Hello Everyone –
I love Social Media I really do. For the last week I have been reading posts about the huge snowstorm coming this region’s way. People are posting this model says this and this model is saying that. Well, I am here to say that I when I Googled weather model a link to a picture of a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader came up. Well not really, but I think over ten days out of a storm that same cheerleader would have just as good a forecast as some of those snow gooses out there that are shooting from the hip.
Don’t get me wrong, this guy likes a good storm as much as the next guy, but give me the facts not guesses. When some forecasters out there start saying there is a chance of two feet of snow occurring and again it’s ten days out, well I think I have the same chance of winning the lottery, maybe better. For the most part all this guessing does is to scare people away from making plans to make a trip to their favorite resort to enjoy the fresh snowfall. You see the majority of the folks that ski and ride in the southeast are from the south (no surprise there) and usually drive on nice non-snow covered roads and the possibility of a blizzard makes the phones ring at resorts with cancellations. Sounds crazy – why cancel a ski or snowboard trip if it’s going to snow, but believe me it happens. Even heard a conversavtion on the Weather World Wide Leader (The Weather Channel) that there has been discussion on what to name the storm. I ask, name what storm?
As I scribe this column on Sunday there is no doubt that snow is coming during the upcoming midweek, that’s for sure. The big question is just how much. The weather folks that I have really come to depend on throughout my years of working in the industry, Herb Stevens (The Skiing Weatherman), Spencer Adkins (WOWK-TV), Brad Panowich (Skisoutheast.com) and Robin Reed (WDBJ-TV) all agree there is going to be snow and all agree that no one at this time knows just how much is going to fall and exactly where. That means the snow gooses out there are just throwing darts at their forecasting dartboard and guessing. Don’t tell me what I want to hear, tell me what I need to hear, please.
Now I am not going to say it’s too late for a huge storm to occur, because in March, 1993 I watched 47 inches of snow fall over 38 hours while I was working at Snowshoe Mountain. So a huge snowfall is not out of the question this time of the year, but even with that storm we really didn’t know the magnitude of the blizzard until about 12 hours out, not ten days. It seems to me with just about everyone involved in Social Media these days, when people see and read information put out by folks who just want their name spread around, they think it’s the gospel. Thank goodness there are reasonable meteorologists out there (see above) who try to keep everything in perspective when a storm is approaching. I have said this before and still think it tongue in cheek; I believe some weather folks have stock in the large food chains.
But then on the other hand it is spring skiing time and any snow is getting appreciated and the more everyone keeps skiing, the longer the resorts will stay open for the season. That in itself will be the topic of next week’s column, stay tuned.
That’s it for this week, just remember whether it be cold or whether it be hot, we’ll weather the weather, whatever the weather will be. Think about it! See you on the slopes.
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Joe Stevens, a member of the southeast ski industry since 1990 is a regular columnist for skisoutheast.com and serves as the Communications Director for the West Virginia Ski Areas Association.