So, in my own words, here is the deal... (warning, some "boring" lies ahead, and I claim no responsibility for any head bobbing, eyelid sagging, or just flat out sleep, that may be induced by the coming tidbits of generally interesting -to a small group of people- information)
I LOVE weather! Love it! Seriously, ridiculously so.
-I do not remember the age, but when I was barely able to stand as a toddler living in Orange County, California, a lightning storm kept me up all night (yes, we get those in Orange County, sometimes some really good ones). It was (and still is to this day) amazing to me! The power of it, the energy, I could feel it, and I had to know how and why it all was happening. That was the start of my insatiable desire for weather knowledge
-It was the early 1970's (ok, I'm a bit "old" in age, but NOT even close to "old" in any other way, nope...), and there was not much information readily available to me, but I still found it. If I could get back all of the dimes I used to copy weather and climate record book pages in libraries as a kid, I would be able to buy a cheap car with that today. I spent more time in the library during high school than the librarian (well, almost), and went through everything they had, that was even closely related to meteorology.
-When I was about 11, I worked the summer (mostly clearing weeds and trash on 1 to 5 acre parcels for cheap tightwads) to afford the equipment and hardware to build a National Weather Service spec'd out weather station/ instrument shelter, 6' off the ground, max/ min thermometer, and my very own "diary" (daily weather journal). I had the ability back then to forecast mostly major weather events weeks before their occurrence, without the aid of computer models, which were not available to me back in the 70's/ 80's.
-I did watch the Los Angeles area TV weather casts from a very young age (starting in the mid-70's), and was able to see the latest satellite imagery that way, plus whatever info/ imagery I could get out of the newspapers (which I had stacks of in my room, as I cut out and saved all of the weather pages for later climatology studies), which helped, but part of the equation is a "gut instinct", or "intuition" for future events, which I have had all along. For anyone who remembers him, I learned a LOT from Dr George Fishbeck.
I watched years of his broadcasts, usually 3 times a day when I wasn't running around outside throwing spears, dirt clods, and old "grounded" oranges at my friends, or surfing at Oceanside and other north San Diego County breaks... "Dr George" had a sincere love for weather, and was good at explaining things in a simple way, not elevating himself above the listener, very humble though he was a very good forecaster/ meteorologist with decades of experience. Dr George was also a humanitarian, which I was strongly drawn to, and admired. His somewhat recent death was a sad time for me, as I literally grew up with him as a guide in the one thing I loved the most, when most others did not understand my love for all things "weather".
-In my post-high school years, aside from surfing, working construction, living in my car at times, and taking night classes at Riverside Community College, I started skiing (1987). I was instantly hooked! In 1988 I bought a pair of 185mm Kneissl skis (yes, "cheesy") and Snow Summit (Big Bear, California) was my favorite destination.
-I joined the Navy in 1989 and was an E-5 "forecaster" within 2 years (fast), but was forecasting weather almost right away at my first station in 1989. I grabbed every bit of knowledge and training I could get my hands on, and that I could get the Navy to send me to, which was a lot.
-In 1991 I started snowboarding, and as a surfer, this fit for me, more than skiing, though I still loved both.
-I was stationed in Guam, MI (US Territory) in 1992, and beside my continuing meteorology education, I learned a lot about forecasting swells and surf, in fact, some of my local and Navy surfer friends would come to me for these forecasts. My life literally depended on this knowledge at times, as fairly large and unexpected (to other forecasters) typhoon swells would sometimes hit very shallow reef at 20 to 30 minute intervals (major typhoon FAR away), and one of the main spots we surfed required almost 20 minutes to swim upstream through a channel, and climb up a huge pile of rocks (the "jetty") to get up and clear of the next set of waves, before the waves would blast the rock jetty. Missing this window was not an option, and is also part of the reason surfing was outlawed for Air Force personnel. It's a good thing I was in the Navy and they did not care as much about their people (or did they believe more in personal freedom?), or I would have had to be an "outlaw"... During my time in Guam, I went through forecaster training, completed the laser disk (remember those anyone?) COMET course that the Navy had available at the time (twice), and spent almost 1/2 of my entire 2+ years in Guam doing that. I also completed training in Oceanography, which in terms of physics, is closely related to the atmosphere. All the while, I was taking college courses toward a degree in Meteorology.
