To say the east has had a slow start to the 2011/12 season would be putting it lightly. Most GMs and snowmakers up and down the eastern seaboard would agree its been an uphill battle to get the downhill conditions where they ought to be. So it's no wonder we get stoked up at the mention of three little words -- Winter Weather Advisory.

Mother Nature has thrown one curve ball after another at eastern resorts, postponing openings, causing closing and blowing through swaths of the average snowmaking budget, with little to show for it. Finally after gazing longingly into the crystal ball with big hopeful eyes, our patience is expected to be rewarded for the first time in weeks.

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NOAA map of Winter Weather Alert for Northeast 12/7/11. Image courtesy of The Weather Channel

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NOAA map of Winter Weather Alert for Mid-Atlantic 12/7/11. Image courtesy of The Weather Channel.

The approaching storm is expected to be short lived, scurrying off the Atlantic coast in under 36 hours, bring with it high winds, heavy rain, and some of the first lake-effect snow the region has seen yet this season. Snow accumulation is estimated anywhere from three inches to 10-plus inches (near [R184R, Hunter Mountain], NY), along areas across the southern Appalachians right up through New England.

[R510R, Wisp Resort] in Maryland has already reported more than four inches of new snow.

Cold temps are expected to return and hold into the weekend, which is welcome news for openings, demos and events on tap.

Here's the Weather Channel's precipitation forecast.


Courtesy of The Weather Channel.

Updated 12/7/11, 5:00 ET.