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Short rant about future snow predictions.

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Maybe I am the only one but people asking for predictions at any given resort in early March, Thanksgiving, late December, whatever, is really starting to become an annoyance. I realize they are asking in regard to the historical snowfall that a resort might get but that info is well publicized/marketed at many places on the web. The resort's website, skimaps.com......etc.

I feel IMHO that predicting this based on what has occurred in the past is a waste of time. We have screwed up the environement to a point where normal weather patterns based on the past do not exist anymore. Look at the PNW, many of the resorts up there have huge average snowfall amounts but who could have predicted the dire snowfall amounts that they got last winter.

If hearing "at that time of year that resort usually has great snow conditions" makes you feel better about the 3 grand you just spent for a week vacation for your family, so be it. I say just go, even if the conditions are not greatest you can still have a great time.

I am curious if the resorts in the PNW will include last winter's snowfall in their "average snowfall" stats cause, especially the newer resorts, it should signifigantly lower the figure.

I say it will not cause if, for example, a resort gets 48" of snow and then it rains for 2 days washing it all away, their snowfall amount for that 3 days will still be 48". You arrive on the 4th day and their is little snow left, your SOL. Is paying attention to the base amounts a better stat to keep aware of?
post #2 of 24
Quote:
Look at the PNW, many of the resorts up there have huge average snowfall amounts but who could have predicted the dire snowfall amounts that they got last winter.
Last year they predicted El Nino conditions for the PNW which means warmer temperatures and lower snowpacks. While nobody expected it to be as extreme as it was many people were expecting a bad winter.
post #3 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHrefugee
especially the newer resorts, it should signifigantly lower the figure.
"Newer" resorts?
post #4 of 24

hear, hear

Quote:
Originally Posted by JHrefugee
Maybe I am the only one but people asking for predictions at any given resort in early March, Thanksgiving, late December, whatever, is really starting to become an annoyance. I realize they are asking in regard to the historical snowfall that a resort might get but that info is well publicized/marketed at many places on the web. The resort's website, skimaps.com......etc.

I feel IMHO that predicting this based on what has occurred in the past is a waste of time. We have screwed up the environement to a point where normal weather patterns based on the past do not exist anymore. Look at the PNW, many of the resorts up there have huge average snowfall amounts but who could have predicted the dire snowfall amounts that they got last winter.

If hearing "at that time of year that resort usually has great snow conditions" makes you feel better about the 3 grand you just spent for a week vacation for your family, so be it. I say just go, even if the conditions are not greatest you can still have a great time.

I am curious if the resorts in the PNW will include last winter's snowfall in their "average snowfall" stats cause, especially the newer resorts, it should signifigantly lower the figure.

I say it will not cause if, for example, a resort gets 48" of snow and then it rains for 2 days washing it all away, their snowfall amount for that 3 days will still be 48". You arrive on the 4th day and their is little snow left, your SOL. Is paying attention to the base amounts a better stat to keep aware of?
Couldn't have said it better myself.

in fact i tried to. in a roundabout manner in a post last week - about why it makes sense to just book a trip to "a place you want to go to" at a "time that is convenient to you" and just go - instead of trying to analyze all kinds (long and short range) of weather/snow reports.
post #5 of 24
Like I've said many times... the weather forecasters can't even predict what's going to happen tonight- how on earth are they going to know what to expect in 5 months?

And in addition to that, why do others think that people on this (or any other) board are going to know something they don't? We all have access to this lovely thing we call the internet... do the searching yourself.
post #6 of 24
I'm personally sick of the Board Police around here acting like someone just ripped their arm off because the started a similar thread to one that existed before. If you don't like it don't read it!! Move on!
post #7 of 24
I don't mind people asking as long as they don't mind a vague answer. I guess they asked here because nobody trusts the data posted by marketing teams on most resort sites and with good reason.

What does bug me is when they ask the question get some local input and then acknowledge some new guy to the site who literally lives half a globe away and basically posts nonsense based on very limited knowledge.

