Warm weather
35 posts
17 users
7k+ views
Scott - DCSki Editor
December 28, 2006
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,139 posts
Things have been pretty bleak for many local resorts, and capitalweather.com predicts temperatures may stay 5-10 degrees above average until at least January 10. A stretch of above-average temperatures has continued for over 18 straight days, drastically reducing snowmaking opportunities for most local resorts. (Higher elevation resorts are doing better.) For the most part temperatures haven't been warm, they just haven't dipped low enough at night for effective snowmaking, and resorts didn't have enough time to build up large bases that could survive this milder stretch.

Hopefully winter will return in early January and stick around through late March, but local resorts are going to need our support and patronage once the season gets in gear. Consider that many resorts derive most or all of their annual income from a narrow band of three months; every week taken away has a huge effect on the bottom line.
snosnugums
December 28, 2006
Member since 04/10/2006 🔗
126 posts
Yeah , you think we skiers are depressed, what about those poor folks who derive their income from their ski area jobs. It must be tough for ski resort owners to keep these employees around without steady work. All of the snow made by Hidden Valley has either melted or was washed away by the recent rain. We desparately need some lake effect snow.
The resorts have missed out on the lucrative Christmas week and if the weather doesn't turn around soon, it will be tough for resorts to make a profit this year.
Please Mother Nature, give us a break!
Mountain Masher
December 28, 2006
Member since 03/13/2004 🔗
541 posts
I really do feel for most mid-Atlantic ski areas right now. However, I don't have too much sympathy for ski areas who have engaged in things like logging and/or other activities that are harmful to the environment, and have actually hurt the quality of the skiing. I mean, how often are we going to be able to ski on "gladed" ski trails, complete with stumps but without snowmaking? Plus, trees improve snowmaking because they provide a windbreak. There's a human component to G.W. and I believe that it's very important to support "green" businesses whenever possible. Fortunately, there are lots of environmentally friendly ski areas within the mid-Atlantic. Also, we can all adjust our lifestyles to reduce greenhouse gas production. Skiing is MORE dependent on the weather than ANY other sport and G.W. is now doing some real HARM to the ski industry across the globe, especially the Eastern US and most of Europe.

NEWS FLASH!!! In Arctic Canada one of the largest chunks of ice ever has broken off into the Arctic Ocean. Check it out! You can find the story on the Drudge Report (among other places). G.W. is happening far faster than expected!
Edgar
December 29, 2006
Member since 08/28/2006 🔗
33 posts
Hate to say it, but could this be the beginning of the end of the-mid-atlantic ski business as we have known it?
With the business based on just a few months of cold weather, as GW eats into that from both sides there may not be much left. It may be no surprise that the last few years have shown this as being the case, and here we are again this year. The resorts that don't have some solid 4 season business and are at lower elevations would likely be hit first. One really must wonder about the future of places like Liberty and Whitetail??
DCSki Sponsor: Canaan Valley Resort
Clay
December 29, 2006
Member since 04/11/2006 🔗
555 posts
First - I SERIOUSLY doubt that Scott started this thread to be another rant on Global Warming. I think his point was, and I agree wholeheartedly that we need to get out and support these resorts even if conditions are exactly to our liking.

That being said - enough about Global Warming. Yes it is warm this year, but nothing you say will convince me it's not a natural, cyclical thing and I imagine the same goes for you.

From the Skiing Weatherman - nobody can argue with him

"The relative warmth of this month has certainly put the clamps on the start of the skiing and riding season both figuratively and in isolated cases, literally. But in the face of a growing number of misguided articles that claim that this sort of December weather is unprecedented, or worse yet, a product of global warming, let me assure you that this sort of balmy pre-Christmas weather most certainly has happened before. There have been several Decembers that were warmer than what we are seeing right now, to boot. And before anyone convinces you that global warming is to blame, consider that 4 of the last 6 Decembers have been below normal in the majority of the country."
Full Article

