Jim Roemer remembers the 40-plus inches that fell last December 8, but not for the reasons you think. Sure, he relished the waist-deep powder as much as anybody, but what Roemer's most pleased about is that he knew it was coming. "TV meteorologists don't know how to forecast the mountains, says Roemer, who learned his craft at Vermont's Lyndon State College. "They don't understand how big it can get.
Roemer, however, does. "There were at least half a dozen weather events last season that I forecast before everybody else, he says. In 2003, this part-time commodities trader and meteorologist started bestskiweather.com, a business providing short- and long-term forecasts for ski resorts and individuals alike. Roemer's reports, issued from his Hyde Park, Vermont, home, have become gospel for the savvy skiers who subscribe to his powder alerts. His predictions are almost uncanny—though he studies storm patterns and uses computer models just like everybody else. Frequently historical, at times hysterical, and almost always more accurate, Roemer's meteorological musings are entertaining, informative, and specific enough to send skiers scurrying to the mountain most likely to be blessed by the goods.
"He was able to forecast the sniper storms we got last year, storms that were fast-moving and very localized, says J.J. Toland, of Sugarbush Resort. "And he's not afraid to make the call 14 or 15 days out. So many guys won't go more than five days, because they're afraid of what it'll do to their batting average.
Which begs the question, What's in store for the coming season? "I have no idea, says Roemer. "I'd have to research a lot of historical trends, and I've been too busy for that. I only know I'm going to ski a lot.
Vitals: 6'2, 200 pounds
Home town: Hyde Park, Vermont
First Turns: 1964, Bromley
Best Forecasting Season: 2003—2004. "I was about 95 percent accurate two to four days out and 70 percent accurate for a week out. I also predicted the big December storms before anyone else.
Forecasting philosophy: "Don't be influenced by others. Always research past similar weather patterns—and second-guess the computers!