It's really the same with technique, ski lessons and gear questions. They often ask for the advice but really all they are fishing for is someone to back up what they already decided. If enough people post someone is bound to have as little of a clue as the person asking the question and they'll get their wish. Pretty much a waste of time but they're the ones that really suffer for it so that's fine.
post #8 of 24
heh - I let it slide l7. I had someone pm me about my Goode carbon skis asking how I liked them. Well of course I like them and told him so. Vague question - vague answer
post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski=free
I'm personally sick of the Board Police around here acting like someone just ripped their arm off because the started a similar thread to one that existed before. If you don't like it don't read it!! Move on!
And yet you read this and apparently couldn't move on without adding your comments like some self imposed forum marshall. Oh the irony...I thought that was reserved for the tai chi thread.

Leelau, yea I let it slide but sometimes depending on the mood I'm inclined to snipe back. Like just above I guess.
post #10 of 24
Replying to the original poster... I find it really amusing that you attribute the PNW bad winter to global climate change. Weather is almost never average. Everyone always looks at average statistics, but they are just that. Remember, for every year that you get where you have perhaps double or triple your normal snow fall, you'll have one that gives you only a half or a third of what is expected.

I do agree with your points about trying to project how the weather is going to be in month A and resort B is really stupid and a waste of time. I also don't think including the one bad year in PNW resort totals is going to change a whole lot. Look at the math. Say a resort has averaged 300 inches a year for 30 years and then they have one year where they only get 50 inches. It only drops their average snow fall down to 291 inches per season, or a decrease of about 3%. Nothing that serious...

-Craig
post #11 of 24
Does anyone know what Vail will be like the 3rd week of January?
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Powdr
Does anyone know what Vail will be like the 3rd week of January?
Winter conditions.
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Powdr
Does anyone know what Vail will be like the 3rd week of January?
Expensive.
post #14 of 24
L7

Funny, it is ironic.LOL!
post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Powdr
Does anyone know what Vail will be like the 3rd week of January?
Is that the beginning of that week or more towards the end?
post #16 of 24
It snowed this week last year in Tahoe, it's gonna snow this week, right?

I basically agree, although there are some general trends that can be interesting in booking a trip. March in Tahoe might be sunny and spring like or dumping, but you're almost guaranteed good coverage. Much more reliable then say early December.

Last year was not unprecendented for the PNW. I forget what the year was, sometime in the late 70's when Alpental was only open 1 day. So they beat that by something like 300% last year Whatever the cause is, weather goes through cycles.
post #17 of 24
Is anyone worried that it's going to be around 60 up in the Wasatch this weekend and beginning of next week. Do you think that means were gonna have bad snow conditions come Halloween? God damn we had 10 feet at that time last year. Oh what are we gonna do : ?LOL
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Powdr
Does anyone know what Vail will be like the 3rd week of January?
Dry and sunny for the first 6 days and then dumping the day you have to leave.
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Dunn
Like I've said many times... the weather forecasters can't even predict what's going to happen tonight- how on earth are they going to know what to expect in 5 months?
Actually, I've found the National Weather Service forecasts for snowfall in the Colorado mountains to be quite accurate several days ahead of time. You're probably speaking of the "local experts" of the media, who always have to add their spin to the science-based forecasts from the NWS.

I get my ski weather forecasts from here: http://iwin.nws.noaa.gov/iwin/co/zone.html

Here's what they're currently saying for Loveland Ski Area in the next few days; looks like no snow this week, but at least it'll get cold enough for artificial snowmaking overnight, unlike last week.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NWS
COZ031-033-034-221100-
WEST JACKSON AND WEST GRAND COUNTIES ABOVE 9000 FEET-SOUTH AND
EAST JACKSON/LARIMER/NORTH AND NORTHEAST GRAND/NORTHWEST BOULDER
COUNTIES ABOVE 9000 FEET-SOUTH AND SOUTHEAST GRAND/WEST CENTRAL
AND SOUTHWEST BOULDER/GILPIN/CLEAR CREEK/SUMMIT/NORTH AND WEST
PARK COUNTIES ABOVE 9000 FEET-
INCLUDING EAST SLOPES PARK AND NORTHERN GORE RANGES...GORE PASS...
RABBIT EARS PASS...CAMERON PASS...LARAMIE AND MEDICINE BOW
MOUNTAINS...RABBIT EARS RANGE...ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK...
WILLOW CREEK PASS...BERTHOUD PASS...BRECKENRIDGE...EAST SLOPES
MOSQUITO RANGE...EAST SLOPES SOUTHERN GORE RANGE...EISENHOWER
TUNNEL...INDIAN PEAKS...KENOSHA MOUNTAINS...MOUNT EVANS...WILLIAMS
FORK MOUNTAINS...WINTER PARK
245 PM MDT FRI OCT 21 2005

