You have to ask yourself how much of the Old Farmer's Almanac prediction of a cold, snowy winter is based on ski area ad revenues in Yankee Magazine. "Secret formula" indeed. Sunspots. Precession of the Earth's axis. Woolly bear caterpillars. Full-page ads from Killington. Ka-ching! We have your prediction.
Every winter is going to be great until it turns out to be lousy. The progression goes like this:
1. "Maybe it'll start early! If we get an early hard freeze and a good Nor'easter in November we could be on snow in early December and keep it going until April!"
2. "It never really snows until late December at the earliest. We're still on schedule. Squirrels have been hiding a lot of nuts! Surely an animal known for dashing out in front of cars has powers of prediction beyond our comprehension."
3. "It never REALLY snows until January. Skiing at Christmas time is more of a treat than a regular thing we can count on. We're fine."
4. "The big stuff moves in in February. Just use your rock skis for now."
5. "It could still turn around. You know it never really comes down deep until March."
6. "There's probably enough for good spring skiing up high."
7. "F*** this! Where's my bike?"
Whatever will be will be. But hard core skiers are not known for philosophical acceptance. Businesses that depend on their optimism can't afford to look casual about it either.
I'll be hiding in the back because I'm a lousy faker. I care, but I refuse to get all wound up over it.