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El Nino being record snowfall to Big White?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Big White was my local mountain where I skied for 4 seasons, sadly I'm not there this winter.  I'm in Revelstoke where we are having a fairly average winter, not bad, not outstanding... the bulk of our snow came in November and the first 3 weeks of December and warmer temperatures / rain have crippled the lower mountain recently.  Lots of modest dumps between 5-15cm; the big dumps have brought very wet and heavy snow to the upper mountain and ever increasing crowds that track the mountain out by early afternoon..

 

Big White opened 2 weeks early this year and I was able to ski knee deep powder in mid November with great coverage already... the past week has seen 80cm of low wind Champaign powder and cold temperatures... 46 of that falling in 24 hours.  Usually by the end of March Biggy averages around a 300cm base in the areas unaffected by winds. This year they are already sitting at 250cm at the half way point of the season.

 

Is this typical for the mountain in el nino winters? because so far what I've been seeing is this winter trumping previous La Nina winters.

post #2 of 5
Epic season so far for Vancouver mountains. Cypress has killer snow with all but one run (double diamond) open.
post #3 of 5

Interesting analysis here of how the PNW and western Canada have been so good so far this season:

http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2016/01/stop-el-nino-forecast-complaints.html

 

Form my historical analysis, he's right that many of these areas are not that bad in El Nino seasons, particularly if they are relatively high altitude, which Big White is in regional context.

 

The other issue, that El Nino effects tend to be stronger in late season than early season, was certainly true in 1983 and 1998 in California. But that's a very small sample size. 

 

El Nino/La Nina are not guarantees, they work like flipping a biased coin. Mammoth had record snowfall in La Nina 2010-11.

post #4 of 5

Mt. Baker is far from "high altitude" but we have been having an outstanding season.  We've had one bad rain event; it happened last week and rained very hard for three days.  The weather then turned and it was repaired in less than 24 hours in a snowstorm of epic proportions. Other than that the snow has been good, and there has been plenty of it.  It's a good year on the ground here in this little bit of the PNW. (We deserve it after last year!)

post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post
 

El Nino/La Nina are not guarantees, they work like flipping a biased coin.

 

This is the one thing that so many people ignore/forget when discussing these patterns.

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