Clay
ubu
December 29, 2006
Member since 05/11/2005 🔗
40 posts
I can't think of a single year where we had warm weather in Dec/Jan that didn't yield to a frigid Feb/Mar. Maybe we just need to redefine the start date for Winter.
cjf242
December 29, 2006
Member since 11/10/2003 🔗
30 posts
Let's hope so. I have been staring at my board sitting on the living room floor. Had to put it in the other room last night, it was just making me sad . I will certainly get out there and support the local hills as soon as there is any snow at all
Mountain Masher
December 29, 2006
Member since 03/13/2004 🔗
541 posts
Clay, you can't look at just one month! You have to look at the OVERALL trend. For example, last Winter was the 5th warmest on record for the lower 48 States and NOT an El Nino year, yet, this Winter IS a moderate El Nino year and will likely finish as another unusually mild Winter. This is significant because El Nino Winters have different Jet Stream patterns from non-El-Nino Winters. So, with entirely different overall weather patterns and trends (1 El Nino, 1 NON-El Nino), the mid-Atlantic receives 2 WARM Winters in a ROW and you don't think that GW has anything to do with it? Furthermore, the US Dept. of Agriculture has just changed their official, color coded Climatic Map, which moved much of the mid-Atlantic into a WARMER (yellow colored) Zone. The reason given for the change? GW! Being an environmentalist, I encounter "doubters" all of the time; however, their numbers seem to have shrunk dramatically over the past few years. Now, having said all this, I still believe that the mid-Atlantic with continue to receive lots of cold weather; however, most cold spells will be moderate and rather short in duration. After all, the greater DC area is NOW located in a Climatic Zone that was once located SOUTH of Richmond, VA!!! According to the Wash Post, you can now grow a variety of SOUTHERN plants in the greater DC area and they will thrive!
Roger Z
December 29, 2006
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Quote:

According to the Wash Post, you can now grow a variety of SOUTHERN plants in the greater DC area and they will thrive!




Yeah well according to The Star Batboy is doing rather well in elementary school.

I agree with Clay, the point of this forum was to remember to get out and get your ski-boogie on when the weather turns later this winter. Some of the best days skiing I've ever had in the Mid-Atl have been during warm winters. You get a two or three week cold snap, you show up at Whitetail and everything's open, and there's not a soul to be found because the DC area has given up on winter. So the ski areas will need your support and you'll not likely be disappointed with the product when you get there. It only takes four or five solid snowmaking days to turn a dismally brown hill into a quality skiing experience.

And look at the bright side... with no early freeze/thaw cycle (since there's no snow to freeze and then thaw), conditions will be very snowy when it happens!
Mountain Masher
December 29, 2006
Member since 03/13/2004 🔗
541 posts
OK, Dr. Z, lets all put our heads in the sand (or snow, if we can find it) and ignore the long term weather trends. That sure makes a lot of sense doesn't it? I think that nearly all of us will be out supporting the local ski areas, but we must also look towards the future and plan accordingly.
wgo
December 29, 2006
Member since 02/10/2004 🔗
1,360 posts
Quote:

I can't think of a single year where we had warm weather in Dec/Jan that didn't yield to a frigid Feb/Mar. Maybe we just need to redefine the start date for Winter.



It does certainly seem that the last couple of winters have gotten off to a slow start, and that the higher elevation resorts end up finishing the season with large bases and even some late March/early April snowfall. I think it would unfortunately be difficult to redefine the start of the ski season w/o redefining the start of the Holiday season...
Clay
December 29, 2006
Member since 04/11/2006 🔗
555 posts
Quote:

OK, Dr. Z, lets all put our heads in the sand (or snow, if we can find it) and ignore the long term weather trends.




It doesn't have anything to do with putting your head in the sand. This is a SKI forum, not a weather board. Go find a weather board if you want to discuss GW, or stay here and discuss skiing.

Clay
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
December 29, 2006
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,363 posts
What I find disturbing is that this is the third or 4th year in a row where we have had warm weather during the period of winter when it is supposed to be the coldest. This is the time of year when the resorts are supposed to building their bases. While I do not think this weather pattern is a result of GW it could be influenced by it. However, if this trend continues, I would think that it would be economically unfeasible to operate a ski resort in the Mid-Atlantic.

In the news today is an article about the distintegration of the Ayles Ice Shelf. Perhaps all you doubters should actually take the time to read the news about this. Pretending that GW is not happening is not going to make it go away. As an engineer and a scientist, I can tell you it is based on simple physics. Do you really think that we can burn hundreds of millions of years worth of hydro-carbon based fuels, exhaust all of the by-products into our atmosphere over less than a 100 year period and it would have no affect? Come on!
Mountain Masher
December 29, 2006
Member since 03/13/2004 🔗
541 posts
Clay, you need to go back to your post, because, in it, you discussed GW and long-term weather trends at length! I was simply trying to rebut your post because I found it to be out of touch with reality. If you want there to be ZERO discussion on GW and long term weather trends, then you need to "practice what you preach". Frankly, I think that it's next to impossible not to bring up GW when it is currently having such a significant impact on skiing. Hopefully, the weather will change SOOOOON and we'll all be out on the slopes with excellent conditions and GW with be the furthest thing from our minds.
Roger Z
December 29, 2006
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Full disclosure: about four months ago I changed my tune on this message board to try to stick as close to possible with humor or skiing, because I realized that arguing about politics and land use or climate or whatever makes more misery than anything else. I am quite f*&%%%^ cognizant of the things wrong in this world but am not going to pound puddy on a ski website about these issues because it's NOT APPROPRIATE. A dirty bomb in DC could ruin the ski season for quite a while too but that doesn't justify us talking about Homeland Security here. If it was appropriate to talk about non-ski subjects (apart from THE UNTOPIC! of course ), the first and only non-ski subject I'd post on is a public apology to everyone I've insulted and yelled at on this board, and that would be it.

