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Never to Early for Winter - El Nino?

Poll Results: El Nino Opinion

  • 16% (1)
    El Nino Positives outweigh the negatives
  • 33% (2)
    El Nino Negatives outweigh the positives
  • 50% (3)
    El Nino or La Nina - I don't care because I will get my share of the Pow come h#!! or high H20
6 Total Votes  
post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Wishing for El Nino is probably pretty selfish considering the global implications, but that is precisely what I am doing right now given how unkind La Nina has been to most of us frozen H20 gravity sliders residing in Western North America below the latitude of the Columbia River.


It doesn't hurt to cross you fingers and hope.  Apologies in advance to Peruvian fisherman, mudslide prone homeowners in Southern California,  powhounds in Chile waiting for a late winter-early spring dump, and any other creatures adversely effected by the warm water boy. 


Feel free to post any updated Pacific water temperature models or anomalies here.




El Nino by Late Summer/Fall?

May 16, 2012; 12:11 PM ET

Is it ever too early to talk about the next winter season in the West? Because water supplies and recreational winter sports depend so greatly on the economy, the answer has to be no, it is never to early. So let's have a look at what it may be looking like down the line.

As most know, we were in a La Nina through the fall and much of the winter months but with a trend the ENSO neutral by late winter and spring. This may be one reason we had the late surge in precipitation in California to the central Great Basin.

Models all are pretty close in agreement right now through the summer that ENSO-neutral conditions will continue. Most of the models, including the CFS Ensemble mean, predict the development of El Nino in the August-September-October period and to continue into early 2013.

Here is the Pacific Nino 3.4 sea surface temperature outlook from a number of models.




This graph shows that most of the models take the sea surface anomalies to 0.5 degrees C and above starting in the August-September-October period.

The CFS ensemble mean also predicts the same.




The following bar graph shows the probability of each ENSO. There is a high probability of neutral early on trending toward at least equal chance by this fall and winter.




It will be critical to watch how these numbers change with time as we go into and through the summer. Right now, odds are favoring at least a weak El Nino next winter.

Edited by altabrig - 6/6/12 at 8:03pm
post #2 of 7

If there is an El Nino with a negative NAO, the east coast will get rain rain rain except for the sporadic accumulating ice storms north of  Rte 105 - no thanks.

post #3 of 7

Despite a willingness to go almost anywhere in the Rockies last year for good skiing, it was an extremely lame snow year for skiing.  A recent article in our local paper claimed it was the worst snow winter in the Rockies in over 100 years, which figures because my wife and I both bought fatty rocker powder skis at the beginning of the season.  El Nino, bring on the little dude.  The soon the better.  Come on fatboy, let's dance.



post #4 of 7
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post

Despite a willingness to go almost anywhere in the Rockies last year for good skiing, it was an extremely lame snow year for skiing. 

Canadian Rockies were fine especially March.

post #5 of 7

Still, you just never know where the moist flow will go?  We've had good La Nina's years and bad El Nino's too.


I think it's more important how and when the snow falls and the mean temperature.   Aspen really wasn't that bad this year.

But it would have been much better if we didn't have a couple of big wind events at critical times and get ridiculously hot late season.

post #6 of 7
Originally Posted by Castle Dave View Post

Canadian Rockies were fine especially March.

We came very close to pulling the trigger on a Christmas trip to Kicking Horse/Rogers Pass/Revelstoke, but we needed to commit in early December and it did not look good enough yet justify the gamble.  As the winter went on if became obvious that we would have to go all the way to Canada or the PNW to find decent snow. Only made it as far as far north as Jackson Hole in March, which had decent coverage but was way too warm.  Unfortunately, Canada is a long way from Durango.  We usually do at least 3-4 trips to Snowbird/Alta/Solitude every year, but last season it was zip.  You would think with New Mexico, Colorado and Utah to choose from close bye that there'd a been some great turns to be had, but I think Wolf Creek had the consistently best snow of anyplace in the US Rockies, unfortunately it is rather small.  When we finally started to get some late season snow in the southern Rockies it came with high warm winds and dust storms.  Nothing like 16" of new of brown slush.  Anyway, I for one would love a big El Nino year.

post #7 of 7

You were probably better off at WC at Christmas. I went to BC January 6th and it was still spotty. So we grabbed a couple of last minute spots at Baldface Lodge,  just as it started to dump.

Hit Revy 1/13 for their biggest day since opener and it just got better from there!

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