Archive | Weather

It’s no secret, skiers love talk about the weather and Off-Piste Mag brings you articles and winter weather details to help fuel the passion for winter weather and backcountry skiing.

La Nina, El Nino and your ski season

La Niña, El Niño and Your Ski Season

La Niña, El Niño and Your Ski Season “Hey Ethel, you seen how fat the squirrels are this fall? It’s a sure sign, we’re gonna have a whopper of a winter” Yup, it’s that time of year again. It’s time for pro and amateurs alike to expound on their weather and climate theories. Honestly, I love to hear it all:… Read More

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backcountry skiing off-piste magazine

Winter Snow Forecast – ENSO, PDO and Optimism

Winter Snow Forecast 2016-17 UPDATE – October 15, 2016 – NOAA Climate Center moves back to La Niña forecast! Skiers and weather forecasters talk a lot about El Niño and La Niña when gazing into their crystal balls in search of the winter snow forecast. And for good reason, El Niño (warm Equatorial Pacific sea surface temperatures) and La Niña (cool Equatorial… Read More

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ski film trailers

Ski Movie Trailers – TGR, MSP, 4FRNT

Ski Movie Trailers It’s that time of year again; time for the ski movie trailers to start priming the winter stoke. Though I have always felt it’s crazy to start the stoke three or four months before we’ll actually be skiing, here are the first trailers of the season. Of course it’s still early, but the climate scientists keep talking… Read More

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smt__0152web

El Nino 2014-15 Update

NOAA recently released its most current El Niño 2014-15 update. And, no real surprise, it’s in a holding pattern that appears to favor a weak El Niño building by January. It’s about the same statement that was released a month ago. Of course, there’s plenty reason to question any long-range forecast. Nonetheless, I find myself compelled to read such discussions; it’s part curiosity… Read More

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White Grass Rocks

La Nada, White Grass and more

If you have not yet heard, it’s official – at least for the time being according to the NOAA Climate Prediction Center, the forecasted El Nino influence has drifted into La Nada. In other words, there is currently little or no significant ENSO influence on our winter this season. For those not in the know, ENSO can directly influence western… Read More

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Fall Colors

ENSO update – La Nada

Fall has finally arrived here in the Pacific Northwest with the first significant storms of the fall season. I spied a dust of fresh snow around 9,000 feet this weekend, but snow levels remain high. Nonetheless, the return to a more seasonal wet flow feels good and lends a certain ski season feel to the air. According to the experts… Read More

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Pacific Decadal Oscillation Values

Pacific Decadal Oscillation – Say What?

What is the Pacific Decadal Oscillation? Dedicated skiers around North America have come to anticipate the news from climate researchers regarding ENSO (La Nina/El Nino) each season. Essentially a shift in sea surface temperatures in the Pacific – La Nina bringing cooler waters to the Pacific shores and El Nino bringing warmer waters – ENSO has proven to have a… Read More

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january 2012 snow cover

North American Snow Coverage Maps

It’s no secret that the snowpack is less than inspiring in many locations around the US right now (interior BC and Alaska are having great seasons btw). Of course, it’s still early, right. It could all turn around any moment. In the meantime, we might as well stew in our misery – check out these maps from the National Weather… Read More

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snow dance

Dear Santa, We Want Snow

Mother Nature is marching to her own drum thus this winter. The Northwest mountains have been uncharacteristically dry and sunny the past few weeks. Snowfall around much of the country has simply stalled out following a nice start to the ski season around Thanksgiving. Sounds like the ridging that has been delivering the dry, high pressure pattern has started to… Read More

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backcountry skiing

Winter Weather Forecasts

We’ve all heard that La Nina is forecast to influence our winter weather for a second consecutive ski season this winter. The cooler than average sea surface temps in the Equatorial Pacific mean different things to differrent regions but, for the most part, backcountry skiers should be stoked because it normally means a good snow year for most western mountain… Read More

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la nina in action

La Nina on Deck

Well, it’s official, NOAA has issued a full on La Nina advisory for the approaching winter season. Until recently, NOAA was undecided whether the coming winter would be a neutral year or a La Nina year. The sea surface temps now point toward La Nina, although there is of course still some uncertainty. I have yet to read anything about… Read More

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SNOTEL snow water equivalent

Snowpack Data

The Northwest has been having an unusually cool and wet spring and summer this year. The temp outside my office is a mere 65 degrees and it is July 17! I am not really complaining. The weather has been great for riding and working outside.  Another side benefit is that our already healthy snowpack from the winter has been lingering… Read More

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Viva La Nina

  As predicted earlier this summer, La Nina appears to be taking shape. In fact, according to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, Nearly all models predict La Niña to continue at least through early 2011 (Fig. 6). However, the models continue to disagree on the eventual strength of La Niña. Based on current observations and model guidance, we expect the SST… Read More

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La Nina in the Works?

According to the NOAA Climate Prediction Center we transitioned out of the El Nino influence in late May. Although many forecasts still call for a neutral  ENSO effect for the late summer and fall, NOAA says some data is leaning toward the development of a La NIna influence. "The majority of models predict ENSO-neutral conditions (between -0.5oC to +0.5oC in… Read More

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Snow on its way in the NW

Snow on its way in the NW

National Weather Service forecast looks encouraging… FALLING SNOW LEVELS BEHIND A COLD FRONT LATE IN THE DAY MONDAYWILL TURN RAIN INTO SNOW AT CASCADE PASS LEVELS IN NORTH OREGONAND SOUTH WASHINGTON. SNOW LEVELS WILL DROP AS LOW AS 2500 FEETLATE MONDAY NIGHT. SNOW SHOWERS MONDAY NIGHT INTO TUESDAY WILLBRING THE POTENTIAL FOR A SIGNIFICANT EARLY SEASON SNOWFALL…WITHUP TO A FOOT… Read More

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