The front page headlines in the Connecticut Post and The Advocate said it all Thursday: “Snow-verblown.”
Yes we fell for it again Thursday when the unrelenting hype of a crippling nor’easter brought only a few inches of snow instead of the foot or more forecast. Employees called in saying they were “working from home,” schools were shut down, Metro-North altered its schedule and Gov. M. Jodi Rell orchestrated a staggered early release for Hartford employers to prevent “gridlock” on highways.
While I’m not a fan of News Channel 8′s Geoff Fox, I respect him more for apologizing for getting the forecast wrong last night. Good for you Geoff.
While I’ve pretty much given up on local TV weather forecasts, it was unsettling that the more respected weather authorities like the National Weather Service, AccuWeather and the Weather Channel also got it wrong.
Meanwhile, the Middletown Press is reporting the developer who had planned to buy the long-closed Powder Ridge ski area in Middlefield has decided to back out of the deal because of high taxes and energy costs.
Our prayers to Ullr the Snow God have been answered. At least for southern New England that could receive more than a foot of snow from this nor’easter. Watch the storm on radar.
The only downside, apart from the people who have to drive anywhere, southern Vermont ski areas should get just a few inches.
But for Connecticut, the forecast is good news for cross country skiing and shoeshoeing in the days ahead. How often does this happen? A word of advice: if you plan on skiing or snowboarding at any of Connecticut’s four areas today, make sure you check their web sites or call ahead first. They are open now, but may close early if traveling becomes difficult.
There’s one thing that annoys me: where does T.V. station Channel 3 (WFSB) get off in naming storms? Who do they think they are? They’ve been doing this for decades. Remember the Blizzard of ’78? They named the storm Larry. C’mon. Probably named after some producer or an anchor person’s kids.
According to Channel 3 s Web site, the tradtion began in 1971, when the station’s call letters were WTIC. Former WFSB weather guy Hilton Kaderlie took the practice to a higher level with the naming of the now legendary Blizzard of ’78 as “Larry.”
Eversince with every big snowstorm, we get a new name in this Channel 3 “tradition.” This one is named “Barbara.”
I’m sure the other Connecticut TV forecasters must grimace anytime they hear OUR snowstorm named by Channel 3.
Nowadays, Channel 3 attempts to add some “credibility” to naming storms by partnering with the Science Center in Hartford. It’s still stupid, but a lot more open and logical on HOW they name storms. This season they’re naming storms after famous scientists. For a list of the storm names, and their reasons behind it, click here.
What’s even dumber happened in 2007 when the National Weather Service in Buffalo started naming lake effect snows after dog breeds. And the year before that? They named storms after insects.
There is one word I do like fora snowstorm: “Snowmageddon,” coined by President Obama during last week’s D.C. blizzard. It’s a perfect word because it described the end of the world mentality that Mid-Atlantic people showed while cleaning out grocery stores during a widespread “panic.”
In the 1990s, newspapers joined in naming storms with the biggest called “Storm of the Century,” followed by “Storm of the Century II,” “Storm of the Century III,” etc. We stopped because it became ridiculous.
So what do you think? Should we start naming snowstorms? After what, or who?
In the meantime, let’s thank Ullr for our snow and ask for some in Northern New England as well. Enjoy the snow!
It looks like we may luck this time and see some significant snowfall. Here’s the latest forecast for southern Connecticut
It’s good news for Connecticut and southern Massachusetts areas like Catamount and Butternut, but unfortunately northern New England areas shouldn’t get too much. Here’s the southern Vermont forecast.
But one thing is certain this weekend: St. Valentine’s Day, which not only means romance, but some special deals as well.
To celebrate Valentine’s Day Bromley in southern Vermont is holding a raffle in the Base Lodge where the winners receive a full, sit-down lunch on us! All you have to do is sign up by 11:30am and you’ll be entered to win. As an extra incentive, we’ll also be handing out chocolates to all those that enter! Free lunch is valid on 2/14/10 only.
