Poetry of the Weather

avalanche forecaster Jerry Roberts

Former Avalanche Forecaster Jerry Roberts Joins the Blogosphere

Most of us sat around scratching our heads when the last storm cycle failed to deliver Telluride the multiple feet of snow that landed elsewhere in the San Juan Mountains. Pineapple express? La Niña? An east-west valley instead of southwest-facing orientation?

Not Jerry Roberts. Roberts has been forecasting such vagaries for 40 years, as a weather and avalanche specialist here in the Telluride/Silverton area in the winter and in the Chilean Andes in the summer.

Roberts retired last year, and now, instead of getting up before dawn to study satellite images, predict storms, teach avalanche school and shoot the howitzer at slide paths on Red Mountain pass, Roberts is blogging. Of course, old habits die hard—his blog also features a regular weather forecast, probably the best one you can find anywhere on the Internet. That is, if you are looking for an accurate prediction along with some insider knowledge of the regional backcountry ski conditions and a bit of wittiness. The blog (The Rōbert Report, pronounced “Rō’bear Re’por” in a nod to Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert) is an eclectic collection of posts showcasing what makes the ineffable Roberts such a San Juan character: his penchant for haiku, a fierce love of music and art, a healthy dose of political commentary and humor, and for his subscriber list’s subset of local river rats and ski bums, Roberts’ own calculation of what the weather will bring.

Log on and read some great avalanche stories, anecdotes about snow scientists like the famed Ed LaChappelle and other miscellany, including haiku like this one by Roberts:

sleeping with radio

and telephone-

romantic forecast night

Missing the big storms that make living in avalanche country so exciting? Enjoy this video by former Ophir resident Judah Kuper, filmed a few years ago.

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