That may be the feeling of area resorts as they suffered through a “character building” Tuesday, with rain showers following on the heels of 50- and 60-degree temperatures. Although most resorts are still hanging in there, some of the snow produced during a string of below-freezing days during late December is “ready for recycling.” Thankfully, that opportunity may arise soon, as a cold front follows on the heels of yesterday’s rain storm.
With heavy winds and rain, several resorts chose to shut down the lifts early on Tuesday. Whitetail closed at 4 p.m., while Ski Liberty and Ski Roundtop shut down at 5 p.m. All three resorts plan to reopen Wednesday morning.
Wednesday morning should bring colder temperatures (and a reason to put the spring wardrobe back in the closet.) In the mountains, high temperatures will stay in the 30’s with lows dipping into the 20’s. Nighttime temperatures should remain low through the weekend, especially at high-elevation resorts. For the remainder of the week, West Virginia’s Snowshoe Mountain Resort is expecting high temperatures to stay at or below freezing and, yes, the snowguns will be taking advantage of the drop.
During high temperature swings, snow conditions can be tricky. Wet, springlike conditions can quickly freeze into frozen granular when the mercury drops. Grooming can improve the situation, and snowmaking of course can help a great deal. Many resorts have bare spots and have had to close some trails, and are hoping snowmaking will be possible at least during the night over the next few days. Conditions may change rapidly as the week progresses.
If you plan on making a trip to a resort over the next several days, be sure to check with the resort to verify hours, conditions, and open trails.
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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