Except for MM. That was a really interesting PM you sent me regarding your opinion of Clay's posts, "Skip". I'm glad to know he's "not in touch with reality," it might be helpful if he knew you thought that about his writing too, don't you think? Oops, guess he does now. And since Rusty works at Whitetail, he's probably the one most likely to know about whether they could get their mountain opened with four or five days of solid snowmaking weather. Why don't we ask him instead of quibbling about this in email exchanges? Any opinion Rusty, or are you smart enough to avoid this trainwreck of a discussion?

Let's get something straight, MM: I'm not your friend and not very likely to keep your opinions hidden if you write me about them. You want us to respect you? I'd be happy to when you show some respect in return: to Clay and to everyone else on this message board, regardless of whether they agree with you or not. And I really don't want to hear your usual juvenile "he started it!" garbage you like to pull. Be a man and take responsibility for your own actions for once.
Mountain Masher
December 29, 2006
Member since 03/13/2004 🔗
541 posts
Roger, I'm not going to dignify your rant, so NOT MUCH COMMENT. Let me just say that it wasn't one of your better posts. And, if you recall, I said (in my PM message to you) that I hadn't seen WT get many trails open in 4 or 5 days. I didn't say that WT couldn't get open in 4 or 5 days. So, you have misquoted me! (Thanks a lot Roger) Plus, I qualified my statement by saying that I was going on what I had SEEN.

Let me just share a tid-bit on WT. I was passing through the area yesterday, so I decided to drive off of I-70 and head over to WT for a look-see. Unfortunately, it was really sad as most of the snow was gone. And, the few patches that remained were a depressing light brown color. I noticed that other cars had also driven off of I-70 simply to take a look. As we all looked up at the slopes, it was kind of a morbid atmosphere. I might add that I've always been a big fan of WT; many years ago they held a Winterfest with a women's racing pro-tour stop and a pro-am race the same weekend. I won the pro-am part and still have the ski jacket that I was awarded for winning. And, whenever I'm passing by and the conditions are good, I try to stop in for a half day of skiing. So, needless to say, I feel pretty down with all of this warm weather.
TerpSKI
December 29, 2006
Member since 03/10/2004 🔗
167 posts
Some points:

1. I am so desperate for any skiing that I will gladly support the local ski areas without being asked, thank you very much warren christopher,

2. Global Warming is REAL. Anyone who suggests otherwise is drinking some Kool Aide or other.

3. We will not solve the GW problem on this site, nor can we do anything about it other than getting politically and socially active which is not why I participate here.

4. MM, you run the risk of losing support for your positions by the incessant harping. This is coming from someone sympathetic to your POV.

5. Come on SNOW!!!
Clay
December 29, 2006
Member since 04/11/2006 🔗
555 posts
Quote:

Clay, you need to go back to your post, because, in it, you discussed GW and long-term weather trends at length! I was simply trying to rebut your post because I found it to be out of touch with reality. If you want there to be ZERO discussion on GW and long term weather trends, then you need to "practice what you preach". Frankly, I think that it's next to impossible not to bring up GW when it is currently having such a significant impact on skiing. Hopefully, the weather will change SOOOOON and we'll all be out on the slopes with excellent conditions and GW with be the furthest thing from our minds.




Actually, if you go back and read my post, I posted that in RESPONSE to your bringing up GW YET AGAIN. I would be more than happy to never speak of it again, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to respond to the ceaseless drumbeat of those who think the world is going to end because Al Gore says so.

