SNOWSHOE, West Virginia – Snowshoe Mountain, the #1 mountain resort in the mid-Atlantic region, is focused on what forecasters are predicting this winter and gearing up for a significant increase in snow.
“So far, top meteorologists are forecasting an earlier start to winter and more snow than usual heading our way,” explains Frank DeBerry, COO and president, Snowshoe Mountain Resort. “For those of us in the ski business that’s exactly what we’re hoping to hear. We’ve enjoyed two decent snow seasons in a row, but we’re excited by models for this winter which point to as much as 167% of the average annual snow totals.”
DeBerry looks at local long-term forecasts when preparing his team at Snowshoe. He reviews several different resources before making mountain operation decisions at the resort. Weatherbell Analytics meteorologist, Joe Bastardi, is one of the resources Snowshoe relies on.
“We are definitely seeing a faster start to the ski season this year. Our jump on winter this early in places like Snowshoe is lining up perfectly with our projected above average snowfall this winter,” explains Joe Bastardi, meteorologist, Weatherbell Analytics. “We’re forecasting an incredible lead up to Thanksgiving this year for ski areas from New England down to the Southeast. This week we’ve had great snow. We are expecting a bit of a roller coaster as temps go back up briefly. Then a week leading up to Thanksgiving will be as good as it gets with more snow for Snowshoe and other regional ski areas.”
Bastardi looks at the patterns and setup of the weather right now and compares that with previous seasons. Bastardi is currently forecasting that this winter will closely resemble those seasons of 2002-2003 and 2009-2010, seasons when Snowshoe saw record snowfall of 229”, well above their traditional 180”. Bastardi has also forecasted that Snowshoe could see 167% of the average annual snow total this season.
“We’re seeing what should be a dynamite winter for Snowshoe this year,” states Russ Murley, meteorologist, Precision Weather Service. “What this means is more snow than normal thanks to an active southern branch of the jet stream and a weak El Nino. This historically produces cold, snowier than normal winters in West Virginia.”
“Snowshoe may sit in a great spot for lots of snow this winter,” states Rob Guarino, chief forecaster and meteorologist, LiveWeatherBlogs.com. “Expect a very active January and February. Best powder and snowiest month is expected to be this January.”
With more snow expected than normal, Snowshoe has prepared a different approach to its snowmaking plan in the early part of the season. The plan reflects an aggressive expansion of terrain targeted early. A more conservative approach would have the resort hedging its bets by sitting snow guns on select trails longer to add depth and fend off thaws. The anticipation of significantly higher snow totals also results in different levels of staffing and resources to grooming, snow clearing and removal, road plowing and base area services.
Snowshoe will open for the 2014-15 winter ski and snowboard season on Wednesday, November 26th and remain open through Sunday, April 5th. This Thanksgiving-to-Easter calendar marks the longest announced season schedule in a decade, and follows on the momentum of back-to-back good snow seasons and powerful enhancements to the resort’s snowmaking capabilities. Snowshoe has introduced variable pricing discounts to lift ticket purchases online. The Resort recommends accessing The Snowshoe lift ticket store for the best pricing on advanced ticket sales www.snowshoemtn.com For more details about Snowshoe Mountain call 877-441-4386.
LIVE WEBCAM STREAMING
Snowshoe has installed five streaming HD web cameras at strategic locations around the resort. These cameras provide guests a view into current, live snow conditions 24/7. The cameras point to key trails at Snowshoe Basin and Silver Creek, the most popular chairlifts, the mountaintop village, the base of the mountain and lake, and night skiing. The cameras are available for viewing at http://www.snowshoemtn.com/media-room/web-cams/snowshoe-basin-cam.aspx
About Snowshoe Mountain Resort
Snowshoe Mountain is the perfect year round destination for adventure filled vacations in West Virginia. Snowshoe covers a total area of 11,000 acres in the Appalachian Mountain Range, and includes the second highest point in the state at 4,848’ elevation. In addition to terrific outdoor winter recreation, Snowshoe offers extensive lodging options, fully developed mountain biking trails, a popular golf course designed by Gary Player, wedding and convention areas, and a wide variety of summer outdoor activities. Snowshoe Mountain Resort is part of the family of Intrawest Resorts.
Photo: Snowshow Mountain