Originally Posted by tumbler
skier219 - have you tested this out, for example with two points that you know to be in the same resort, like the Wildcat base and Point Supreme at Alta? I'm just curious, because I saw something like what you descibe here
for Big Sky, but it seemed like you couldn't get to the "particular part of a particular ski area" level of detail - not enough zoom. I'm just curious.
The Western Region HQ webpage links can get you a point forecast, but the resolution is terrible despite having a zillion decimal places (often times you are clicking on an image map to input lat/lon). I write software "Wx" (which anybody who runs Mac OS X 10.3.9-10.4.x can use) which lets you put in the lat/lon directly and make a query into the NWS database. It allows a resolution of about 0.07 mile.
Out here locally, I have compared forecasts up on the mountain top to the valley below (where the "zone" forecasts usually apply) and do see the right trends (even with our measly 3000-5000 ft peaks). It even seems to forecast inversions correctly, when they happen. I do like being able to get a mountain forecast, especially out here where it can be raining and 40F in a valley but snowing and 28F on the hill. It's pretty important when planning ski trips in marginal weather.
If you have lat/lon pairs for a valley and a summit, I can plug them in to Wx and see how it works for your locations. I believe the resolution of their forecast database is between 0.1 and 1 mile depending on the ground terrain model used in the simulations. I am sure some interpolation is involved in the database, so it's not perfect (but then again, it's a weather forecast, and that's far from perfect anyhow).