Clay
Mountain Masher
December 29, 2006
Member since 03/13/2004 🔗
541 posts
Clay, let me first say that I fully respect your opinion. And, while I debated bringing up GW again, I wanted to reveal some RECENT info that seems to be at odds with some of your positions. Plus, since we're having such a mild Winter, I thought that NEW GW info and news might be appropriate. Anyway, I think we can all agree that GW has now been covered.
hockeydave
December 29, 2006
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
I rarely chime in on GW, but since this seems to be the topic du jour, here I go. There is no doubt that the past 20 or so years the Mid-Atlantic States have, on average, experienced warmer winters. However, if one does just a little research, one can find evidence that Europe experienced significantly warmer temperatures between 800 & 1300 AD, otherwise known as the Medieval Warming Period and this period was followed by the Little Ice Age where temperatures were colder than normal until around 1900 AD. As far as I know, there were no power plants producing CO2 or there weren't Porsches roaming the Autobahn during Medieval times. My points are:

- No one really knows what's causing GW
- We should emphasize and use renewable energy sources (e.g. solar, wind) as much as possible... it just makes sense to keep CO2 out of the atmosphere as well as reduce our oil dependency

As a side note, I went skiing @ Jackson Hole the week before Christmas and let me tell you, GW hasn't reached the Grand Tetons. The warmest morning out of the 5 days I was there was -7F; the coldest was -18F.
jimmy
December 29, 2006
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
In touch with reality? If anyone remembers my last rant on this unseasonable weather, I tromanoed six cases of bier and drank them, guess what ive got a bit of a headache today oh let me get in touch with reality it was only four 90 minit IPA but my head still hurts..... or is it just in my head??? The reality is it hasn't snowed, it hasn't been cold enuf to make snow; will it snow, yes, will it get cold, yes. I have put my garbage can on my desk with an "in" sign on it, i'm off to support a mid-atlantic ski area. Give Al Gore some credit i think this internet thing is going to catch on after all.
Clay
December 29, 2006
Member since 04/11/2006 🔗
555 posts
Jimmy,
You heading down here? It will be great to have someone to stand in the lift line with. It takes a while to squeeze all those people onto eight trails

See ya soon!
Clay
JR
December 29, 2006
Member since 01/1/2003 🔗
276 posts
Think about this the next time you see a dramatic video of ice caps melting or polar bears dying of heat stroke, if you take an ice cube out of the freezer and put it in another freezer it doens't lose any size. (this represents the ice age that formed the ice caps) Now, take it out of the freezer and put it on the counter at room temperature for 30 seconds, put it back in the freezer, and repeat. (the freezer now represents winter at the ice caps and the counter represents summer after a dramatic warmup that ended the ice age) The ice cube doesn't dissapear immediately, it will gradually lose size over the course of the cycles even if the room temperature (our current summer temperatures) doesn't increase at all. Therefore, just because ice caps are melting doesn't mean that its the result of current global warming. It could be due to the dramatic temperature increase that ended the ice age long ago and the caps just haven't hit the point of equilibrium yet. Sure, its dramatic to see a big sheet of ice fall in the ocean, especially when its the end of December and we're struggling with snow, but it doesn't necessarily mean that we're in a warming trend. Now there may be observations that I don't know of (since I haven't really studied this) that say that in 1900 the ice caps were growing or at least remaining consistent from year to year but as far as I know there isn't. Anyone know for sure?
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
December 29, 2006
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,363 posts
Next time take the ice cube and place it in a glass with some single malt and that may solve our problem.
Mountain Masher
December 29, 2006
Member since 03/13/2004 🔗
541 posts
There's pretty good photographic evidence of some of the better known glaciers that dates back to the late 1800's. Pictures were taken year after year (or at least every few years) from approx. the same spot near the base of each glacier. And, for the most part, the glaciers stayed relatively stable until between 20 to 40 years ago (depending on the glacier). Then, a significant retreat started that has GREATLY accelerated over the past decade. In fact, some of these glaciers are now completely gone and a number of others will be gone in another 8 to 10 years. As far as the ice caps go, I believe that you're correct because there isn't too much hard evidence or data that goes back more than 40 or 50 years. By the way, I just saw the NBC Nightly News and there was an excellent segment on GW, which included the Ice Shelf that broke off and mentioned the fact that dwarf Palms now flourish in the Wash. DC area.
JR
December 29, 2006
Member since 01/1/2003 🔗
276 posts
I figured you'd have an answer for that one.
Murphy
December 29, 2006
Member since 09/13/2004 🔗
618 posts
I don't want to dispute the existence of GW but I think way too many things are blamed on it. Somebody posted THIS LINK a while back that I think sheds some light into what is going on. Temperatures have been steadily rising for the last 200 years as we have been exiting the 700 year cool period known as the little ice age. Here's a plot of temperature over the last 2,400 years from that reference:


It certainly seems feasible that this may be playing a big role in why glaciers are melting. That data certainly doesn't show any sudden increase in temps that hadn't already started before the industrial age.

