I am not a meteorologist. That being said, I keep a journal that spans 12 years of conditions at the local resorts. I spend about 8 hours in early October, analyzing seven or more combined forecasts. The data originates from almanacs, weather companies, government agencies and energy companies.
Analysis of the combined sources can be summed up in four words: Better than last year! Keep in mind the fact that the resorts make snow, so the main factors are temperature and humidity in coverage conditions.
The summary of the details:
The temps will average 4 degrees lower than last year.
The temps will average 2 degrees above the 30 year average.
Snowfall will be below normal but close to normal (30 inches is normal)
This is not to say that a large amount of snow can fall, 22.5 inches on Jan. 7-8, 1996, and 14.9 inches on Jan. 25, 2000, both during a la Nina winter.
The area is in a slight drought. This limits potential snow and rain. This will not affect snowmaking operations.
Better than last year, what was last years’ weather conditions? Most people can remember a large snowstorm, but few remember the daily conditions.
The Summary of last year:
It started with a bang. Local resorts opened in early December, 2006. Then a month-long cycle of rain and milder temperatures settled in. It was the first time I missed Christmas day skiing due to rain since 1996. The resorts made use of any cold air by making snow. Most had 25 percent coverage of trails.
This cycle continued until January 17, 2007. Then winter came back. On February 5, 10 degrees and 100 percent trail coverage. The resorts stayed open until almost the end of March. Go back and check the blog, a running journal with text and pictures.
Short range weather for the resorts, for 6 to 14 days, can be found on the www.skidome.org web site during the season. Twice weekly coverage and conditions are rated using a proprietary system perfected over 10 years.
Normal temps 30 year average NOAA
Nov 55H 36L Dec 45H 28L Jan 40H 23L
*EIA - Short-Term Energy Outlook.
*WSI Corporation - Weather Driven Business Solutions.
*2008 Appalachians Long-Range Weather Forecast and Prediction - The Old Farmer’s Almanac.
*Farmers almanac 2007-2008_outlook.
*AccuWeather Winter 07-08.
*Easternuswx - Forum for weather, Winter 07-08.
*My personal blog journal 10 years.