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Unpredictable weather for SuperTour skate race

Sat, Nov  26, 2011 - By Ian Harvey

Know your products to be able to predict what is going to run - then figure out what the weather is going to do!

The forecast for last night was predictably off. They had called for the temperatures to sink dramatically and for a bunch of snow to fall. It has been my experience that when the weather is warm and a front is supposed to come and kick it out, it generally takes longer than forecasted for some reason...if it happens at all.

Leif Zimmermann in Yellowstone cross coutnry ski skate race

Leif Zimmermann

Early this morning it was still around 28f and only spitting slightly. The forecast for this morning was for temperatures in the low to mid 20s and for 2-4 inches. More specifically, the forecast was for a band of intense snowfall to pass through mid morning sometime causing white out conditions and followed by colder temperatures. The forecast was so definitive that I felt that we could count on this happening at some point. Also, it is worth pointing out that the moisture that we have received all this week are the remnants of a tropical storm which means it brought warm and wet snow that is uncharacteristic for this area.

Evelyn Dong in cross country skate raceOK, our wax tip was LF Moly, HF Blue/Red (straight Red for the men) followed by JetStream Red with the comment that if or when it snows hard, conditions will change to HF Blue covered by JetStream Blue.  We had also recommended the Structurite with Blue bit for today.  Well for the women's race, the recommendation held up great.  The HF and JS Red were both giving better high end speed than the Blues were although the Blues were not bad. 

Up until 11am, the spitting snowfall was more like mini mixtures of ice and snow which was good for the HF Red/JS Red recommendation, but I was still waiting for the dreaded snow squall which would change things.  After the A seed men were on the course for about 15 minutes, it happened.  The HF Red/JS Red was still OK, but at this point an HF Blue/JS Blue wax job (still with the Blue Structurite) would have been best.  Considering the crazy weather and that conditions were so variable, I think we did fine.

I think the tropical storm remnants are now gone and we are back to traditional West Yellowstone weather (Brrr). It supposed to get down to around 0f tonight.
Congratulations to Caitlin and Jessie for the podium placings and to Leif on his win. (Evelyn Dong in photo on right.
It is days like this that demonstrate so clearly how important knowing your products and how they perform in the conditions that are going to be is so important.  Testing for the "now" only tells you what is running now.

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