Friday, December 30, 2011

Weather Forecasts

I was just asked some good questions about weather forecasts. While some of my peers are actually pretty good forecasters, I am not. I don't try and interpret raw data, but I check the weather forecast several times a day and primarily use two sources. The first is from NOAA and I find it at There is a space to type in a zip code or city. I actually type in Loveland Pass, CO and get a pretty good forecast. In the bottom right hand corner of that page is a tab for "Forecast Discussion." It gives some pretty good detail about the forescast. The other forecast I regulary use is from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center at It offers a very good weather and avalanche forecast for a number of regions in the state.

How far into the future do I look? Usually the 24 hour forecast is pretty good. The 48 hour forecast is OK to good. The 2-5 day forecast is OK for what kind of trend to expect. Beyond 5 days I take the forecast with a grain of salt only. As far as long term forecasts go, I pay attention to them, but my expectation for accuracy is pretty low. When someone tells me about the big storm 1-2 weeks from now, I chuckle to myself.

So what are my thoughts on A-Basin specifically? Well, it looks like Saturday is going be wintery with a little bit of snow. The first half of next week looks like nice days and cold nights. Beyond that........................................? When someone asks how the winter will be, my business, marketing, and optimistic side always comes out and I say "Lots of Snow."


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post.

Anonymous said...

Al, try I think you'll like it as it's pretty darn accurate. I use opensnow and noaa. A-Basin rules!!!

Anonymous said...

Well said Al. I have some formal education in meteorology and I agree completely. This is especially true for weather in mountainous terrain, let alone 12,000 feet. Weather changes without warning at that altitude. If you want to understand what the brightest meteorologists are thinking then learn how to interpret the "forecast discussion" on NOAA's site.

Here's to a snowy remainder of the season at the Legend! Stay safe out there with all that wind.


Anonymous said...

Al, what is prospect of BMX opening again today? Can you post any updates on website?

Anonymous said...

Thanks Al. I use NOAA daily and never new about the "discussion" aspect. Looks like a wet spring is coming--gut feeling.

Anonymous said...

Where I live I frequently head up to Taos Ski Valley and check forecasts on TSV sponsors their forecast and it is generally quite good. Hope the Basin gets some snow soon so we can come up in a couple of months - Christmas holiday was pretty rough up there!