Over-Hyped Weather Forecasts Are Bad for Skiing
Sensationalized forecasts from news anchors who appear to hate winter and have zero ideas how to dress for it are keeping an increasingly inert population inside.
On President’s Day 2015, Woods Valley Ski Area was poised for a banner weekend. After several drought years, the 25-acre, two-lift ski resort in Westernville, New York, finally had great snow for what is traditionally one of the ski industry’s biggest weekends. Except that with an arctic air mass descending and wind chill figures expected to drop to minus 20, weather reporters across the Northeast cranked up the hype, warning residents of “brutal” and “dangerous” cold. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo followed suit, officially warning citizens to “stay indoors wherever possible.”
Tim Woods, owner of Woods Valley, had been railing against such sensationalized reporting for years, writing to local broadcasters and imploring them not to label snow forecasts of more than six inches “warnings” or “threats” and wetter storms as “heart-attack snow.”
On the resort’s Facebook page, Woods posted Emanuel Leutze’s famous painting of General Washington crossing the Delaware River amid chunks of ice. “Imagine if George Washington had watched the local weather and decided the 'Real Feel' temp was just too cold to cross the Delaware on a frigid Christmas night in 1776,” he wrote. “The battle of Trenton was a pivotal battle that turned the tide of the Revolutionary War. Stop believing the hype, dress for the weather outside, and come enjoy the best snow conditions we’ve seen in years.”