WEATHER AND RESOURCES

WEATHER AND RESOURCES

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Hello Everyone –

Cleaning out a cluttered mind with some thoughts about recent happenings. First off, my family and I live in Scott Depot, West Virginia about 20 miles west of Charleston.  Unless you have been under a rock the last couple of days you probably have heard that over 300,000 people can not drink the water in a nine-county area around the city due to a chemical leak on the Elk River. Luckily we live outside of the affected area and get our water from another company that has its hands full right now.  However please say a prayer and think good thoughts for the folks that don’t have water to drink, brush their teeth, cook or take a shower and the problem is going to continue for a couple more days at least.  Let’s all send some good skiing and snowboarding karma their way.

Hey, how about the world wide weather leader these days, The Weather Channel.  Why in the world did they ever start naming winter storms?  Well I guess I know, the same reason ESPN can control college sports, because they can. I have to admit, when I was communications director at Snowshoe Mountain Resort I pretty much kept The Weather Channel on 24/7.  The network was basically my weather bible.  It was also a time when they did ski reports during the winter months, which they no longer do during the day.  Sometimes it’s hard to find any weather for all of the special shows.  Unless of course there is active weather happening somewhere and then there they are right in the middle of it showing the worse possible side of the story and why – for ratings of course.  That brings me to the point of my rant, why in the world is there a name for winter storms, first Hercules and then Ion, ugh. I’m sorry, naming of storms should be reserved for hurricanes, that’s it, no more, no less.  This is nothing more than a publicity stunt and this old bird just ain’t buying it.  I know the folks at The Weather Channel could care less what I think but at least now you know how I feel.  It’s just not right.

Well for the first time since 1994 is was just flat cold out on the slopes throughout the region the early part of last week.  Heck, the true temperature at the top of Snowshoe Mountain on Tuesday at 7 am was 20 degrees below zero, I’m not even going to mention what the wind chill temperature was because if anybody in their right mind went out in those conditions with exposed skin, well here’s you sign as the saying goes. I had reporters call me and ask what it was like to ski or ride in those conditions and I told them if you dress for it, it is a lot of fun.  The surface is awesome and probably there wasn’t going to be many people on the slopes so your fun was wide open.  Back to my days at Snowshoe, I remember seeing visitors on really cold days, many not as cold as last week but still cold, show up without gloves or a hat.  Thank goodness we had a lost and found that probably saved a number of uninformed guests from getting frost bite.

A big way to go, goes out to all of the snowmakers in the southeast region.  Take a look at the slope totals out there, if you haven’t noticed there is plenty of skiing, snowboarding and snowtubing terrain available for everyone to have fun on as we reach the middle of January.  There has been some very fine planning going on at every resort this year and they’ve been making snow every chance Mother Nature has allowed the snowmakers to fire up the guns.  There really hasn’t been all that much natural snow so everything under your equipment is courtesy of your local snowmaker.  At the end of the day, there would be no ski industry, meaning no skiing, snowboarding or snowtubing without those folks who put that manmade surface down for everyone to enjoy.  So the next time the weather starts to warm up a little and you have to wear those goggles because there is some daytime snowmaking going on, let it go folks, sometimes you just have to grin and bear it.  This time last season there was a lot of complaining going on because of the limited terrain due to cold temperatures coming much later than this year.  So just go out there and enjoy what you have and maybe buy that snowmaker sitting next to you at the watering hole, a nice cold one.  They would appreciate the thank you.  

That’s it for this week, more to come as the season continues, 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 and have some fun, you deserve it!

Joe is well known around the southeastern ski circles. Stevens was Director of Communications at Snowshoe Mountain Resort for 16 seasons with another 15 years prior to that in Richmond, Virginia newsrooms. Joe serves on numerous boards and committees and currently is a spokesperson for the West Virginia ski areas. Joe has been a featured columnist on SkiSoutheast since 2005 and has written numerous articles for us, as well as for others promoting all of the southeastern ski resorts. Joe resides in Charleston, West Virginia, with his wife, Angie, and son, Christian. He is an avid snowboarder and marathon runner.

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