Archive for February, 2012

Squirrel Watch Caption Contest
February 27, 2012

Congratulations to Michelle Martin, our squirrel watch caption contest winner.  Her comment, “I bow to the oldest pair of Nike shoes still being worn.” wins a prize.

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A Wet Start to 2012
February 20, 2012

It’s been 20 years since we’ve started the year this wet.  In 1992 11.57″ of rain fell from January 1st through February 19th.  This year 11.05″ of rain has fallen at Bush Intercontinental, putting us in 6th place for the wettest start to the year. 

   

Other cities in Southeast Texas have also had beneficial heavy rain.

College Station has received 12.08″ of rain so far this year; only 1991 has been wetter with 17.28″.
Hobby Airport has received 12.20″ of rain, putting it in fourth place.
Galveston is out of the top ten in 12th place with 10.27″ of rain to start 2012. 

More rain is possible Wednesday and Thursday and the new United States Drought Monitor comes out Thursday.  It will be interesting to see how much improvement we’ve made since the 14th.  Any bets that parts of Southeast Texas will get out of the drought?

Ski Santa Fe
February 2, 2012

 

Often times, I get requests for forecasts in Colorado and New Mexico as families prepare to break out the skis and hit the slopes. It has not been ideal skiing in Colorado this winter. Our own Dominique Sachse and friends of mine went to Vail in December and skied on mostly man-made snow with an 18-inch base. Recent snows have helped, but it was a rough start in Colorado. The exception this year has been New Mexico skiing. In fact a few weeks ago Ski Sandia, in Albuquerque, had the most snow in the country with a 68 inch base.

Last week I went skiing at Ski Santa Fe. I would strongly recommend you put it on your list of places to go if you are a skier. Many Texans have made Santa Fe, New Mexico, a second home with its rich culture and history, but it’s also a great place to ski. My wife and I shared a chair lift with a season pass holder and he described Ski Santa Fe as, “A blue-collar mountain, definitely not a 1 percent resort.” It took me some time to figure out what he meant, but I get it. People come here to ski. There isn’t a lodge at the base with a large fire place and overpriced drinks. In fact, there isn’t a lodge at all. You’ll find a cafeteria, and by the design, its goal is to get you fed and back on the mountain. Beneath one of the chair lifts, there is another place to eat with a bar and band most weekends. If you love skiing and don’t want to pay for the ambiance of some of the more exclusive resorts, Ski Santa Fe is for you. Don’t get the idea that this is run-down resort, it’s perfect for the person who wants to get in as many runs as possible before heading back to the hotel. And you can get the ambiance and exclusivity by spending time in the town.

As you can see in my video, the views are breathtaking. From the peak of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains you can see Mount Taylor, almost 300 miles away. The desert valley is also pronounced, the streak of brown is a contrast to the white snows you are skiing on. It is a gorgeous site to behold.

On this particular weekend the conditions were almost perfect. Mainly sunny skies with a 42-inch base, powder with no ice. It was windy on the top the mountain, but the winds gave the peak a flair for drama. Once we skied down a few hundred feet the winds calmed. Because we went on a non-holiday weekend, we never waited in line for a chair lift. The people were friendly and of course a lot of the skiers were from Texas, so you’ll feel right at home.

Growing up in Albuquerque, I’ve skied almost all of the New Mexico and Colorado resorts. My favorites are Vail, Purgatory in Durango, Taos and of course Santa Fe. If the conditions are right, you can’t go wrong at any of these places — but Santa Fe has the feel of an old town. The city moves at a slow, relaxing pace, which is a contrast to our fast moving style of life in Houston. But you can get all off the speed you need on the slopes of Santa Fe.