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Ober Gatlinburg slopes to stay closed for upcoming weeks due to unusually warm weather

Officials said ongoing weather patterns known as temperature inversion are preventing them from being able to open the slopes for skiing and snowboarding.

GATLINBURG, Tenn. — Ober Gatlinburg announced Friday that they would not be able to open their slopes in the upcoming weeks for skiing and snowboarding.

They said they are facing unique weather patterns that push warmer air up into the mountains, causing temperatures to rise above the threshold needed to make snow. They said the phenomenon is known as temperature-inversion and is caused when large pockets of cold air settle in valleys and low-lying areas.

As it settles, the warmer air is pushed up into higher elevations, causing temperatures to rise in the mountains. Officials said that on one night, they saw 37-degree weather in downtown Gatlinburg but 61-degree weather on the mountain.

Ober Gatlinburg said they are staying vigilant and will look for chances to make snow to prepare the slopes for skiers and snowboarders, despite the unusually warm December weather. And while thermal inversion may prevent them from opening the slopes, they said it can also make for good sightseeing as pockets of mist form on ridgelines and in valleys.

They also said while the slopes may be closed, there are other kinds of holiday fun to be had to Ober like snow tubing, an alpine slide and an aerial tramway.

Credit: Ober Gatlinburg

SLOPE ANNOUNCEMENT: Due to ongoing weather patterns beyond our control and the weather that is forecasted, Ober...

Posted by Ober Gatlinburg on Friday, December 17, 2021

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