Frequently Asked Questions

How do you make your forecasts?

We combine information from our local forecasters, the National Weather Service, and global forecast data.

Why are your forecasts different from other weather services?

All weather forecasting companies have access to the same data basic. The differences between the final forecasts are due to how each company interprets and adjusts the data they receive from weather models.

Can you tell me where I should ski based on long-range forecasts?

Long-range forecasts are rarely accurate. Many cover multiple weeks or months out but we know that skiing quality improves and degrades with storm cycles that last a few days to a week. Remember that paying attention to a 1-10 day forecast is the way that you'll find powder and 3-6 month outlooks offer little to no value for us skiers searching for pow.

I am looking for powder. How far in advance can I trust weather forecasts?

We recommend you start getting a feel for the weather pattern 10 days out, start planning trip details about 5 days out (start clearing your calendar), and lock in your plans about 2-3 days out. This is based on how accurate we feel weather forecasts are at certain lead times. Don’t forget: Start faking that you’re sick at work or school a few days out by coughing and leaving packets of Emergen-C all over your desk.

I'm looking for powder, BUT I need to book a trip months in advance.

If powder is your number one criteria, stay flexible. We recommend booking flights on Southwest Airlines so you can change flights with no penalties. Also, most rental car companies and hotels will allow you to change or cancel your reservations provided you do so with adequate notice. Remember, powder is awesome, but there are lots of other reasons to choose one destination over another. Think about convenience to airports, hotel options, and other opportunities like horse drawn sleigh rides and snow mobile rides.

You seem to know what's up. What are your credentials?

We are a team of Meteorologists and Weather Forecasters who are also life-long skiers and riders. We pride ourselves in being good scientists and responsible business people. We're thankful that well over two million people use our service, and that other publications have taken notice, such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, ESPN, Outside, WIRED, and many more.

Can we use your information on our site?

If you're a journalist writing a story, you may copy 1-2 sentences from our forecaster's posts as long as you provide attribution in the form of the forecaster's name, the name of our service (OpenSnow), and a link back to our site. If you would like access to our Forecast Data API please email and provide more details about how you intend to use our data.

What’s this thing about your dads voting your site #1?

It started in January 2011 when Joel’s dad was handing out Colorado Powder Forecast business cards like it was his job. So Joel gave him a shout out on the site – "Voted #1 forecast website by my dad". This tagline caught on.