It’s 4 a.m., the temperatures are in the single digits, the wind is howling, and Tahoe weather forecaster Bryan Allegretto is just rising to make a cup of coffee and look at weather models for the day. Those who live in Tahoe and those who visit routinely use Open Snow and wait patiently for Allegretto’s daily forecast: Tahoe Daily Snow. Allegretto, co-founder of Open Snow, gives the daily lowdown on weather for Tahoe, as well as the daily forecast for Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows.
Allegretto has always loved storms, especially snowstorms, hurricanes and nor’easters. His father was superintendent for the New Jersey state parkway and received the latest updates on weather and storms and then prepared the plows for the roadways.
“I was obsessed with snow and storms. My friends nicknamed me the weatherman as a kid. I’d tell them when it was going to snow,” said Allegretto, explaining that he would sit in his father’s office while his dad received faxes from the National Weather Service. “I’d look out the window and stare at the streetlights, waiting for the first flakes of snow and then run and tell him it was happening. I got the bug and have been tracking snow ever since.”
Allegretto attended Kean University in New Jersey to study meteorology. After some issues in his personal life he began questioning his major.
“I wanted to chase storms not sit at a desk,” he says.
He took a year off from school and traveled and eventually went back to school for business and economics.
“I wanted a job in the ski industry,” he said.
He began exploring places to move to so he could ski. He watched the Weather Channel religiously and tracked average snowfall around the country. That’s when he decided to move to Truckee and started working at Northstar California in the accounting department. It was during his tenure there he’d offer his colleagues in the marketing department his weather insights. Eventually someone suggested he start a blog. In 2006, he began forecasting for Northstar and Sierra-at-Tahoe and then eventually begin to cover the Tahoe Basin and Tahoe Weather Discussion was born.
Friends of Allegretto suggested he meet Joel Gratz from Colorado who was writing the Colorado Powder Forecast, a similar blog. Both were working on building a Web site and app when the two decided to forge a partnership and created Open Snow.
What happens when Allegretto’s forecast is off? Well, he definitely hears it from his readers.
“That’s when I started keeping track of my forecasts. How you deliver the weather is an artform,” he says.
He uses words such as “maybe,” “could,” “possibly,” “definitely” and “will” when he writes. After every storm he posts what he reported and what actually happened. His forecasts have an average variance of 1.6 to 1.7 over the last two seasons. Allegretto describes himself as a perfectionist, Type A personality and tends to get upset when his forecast is off.
“When I write my blog, I write it like I am writing to my friends in the office,” he says.
In any case, Allegretto has honed his own formulas for predicting and forecasting levels of snow. After his 4 a.m. wakeup, he studies the models and researches what is occurring across the U.S. and around the world. He writes his blog, posts it, then works on the Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows blog and posts their weather stats. It takes many hours to get his reports together and he tries to send the main blog out by 7 a.m. Once that is completed, he hits social media, then reviews the 10 a.m. weather models and gears up to ski. He skis at all of resorts and sends out reports and videos from his location. At 3:30 p.m., he heads home, has dinner with his wife and children and is in bed soon after he puts his children to bed. Then it’s up at 4 a.m. and repeat.
“I’m the most well-known, loneliest guy in Tahoe,” he jokes | opensnow.com