.TONIGHT...PARTLY CLOUDY IN THE EVENING THEN CLEARING. LOWS IN
THE 20S TO LOWER 30S.
.SATURDAY...MOSTLY SUNNY. HIGHS IN THE 40S TO UPPER 50S. WEST
WINDS 10 TO 15 MPH.
.SATURDAY NIGHT...PARTLY CLOUDY. LOWS IN THE 20S.
.SUNDAY...PARTLY CLOUDY. HIGHS IN THE 40S. NORTHWEST WINDS 10 TO 20
MPH IN THE AFTERNOON. HIGHER GUSTS ABOVE TIMBERLINE.
.SUNDAY NIGHT...PARTLY CLOUDY IN THE EVENING THEN CLEARING. LOWS
IN THE 20S.
.MONDAY AND MONDAY NIGHT...MOSTLY CLEAR. HIGHS IN THE 40S TO LOWER
50S. LOWS IN THE 20S.
.TUESDAY AND TUESDAY NIGHT...MOSTLY CLEAR. HIGHS 45 TO 55. LOWS IN
THE 20S.
.WEDNESDAY AND WEDNESDAY NIGHT...PARTLY CLOUDY. HIGHS IN THE UPPER
40S AND 50S. LOWS IN THE 20S.
.THURSDAY AND THURSDAY NIGHT...PARTLY CLOUDY. HIGHS IN THE UPPER
40S AND 50S. LOWS IN THE MID 20S TO LOWER 30S.
.FRIDAY...PARTLY CLOUDY AND BREEZY. HIGHS 45 TO 55.
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHrefugee
I feel IMHO that predicting this based on what has occurred in the past is a waste of time. We have screwed up the environement to a point where normal weather patterns based on the past do not exist anymore.
So you're saying we can't count on 500+ inches in the Wasatch mountains this winter? I believe the same pineapple express you speak of gave Utah it's best winter ever last year. I believe Alta had an unofficial total of around 750 inches last year. Damn that global warming! :
post #21 of 24
I would reckon it may be much easier to predict a seasonal trend than it would day-to-day weather conditions.

I can't always predict if I will run into a traffic jam on the way to work, but if I know that more people are taking the same way to work my average drive time is probably going to go up.
post #22 of 24
talk about an exercise in futility : long range weather forcasting is about as accurate as forcasting stock market performance ----:
post #23 of 24
I look at the past snow history (range of conditions, NOT just the average) because long range weather forecasting is mostly useless. I don't think the PNW skiers were blaming global warming for anything in 1998-99. As Craig W. surmised Mt. Baker's average fell all the way from 647 to 639 as a result of last season. 1976-77 was drier than last year in the PNW, but skiing was decent once it finally started snowing sometime in February. From a skier's perspective last year was worse because the mid-January to mid-March core of the season was so bad.

With regard to the snowfall/base depths the PNW has higher base depths than the Rockies because of its high water content snow. The high snowfall totals are still relevant because, in the case quoted, the Seattle local goes out and hits the pow during the 48-inch dump and then stays home when it rains. The destination skier who lacks that flexibility needs to take the wide range of snow conditions into account. Thus the better destination resorts of the Northwest (Bachelor, Whistler alpine) are high enough to have less rain incidence.
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blizzboy283
So you're saying we can't count on 500+ inches in the Wasatch mountains this winter? I believe the same pineapple express you speak of gave Utah it's best winter ever last year. I believe Alta had an unofficial total of around 750 inches last year. Damn that global warming! :
As much as I would have liked that extra 50", Alta actually ended the season w/ 698". It was also not a record, but the best (most snow) in 25 years. Finally, Alta may have had a ton of snow, but it was one of the worst years in recent memory in terms of snow quality. The snow line was much higher than usual all year, giving us the goopiest stuff we've seen in years. Salt Lake had one of *least* snowy years on record (mostly rain). So yes, you could say that global warming appears to be affecting us.
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › Short rant about future snow predictions.