Face it – the globe is trending cooler. One El Nino year does not make a trend. All the talk about global warming and snow becoming rare in the wintertime is turning out to be utter nonsense.The AMO, PDO and solar cycles bode cold for the globe. Check very carefully before believing anything else – especially if you’re in the winter sports business.
The Met Office in England even said there’s been no significant warming in the last 15 years. The cold winters are back, and many find themselves caught unprepared.
Too many expected warming
Last winter municipalities were caught without roadsalt because they had gambled on warm winters, and skipped replenishing their winter stockpiles. But then the snow and ice came, and what little roadsalt they had ran out by midwinter. Drivers were left to fend for themselves.
Municipalities will also have to deal with the much higher than expected costs arising from streets being far more damaged by heavy frosts. The deep freezes of last winter wreaked havoc on asphalt surfaces, and many were not properly repaired. This year winter is back with a vengeance, and so the already poorly repaired streets will certainly suffer even more damage. Repair costs will skyrocket, and strain budgets.
Sled manufacturers are caught off guard
They cannot keep up with demand. Everything is sold out, reports Die Welt today here. The traditional manufacturers of sleds are working round the clock at full capacity. And many that had gone out of business over the years, have reappeared. Says Michael Ress, manager of the traditional sled maker Ress-Kuschen in the Lower Franken village of Schwebheim in Bavaria:
Last winter we produced 16,000 sleds from New Year’s to March. The year before it was 3800 for the entire season.
And now the 6-man company is producing 200 sleds a day:
We’ve tripled our production and are practically working round the clock. We’ve got to make do with 4 hours of sleep.”
Die Welt writes that 30 years ago there were some 20 sled manufacturers in Germany, but as the winters became milder, and the snows rarer, most of the sled makers disappeared.
But now the AMO and PDO have switched to their negative phases, solar activity has petered out, the winters are returning and the sled makers are coming back as a result. KHW Geschwenda in the Thüringer Forest has hired dozens of workers.
Also Company Gloco, which had closed its doors in 2009, has re-emerged and is back in business. Die Welt writes:
Gloco wants to put 30,000 pieces on the slopes this year. He no longer picks up the phone. He just doesn’t have the time for additional orders.
Retailers are screaming for sleds, but only a few are being delivered. Until production catches up, kids will have to make do with plastic bags and the hard shells of old suitcases.
Personally I think the North American toboggan is hard to beat.