The DEER Say it’s Going to Be Snowy this Winter?!?!?

First Trax

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Huge additions to our Network of Coverage and News coming…

We received calls from a few TDA (Tourism and Development) agencies recently about participation in our network of tourism websites which includes several outdoor, golf, ski and webcam websites and the subject of traffic always comes up. I had not logged into our Urchin stats package to specifically look at our skier traffic in a while and it simply always amazes me to see that more than 3000 visitors a day are coming to a ski website in August. That was the case again this past month. In addition to more than 95000 unique visitors we delivered more than 800,000 pages of content …in August…on a ski website!

I suppose that means that we need to get our act together around here and start delivering on some visitor-worthy content. We usually do a little cursory reporting in September and October and then get rolling in November when the ski resorts crank up the snow guns.

However, we’re excited about some new additions to our network for the upcoming ski season and we’ll take the wraps off that content later this month. Suffice for now to say that we will definately be delivering more of the kind of news that ski, snowboard and snow lovers want to know about!

31 for 31…for August…

If old wives tales have anything to do with accurately forecasting then we’re in for a snowy winter as we had 31 straight mornings of fog. Most of those mornings were moderate to heavy foggy starts so we weren’t out exploring for one valley to find one spec of low lying cloud cover. Most of those thirty one straight days of fog were rather dense.

We’ve been providing coverage of the ski communities for fifteen years and we have never had an entire month of foggy mornings. We’re not sure what to make of it, but we CAN tell you that numerous mountain shop operators keep a "bean jar" on the counters. For every August morning fog they drop a bean in the jar. Then once winter provides the first snowfall…they pull a bean out. We’ve spoken with several of these store owners and they are tell us the same thing – they are always within two beans of being perfect. So we’re starting out with 31 beans in our jar and if we are to get 31 snow storms this season, then it will be a great one.

Once we get past Labor Day, Monday, we’ll make it point to track down The Mast General Store peeps and see what they are saying and get back to you. Allen Mast and those guys always have an accurate tally.

Acorns, Berries and June & July Fogs mean something too?!?!

When we began tracking fogs in August last month I began receiving tons of emails from – believe it or not – deer hunters…and deer hunter’s wives…and evidently deer hunters who also snowboard and ski…which evidently we have a lot of around here. Hmmm, maybe THAT’S why we’ve received those photos of the day submissions of skiers wearing camo!

Anyway, according to Dennis Alton of Sutton, WV, "You can’t walk out in my yard without stepping on ten or twelve large acorns. The woods are covered in acorns around here that is usually an indicator of snowy upcoming winters. Anywhere there’s lot of acorns, you’ll find the deer feeding on them and this year they seem to be stocking up."

Darnelle Atkins of Maggie Valley wrote, "I love your site and my husband reads it every day. He asked me to write you about your foggy morning story. He claims that a bumper crop of acorns means snowy winters as well. Anywhere there are heavy pockets of acorns you’ll find deer feeding on them. Seems that our deer are putting on extra weight for the winter ahead! That could only mean one thing."

Hmmmm, Darnelle I HOPE you mean SNOW and not little pockets of deer poop everywhere!

Over the past seasons we’ve received so many emails about how the thickness of acorn shells mean harsher than usual winters.

I thought I’d heard of all of the old Farmer’s forecasting models but just this past week I received this:

"First I want to say how much I love your website. I’ve been following skisoutheast for the last five years or so now beginning in August and always enjoy the fact that you guys like Fall and winter as much as I do. Here’s something that I have not seen you mention as a weather predicter for the winter. At least three severe fogs in June or July mean early snow."

I have to admit that I’d not heard that one so I replied back asking whether or not we’d had three severe fogs in June or July. She answered, "Duh, OF COURSE WE DID!"

Then I remembered driving down Hwy 105 with my teen daughter late this past July. She was doing a little interning with us and made the early morning drive to the office with me. Several July mornings in a row I remembered joking, "Hey I know what foggy mornings in August mean, but I wonder if July foggy days mean anything."

Well I guess I now have my answer…or so we can hope.

More High Tech Weather Forecasts Forthcoming…

So we’ve covered the acorns, deer, and foggy mornings. We reported from some college kid blogging a colder than normal winter for our area. We’ll wait until October’s Woolly Worm Festival to pull out the heavy artillery and provide you guys with what all those fuzzy worms are predicting. Around the same time we’ll throw in our trusty weather dart board prediction. That’s ALWAYS accurate.

…and then we’ll give you what all the other, somewhat lesser important, meteorologists are saying.

Next week we’ll be providing some news from the resorts as well as an interesting story inspired by one of our our ski resort owners! More to come…

If you have some news or photos to share, email us at: [email protected]

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