Snow News is Good News

Hello Everyone –

Before I get into this subject, I want to make sure everyone understands that my wishes go out to everyone who was affected by this weekend’s rain in a harmful manner. My thoughts especially go out to families that lost loved ones in southern West Virginia where Winterplace is located.

The forecast for the majority of the mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions called for “underdeveloped snow” or rain to the common folk. (Yes Mike, the term originated with yours truly, that’s my story and I am sticking to it).

That forecast on top of mild spring-like temperatures had everyone worried about severe snowmelt. Let me be clear right now, if all of the snow that’s on all of the slopes right now melted immediately, Noah would have to come out of retirement.

I traveled Friday to our mountain home in Randolph County, West Virginia not to hit the slopes but to take care of water damage due to frozen pipes.

Our home is at 2800 feet on the western side of the Allegheny Mountains and I heard the rain fall throughout Friday night and saw it Saturday morning. While driving to the top of Snowshoe Mountain I watched the rain continue to 3600 feet when I thought I noticed a mix occurring. When I got to the top at 4800 it was flat out snowing and continued to do so for over an hour. Then the sun came out. Now show me one forecast that called for that to happen. You just never know do you?

So I called one of the Charleston, West Virginia meteorologists and described what was happening. He said let me check on that, I said, check on what, I know what I am seeing. Well he says there is no snow of the radar and I said the heck with your radar, I am boots on the ground and the intel I am giving you is straight up. He still wanted to find some confirmation from his electronic gizmos, while I was standing in the middle of a snow storm. I swear these guys have got to get out more often and see the weather first hand instead of through a computer. By the way, I didn’t think about taking a picture with my phone and emailing it to him, but who is to say he would’ve even believed a first hand picture.

Finally this week, I want to give everyone a little weather tidbit that even Mike didn’t realize. When you read a forecast for an area and the precipitation chance is say 60 percent, well that is not that there is six out of ten chance of rain. What that means is that 60 percent of the forecasted area will definitely be seeing some type of precipitation. Just thought you might want to know that fact.

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, hopefully before the season comes to an end.

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Joe Stevens, a member of the southeast ski industry since 1990 is a regular columnist for and serves as the Communications Director for the West Virginia Ski Areas Association.

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