By Joel Gratz, Founding Meteorologist Posted 12 years ago November 21, 2011

The truth behind snow reports

I'm writing this because our snow report for Eldora did not update on Saturday with the 6" of new snow and someone called us out. Here's what happened and some behind-the-scenes in the snow reporting world...

When fresh snow falls, the resorts:

  1. Measure the snow.

  2. Update the amount of new snow on their website.

  3. Update the amount of new snow on the state's website (like Colorado Ski Country).

  4. Update the amount of new snow on the website

  5. Update the amount of new snow on the website

Generally, any website or app that reports new snow gets their data from #4 or #5. We get our data from #5, Snow Country.

When Eldora received 6" on Saturday, they updated their website (#2) and OnTheSnow (#4), but didn't update Snow Country (#5). I don't know why this happened. This means that the Eldora website showed 6" of new snow, as did all the apps and websites that pull data from OnTheSnow. However, all the websites that pull data from Snow Country didn't show this new snow, and this list includes not just our website but also the USA Today, New York Times, and The Associated Press. That's just how it is...

We are working on a secret weapon, however, to not just trust Snow Country for the latest reports, but to cross check the data with the resort's own websites (#2) and the state websites (#3). This cross-checking system is actually pretty complex to develop, so we're still testing it out. Once it's live, it should prevent "the Eldora mistake" from happening again.

There you have it - the truth behind snow reports!
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About The Author

Joel Gratz

Founding Meteorologist

Joel Gratz is the Founding Meteorologist of OpenSnow and has lived in Boulder, Colorado since 2003. Before moving to Colorado, he spent his childhood as a (not very fast) ski racer in eastern Pennsylvania.

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