GATLINBURG, Tenn. — The weather can be hectic in East Tennessee. Over a single week, temperatures can fall from around 70 degrees to freezing with winter storms and ice covering the area.
It can be annoying for some people, but the change in weather is perfect for skiers and snowboarders! Since the weather got colder, Ober Gatlinburg announced that they would be opening their slopes on Saturday for the 2021/2022 ski season.
They will open at 11 a.m. on Jan. 8, after snowmakers spent much of the last week covering the area with fresh snow. In a release, officials said they are using new automated snowmaking technology that allows snowmakers to adjust water and air pressure remotely.
In mid-December, officials said they couldn't make snow because of temperature inversion — a weather phenomenon in which cold air is trapped in the valley and warmer air stays above it. Temperature inversion can result in temperatures around 60 degrees in the mountains, while the downtown area sees chills in the mid-40s.
Ober Gatlinburg also opened the 'Magic Carpet' conveyor lift on their Ski School slope, giving new skiers a chance to ease into snow sports.
Anyone visiting the slopes should follow CDC guidelines. Officials said face coverings are required on the Aerial Tramway and said people should practice social distancing whenever possible.