It’s a moment like this that skiers and snowboarders dream of — a big snowstorm is set to dump a ton of powder in the middle of a three-day weekend. After a dismal December, resorts in the Mid-Atlantic have been waging war with snow guns and are opening new terrain daily. With up to a foot or more of new snow late this weekend, the best skiing of the season is on tap.

“With the recent low temperatures, all of our Pennsylvania resorts have been making snow and adding terrain as quickly as possible,” said Andy Debrunner, communications director at Vail Resorts, which operates Whitetail, Liberty and Roundtop ski areas. He cautioned, however, to “plan your trip ahead of time.”

Many resorts are limiting lift ticket sales, so guests are advised to purchase their tickets online before arrival to ensure a ride to the top of the mountain. Snowshoe ski resort in West Virginia has sold out for Saturday and Sunday.

Canaan Valley in West Virginia officially dropped the ropes for the first weekend of the season Friday. And just a few miles as the crow flies at Timberline, the only six-person chair lift in the region is servicing 100 percent of the open terrain.

Situated between Canaan Valley and Timberline is White Grass Touring Center, a popular cross-country skiing destination. According to Chip Chase, owner and manager, “snow conditions are pretty marginal right now.” They are skiing on about three miles of track at the “snow farm” but if they get the foot of fresh snow expected on Sunday, Nordic skiers will “skinning up” up to the top of Weiss Knob and shushing down.

Snow conditions on the slopes across the region Friday are average, with loose granular and groomed granular surfaces. No surprise, Snowshoe, the largest ski resort in the Mid-Atlantic, leads in acreage open (157) and trail count (39). However, Massanutten and Bryce, both in Virginia, are 100 percent open.

Weekend forecast

The forecast couldn’t be much more promising for local ski areas this weekend, with cold temperatures perfect for snow-making and a blanket of natural powder to boot.

Saturday: Partly cloudy skies and cold with highs ranging from near 20 above 3,000 feet and the mid- to upper 20s elsewhere.

Sunday: Snow develops from south to north, starting in west central Virginia midday and progressing to the mountains of southern Pennsylvania by early evening. Snow could mix with or change to sleet and freezing rain for a time, especially in south central Pennsylvania on Sunday night. Snow accumulations of 5 to 8 inches are most probable in south central Pennsylvania, but near or over a foot is possible in the mountains of western Virginia, West Virginia, western Maryland and southwest Pennsylvania through Monday morning. Temperatures are mostly in the 20s to near 30.

Monday: Intermittent snow showers are likely in the mountains of West Virgnia, western Maryland and southwest Pennsylvania, with some additional accumulation possible and highs near 30. In Virginia and south-central Pennsylvania, after some early day snow showers, expect partial clearing and a high near 35.