If you go to Google and start typing “Obsession with weather”, all-knowing Google will offer up a couple of options for you to select (rather than have you finish typing “weather”), one of which includes “British obsession with weather”.
Being British, having lived there for the first 28 years of my life, and still calling home regularly to talk to my Dad, I can attest that there is indeed a large degree of truth in this. The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported that the British use talking about the weather as a social prop – an icebreaker. Supposedly 70% of British people check the weather forecast at least once a day.
However, the first result in Google, “7 Reasons The British Obsession With Weather is A Myth” – while it doesn’t really do anything to de-bunk this theory – is worth reading because it made me laugh, and we (I) could all do with a lot more of that these days. There’s some strictly British references there you’ll need to understand to get the jokes, but #1 is worth it on its own.
When you’re in an industry which to an extremely large extent is dependent on the weather, talking about snow, the next storm, how much we’ll get, how little we just got, why we haven’t had enough when there was forecast to be so much more……………(you get the snow-drift), really does become an obsession.
Last season, we had an excellent year for snow. Started off strong – 144 inches by December 31, 396 inches by season-end which was 10% over our 10-year average. That was the year of La Nina and – supposedly – we were going to have another La Nina season in 2011-12. So, we all got excited about getting huge portions of snow, and what did we get? Sunny blue sky days, the occasional dusting of light snow (measured in hundredths of an inch such was the paucity of the amounts involved) and a perception that conditions on mountain were dreadful and it wasn’t even worth bothering to come up and see for yourself. Might as well go to Denver and play golf in 67° temperatures.
In some respects, all that was true – although all things considered as far as our mountain was concerned, the groomed trails were holding up very well indeed. It’s the tougher stuff that was closed, which in reality only 10% of the skiing population can ski anyway.
We had a great storm yesterday – I was surprised it only delivered 7½ inches, but on top of the 15½ we’ve had in the last 10 days, things are certainly turning around – rapidly. We’re now at 81” for the season, 91 trails are open and – with it being mid-week – I fully expect we’ll top 100 trails by the weekend at our Winter Park Ski Resort.
So what went wrong with the “La Nina Part Deux” forecasts? Well, apparently it was happening, but much further north than anyone anticipated. I’m sure the Northwest Territories loved it. However, as pointed out by my colleague on our Staywinterpark Facebook page on January 13, as from yesterday, the storm track is substantially further south and – as a consequence – we’re going to see storms we haven’t seen the likes of since – er – last season. Snowforecast.com reckons we’ll get 1 inch Wednesday night, 2-4 Thursday, a trace Friday and 2-4 Saturday. Lovely Jubbly.
With 96 skiing days still left in the season, now is probably a good time to make those Winter Park lodging reservations that have been put on hold pending better conditions, and take advantage of some great (and I mean great) discounts we’ve rolled out for the rest of the season. Buy one, get 50% off the second, and free night deals on stays of 3 nights or more. Go to our specials page for more details on Winter Park CO packages and ski Winter Park!