Ski slopes hurting, weather help on the way, say forecasters

NC ski lodges feel the pain of warm weather

AVERY COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Temperatures were in the 50s and it was raining in the North Carolina mountains on Tuesday.

The weather has been like that for days now, and with cold weather far in the rearview mirror, ski slopes are showing a lot of grass and mud as the snow melts. At Sugar Mountain, as with the other resorts, the slopes are open but the few skiers that are there are navigating through slushy conditions.

Officials said conditions need to improve within days to keep the slopes open. That improvement could begin Thursday night.

“We could have temperatures in the teens,” said Gunther Jochl of Sugar Mountain.

Any temperatures below freezing will arrest the melting and allow snowmaking to begin again. The technology is such that Jochl says there “Won’t be a bare spot on the slopes by Friday.”

Other businesses are hoping that’s the case as well.

This is the big Martin Luther King Jr Day weekend that usually draws thousands of winter tourists up to the area. If the forecast of colder weather holds true, they expect a big weekend financially.

Resort officials are hoping the cold weather sticks around a while so enough snow can be made to keep skiers happy for several weeks to come.

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