Happy New Year everybody! I didn't have a full view of the Fireworks last night, I was off in the trees when the shooting started...coaxing a cold tractor to warm up enough to move it. One of my guys called in sick...with a broken arm! Yikes!! We had a huge list, and snow was forecast to begin around 4AM...It looked like trouble from the get-go. So warming up and gettin' out the door trumped watching the show.
Fortunately, conditions were ideal for production...SuperHero Snow! My productivity was up 33% over the previous night. We ended up omitting three secondary runs, but we groomed more than enough for a New Years Day...usually soft on attendance...late arriving guests don't see much corduroy anyway. The snow did come at 04:30, and it was wet, so "crowds" might not be the operative word anyway.
With the warp speed production, we had it wrapped up before 8AM, so I phoned the Mountain's IT Goddess and asked if this morning was a good time to get my iPod Touch to talk to the Mountain's WiFi Networks. She said yes, where are you? and came out to my cat parked near her office...In no time, I was checking out the NOAA Radar Images, while still warm and dry in the throne of my favorte Grooming Machine! What a world we've made! Our IT Goddess wanted my opinion on smartphones, so I opined on phones before our conversation turned to weather forecasting.
IT Goddess moved to Reno this year, so she's got a serious commute to the Mountain now. She checks the NOAA Website for the forecast each morning to chose which car to drive up the hill...the thrifty little Subaru, or the big rugged SUV guzzler. I hated to be the bearer of bad news, but I told her that the Reno NWS Office's Lead Forecaster retired Thursday after 35 years of service. I gave her the thumbnail of the PDO Shift, and the troubles the weather forecasters have with La Niña regime modeling and forecasting. I said: You should also be reading the AFD when you look at the Zone Forecasts...you'll get invaluable insight that'll help you weigh the forecasts against your observations, for better confidence in the forecasts.
She's in a good position to get the inside skinny on the weather because one of her house mates works for the Desert Research Institute, and her other roomie is a scientist at the University of Nevada-Reno, in the Seismology Department. I'm going to meet these folks this year too!
The DRI is all about the weather in our region, and they do cross-pollinate with the NWS Office as well...I'm looking forward to talkin local climate and weather with these folks...I hope I don't Geek Out badly enough to embarrass myself! Who am I kidding? I'll be Geekin' 'till the cows come home!