At Stratton in Vermont, The Villager chair turns into the ‘Sweetheart Chair’ all decked out with red ribbons and hearts. The American Express lift becomes the ‘Speed Dating’ lift as singles will have approximately four minutes to impress a future love interest before they can decide to ski, or not to ski down together. Food and drink specials will entice your favorite Valentine, as will a special V-Day dinner at Bentley’s to cap off the most romantic day of the year.
Mad River Glen’s in Vermont will sell $14 tickets to those who kiss each other in front of the ticket booth.
Also in Vermont at Okemo, there will be a Sweetheart Scavenger Hunt, a Find-the-Liftie-with-a-Heart contest and a fireworks display.
Ten red hearts will be hidden along ski trails throughout the resort on Valentine’s Day. When a skier or rider finds a heart and takes it to Okemo’s Learning Center Desk at the Okemo Clock Tower Base Area, they will win a prize package with confections provided by M&M Mars. On Valentine’s Day, one of Okemo’s lifties will be wearing a bright red heart on his/her uniform. Skiers and riders who report the name of the lovable liftie to the Okemo Clock Tower Base Area Ski + Ride School desk, will win a sweet Valentine treat.
Okemo lights the night sky with a spectacular pyrotechnics show starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Okemo Clock Tower base area. For a bird’s eye view of the show, Okemo will offer a free guided snowshoe tour departing the base area at 7 p.m. Snowshoe rentals are available for $15 and reservations for the tour are required. Call (802) 228-1558.
The fireworks show follows a torchlight parade of skiers and riders traversing a mountain trail to the base area. Children can participate in a Light Parade of their own on the slope next to the F-10 Carpet. Glow-stick lights will be provided. To participate, children must be age 4 to 14 and must be a level 4 or better. The fee is $15 and participants will meet in the Clock Tower Base Area SnowStars Center at 6:30 p.m. for check in and group activities prior to the light parade.
It’s been a few years since I skied Devil’s Fiddle on Bear Mountain at Killington, Vermont. The main reason? It was rarely open or had very little snow on the trail.
Well, it’s good to see they are making snow again there, according the K-Man, Tom Horrocks. Here’s a video shot from a helmet cam that’s posted on Killington’s insider blog. Tom says it’s been three years since they made snow there, mainly because some hydrants and snowmaking work had to be done. I checked the trail report and it’s still open today. Cool.
Next time I’m at the Beast, I’ll play the Fiddle. I just hope those rocks are covered. In all fairness, the video was shot last month when they started making snow.
I wonder if they still have that sign at the top of the trail that read: “Expert skier? You Better Be.”
Yes, the Patriots and the Raiders are not in the Super Bowl this year.
But they did play against each other in the now famous Snow Bowl in Foxboro, Mass. on Jan. 19, 2002.
Quarterback Tom Brady led the Patriots to an 16-13 overtime win. The win helped lead them to the Super Bowl in New Orleans where they defeated the St. Louis Rams 20-17.
There was another famous Snow Bowl on Dec. 1, 1985 when the Green Bay Packers met the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in (where else?) Green Bay, Wisc. There was a foot of snow before the game and another 5 inches fell during it. The Buccaneers, from warm and sunny Florida, were frozen out 21-0.
Only 19,856 people were in attendance, with over 36,000 “no-shows,” the most in Packers history
With most people staying inside to watch the Super Bowl, or at least attending game-day parties, Super Sunday is always a good day to go skiing and snowboarding.
But actually Mondaywill be a better day to go to Okemo in southern Vermont because it’s basing the price of their lift ticket on the final score of the Super Bowl.
Here’s how it will work …
On Monday, the price of a full-day lift ticket will be charged at $1 per point, based on the total combined points scored during Sunday’s Big Game. If the final score of the game is Saints 27 and Colts 20, the price of a lift ticket on Monday will be $47. How low could it go? A scoreless game would mean free lift tickets, however, the lowest combined score in Super Bowl history was 21 points in 1973. In case of a high-score game, Okemo is capping the Feb. 8 lift ticket price at $59.
