Hello Everyone –

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be able to have a job where you can explain your mistakes on changing or increased winds that blow a projected front out of the forecasted region. However, having a position as a weatherman just has never really appealed to me. But then again being able to have reasons for mistakes is always better than having excuses.

Take last week for instance, if you were to take the word of some weather forecasters at the beginning of the week, you would’ve thought that the end of the week was going to be warm and spring like at the majority of the resorts in the southeast. Now I don’t know if that kept possible skiers and snowboarders away for the region’s areas, but those who decided to do some sliding found cold temperatures and in a couple of cases fresh natural snow. And if resorts don’t report a five-day forecast they are accused holding out because they are reporting what the so called weather experts have on their sites. There was a time when in the former life I called a weather forecaster who had just reported that it was raining at 4800 feet in the mountains of West Virginia and let him know that it was actually snowing. There is nothing better than human intel.

A few years ago I was dragged kicking and screaming into the internet community/world. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the need and what the internet means to today and tomorrow’s world. However I still don’t see a need for a seven to ten day weather forecast when experts have said that the validity of a weather forecast drops considerably for anything less than 48 hours out. This fact makes me ask, then why do it? The answer unfortunately is because everyone else is doing it. That just means everyone is off course for those extended forecasts. What I understand is that past 48 hours most of the statistics are historical in nature. So why do it? I say again, because everyone else is doing it. Wouldn’t it be nice if some forecasting website broke from the mold and did something unusual and just forecasted what they knew and not what has happened in years past? But again, that’s not what everyone else is doing. What a shame.

Now for a forecast of my own, it is going to be one heck of a spring skiing, riding and tubing season this year. My goodness have you seen how much snow covers the slopes in the region? If not you have been missing out. You may live in a region where the grass is starting to get green but in the mountains of the southeast there is plenty of snow to carry the resorts in some cases into April. Just remember if you or your ski club or your group keep heading to the mountains, then the resorts will stay open and offer skiing and riding as long as the numbers permit.

Along those lines though I hope resorts don’t start cutting back on operations and I am not referring to snowmaking. All of the resorts poured it on when the temperatures finally dropped the middle of January and create some of the best conditions the region have seen in a while. What I am referring to is grooming and lift operations. These are two areas where resorts will slack off on when and if the numbers begin to drop. I realize the economic pressures facing the operators this season, but the longer they offer a full-blown product, I believe the longer skiers, snowboarders and tubers will come. Just one man’s opinion.

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 whether the weather, whatever the weather will be. Think about it! See you on the slopes.

You can write comments or suggestions to Joe Stevens at [email protected]

Next articleMonday Morning and There’s a LOT of Snow On the Slopes!
Joe Stevens
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.