The other interesting bit of information in that article is that for the last million years the earth has spent most of the time in ice ages. Each one last almost 100,000 years and is separated by an interglacial period typically only lasting a few thousand years. We've been in our current interglacial period for about 10,000 years and our time is up. Any day now we'll be heading back into another ice age. We won't have to worry about GW then .

PS I'm joking MM, I realize "any day now" could mean a few thousand years and GW could eradicate mankind by then
Mountain Masher
December 30, 2006
Member since 03/13/2004 🔗
541 posts
Thanks for the temp. chart. It's very interesting and certainly eye opening. And, although there have been some warm periods over the past 2,400 years, I don't believe that the climate got nearly as warm as the chart indicates. First of all, if the chart is correct, the Polar Bear would likely have become extinct long ago. Second, there would be lots of evidence of relatively RECENT (within the past 2,400 years) ocean shore lines that were miles inland from where they are now. No such evidence exists. Third, some of the land areas that are currently being exposed (due to retreating glaciers) have not been free of ice for over 100,000 years (based on extensive studies of the ice and exposed ground). So, the evidence is overwhelming that we are now in the warmest period on Earth for tens of thousands of years! My best guess is that the chart originates from a study that was funded by one or more of the following: The oil industry, Non-oil US corporations or the US Right-Wing establishment.
john84
December 30, 2006
Member since 11/7/2005 🔗
27 posts
Quote:

Thanks for the temp. chart. It's very interesting and certainly eye opening. And, although there have been some warm periods over the past 2,400 years, I don't believe that the climate got nearly as warm as the chart indicates. First of all, if the chart is correct, the Polar Bear would likely have become extinct long ago. Second, there would be lots of evidence of relatively RECENT (within the past 2,400 years) ocean shore lines that were miles inland from where they are now. No such evidence exists. Third, some of the land areas that are currently being exposed (due to retreating glaciers) have not been free of ice for over 100,000 years (based on extensive studies of the ice and exposed ground). So, the evidence is overwhelming that we are now in the warmest period on Earth for tens of thousands of years! My best guess is that the chart originates from a study that was funded by one or more of the following: The oil industry, Non-oil US corporations or the US Right-Wing establishment.




How does that kool aid taste?
bawalker
December 30, 2006
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
Probably not as good as my Dr. Pepper.
Murphy
December 30, 2006
Member since 09/13/2004 🔗
618 posts
Quote:

My best guess is that the chart originates from a study that was funded by one or more of the following: The oil industry, Non-oil US corporations or the US Right-Wing establishment.




Honestly I can't tell when you're joking and when you're serious. You should use more of these so I can tell.

Yes, it is the warmest it's been in the last 100,000 years, that's the last time there was an interglacial period. But we're not any warmer than we have been for the last 10,000 years (other than the "little ice ages" that occured, but they're in the noise compared to real ice ages). Here's that data if you're interested.



You should read the reference from my last post. You seem to be a pretty bright guy. I think you'd find it interesting. And FYI, the author does believe in GW and in no way is trying to dispute GW.
Mountain Masher
December 30, 2006
Member since 03/13/2004 🔗
541 posts
John, why not try something new and take the high ground for a change. If you differ with my post, then please be specific and tell me where I'm wrong and why. On the other hand, if you want to act like a 3rd grader, so be it.
Mountain Masher
December 30, 2006
Member since 03/13/2004 🔗
541 posts
Yes, I was kind of joking. It's often hard to find the various places where the the funding originates for some of these studies.
Murphy
December 30, 2006
Member since 09/13/2004 🔗
618 posts
I believe some of that data comes from the Vostok, the Russian research station in Antarctica. Of course everyone knows Exxon is paying those guys under the table .
Mountain Masher
December 30, 2006
Member since 03/13/2004 🔗
541 posts
At any rate, we're going to know a lot more about GW in another 20 years. Should GW continue to accelerate at the current pace, some very dramatic things are going to happen. On the other hand, we might be near the end of a short term warm cycle, in which case GW will become a non-event.
DCSki Sponsor: Canaan Valley Resort

Ski and Tell

Snowcat got your tongue?

Join the conversation by logging in.

Don't have an account? Create one here.

0.14 seconds