Kelley's personal weekday forecast constant: It's off to the slopes.

Position:SPORTS
 
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Byline: Shaun Sutner

COLUMN: SNOW SPORTS

Many TV weathermen and women talk about snow in the forecast as a problem.

Not Tim Kelley.

They don't call the veteran NECN meteorologist the "skiing weatherman" for nothing.

Kelley is one of the few TV weather people in New England whom ski area operators are not wary of (or who don't actively dislike), and one of the few you can depend on, in my opinion.

A Cape Cod native who lives in Scituate, Kelley, 49, can be found during the week shredding at Stowe, where he has a condo. Kelley is also a big surfing dude.

Check out his private Web site: http://surfskiweather.us/. Kelley also makes frequent appearances as the house weatherman on the site of the awesomely hip ski community Ski The East, http://www.skitheeast.net/weather.

Kelley, a graduate of Vermont's Lyndon State College, joined NECN at the Needham cable station's inception in 1992. Now he pretty much works 17-hour weekend shifts, sleeps them off Mondays and then heads north to Stowe.

OK, so when I got Kelley on the phone the other day after meeting him at the Boston Snow Sports Expo last month, I had one question. I'll give you the sanitized version: "Where's the (expletive deleted) snow?"

Kelley laughed grimly. It's not as if he doesn't hear this kind of stuff all the time from his skiing and riding friends.

He pointed out that in Worcester, for example, November had three significant snowfalls, including one of seven inches-plus. Also, November was colder than average this year.

So, despite the wretchedly warm weather we've been suffering through for the last few weeks, Kelley, like many other New England meteorologists, is sticking to a long-range prediction of a significantly more snowy winter around here than last year. Of course, that's not hard, considering that last year was the worst on record for our winter sports.

"It's going to take a while," but temperatures will drop and snow will come, Kelley said, explaining that the cold air mass in the center of the country will eventually push toward the coasts. "I'm a glass half full kind of guy."

Kelley says he'll ski in any conditions (as will I, I might add). Real ski fanatics don't wait for perfect snow. They just go out and do it.

"I've got skis for rocks. I've got skis for trees. I've got skis for powder," Kelley said.

To naysayers who complain that last year really stunk, Kelley pointed out that Stowe had 80 inches of snow on the ground in April. And the classic northern Vermont ski...

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