Since a full-day, midweek ticket costs $72, it’s a good deal, especially mid-season.
Oddsmakers, however, expect Super Bowl 44 to be a high-scoring game.
It could have been a super weekend, but again we’re getting ripped off on another big snowstorm. At most we may get a few inches, a dusting or flurries. What are we going to do with a dusting? Nothing. No cross country skiing, snowshoeing or snowmobiling. Nothing.
We’ve must have done something wrong to annoy Ullr the Snow God, pictured left and above. Maybe he’s pissed off at the widespread negativity toward snow that most Connecticut residents have. And of course, there’s that merry band of snow-hating TV people who bang the war drums whenever there is a “threat” (one of their favorite words) of snow. They do this all winter long with their seven-day forecasts that usually have snow in days ahead with several question marks on the snowflake icon. It’s an unrelenting barrage of warnings coupled with shop-worn stories of people storming supermarkets and rest stop “reporters” saying “traffic is moving now, but in a few hours…watch out!”
The TV weather people in D.C. did their best scaring people of the “paralyzing” storm to clean out supermarkets, pictured right. Sprinkle this with negative words like “bad weather,” “mess” and “miserable” and you’ll see there is a definate plan here to bash winter. Again, a major snowstorm is expected to pound the Mid-Atlantic states with up to two feet of snow. Look at this forecast. Now what is Maryland going to with all that snow? Atlantic City with two feet? C’mon. And again, New England gets nothing. Philadelphia, south Jersey, this is really unfair.
OK, OK there is the cross country ski center like the Backbone Farm or the Wisp downhill ski resort in Maryland, but for the most part the snow will go unused and unappreciated by most.
This is the third promising storm that has taken a southern track, dumping heavy snow in metro-D.C. And the last major nor’easter that we got? It was heavy rain with warm temperatures. Now Ullr, that was really unfair and downright mean.
The last major snowstorm was in early January where Burlington, Vt. set an all-time record of 33 inches. But the ugly secret of that storm? Accumulations varied widely, with many ski areas getting just a few inches. That snow fell on a Friday and Saturday. And guess what happened on Monday in Burlington? Schools were open. Last Tuesday in Connecticut when most towns got less than an inch, schools were delayed 90 minutes.
Fortunately, skiing and snowboarding have not suffered. That’s because areas and resorts have made enough snow and groomed often to make conditions remarkably good. Yet all areas, from Connecticut to Maine need a big snow dump to make things better and bases deeper. Cross country skiing conditions, even in the North Country, should be much better this time of year.
Yes, this post is a rant because I can’t understand Ullr’s logic in giving Maryland two feet of snow. And in some part, I can see the TV people’s ways too in appealing to the anti-snow masses in Connecticut who prefer to stay inside and just watch TV.
So today, join me in asking… politely .. Ullr, the main snow dude, to make things up with us. We’ll forget about those D.C. blizzards and South Jersey snowdrifts if you just give us our fair share, at least in the North County. Please.
Here’s an event that will get you in the mood for the Winter Olympics that begin Feb. 12.
The best ski jumpers in the East will be coming to Salisbury, Conn. when the Salisbury Winter Sports Association (SWSA) hosts the 84th annual ski jumping championships this weekend.
Along with ski jumping, weekend events include a chili cookoff and ice-carving demonstrations.
Competition starts on Saturday with the 20 and 30 meter jumps beginning at 9 a.m. Ages may range from 6 years to 70. SWSA hosts the Salisbury Invitational Championships featuring the best young jumpers in the East beginning with practice at 11 am. Competition begins at 1 pm.
Admission for each of the jumping events is $10 per person for adults and children 12 and under are free.
For details, directions and full schedule visit jumpfest.org
This event is Salisbury Winter Sports Association’s main fundraiser for a variety of youth skiing programs. Two- and Three-day tickets are available at discounted prices as well as group rates.