Like much of the technology on the mountain, weather forecasting has also progressed rapidly over the past 10 years. But the delivery method is still much the same today as it was three decades ago – a simple email with an attached report, delivered three times a day throughout the winter season, is the most valuable tool in the mountain operations arsenal. Meteorologist Tony Vazzano, who specializes in ski resort weather forecasting, provides pinpoint hour-by-hour, elevation-based forecasts, which are used to determine when snowmaking goes on, and when snowcats go out to lay down that perfect corduroy. “We live and die by Tony Vazzano’s North Winds Weather,” said Kinney. “For everything – from when we have the guys making snow, even if it’s a marginal night, and it’s early season, we’ll take a chance and bring the guys in if the forecast is right. It’s all about going after that weather. “And the same with grooming,” Kinney continued. “Everything is timing. You can’t go out and groom if it’s too warm and it’s going to freeze overnight. Sometimes the freeze isn’t going to come till three or four o’clock in the morning. So we can’t go out and lay everything flat right at four o’clock in the afternoon, because it’s going to be hard as rock by morning.” With 200 inches of annual snowfall, complemented by one of the largest snowmaking operations in the world, Okemo’s mountain operations team has perfected the art of snow farming and delivering the best possible conditions, but more importantly, the knowledge base of when and where to apply their skill to deliver a truly exceptional on-snow guest experience. Case in point, mid-March into the first week of April during the 2016-17 season served up warm weather and challenging snow conditions. However, it’s times like these when the mountain operations team really gets a chance to showcase the depth of their experience, as illustrated by excerpts from Kinney’s weekly email on April 9, 2017 to the Okemo management team: From: Eb Kinney  Sent: Sunday, April 09, 2017 2:06 PM Subject: Mountain Ops UPDATE Grooming - These guys have earned their pay, the last couple of weeks. Warm days and warm nights and some snow thrown in there, are not good for grooming. Some of the toughest conditions for grooming I’ve seen in a long time. The natural snow eats away into our snowmaking base. The snowcats climbing has been tough, our base has no bottom, so the snowcat wants to sink and the tiller wants to drag. Lots of winching (snowcats tied via cable to an anchor point at the top of the slope to assist in climbing) being done! The weather the Okemo Mountain Ops EXPERIENCE IS THE OKEMO DIFFERENCE! - continued from page 57 - - continued on page 61 - > 802-228-1600 > page 59