La Nina Watch continues

Snow is falling at Whistler/Blackcomb this morning. This snow will drop into the northern Rockies this week including Banff, Colorado, Idaho, and Montana.

Snow at Whistler/Blackcomb at 6,069ft, 9/27/2021

We’re still waiting on the official arrival of La Nina. Current water temps in the South Pacific near the equator are running “neutral” (-0.3C NINO3.4). La Nina and El Nino are normally cyclic in nature, but this will be the second straight winter with La Nina in control.

Historical look at the cyclic nature of La Nina and El Nino.

Why does it matter? La Nina can influence the position of the winter storm track across North America. Said another way, La Nina can stack the odds where the heaviest, most consistent snow will fall this winter. I go into more detail, explain the forces at play, and look at ski area snow odds in my full winter forecast video here.

The latest forecast from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center and International Research Institute indicates a 70-80% chance of La Nina during this winter season.

NOAA ENSO Forecast Odds, September 2021

NOAA released their Fall outlook for temps and precipitation on 9/16. I’m in agreement with most of their assessment with one difference. Temps will be warmer than normal OCT-NOV with precipitation drier than normal, but I think by December we’ll start to see a snowier pattern take hold across the West.

NOAA Fall Outlook OCT-DEC 2021

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