-On a personal note, my son was born in 1993, and he became my snowboarding partner by 1998! He was just 4+ years old when Mountain High gave him his first lessons in snowboarding. At the time, they were the only mountain offering that at this young age.
-In 1995 I left the military after devouring every piece of information I could get my hands on, and started forecasting weather (as Valley Weather Service) for local farmers in California. These were and are (to this day) very specific forecasts with a lot of unusual detail. Accurate longer range forecasts were/ are also provided, with outlooks sometimes going out past 2 weeks when confident. I even started forecasting parameters for agri-business that no one else does, as I saw the need and filled it. Many of the customers I have now have been using my service for over 20 years.
-Snowforecast.com was born in 1998 out of a desire for some better weather forecasts for the southern California resorts I would frequent. I was already doing this for myself since I had to drive over 3 hours (1 way!) to get to the resort, and I wanted to get the best days possible. My internet weather adventure started out as "valleyweather.com" (some may remember this), and this consisted of a local southern California resort forecast with a lot of detail and daily snow amount forecasts, the original on the internet from what I remember seeing online at the time. There were some blogs, but not daily-updated, operational forecasts, at least not for free. My first sponsor in 1998 was Mountain High, and the next year, in 1999, Snow Summit/ Bear Mountain started sponsoring their forecasts. These continued, and in 2000 we moved to Colorado. I started my own forecasts of weather and snow for Copper Mountain initially, but started covering Winter Park, all of Vail's resorts, Aspen, and Crested Butte. All of these resorts were sponsoring their forecast by/ before 2002, and some were advertising on snowforecast.com.
-Skipping ahead, by 2006 snowforecast was ranking as the 3rd most visited ski/ snowboard site on the net, only a hair away from #2. Over the years, I have had a lot of ideas for mostly "nerdy" graphics and map based website content, but not the right people to implement that. No matter, the reputation for accurate forecasts (what most people were coming for anyway) was something I could not buy. I received regular emails from people all over the world, mainly in the US, and some weather experts, telling me they loved what I did. Well, so do I :).
For Real... In 2012, my dad died. At the very same time there were some Colorado-based vultures who wanted to get in on what I was doing, promised effort, and returned nothing. I fell for this and got burned. It was a rough time. I stopped caring as much about many things, including snowforecast.com. I want to apologize to long time users of the site who remember the "old" days. The forecasts were still there, but the site was tough, and almost impossible to navigate on many mobile devices.
-Through this recent experience, and past life experiences, I learned a lot. Do not be "selfish", but live YOUR life. Do not live your life the way others want you to. Do not be afraid to be different, or even "funny" to others. Be happy, love people, love humanity, do for others, enjoy life! A part of that is "stay young". Be healthy; Healthy body, mind, spirit. In this way, you will be less dependent on others for your happiness and well being. I am now very fired up, and healed from the rough and recent 4 years...
2016... Snowforecast.com still has a solid and large visitor base, and I am now in a unique situation. The person responsible for the new site you are looking at is someone who could be sitting in the Silicon Valley making a LOT of money as a software engineer, but chose to live in north Idaho, not far from me. He is working on a lot of new and unique content for Snowforecast.com, plus we are refurbishing the iPhone app. This is planned to be released as a free app, with forecast snow push notifications. Watch for this as we move through the summer and fall. Also, I am planning to cover, in more detail, Tahoe and northern Utah again, along with continuing Colorado. I am thinking of firing up detailed Big Bear/ Wrightwood (southern California) forecasts also. We are working on a proprietary forecast model as well. The new forecast pages (and the rest of the site) are a vast improvement, and more content is coming, though what we have now is pretty extensive. I have some forecast help coming (more "bios" on the way...), and we may be covering other parts of Canada and the US, plus possibly Europe and NZ/ South America. I may be adding to/ editing this page as time goes on...
Owner/ Chief Forecaster
1998 - Present (18 years)
Detailed short and long range forecasting, applying climatology and micro-scale differences to produce accurate snowfall total (and wind, clouds, temperature, etc.) forecasts for specific locations up to 6 days out, with great results. Owner/ Chief Forecaster
Valley Weather Service/ Snowforecast.com
October 1995 - Present (20 years 9 months)
Agricultural Meteorology Consulting/ Forecasts, Ski Resort Weather Forecasts via Snowforecast.com, Agricultural Feed Commodities Reporting, all via web, email, fax.
LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/chris-manly-04548210
Midwest US Forecaster