“What will the weather be like for my stay?” It’s the crystal ball question our vacation rental guests often ask us. Despite how badly we want to please our guests and give them the precise answers they are looking for, we have yet to acquire the mystical crystal ball for weather forecasting, but…. What we do have is Joel Gratz.
Who is Joel Gratz? For those of us who live here in Summit County and many other parts of Colorado, Joel Gratz of OpenSnow.com is our go-to “Snow God” for snow forecast. If Joel says it’s going to snow, we believe him….(okay, we almost always believe him, he’s in fact human, not a God and not always perfect, but he’s as close as they come).
When Joel says we’re getting a foot or more, we make the standard preparations and, more importantly, get our work schedules rearranged with dreams of being covered in that magical fluffy white powder at day break, either on the lifts or a back country trek.
Joel graduated at the top of his meteorology class back in 2003 and earned a Master’s in Environmental Studies. He soon realized that forecasting snow in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado was extraordinarily difficult. After missing a few powder days due to inaccuracy of his own forecasts as well as those of others, he vowed to never miss another powder day. He began to study the mountain weather patterns of Colorado with more intensity. “I was livid whenever I missed a powder day,”said Gratz.
Through trial and error, studying interactions between wind directions and the chaotic mountain ranges of Colorado (otherwise known as orography and topography), Gratz hovers around accuracy in his forecast about 70% of the time.
So what is Joel Gratz predicting for the 2018-2019 ski season? Not only Gratz, but Mike Nelson of Krystal 93 Weather Team and the National Weather Service refer to the return of an El Nino weather pattern to influence the upcoming winter season. All three predict a high (70%) chance forecast of an average to above-average snowfall for the 2018-2019 winter season in Breckenridge, Colorado……but it’s not a guarantee (refer back to that lack of our crystal ball above).
What does an average snowfall mean? Take last year, for a sad example, when we were below average at only 80% of normal with a season total of 271 inches. We still had more snow than other resorts in Summit County and the rest of the state with the majority of our terrain and lifts open with the exception of early and late season. The average snowfall for Breckenridge is 360 inches. Compare that to surrounding resorts average snowfall (Arapahoe 350, Keystone 235, Copper 305, Vail 354), and Breckenridge comes out on top. Read more about why here.
So, besides the weather, what else is new for the 2018-2019 season?
A brand new exciting event just announced will be Snow Dance Day on Nov 17, 2018. Snow Dance will include a free live concert in the Gondola Lot, on-mountain athlete activations, and a hidden yurt. Snow Dance aims to be a fantastic and fun event to build the anticipation for the winter season and get the snow flying.
Lastly, at the town winter preview, Breckenridge Ski Resort has announced new restaurant concepts for the 2018-2019 season. We’ll be writing more about this in the next few weeks. Yummy!
Additionally, Vista Haus at the top of Peak 8 got an updated facelift over the summer, ready for the 2018-2019 season.
To help take stress out of those small vacation trip details, Book Breck has compiled a Helpful Tips List that covers all realms of your Breckenridge ski vacation (lift tickets, other winter activities, and much more). We’ve been voted Summit County Top 3 Best Property Management/Rental Company for the second year in a row. No doubt when you stay at a Book Breck property, your vacation home will be well maintained, well stocked, and your customer service will be top notch for the very best ski vacation you’ve ever had.