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Your take on El Niño influence on this season's snowfall?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I really want to be hopeful for a pending winter filled with face shots.  Last season here in Washington State, we had a marginal season until a phenomenal March-April that defied the long-range NOAA forecasts.  I'm still living for those days at Crystal Mountain.  So I take these forecasts (anything over a 3-day forecast) with a large hopeful grain of salt.

What has me worried is last week people were catching Humboldt squid (from Baja CA) in the Strait of Juan de Fuca that runs between Washington and Vancouver Island, BC.  Apparently a water temperature of 58 degrees right now!  
seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/reeltimenorthwest/2009833464_giant_humboldt_squid_flooding

The NOAA long-range forecast aren't looking too cheery either.  
www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/long_range/seasonal.php?lead=3

This may be the year that I take that direct Seattle-Mammoth flight to get some turns in.  

What's your take on this?  Too soon to tell, or just wait and see?
post #2 of 22
Last I read NOAA was saying there is no El Nino or La Nina this year making it harder to predict the seasons weather.

www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2008/20081120_winteroutlook.html
post #3 of 22
That's an old link for last winter

Quote:
Originally Posted by CR0SS View Post

Last I read NOAA was saying there is no El Nino or La Nina this year making it harder to predict the seasons weather.

www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2008/20081120_winteroutlook.html
 
post #4 of 22
That's 2008's forecast-we have an El Nino now....I'm thinking it's fairly strong because Houston-which normally gets about 45 inches a year in rain, is 9 inches behind so far this year
post #5 of 22
Guess thats what I get for not looking at the date.
post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by csavage View Post

That's 2008's forecast-we have an El Nino now....I'm thinking it's fairly strong because Houston-which normally gets about 45 inches a year in rain, is 9 inches behind so far this year

Here in CO we have had one of the coldest and wettest summers. I don't think Denver ever hit the triple digits this year and only a handful of day in the 90's.

Working outside in the summer we had more ran days by June than I have had in the previous three summers. I hope this precipitation continues through the winter.
post #7 of 22
This winter's weather will be much easier to forecast come April. 
post #8 of 22
We got a little snowfall up high today.

post #9 of 22
 Hard to say what old man winter has in store. Forecasting is just guessing. I bought new Rain gear this year......just incase.  Good luck PNW.
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by CR0SS View Post




Here in CO we have had one of the coldest and wettest summers. I don't think Denver ever hit the triple digits this year and only a handful of day in the 90's.

Working outside in the summer we had more ran days by June than I have had in the previous three summers. I hope this precipitation continues through the winter.
 

Where I live in NY it didn't reach 90 till August which is one of the coldest winters here.
post #11 of 22
Hi,

Actually you are wrong. There is not an established el nino at the moment. The southern ocean oscillation index is actually neutral at the moment, not established one way or the other. The trend is towards el nino, but not yet established

Cheers

Robbo
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by robbo mcs View Post

Hi,

Actually you are wrong. There is not an established el nino at the moment. The southern ocean oscillation index is actually neutral at the moment, not established one way or the other. The trend is towards el nino, but not yet established

Cheers

Robbo
 

According to the NOAA, there is (and has been) a weak El Nino throughout the summer of 2009 and it is expected to strengthen: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/enso_advisory/ensodisc.pdf.

For the OP, that can mean a rough season in the NW.  On one hand you get moisture, but the problem can be that the freezing levels end up being too high and you get rain in the mountains (and mud slides in the passes).  It all depends on the strength of El-Nino. 

If I still lived in Seattle, I'd be hoping for the best and expecting the worst.  I'd be planning some trips out of state, watching Mt Baker a lot more, and generally trying to lower my expectations of getting any skiing in before Christmas.  The good news is that most of the time El Nino doesn't completely ruin the season so you should have still have some good turns.
post #13 of 22
Well in the last El Nino, we ended up under average with about 586"
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by robbo mcs View Post

Hi,

Actually you are wrong. There is not an established el nino at the moment. The southern ocean oscillation index is actually neutral at the moment, not established one way or the other. The trend is towards el nino, but not yet established

Cheers

Robbo
http://www.skipressworld.com/usa/index.php/component/content/article/233-snocountry-headline/59198-el-nino-returns.html

Washington, DC (Mtn Press)-According to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the climate is in an "El Niño" condition now and that condition is expected to last through Winter 2009/10. Both 1995/96 and 2005/06 were El Niño winters and ski participation levels for those seasons were excellent. Snowfall amounts change during different stages of the winter in several areas of the U.S. depending on whether El Niño or La Niña conditions exist in the equatorial Pacific. The most significant changes in snowfall occur in the Northwest, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Midwest and northern Texas.

The Sierras in Northern California and Nevada, the Rocky Mountains in Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico, and the southern and northern ends of the Appalachian chain that run from Maine to North Carolina, get more snow than average in an El Niño year. The Cascades, particularly in Washington areas that usually get "lake effect" snowfall and parts of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho, tend to get less than average snowfall.
post #15 of 22
Oh man. Mercer Island is gonna get lots of the  'lake effect '  snow .

I have never heard Pacific Ocean storms referred to in this way.  
post #16 of 22
Hi,

Here is the data I am looking at, from the highly respected BOM

www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/

The strange thing is this is the exact same data and from the same committee as one of the previous posts, but the endpoint disagrees. BOM do not see an established el nino

Cheers

Robbo
post #17 of 22
Humbolt squid have been seen off the Oregon/Washington coast recently due to the unusally warm ocean tempretures. These animals should be off the coast of California.
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by robbo mcs View Post

Hi,

Here is the data I am looking at, from the highly respected BOM

www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/

The strange thing is this is the exact same data and from the same committee as one of the previous posts, but the endpoint disagrees. BOM do not see an established el nino

Cheers

Robbo
 


So I clicked on that link, and here are the first few sentences:

Summary: Unusual El Niño persists, but Australia experiencing typical impacts

Tropical Pacific Ocean temperatures remain warmer than average in all of the key El Niño monitoring regions and continue to exceed thresholds considered typical of an El Niño event. These conditions are forecast to persist until at least year's end by most leading climate models.

post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the info and scenarios. 

It should be interesting to see how the 2010 Olympics deal with a potential low snow year at Whistler. 
post #20 of 22
I'm hoping that with the El Nino and all the ash in the atmosphere, it'll be a banner year for pow.  Can't pretend to know what's going to happen, but I've got my fingers crossed and my fatties waxed. 
post #21 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the info and scenarios. 

It should be interesting to see how the 2010 Olympics deal with a potential low snow year at Whistler. 
post #22 of 22
The Atlantic hurricane season very quiet this year-due to El Nino. After Ike, I'm appreciating the break from watching the tropical forecast!
Galveston Island lost 40,000 trees from the storm surge last year and the drought this summer. We've lost a bunch of loblolly pines this summer in my neighborhood from a combo of the heat, drought, and beetles
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