I don’t think I’ve ever met a skier who wasn’t obsessed with the weather. I know I am.
It’s not hard to figure out why. Skiing isn’t like bowling or billiards — something you can do no matter what’s going on outdoors. You need COLD. And more than than that, you need SNOW. And you need to know when it’s going to get here, so you can get excited and make sure your skis are tuned and your boss knows you’re sick and won’t be coming in to work. So a website that can give us the goods — an accurate, easy to understand forecast — is extremely important.
I have a long list of weather related sites bookmarked for easy access. So I thought I’d share some of them here with you.
Let’s start with the plain vanilla sites. My go-to for daily weather are AccuWeather.com, Weather.com, and Weather Underground. All basically offer the same thing: daily and extended forecasts with all the necessary info: temp, precipitation, wind speed, hourly conditions. There’s also the site run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Organization. I honestly don’t know if this is any better than any of the others. It just sounds more official and authoritative. So I generally check this one, too. I usually go from one site to another, shopping until I find the forecast I like the best.
Then we move on to the sites that are a little more fun.
If you want to get ski area specific, try Snowforecast.com. Not only will they give you a discussion about what’s coming in the next week or so at the resort of your choosing, but they’ll give you stats on snow accumulaton and snow potential, as well as temperatures and wind speed at different elevations.
Then there’s OpenSnow.com. This site is a delight for skiers. You can sign up to get regional snow reports in your inbox every day. You can also read regional, state, and resort forecasts on line. There’s an “Ask the Weatherman” section, where you can pose questions to the meteorologists, too.
I also like Snow and Ice. Administered by NOAA, Snow and Ice has a lot of cool features. You can see an animated map of snow and ice coverage for a specified period of time, daily snowfall maps, and more. Definitely worth checking out.
And then there’s WeatherSpark.com, which I just recently discovered. WeatherSpark takes the plain vanilla forecast and amps it up with a really cool dashboard that graphs temperature, wind speed, precipitation — all the information you need for the location of your choice. It gives you a great way to visualize what the weather is going to do, throughout the day.
I’m sure there are other sites that I don’t know about. So if you have a favorite, post it here. I’d love to hear about it.