Weather Factoids, Driving School, PA Trail Names, Utah Poet, Special Birthday For Klaus.

Sno Country’s Martha Wilson slides thru a turn under Tim O’Neil guidance.
Credit: Martin Griff

Busy week here at  We attended the Northeast Winter Weather Summit at Stratton Mountain, VT, and met with meteorologists, ski resort operators, and lots of journalists to discuss matters of mutual interest.  And we picked up some amazing fun facts from hanging around with some weather people:

  • Add this to climate change anxiety. A veteran weather man said the number of sun spots is on the increase. More spots means the sun is burning less hot than the past. The meteorologists call this the “solar minimum”, where sun spot activity causes the upper atmosphere to cool down.  Apparently, it’s a cycle, and we are in the coolest part.  Expect: Bitter cold winters, cool summers, perhaps a new Ice Age. (Not kidding, watch the news.)
  • For every 1,000 feet of altitude you ascend in going from a low lying area to a ski resort in the mountains, there is a drop of 3.7 degrees F. So, if it is 32 degrees in Boston, when you travel up 1,900 feet to the base lodge of Cannon Mountain, the temp will be roughly 24 degrees.
  • The record wind speed at the top of Mount Washington was 231 mph in 1934. Since then, the record has passed on to Australia where a speed of 253 mph was recorded during Cyclone Olivia in 1996.
  • The crew at the top of Mount Washington has to de-ice their manual wind anemometers and other instruments by hand, climbing a ladder to the top of the station and banging off the ice with a hammer, regardless of the weather. That happens as much as every 15-20 minutes, if a storm keeps building up the ice rime. Note: during storms on Mount Washington, the wind can be up to 140-170 mph. Here’s a 38 second video of a guy outside the MWO when the winds are only 109 mph. Click on the image to play.

Winter Driving Tips

My Big Red Truck sliding thru a turn, under the guidance of the Team O’Neil Rally School. Credit: Martin Griff

We also had a lesson in how to drive in winter conditions from the Team O’Neil Rally School in Dalton, NH. In a separate story, we’ll show you the one extremely important driving control button on our Ford truck we never knew existed and what happened when we pushed it. This was a counter-intuitive eye-opener, and we want to make sure you know about what your special button does in your car because it is imperative you understand how to use it in certain conditions. In addition, we learned about lower tire pressure for deep snow (up to a point), and the importance of being prepared for the mountains.  You can watch lots of different videos on driving techniques from Team O’Neil by clicking here.

Click here for our story on “the button”.  Incidentally, if you have a teenage grandchild, the driving school might be an excellent holiday gift.

This Week

Correspondent Don Burch’s series on ski trail names continues east to Pennsylvania. Writer and cartoonist Mike Roth offers a whimsical take on trail names, too. Jan Brunvand brings us a poem from a Utah poet with advice for a new skier. Our Mystery Glimpse presents a new challenge with two photos of a legend who was gone before his time and the answer to last week’s puzzle.  Someone actually got the right answers, others were pretty close.

Finally, we honor Klaus Obermeyer, the venerable ski fashion icon, who is 99 this week.

Please remember us to your friends. There are more of us every day and we aren’t going away.



  1. Great reminder about the traction control button – Thanks!!

  2. Thanks for sharing this. It sure looks very helpful.

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