What the REAL EXPERTS are Saying About Winter 2005-2006!


Last week we posted WCNC TV and SkiNorthCarolina / SkiSoutheast official Meteorologist, Brad Panovich’s Winter Outlook. You can check it out in the archives, but to summarize, he’s expecting a slightly colder and snowier winter across the Southeast.

NOAA not taking any chances! – Want to keep your job as a meteorologist? The best way to do that is don’t disappoint anyone…and if you can pull it off…don’t really make a prediction! That is EXACTLY what NOAA has done with their release of the 2005-2006 Winter Outlook. Their prediction? EQUAL CHANCES of it being colder or warmer than normal with EQUAL CHANCES of it being MORE or LESS precip! Boy THAT’S going out on a limb! Whew! I’m feeling pretty confident that they’ll get that one right! Man, I WANT THAT JOB!

Ray Russell of RaysWeather.com Agrees with Brad Panovich – Ray Russell, of "forecasting without a net" fame pretty much duplicates the outlook that Brad Panovich layed out last week.

Ray’s a smart guy and a pretty good amateur weather guru. His RaysWeather.com websites are the best weather source for the High Country on a daily basis. According to his website, he is predicting almost the same thing he predicted for last winter.

That forecast called for 125 percent of regular snowfall for the winter and temperatures a degree or two below normal. That is EXACTLY what he is calling for THIS winter as well.

We all know that last winter was a bummer as far as most snow lovers are concerned. YES, we ENDED UP close to norm with some OUTSTANDING snow and conditions late in the season…but when it mattered most to ski resorts (like the holidays) things were pretty much off by a significant number.

I remember sitting at breakfast with Paul Goodloe of the WEATHER CHANNEL when I asked him specifically about all of the GREAT winter forecasts for LAST YEAR. He laughed and said that they were all wrong and went about informing me of what to REALLY expect. I have to give him his due, because he was right.

The Woolly Worm has been anything BUT an accurate prognosticator for the several years that we’ve been staring over his shoulder. About the only REAL prediction that the woolly worm can accurately make is there will be a LOT of traffic on Hwy 184 near the stoplight!

So this season, we’re going to stay away from the cute little worm’s forecast and we’re going to rely somewhat on Brad’s and Ray’s forecast. We just don’t know what to DO with NOAA’s!

Want to know who got it DEAD ON? The Old Farmer’s Almanac! If you check out our archives, I wrote about it early in November of 2005…but I just DIDN’T want to believe the forecast. (Hey I didn’t want to believe what Paul Goodloe was telling me either.) Later in February, I received an email from someone who reminded me of what we wrote in November. I looked and was astonished at just how close they’d gotten it. They also NAILED the fact that by Winter’s end, we’d be saying it was a snowy winter…and that too was correct as we had some of the best ski conditions in years at area resorts in late February and March.

What does The Old Farmer’s Almanac say about THIS WINTER? – We’ll provide more in-depth commentary another day, but suffice to say that the Almanac is saying that the Appalachians – Zone 3 – which includes Western North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia – will be COLDER and SNOWIER than normal.

Last but not least, I just drug out my own piece of complicated weather instrumentation. I’d forgotten that I still had it, but as I was trying to locate my leaf blower, there it was. My AAA Accurate Weather Prognosticatin’ Dart Board! I quickly hung it on the wall, warmed up my arm with a couple of windmill-like twists and flung that dart for all it was worth. I was way out of practice as the dart riquocheted off a sconce hanging not-that-close-by, bounced off a corner lamp and hit the dartboard…right smack dab in the COLDER AND SNOWIER THAN NORMAL SECTION of my board, which JUST coincidently makes up more than 98% of the surface. (Hey I’m not taking any chances!)

So there you have it. The 2005-2006 Winter will be a snow lover’s dream!

I’m off to wax the boards!


Email me at: mail@skisoutheast.com

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Mike Doble
Mike is the Editor and founder of SkiSoutheast.com, SkiNC.com and ResortCams.com. Since September 1996 he has posted more than 13,000 posts, articles, photos and videos promoting all of the ski areas of North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland.Mike is the father of four daughters, is an avid skier and enjoys golf, tennis, kayaking and hiking in the mountains. Winter snowsports and Summer boating on Watauga Lake are among his favorite pastimes.